Thursday, March 30, 2017

Monthly Shopping!

Back when Michael first started working at the Water District I wasn't sure I was going to like his pay schedule. We went from receiving weekly unemployment checks to being paid once a month. Of course I was very, VERY grateful for those once a month paychecks and so, SO happy that Michael was working and didn't have to receive unemployment. I just knew it would be a big adjustment for me in regards to our budget. 

I can't remember exactly when I started shopping monthly, but it's been quite awhile now. It's definitely taken some trial and error to get it right and I still have off months where I keep having to run back to the store because I forgot one thing we needed that was crucial to a particular recipe. Those months are the worst! I hate going to the store over and over again. 

I do feel like I've gotten to a really good place in regards to our monthly shopping. I feel like I'm in a good groove and I rarely forget to buy something that we need. I might actually buy something two months in a row by accident....hello giant bottle of teriyaki sauce from Costco! 

I thought it might be nice for me to document this particular time in our lives prior to having any teenagers in the house. It hurts thinking about what the grocery bills are going to be when we get to that milestone! Ouch! 

Typically it takes 5 hours for me to get all our grocery shopping done for the month. Then another 1.5 hours to put everything away when I get home. Here is the timeline for our most recent shopping trip.

7:30 - Drop off the kids at the bus
7:40 - Shop at Fred Meyers 

I'm particular when it comes to milk and bread. I just love Fred Meyer's so that's what I stick with. On this particular trip I also got all the stuff on Zeke's WIC checks. Only two more months and he's finished with WIC.

8:05 - Shop at the Franz Bakery Outlet

I love to stock up on english muffins and bagels...they freeze great. This time I also found some hamburger buns and Texas Toast to make french toast with. 

8:20 - Go home, unpack food and put the refrigerated stuff away. Pack up a cooler for the cold stuff purchased at Winco. 

The reason it makes sense for me to stop at our house is because Fred Meyer's and Franz are all north of our house and all the other stores are south of our house. I have to pass right by it anyways. I hate to backtrack so if this didn't work out that way there is no way I would be stopping and unpacking food! 

9:05 - Shop at Winco

I love Winco!!! I love the bulk's just the best! I get all my pasta, spices, grains and candy for the kids from the bulk section. I also get the things I need to make a recipe come a can of soup or some sauce mix. I do buy some cereal that they don't sell at Costco here as well. I try to stay under $60, but on this particular trip I spent over $80, but we are hosting Easter at our house this year. As for the cooler I packed at the house I use it to store all the cold stuff I get at Winco....yay for no more melted Popsicle!  

10:10 - Shop at Costco

Costco is where I spend the big bucks! The trip usually costs around $300, but that includes more that just food. I set aside anywhere from $60 - $80 a month for toiletries and usually at least $40 gets spent at Costco. On this particular day I bought Glucosamine and vitamins for the kids. After buying all our groceries Zeke and I go over to the food court and share a piece of pepperoni pizza and a soda. 

11:30 - Shop at Sam's Club

My mom got me a membership to Sam's Club for my birthday last year. I don't usually spend more than $50, but it's nice that she doesn't have to buy things for me anymore and have me pay her back. Sam's Club has a great chip selection and we are chipaholics at this house....not so much me, but the other 5 people can definitely munch through a few bags a month. 

12:00 - Shop at Wal-Mart 

This is where I get most of our toiletries that we don't buy in bulk...toothpaste for the kids, razors for me, shampoo, dental name it it's cheaper at Wal-Mart. I also LOVE the pepperoni from the deli so I buy it when I'm going to make homemade pizza. I also love that this is the last stop because I can buy most anything that I might have forgotten at any of the other stores and I don't feel like I've gotten a horrible price for it. 

12:30 - Time to head home!!! 5 hours of shopping finished!!! 

And yes Zeke is with me the whole time. He's an amazing shopping buddy! 

So this is what my van looks like after all that shopping! 

This is everything from Winco.

This is everything from Costco and Sam's Club. My trunk has a well so there really is a lot of food there it just doesn't look like it. 

The cat food is from Sam's Club, but the bags are from Wal-Mart. 

I had already unpacked the stuff I bought at Fred Meyer's and the Franz Bakery Outlet. 

Here's all the milk from Fred Meyer's....I love having an extra frig in the garage! 

On this particular day Zeke was an amazing helper ...he helped me bring in groceries the whole time. He finally did get tired, but it was right when I was bringing in the last box from Costco. 

And this is my kitchen after bringing in all the food from 



Sam's Club...

and Wal-Mart! 

It takes well over an hour to organize and put away everything. I use a lot of reusable containers so I have to empty out the cereal, pasta, rice and sugar into those. Also just going through the freezer, pantry and cabinets to make everything fit can be quite a task. 

After all that organizing I usually have a giant stack of boxes for the recycle! 

On this day I completely finished at 2:30....just enough time for me to built Zeke a wooden train track before heading to the bus stop to pick up the big kids. 

Now don't think that I don't ever step foot into a store again during the month. I do usually have to make at least one more trip to Fred Meyer's in order to buy more milk, bread and fresh fruits and veggies. Overall though I feel like it pays off to shove everything into one day and get it over with. It does take planning and preparation, but it's absolutely worth it! 

As for money right now our monthly food budget for 6 people is $500 a month. This month I spent $15 at Fred Meyer's - $10 at Franz Bakery - $80 at Winco - $300 in food at Costco - $45 at Sam's Club - Nothing at Wal-Mart for food. That's a totally of $450 so I have $50 left to purchase the milk, bread, fruit and veggies we'll need throughout the month. 

I also spent $60 dollars from the toiletries and another $20 from our miscellaneous budget for the cat food! 

It will be fun to look back on this in a few years...I'm sure my food budget will have gone up a bit by then!