For starters, I am not claiming to be any kind of expert in this. However, I am excited to share it with people because I believe there are many benefits to doing your grocery shopping once a month. I know it’s not exactly a new concept and you’ve probably heard all these things before. For myself, I have tried it out the last couple of months and have really, really liked it. I had been toying with the idea for a little bit and decided to give it a go this summer when lugging 5 kids to the store every week didn’t seem like my definition of fun. So, I gave it a test run one month and have been learning more and getting better at it since. If you’ve ever thought about it, or even read about it and thought it may be a good idea, here are what I see to be great benefits to doing once a month grocery shopping…
Benefits of Once a Month Grocery Shopping
*Saves time. Yes, that one shopping trip will be longer than normal, but I can almost guarantee you that it takes much less time than venturing to the stores every week or so. Even a “quick trip” for me used to take awhile–time I could be spending doing other things.
*Saves gas. I don’t know about the area in which you live, but where I live it’s about 10 miles just to get to any store at all. 20 miles for a round trip. Consolidating all of your running in one go can really add up when it comes to gas.
*Saves money. This isn’t just for the gas you just saved. I believe that with good, proper, once a month planning, you can end up spending far less than those weekly grocery runs. Just as a quick aside, the last time I was at Wal Mart there was a man in front of me chatting to the cashier as he unloaded his full cart. Apparently he was a stay at home father of 3 who was in charge of doing all the grocery shopping for his family. He was complaining about how much they spent on groceries–a whopping $240 a week! I do not have a good poker face, so I tried to disguise my look of shock as best as I could. “Yeah,” he said,” I’m here all the time. It seems like we’re always running out of something.” To be honest with you, I really wanted to tell him that I barely spend that much per month, and I have a couple more children to feed. (Don’t worry, I kept my mouth shut!)
*Forces you to use what you have. You know those lingering boxes and cans in your pantry? The ones that you have a tendency to push to the back because you don’t know what to do with them? This is a great time to be creative and use those babies up. If you use most of your favorite ingredients up and still have some days left, give it a try! You may be surprised at what you come up with.
*Helps you know what you actually use. If you start out the month with 5 pounds of pasta and it’s gone by week 3, then you know to either buy more next month (or not cook pasta as often). On the other hand, if you bought 10 pounds of flour and by the end of the month half of it is still languishing in your pantry, then you know not to go buy such a large amount next time. It also helps you keep a good tally of how much $ is going towards groceries each month.
*Keeps you out of the stores. Unless you have really good self-discipline, most people end up with a number of impulse purchases. I just read a quote that says as much as 50-60% of purchases are based on impulse, not what’s been planned on a list. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been guilty of this one! This concept is simple–if you’re not going to the store, you’re not doing unplanned spending.
Well, those are the main things that I see as beneficial. I want to also clarify that I do make a mini-trip or two in between just to restock our milk and fresh produce. Next time I will share with you my own personal tips for making once a month shopping successful.