meal planning & groceries

I continue to wrack my brain over how to save any money with groceries. As it stands, we spend about $250-$300/week. Granted, that feeds five people all meals and snacks, with the exception of date night or the occasional carry out Sunday. We don’t eat out much as a family; in fact, my husband and I were just recently trying to recall the last time the five of us all went to breakfast together. (It’s been over a year.) I also try to buy high quality foods — I am big on grass fed and free range meats/eggs, hormone free dairy, and organic produce for at least the dirty dozen. I make fruit snacks and breakfast for the kids most days though we do the quick (store bought) cereal/granola bars as well.

Ultimately, it would be nice to grab a few things at Whole Foods and then a few things at our local Stop & Shop, with a quick trip to Trader Joe’s for the rest but that’s just not feasible. TJ’s is 35 minutes north of us and I just can’t imagine driving up there weekly or even monthly to grab a handful of items. I order most of our non-perishables through Thrive Market online and notice that there is a definite savings on some of our favorites (Siete grain free tortilla chips, Simple Mills crackers, chickpea pasta, tuna, salad dressings, nuts (if there’s not TJ’s trip on the horizon), and their dark chocolates to name a few).

In addition to the cost of food is the inconvenience of going to the store. Last Friday, my husband took three kids to Whole Foods where he spent about 90 minutes of all of their lives. I know I could have been in/out in under 45 but it was either yoga or WF, and obviously there’s no competition there. On the weekends 13/11 are with their mom, it’s easiest for me to head out on my own because there are fewer distractions and things to tend to, but otherwise, there are no real solutions we’ve been able to come up with.

I have proposed that I try to go back to planning for two weeks out or at least buy enough meat for two weeks at WF. I can get decent produce at S&S delivered through Peapod, which will eliminate any impulse buys and will give me my time back. (Note, I do not prefer this as I really like to pick out my own produce BUT I recognize that we have to sacrifice something to get that time back.)

We will see how this plan works through April and hopefully, we will start to feel a little less weight on our shoulders.


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