Monday, January 7, 2013

Saving Money at the Grocery Store

New year. New ideas. I've got plans, Baby!

Naturally, these plans cost money. It may surprise you to learn that I don't rake in big bucks as an early childhood educator. Big bonuses and hefty raises are not part of my foreseeable future, so in order to get the things I would like I need to stretch the money that does trickle in.

During my winter break I indulged in reading about saving money on groceries. The grocery store seems to eat a frightening amount of my paycheck, so it seemed a logical place to start. A common theme amongst the titles I read was the concept of Once A Month Shopping (OAMS). The theory being that we tend to spend money on unnecessary things each time we go to the store. The fewer times you go to the store, the fewer unnecessary purchases you make. It requires meticulous planning, an iron will, and some space in which to store your food. It sounded completely crazy, so of course I just had to try it.

Knowing my ability to over plan and over complicate, I made a menu for the month and jumped right in while I had the time and energy before classes resumed.

It was physically more challenging than I had anticipated. Those shopping carts can hold A LOT of food, and they can get heavy! It didn't take much more time than it takes me to do a weekly shop. (Fortunately I had the foresight to leave Turtle at home with DH, which helped speed the whole shopping process up considerably.) I can't imagine doing this on my own on a bad pain day. I expect once I get the hang of this I can plan well enough to delay the shopping a few days if I had to without running out of food.

It has only been a week, but it feels like we have barely made a dent in the food I brought home. So far, I have noticed that I am more conscious about making sure we are wasting as little food as possible. This may explain why it feels we have eaten so little of our stockpile -we're getting more miles out the food we prepare! The truly interesting time will be the end of the month. Will I have to break down and go to the store before the month is through, or will we be able to tough it out?  Stay tuned to find out!

What do you think -is OAMS something you would try?

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  1. My only problem with OAMS is my love of lettuce and fresh veggies/fruits. I think I could manage once a week shopping--that would be nice.

    1. I'm struggling with that myself -after all, Turtle can eat her body weight in fruit daily! I'm hoping it will be easier when I can get my hands on good, quality seasonal stuff

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