Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Once A Month Grocery Shopping 1st Trip & Monthly Meal Plan

A little warning about this post, it's long, like really long, I just thought I should put it all in one instead of breaking it up into a few different ones, so enjoy:

In my dream world I would have gone on my big once a month shopping trip all by my lonesome and been in and out without questions or extra items "magically" appearing in my shopping cart.  Of course this is not my dream world so I assumed my son would be with me since my husband would normally be asleep when I go to the store in the mornings, and I was ok with that, then my husband happened to wake up early and decided he would go too.  This could be good or bad, but figured I should make the best of this "family time".  Plus I knew he would be a big help keeping Grant entertained.

I had a long list and 4 stores to go to in one morning.  The stores I shopped at were Aldi (which is where the majority of my items came from), Carnival Foods, Kroger, and Giant Eagle.

Here is my crappy cell phone pic of all our groceries:
The only items missing from this pic were the 5 dozen eggs, 5.26lbs ground beef, 5lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, 1qt half & half, toilet paper, dishwater detergent, and a large tub of margarine.
It took us 2 hours to go through all 4 stores, which was really surprising to me because it normally takes me about an 1 1/2-2 hours to do a weeks worth of grocery shopping at multiple stores.  So if this works out and we decide to continue with OAMS I will definitely be saving some serious time that I'd rather be spending with my family doing something fun, not grocery shopping.
In doing all my research of other people who do OAMS I was always curious what they ended up buying during their large monthly trip.  They always included how much they spent overall but it was hard for me to grasp what all they bought because most of their spending was much more than what I had planned to spend.   So I thought I would share a little run down of what I bought.  If this is not at all interesting to you, feel free to skip down a few lines lol.
 Aldi $56.83
  • 1 bag pretzels (snacks for the kiddos) $1.29
  • 1 box graham  crackers (snacks for kiddos) $1.39
  • 1 grape jelly $1.59
  • 1 ranch dressing $1.39
  • 4 dozen eggs $0.99 each
  • 1 baking powder $0.99
  • 1 box corn starch $0.89
  • 4 boxes stick margarine $0.75 each
  • 1qt half and half $1.59
  • 16oz shredded cheese $2.99
  • 3 pkg tortilla wraps $0.99 each
  • 1 small jar olives $0.99 (this was not an item on my list but an add-in per my husband)
  • 4 cans generic Rotel $0.59 each
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup $0.59 each
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup $0.59
  • 2.04lbs Bananas $0.42/lb
  • 1lb bag mini carrots $0.69
  • 6lbs onions $1.29 each
  • 5lbs boneless skinless chicken breast $1.89/lb
  • 2 loaves bread $0.85 each
  • 1 pkg hamburger buns $0.89
  • 1pkg hot dog buns $0.89
  • 1 liquid dishwasher detergent $2.49
  • 1-45oz tub margarine $1.89
  • 2 boxes saltine crackers $0.95 each
  • 1 box onion soup mix $0.79
  • 4lbs brown sugar $1.19 each
  • 1 large container oatmeal $2.29
Carnival Foods $35.02
  • 5lbs+ Ground beef $2.69/lb
  • 1 dozen eggs w/coupon $0.88
  • 20lbs flour $1.49 for each 5lb bag
  • 20lbs sugar $1.89 for each 4lb bag
  • 2-46oz tomato juice $1.00 each
  • 8lbs russet potatoes $0.98
Kroger $19.29
  • 1 small pkg Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix Free with downloaded coupon
  • 4 gallons Milk $2.73each
  • 2-64oz bottles Sunny D juice
  • 1 bottle Hawaiian Punch Aloha Morning $1.19 w/ downloaded coupon
  • 2 boxes Barilla pasta $0.45 each with coupon
  • 1pkg Eckrich hot dogs $1.00
  • 2 banquet freezer meals (another husband add-in item)
Giant Eagle $15.20
  • 2-32oz Coffeemate Coffee creamer $1.50 each with coupon
  • 2-64oz Welch's juice cocktail $0.50 each with coupons
  • 24 double rolls Angel Soft toilet paper $8.89 with coupon
Total Spent a little over $126.  I still need to go to the dollar tree for black peppercorns and a 2lb bag of tator tots.  However I know if I buy tator tots now they will be long gone before I need them for my planned meal.  The total of my shopping trip freaked me out a little because it's $6 over what I was budgeting for the entire month.  Of course as I mentioned before we were going over that budget by the second half of the month it just didn't seem like much because it was in separate purchases.
As you can see by the list above I didn't purchase many items with coupons.  There were some ok sales with coupons this week on items I could have purchased. In making my monthly meal plan and thinking about not only dinner meals but also at least 2-3 breakfasts (for the days I babysit), snacks, and a few lunch ideas for variety, I decided I would start making more things from scratch.  Items like biscuits, corn bread, muffins, quick breads, pizzas, etc, are all things I want to keep ingredients on hand for so I don't need the help of Pillsbury Grands or mixes to make them.  Since I'm a stay at home mom and it's getting colder out, which means I leave the house less, I might as well take full advantage of my time and do from-scratch baking and cooking.

Because we don't have space in our apartment for a deep freezer I was not able to buy enough milk and bread to last us the month so those items I will have to buy weekly in a smaller shopping trip.  I'm also a little concerned about snack foods.  I try not to keep much "junk" food like chips, Little Debbie cakes, candy, etc in the house.  For one I don't want the temptation for me to eat them but Grant and my Husband don't need them either.  I used to think Grant needed something sweet for snacks, where I got this in my head is beyond me, and I've come to the conclusion recently that fresh fruit, crackers, pretzels, and similar items are what I'm going to keep on hand and if he doesn't want them then he must not be very hungry in the first place.  As for my husband, I fully look for him to randomly buy the junk I try to steer away from but I'll just have to deal with that I guess, haha.

Before making my monthly meal plan I did an inventory of my pantry, freezer and fridge, writing down everything we had.  I tried to come up with as many meals as possible with just those items then I went through my cookbooks and made a master list of all the recipes we have eaten and like, as well as many recipes we haven't tried but that I've wanted to make.  I saved this list to my computer for easy access when meal planning.  Once I decided on the meals I wanted I wrote down what was needed for each one adding as I went so I would know what to buy.  It was by far the longest grocery list I've ever made.

Here is my Monthly Meal Plan:
November 2-8
Saturday 2-Sloppy Dawgs with potato wedges
Sunday 3-Chili
Monday 4-Chicken Quesadillas with Mexican rice with homemade salsa Tuesday 5-Biscuits & Gravy
Wednesday 6-Turkey Franks with mac & cheese & green beans
Thursday 7-grilled pork chops (freezer) roasted potatoes/corn/biscuits
Friday 8-leftovers

November 9-15
Saturday 9-deer roast (freezer)with carrots, potatoes, corn bread
Sunday 10-chicken Enchilada Soup
Monday 11-fried eggs/fried potatoes/biscuits
Tuesday 12-Spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread
Wednesday 13-Meatloaf mashed potatoes/ green beans
Thursday 14-Chicken fried rice
Friday 15-leftovers

November 16-22
Saturday 16-Hamburgers with tator tots
Sunday 17-Tomato soup with grilled cheese
Monday 18-black bean tomato soup with rice and tortilla shells
Tuesday 19-Sausage bean soup (leftovers in freezer)
Wednesday 20-BBQ ribs (freezer), corn, corn bread
Thursday 21-Poor man’s steak, roasted potatoes, broccoli
Friday 22- leftovers

November 23-30
Saturday 23-chicken pot pie
Sunday 24-Deer Stew with biscuits
Monday 25-Onion/pepper omelets, toast, fried potatoes
Tuesday 26-Meatballs with meat gravy deviled eggs green beans buttered bread
Wednesday 27-Spaghetti with garlic breadsticks
Thursday 28-Thanksgiving
Friday 29-Leftovers
Saturday 30-Thanksgiving 2

I have my meals dated just to make it easier for me.  I'm not really picky about what we eat and when since I like all the meals I have listed, however if for some reason the meal I have written in for that specific day doesn't work for some reason I can easily switch the meals around.
There are a few things I have recipes posted for already and I included those links, I'm hoping I'll be able to post recipes for the other meals as I make them.

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