I love grocery shopping. I have no interest at all in going to the mall, but I can happily spend an hour or so wandering around a grocery store. We almost never eat out, and I cook just about all of our food from scratch, which helps to keep our total food costs reasonable. According to our credit card spending report, we’ve average just under $600/month for the last 12 months at grocery stores. In addition, we usually spend about $150/month at Costco, most of which is for food. After housing, food is definitely our largest expense.
I usually go into town and do my grocery shopping once a week. But it’s been 11 days now since I went shopping, and we’re still going strong. I decided to see how long I could go without shopping, and it’s working great. We have a pantry and freezer full of food, but I tend to focus on the fresh produce first, forget about the stored food, and then go back to the grocery store when I run out of fresh produce. This time, I’m focusing on using up what we have before I go shopping again. We have lots of dried legumes in the pantry, so we had lentil soup yesterday and we’re having black bean chili this evening. I have been using greens from our cold frames for green smoothies, and combining them with dried greens that I have on hand (spirulina, several kinds of seaweed, wheat grass powder, and dried mint leaves). I’m using up frozen veggies and bulk dried items. We eat oats for breakfast every day, and since we buy our oats in 50 pound bags, we rarely have to replenish our supply.
Since we live in a small town now, we spend almost no money unless we go into the big town 10 miles from here. That’s where the grocery store and thrift stores are, as well as most of the other places where we buy things; we try to combine trips, and schedule all of our errands to coincide with a grocery run. So if we aren’t grocery shopping, we pretty much aren’t spending money at all. We’re more than half way through our current credit card billing cycle, and we’ve had a total of 12 transactions so far.
I’m loving this challenge of making nutritious meals for my family just using what I already have on hand. I’m finding that a little creativity goes a long way, and I’m hoping to make it to the weekend before I have to shop again.