monthly grocery shop, part 1: meal planning

Good morning!  If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen a couple posts about our new grocery shopping method.  Instead of shopping for groceries every week we decided to try doing one big trip per month.  Since I started working again I’m a little pressed for time and I certainly don’t want to spend it driving half an hour into town and grocery shopping 4 times a month.  I am working at a small town grocery store that has almost everything we need food wise (except for organic whole wheat flour and crunchy natural peanut butter) so I can shop after my shift or even on my day off since the drive is less than 5 minutes from home.

I decided to write a 4 part series on the monthly grocery shop to see if it really is better than a weekly trip.  I’m also curious if it will end up saving us money and be as productive as I thought.  In this post I’ll talk about the first step to preparing for a monthly shop: meal planning!  After you’ve read this post I’d love for you to visit my Facebook page and give me your feedback, opinions and general advice on grocery shopping.

I knew that one of the components that would make monthly shopping successful is not being wasteful. I turned to the internet and recipe books to decide what meals I’d be making for the month of August, including desserts and breakfasts.  Then I made a list, wrote down what is needed for each recipe, took stock of my pantry to see if I already had some ingredients and then crossed them off the list, leaving me with the things I need to buy.  This ensures I have everything I need to make any of the meals and that nothing goes to waste because I didn’t plan to use it.
I chose recipes that are fairly quick and easy, since I usually work until 4 or 5 PM most nights I don’t have a ton of time to cook.  I also asked David what he would like to eat and he suggested a few of his favourites (Philly Cheesteak for example).
August is sort of an odd month for us to experiment with grocery shopping because we will be going away for a week and will likely have to buy extra groceries.  But maybe not, since most of what I planned to make can easily be made on a BBQ!  Lunch  is usually a sandwich, veggies or fruit, a breakfast muffin and a baked goodie.
Here are some of the dishes I’m making in August:
  • chicken lasagna
  • tuna in shells
  • chicken, broccoli and potato casserole
  • pizza
  • slow cooker shredded chicken
  • tuna burgers
  • perogies with feta
  • chicken in feta sauce
  • chili
I also included every day food, like bread, milk and fruit on my list. I’ll likely shop for produce more than once a month but I did stock up on veggies that can be frozen such as broccoli and green pepper.
I’m really excited to share the rest of my monthly shopping trip with you so check back soon for part 2: list making.  You can follow me on Facebook for more frequent posts or subscribe via email (there is a box on the right side of my blog) to ensure you never miss anything.
Have a great day!

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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