Your food plan strategy: how do you shop for food?

posted 3 years ago in Cooking
Post # 3
Member
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I plan menus for the week in advance, then send DH a list of what we need for meals for the week (he does the shopping). We keep a list on the fridge for when we run low on staples. DH also looks at flyers so whenever there’s something we consume often enough and it’s non-perishable (or can be frozen) he’ll stock up. Then there’s just the things that he automatically gets every week, like fruits, veggies, milk, etc. Rather than planning that we’ll eat an apple for lunch on Monday and an orange on Tuesday, I just tell DH how many servings of ‘random’ fruit and veg we’ll need and he’ll pick up whatever’s a good price.

Post # 4
Member
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I do my shopping online and have it delivered (I’m in NY where we have been having a COLD winter so this saves me from bringing my 10 month old out in the cold!) I meal plan for 2 weeks in advance and get my groceries delivered 2x a month. In between I shop at a local market we have where I get most fresh produce and meat. I order all my paper products, diapers, cleaners etc via Amazon using Amazon mom and subscribe and save and that is delivered once a month.

As far as spontaneous get togethers my husband is the EXACT same way. I learned long ago to just let it go. I am the planner, he is not. If he decides to have so and so over for beer and burgers he goes to the store and gets everything he needs and makes it happen. I’m more than happy to participate and help cook but if I don’t have time to get to the store he handles it.

I write all my meals down in my planner. I also, like you have a bunch of favorite “staple” meals that we always have ingredients for just in case. Now that my daughter is eating more and more food our dinners have gotten very healthy so she can participate. I also use my crock pot A LOT.

Post # 5
Member
2131 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I tend to do what your friend does, but much more efficiently. FI and I go “big” grocery shopping probably 1x a month or so, but we only buy things we use a LOT and things that don’t go bad (canned goods, quinoa, rice, etc.). We don’t eat much meat, but we do buy some and freeze it. Our kitchen is teeny tiny, so we don’t have a lot of room to store stuff, so as much as we’d like to make big runs to the grocery store every week, it just isn’t feasible.

I usually decide that day what I am going to make for dinner and go to the small market in our neighborhood (that’s right on my way home from work, anyway), where I can get fresh produce and anything else that we don’t have on hand. We live in the city, so we don’t drive every day, so we can’t carry much anyway. I try and make more than enough for dinner so that there’s leftovers to bring for lunch the next day.

That said, a lot of times I do decide on my meals based on what we have at home. If I went to the store on Monday and bought a huge bunch of kale and only used half, I’ll definitely incorporate that into my meal on Tuesday or Wednesday. We don’t waste anything, but we do make a lot of mini trips to the store throughout the week. It works for us, and I don’t feel like we spend any more than we would if we went big grocery shopping once a week.

Post # 6
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@sienna76:  Oh man, we used to be bad. We live 90 miles away from a good supermarket. By good I eman cheap and where the produce doesn’t rot after 2 days. We would go shopping there twice a month, but we were still going to the little dinky market here in town because we weren’t efficient at what we bought.

We started meal planning. We still go twice a month to the awesome supermarket, and if we need anything small we will go local. Because of meal planning and eating leftovers, DH managed to cut his credit card bill down by almost *gulp* $500. I cut mine down by $200. It’s amazing what meal planning and eating leftovers (or finding what can be done with leftovers) can do for you.

Post # 7
Member
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I plan the menu a week in advance, shop for everything on Sunday except for the occasional loaf of fresh French bread that I have FH pick up on the way home. I cook from scratch every night and eat leftovers for lunch most days – if friends come over there is always enough to feed them, I just won’t have leftovers. 

Post # 8
Member
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@sienna76:  HELLO FOOD TWIN!!!  So nice to meet you 🙂

I am the exact.same.way!  I meal plan on Sunday mornings for the week, mainly dinners only, because we eat the same breakfast every day AND pack a salad every day for lunch as well.  My list for my dinners include ingredients I need, fruits, salad makings, yogurt, milk, eggs, etc.  There is also the misc items that come up; coffee, filters, or what have you.

If I feel like it, I shop on Sunday or Monday right after work.  I fly thru the store, because my list is organized by department.  My grocery bill per week is about $100-$150 because I buy mostly fresh items.  I cook 5 nights/week, which are pre-planned too, and my FI takes leftovers in his lunch every day.  If there is a surplus of food, then I freeze it for another dinner weeks down the road, or whatever.

I would be lost without my system, because I am not good at throwing something together, and I detest grocery stores as it is, so stopping per day would be ‘too much’ for me!  

Once I complete my shopping for the week, there is always a new list started for the following week within a day or two from when I shopped.  Go figure!!!  

Post # 9
Member
1654 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

@sienna76:  DH and I are very much like your friend. I have tried meal planning and can do it if I have to, but sometimes what you planned just doesn’t sound good that day and DH or I will pull an audible.  DH and I also have pretty different taste in food, he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and while I like that once in a while, I am more of a pasta kind of girl. So a lot of times we will end up eating different things, not knowing what we want until dinner time etc. We waste a lot of money this way and it’s frustrating, but on the other hand, we don’t have kids yet and feel like we might as well eat whatever we want while we can, because family meals are important to us when kids are involved.

Post # 10
Member
2421 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I plan out the meals in advance (for however long I’m shopping… sometimes its a week, sometimes its a week and a half.)  I buy all the pieces I need for those, then I buy a bunch of veg and fruit for snacks and to round out lunches (I eat leftovers/batch made meals almost exclusively at work for lunch) and then some snacky stuff, anything we might be out of for breakfasts, any staples we are running low on. 

I always have extras.  We buy meat when its on sale and put it in the freezer.  So there’s always things in there that aren’t on this week’s meal plan (they may be on next week’s or the week after’s).  I can change it up on the fly if we don’t feel like what is on the schedule or if the plans change.  We can also handle unexpected guests.  I keep a few sides hanging around as well to deal with those changes (we eat mainly fresh vegetables, but I do have frozen peas, corn, carrots, green beans to use if I need them.  And some weeks if I’m not getting to the store for a week and a half those get used for sides at the end of the week once all the fresh is gone.) 

Occasionally I will forget something and need to do a stop mid-week.  But that’s rare.  And the grocery store is less than 1km from our place, so its not difficult or time consuming. 

Post # 11
Member
2882 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I plan all my meals in MyFittnessPal for the week so I not only have a record of what I’m planning on making, I have my calorie count going so I know which days I can be “naughty on.”  

On Tuesdays I read the circulars and plan my meals and shoping list based on what is on sale.  Normally I go shopping on Friday, Saturday or Sunday depending on schedule.  My list is VERY important as I’m scater brained.  I also like having MyFittnessPal be my meal planer because I have in the past changed my mind on Thursday but forgot to take something off the list.

I am very forgetful though, so we normally need at least one visit to the grocery store midweek.  It always makes me feel like and idiot, but I will forget something improtant.  Like last night when I had everything for a ravioli dish except ravioli. 

Post # 14
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I do a large shop once a month and will make a small trip maybe once or twice afterwards if we run out of something.

I used to meal plan, but I just can’t do it. I buy whatever is on sale and then come up with something when I go home at night.

Post # 15
Member
2042 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@sienna76:  I plan meals out a week at a time and go shopping every weekend.  It usually takes me anywhere from 3 days to 1 hour to make a shopping list.  I usually write it out at work.  I have class two nights a week which causes me to not get home til 1030.  So DH eats leftovers as do I.  So when I come up with my meals its usually 4-5 dinners with 2 nights of leftovers.  DH wont cook so I cant expect him to make himself a real meal.  I also write out what I want for breakfasts and lunches.  DH eats lunch out everyday.  I spend around $100 a week on food. I make most stuff from scratch since I like to make everything the healthiest way possible.  I am thinking about implementing a ‘meatless monday’ dinner every week but I havent decided if that is a good idea or not.  I will try it next week. If DH wants to have people over or whatever he will pick up something extra at the store before coming home. 

Post # 16
Member
4513 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We plan out a few meals for the week – on average like 4. Then we shop for those things and also throw random crap in the cart for the other days where we just want to fend for ourselves/throw something together. Sometimes I just want a sandwich or a quesadilla real quick instead of an actual square meal for dinner lol. If we forget something then one of us will run to the store, but I really try to avoid that. I hate having to go to the grocery store more than necessary.

I try to make enough for leftovers, but honestly my DH isn’t a big fan of leftovers in general. He gets bored of food REALLY quickly and can’t eat the same thing over and over (even if its just 2 times in a row he gets SICK of it).

Its funny though because my mother is the total opposite. She refuses to plan meals for the week because, as she says, “I won’t know what I feel like eating on any given day.” So she/my stepdad goes to the grocery store EVERY.SINGLE.DAY to get something for dinner. What?!?! Its crazy.

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