Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why Once a Month shopping?

I get a lot of shocked looks and questions when my local friends find out about my once a month shopping or even our twice a month limit.

How we allot our funds is the last paycheck of the previous month is for all bills that occur before the 15th of that month's budget. The first paycheck of the month is for everything else- so gas and groceries come out of that paycheck. About the 15th of the month I go grocery shopping.  We allow for a second trip that normally happens around the 5th, where one of us (most of the time my husband on his way home from work) goes in and gets milk and a couple fresh items to hold us over til I do our large trip. The second trip is normally about $10 (rarely over) depending on if there is anything else I need.

Why I do it-
1- Less times to the store means we spend less.
2- The planing it takes to make sure we have what we are going to need for a month means we spend less.
3- We live 20 minutes south of town HWY driving. Gas costs a lot. The fewer trips to town I am making means we spend less.
4- It forces me to be a planner. Planing ahead means that we already know what is for dinner, it is probably already partially made. That means dinner is most of the time ready when my husband gets home from work and we are less likely to be temped to eat out. Most of our bad choices when it comes to eating out is because dinner wasn't ready to go. Eating out less means we waste less food I bought at the store and we spend less.

What I do before I go?
-Take inventory of what I have. Make a list of what needs to be replenished and what items I need to use up in my planning.
-Go through the calendar from now until my next shopping trip. Consider plans for each day and assign a mean(s) to each day appropriate for that days needs.
-While planning the means look at the Ads. I normally plan to do on a Monday or Tuesday so that I can use that week's ad to plan what we are buying. If there are no good sales for that week I could go I will then move my shopping to Thursday so I can use Wed's ads to make changes to my plan.
*tip the meat I buy this month is often used for next month's meals, that way I am not at the mercy of what I find to reconfigure meals.
-Go though my calendar meals and add to my shopping list any items that would need to be purchased to make those happen.
-Add to the shopping list items for snacks or making homemade snack food
-Using the ads and previous shopping trips to assign an expected cost to each of item on my shopping list
-Add up all the expected costs, if the expected amount exceeds this month's budget I go through and highlight items I can do without for another month. Also take into consideration if less of an expected item could be purchased to still meet your needs ie- getting 2 lbs of apples instead of 3.
Since these items are still on my list I won't forget that I still needed them, but this way if enough items cost less then I expected to pay for them I can add an item or two from my highlighted list.
-Sit down with or have my husband take a look at my lists, see if he noticed anything I had overlooked or forgotten.
*have a second pair of eyes or do it yourself- look through everything again with a calendar of that month's events in front of them. That way they might notice overlooked things like a party in a child's classroom or that you're assigned snacks for the Tball team.
-after everything is double checked I should be ready to grab my envelope and go

While at the store:
-no item goes into the cart without writing it on the paper. I use a paper that I put three columns on- One for the item name, Two for the expected cost, Three for what the items actual cost was. As I go through the store I put what the actual cost of each item and how many I put into my cart onto the paper.
-I use to enjoy talking my kids with me, now I only go do my once a month shopping when I have no kids only one kid. In addition I only go when I have 2+ hours open to go. If I feel rushed in the store by kids or time restrictions then I make bad choices, forget, or spend more than I wanted. I make sure I can take my time.
this is the way I use to try to once a month shop
When I get home- I rotate, prep some items, and put away. I have a running list of what needs to be bought on a chalkboard inside my cupboard. The top is my Costco list the bottom is the grocery store.
use the inside of a cupboard to create a running grocery list
Last thing I do is delete off the list things I did pick up and write anything on the list I decided I could wait until next month.

No comments:

Post a Comment