Monday, January 14, 2008

The Great Grocery Experiment

I am always looking for ways to save money on groceries. Recently I read an article that suggested, if you normally shop once a week, to shop for two weeks at a time. Suggesting that you would not just spend twice as much, you would save some money. This requires pretty serious meal planning and that is not one of my favorite things to do. But I sat down yesterday, planned two weeks worth of dinners and set off to the store this morning with a long list and more than a little skepticism.

I think I did spend a little less, but there are some major drawbacks to this plan. First, two weeks worth of groceries (at least for my little family) is a lot. There was a lot of stacking and rearranging necessary to fit everything in the cart and it was heavy. The grocery checkers may look at you like you're nuts. It was also a giant pain in the lower back to haul all those groceries from the car into the house. I put things away and now the fridge is quite full and the freezer too. The only thing I should have to buy for the next two weeks is milk.

Now I know, that just physically staying out of the grocery store will save me money. I like the idea of not having "grocery shopping" on my to do list for such a long chunk of days, and there's something really satisfying about knowing the pantry's full. It also feels pretty good to have made the "what's for dinner" decisions for awhile - no more 4pm hand-wringing.

So now the question is, can I really do it? Can I stick to my meal plans and stay out of the store for two weeks? I'll keep you posted.


  1. Good luck. This would never work for my crew. They would just eat more faster. Two teens...they barely let me get the groceries in the house before they're pulling stuff out.

  2. I've tried doing that, too, but I started resenting having to think so far ahead.

    I'm reserving one day a week to spending money (you may already know that--I can't remember who all commented on it) and I've already noticed a difference. I'm now realizing how much I can either do without or substitute something else for--and it's mostly painless.

    Of course, this is only week number two!

  3. I am willing to try anything to bring the grocery bill down and it is hard - thinking so far ahead.

    I'm afraid the full pantry may prove too tempting to my fellow family members.

  4. I would love to hear about what you are preparing for the next two weeks. My biggest problem is deciding what to have, that will be nutritious and quick to fix (working mom), and that my kids will eat!

  5. Let us know how it family seems to always just eat more!


  6. I could NEVER do this. I generally buy the same things every week and just throw them together in different ways. And I love my "off" trips to the store (though my husband doesn't - too much "drift") because I'm always buying odd little things. Like the blood oranges I bought last week; I used them this week to make marinade, then sauce, for some stir-fry chicken & vegetables. Also, I could never plan two weeks of meals in advance and stick to it. ARGH!

  7. This has been hard and I don't know if at the end of this two week periond I will do it again. It has quashed my creativity a bit, but it has (so far) kept me out of the grocery store this week. I literally have not spent a cent since Monday.