Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesdays With WeaverMom - grocery store

Welcome to Wednesdays with WeaverMom! Here’s the plan - I answer your questions with my thoughts about what has worked for me, and hopefully others will leave comments about what works for them. I have some good experience about how to fit it all in and make it all work – but I’m far from an expert. Hopefully, “many hands make light work” and you will be able to find an idea that you can adjust to fit your life and personality. Multi-tasking at its finest!

Let me introduce myself again. I’ve been married for 11 years and have 2 munchkins – a 6 yr old daughter, Punkin, and a 3 yr old son, SnugBug. We homeschool using the Weaver curriculum (hence the name WeaverMom), and I have a bookkeeping business. I’m a planner – I have to be to make my life work! My husband is a wonderful provider who loves his job and works many hours, so I try very hard to not take up any of his “home time” with mundane chores so that we can just be together as a family. I use a chore chart, meal plans, and a very detailed daily to-do list. It’s not for everyone, but I would be lost without these tools.

So, on to today’s question:

Help! I cannot find time to go to the grocery store! Any suggestions?

Absolutely! Here you go:

  1. Make a meal plan for the week and a grocery list.This saves time because you don’t have to go back to the store during the week, and a list can also save you money because you buy (only?) what you actually need.
  2. Um, this may seem obvious, but let’s be honest.Sometimes all we need to do is take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and just GO! Not that I know what it’s like to put off going to the store for 4 days hoping the mood will strike me. No, no, ‘course not.
  3. Include grocery shopping on your schedule – don’t rely on “whenever.”
  4. Re-evaluate your schedule.Re-arrange activities to allow for a large enough gap to complete your shopping.Food is important, so drop an activity if you have to.
  5. Delegate.Get your husband to go.Or a child old enough to drive.
  6. MULTI-TASK.Right now, I shop before gymnastics – then drop my daughter off for her class while my son and I go home and unload, and then head right back to get her.It’s not saving me gas money – but, hey – we have food!
  7. Organize, organize, organize.Using this tip on organizing your grocery list from Shannon at Rocks in my dryer, I shaved at least 15 minutes off my grocery store time.
  8. Time it right.Go early in the morning when the store is not as crowded and the employees are not as tired.
  9. Feed the baby in the car. Bring a cooler for your cold things, and just plan to feed the baby right before you head home. I learned this trick after listening to my sweet baby scream for the entire 20 minutes home on more than one occasion!
  10. Organize, organize some more. I do this during tax season when things are really insane.I make my meal plan for the entire month, then make 4 grocery lists. The first one includes everything for the first week and ALL the dry goods for the entire month.The other lists are for the 3 following weeks – but only include meats, cold items & produce.Then, I just take a Saturday and do major shopping at my regular store where the prices are better – it only adds about 30 minutes to a normal trip!On the other 3 weeks I can go to the grocery store that is closer and quicker (but more expensive, especially for dry goods such as cereal.)And, don’t throw the lists away! – if it’s really crazy, you can just repeat it the next month.
  11. If you live far away from stores grocery shopping can be an all day event, so you don’t want to go any more often than you have to.I saw an interview once with a lady who did this: she only shopped every 2 weeks. She drove in and went to one store and bought dry goods. Then she and her children would go to lunch. Then, she went to a different store and bought her meats, cold items and produce. This kept the kids from getting hungry and also from being in one store for so long that they got really hard to handle.

Your turn. How do you find time to go to the grocery store?

P.S. Have a question for WeaverMom? Email me!


Amber said...

I have to have a meal plan, otherwise I'd be wasting money.

Great post and great advise!

God Bless,

MorningSong said...

I actually did my list for the week last night! Great tips!

Highday said...

Great tips! I love the monthly idea- I've never tried planning that far out (I plan weekly) but may have to try that. It certainly would make things easier, not planning for a whole month!

Fun post!

Anonymous said...

I only shop once a month for our groceries but do have dh stop once a week for fresh veggies, milk, or something like diapers, etc.

I make a menu up and make a list of what ingredients I will need that I do not have on hand.

THen once a month, I go to the grocery store... sometimes with all 7 children in tow and sometimes, my oldest who is 19 will watch her brothers and sisters. I have had my oldest to go do our monthly shopping for us a couple of times and she did superb.

Short Stop said...

These are some great suggestions! Thanks for sharing.

I make a grocery list every other week right from my cookbooks/recipes, and organize the list by the layout of the grocery store. This saves SO much time in the store, and I'm not running back and forth to aisles trying to find things I've forgotten.

And, I make my list at night after my kiddos are in bed. This is the most tedious part of the whole process, and I do it while it's quiet and I can really concentrate! :)

Momma Roar said...

This is so great - I'm learning so much from you! I've got to start planning better - it is frustrating! Thanks for all these tips and ideas! Great post!

Kristie said...

What great ideas I have a day care and menus for them I just grab the menu and make my list from that I add what I want for our family and head to the store. Now that our daughter is a driver she runs and picks up ingredients for menu changes I will miss her when school starts!!!

Lori said...

Wonderful ideas.

I need to get more organized and have a weekly meal plan.

I sometimes fly by the seat of my pants and then wonder what are we going to eat for lunch or supper that very day.
Weekly meal planning would help tremendously.

3boyz said...

My way of doing things is a little different. I have a master list of all the things that my family likes to eat. 1 list for each category: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks.

This is basically all that we eat. I try and throw in new variations or something new now and then but my crew is pretty picky.

I have a pretty good size pantry and an extra freezer in the garage. This has been a life saver for me. I asked for the freezer as a christmas gift 3 years ago and it was the best gift I ever got!

Any way, I play the game of stocking the shelves here. I have 2 lists -- Sam's club and Albertson's (our local store). Once a month, I take inventory. Do we have supplies for everything we need? If not it goes on the lists.

I hit each store once a month. Sam's takes me about 30-60 minutes. Albertson's about 1- 1.5 hours. Then I go home and stock up. I am now basically done for the month.

Sure ... dh has to stop at the store once a week on his way home. He picks up the produce and other odds and ends. Also, sale items. Takes him about 10-15 minutes a week.

That's it. Wala! Done!! A lot of things around here roll over from month to month. I have found buying in bulk saves us a lot especially on things like peanut butter and jelly.

I have never done well with menu planning ... I like being more spontaneous. So if I have everything in the house to make 50 different meals (not all of them can be made as ingredients do overlap!) ... then I am good to go.

My friend thats a chef loves to come to my house for ding dong dinners. Thats where he shows up and cooks whatever you have for dinner. Its amazing what he can pull out of my kitchen!!

tAnYeTTa said...


Alycia in Va. said...

hi there,
I just found your site and am loving it!
I look forward to reading more of your posts and getting ideas on how to make my life simplier.
I'm a public school teacher so in a few weeks I will truly once again be a multi-tasking mom and wife.
Please feel free to stop by my blog too:

Alycia in Virginia

Amy said...

I plan for two weeks at a time and shop every two weeks. We'll make a stop for milk and such, but that's it! Grocery shopping twice a month.

We also try to eat healthy at our house. Planning ahead makes that easier.