In the past, I've shopped weekly, every other week, and monthly. When sticking to the $125 grocery budget, I shopped once a month. I've found the less I shop, the less I spend, and the more likely I am to use up what I've got at home.
This may be difficult for some to imagine. However, if you've followed the previous step of Plan Before You Go, going once a month is totally doable. Go with a plan and knock it all out at once. Besides saving money, you will be surprised how much time you save. With three little ones, I know that the less time I spend in the grocery store, the better!
You may be thinking, how do your items last all month? Here is how we made accommodations for those items that have a shorter shelf life:
- Milk: I would buy 2 gallons of milk at the beginning of the month and find the latest expiration date possible. Aldi is good about having later dates. We don't go through a ton of milk and are mostly water drinkers. When the milk was gone, we'd wait until next month. When my kiddos were younger, I'd save a few dollars out to get a gallon of milk later in the month. Milk is also freezable and my kids say it still tastes good.
- Bread: We made almost all bread from scratch. This means that bread going bad or running out wasn't a problem.
- Fresh Fruits and Veggies: We would buy as many fresh fruits and veggies as the budget would allow. Aldi typically runs great produce deals each week. We used up the fresh stuff first. Once fresh stuff was used up, I'd have a few cans of fruit and some frozen veggies that could be used at the end of the month. For the fruit, I make sure it is in it's own juice or water so it's a bit healthier.
- Other Dairy Products: Once we used up what was bought for the month, we'd do without until the following month.
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