Before your kids go back to school, stream lining your food shopping system for the fall. I find myself making extra trips to the store during the summer because I have a looser schedule. I end up spending more on groceries, and a lot more time on food shopping that I don’t need to spend. Or time I have to spend, especially during the school year.
My food shopping strategy is a combination of maximizing time/effort and our budget without using coupons. We don’t eat many processed foods; real foods are less likely to have coupons. I also don’t have time to look for coupons and keep my collection of coupons organized. You may find making time for couponing benefits your family budget.
I have a basic weekly list for my husband who does the weekly shopping. Every Thursday, I grab a piece of scrap paper and start the list. These are items which need to be purchased on a regular basis because they go bad or we don’t have the storage space. My husband takes this list to the local produce stand every Saturday morning.
Items for Produce Stand
- 5 gallons of Milk
- Eggs – 1 to 2 cartons
- Butter as needed
- Sour Cream
- Bread as needed
- Reduced Fruit and Vegetable Deals
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Monthly Stock Up
Once a month, we do a stock up trip at Costco. Even though we have a BJ’s 5 minutes from home, we like Costco’s meat selection better. They also offer lots of organic items. I usually take advantage of the member price (about $.20 cheaper) Costco for gas while I’m there. I also try to do another errand in the same area.
Items we buy at Costco
- Organic Strawberry Jam
- Bread and Rolls
- Paper Goods
- Dawn Dish Detergent
- Baking Ingredients
- Olive Oil
- Frozen Pizza
- Ice Cream
I do a big shopping trip at Giant every 2 to 3 weeks. My children’s school sells gift cards for Giant. In return for buying them, we get 3% back for tuition, and the school gets 3%. If I spend $2,400 at Giant each year, I get back $72 for my tuition. That covers the cost of stationary supplies for one of my kids.
I use Giant to buy items I can’t find at Costco or the produce stand. I always check the reduced meats for deals and the main reduced section for other items we use.
Items We buy at Giant
- Reduced Meat
- Reduced Fruit and Vegetables
- Deals on Food Items
Amazon Subscribe and Save
I’ve used Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program for a number of years. I check the prices from time to time to make sure we continue to get the best price possible. I love the convenience of ordering, the reminder emails before the items ship, and the ability to stay stocked with certain items like coffee and laundry detergent. These items are currently on our Subscribe and Save order:
- Dial Gold Antibacterial Soap Bar, 4-Ounce Bars, 10-Count (Pack of 3)
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour, 16-Ounce Units (Pack of 4)
- Crest Pro-Health Stages Monsters, Inc. Kid’s Toothpaste 4.2 Oz (Pack of 12)
- Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste, Regular, 8.2 Oz (Pack of 6)
- Suave Professionals, Men, Shampoo, Daily Clean, Ocean Charge, 12.6 Ounces (Pack of 6)
- Country Save HE Laundry Detergent, Powder, 160-Load, 10-lb Boxes (Pack of 4)
- Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 54-Ounce Containers (Pack of 2)
- Country Save Oxygen Powered Bleach, 20-Load, 2.5-Pound Boxes (Pack of 12)
- If You Care Unbleached Large Baking Cups, 60-Count Boxes (Pack of 24)
How Do You Streamline Your Shopping to Maximize Time and Effort?
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Photo Credit: Dollar Photo Club