Saving money is on most people’s minds today. By grocery shopping every two weeks, I save both time and money. Here are my best tips!
There are so many ways to save money; couponing, stocking up, cooking from scratch, and more. One of my favorite ways to save both money and time is to grocery shop every two weeks.
You truly do not have to be at the grocery store every other day.
Here are my top 20 tips for grocery shopping every two weeks:
Have a plan. There is no way you can go for two weeks without going to the grocery store if you don’t have a detailed menu plan and a comprehensive shopping list.
Plan smart. Plan meals with more perishable ingredients for the first week of your two-week menu plan. Save your meals with less perishable or nonperishable ingredients for the second week.
Keep an ongoing shopping list. Whenever something is used up, it gets written on the shopping list.
Keep your pantry well-stocked. Keep track of what you eat, and keep the nonperishable ingredients for those meals on hand. (How to keep your pantry stocked)
Stock your freezer. Frozen fruits, vegetables, and meats can be a lifesaver when you’re out of everything else. Breads keep well in the freezer too.
Shop your pantry and freezer. Think you can’t go another day without going to the store? Look around the pantry and freezer, and you’ll probably find the makings for at least one meal.
Improvise. Forgot a key ingredient for one of your dinners this week? You’re a smart gal! Figure out something else you can use, or re-work the other ingredients to make something else.
Grow a garden. It doesn’t have to be big: even a few herb plants can go a long way toward adding variety to your menu.
Be grateful. You have food! Isn’t that an amazing blessing? Even if it doesn’t happen to be the exact sort of food you’ve been craving, it will fill up your stomach.
10 more tips to grocery shop every two weeks:
Buy fruits and vegetables with a long shelf life. Apples keep longer than peaches. Pears keep longer than cherries. Carrots keep practically forever.
Keep your fruits and veggies refrigerated. Fruit kept in the fridge lasts longer than fruit in a bowl on the counter. Refill your fruit bowl from the fridge every few days.
Use frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are often comparable in price to fresh, and they cut down on preparation time. Plus they’ll keep for months!
Buy milk when it’s on sale. Pour some of the milk out of the bottle, then freeze it. While it won’t be as great to drink, it will work perfectly fine for sauces.
Buy lots of eggs. Eggs will keep for a really long time, for a month or more.
Use or freeze meat quickly. If you’re not eating your meat within a few days of shopping, freeze it.
Eat more beans. Beans are non-perishable and can be kept in the pantry indefinitely. Eat more beans, and you’ll need to buy less meat. Bonus: they’re cheaper and better for you! (How to can pinto beans)
Join a produce co-op. You’ll get seasonal produce that is fresh. This also means one less trip to the grocery store.
Have an emergency menu plan. Keep a list of pantry meals (and the ingredients) that you can make in a hurry, in case you forget something important at the store.
Schedule a special pantry stock-up run occasionally. It’s easier to stock up when you are not doing your regular grocery shopping. Make a list of pantry items to purchase, head to the store, and stock up.
Add a second refrigerator. Though this is a financial investment, I believe it saves money in the long run. You will have space to store your stock up items and ensure they don’t “go bad” before you use them. Extra milk, cheeses, coffee creamer, butter, fruits, vegetables, meats to be used in the next 3 days, etc all can be safely tucked away in your second fridge.
Add a second freezer. This is where I store extra cheese, butter, (uncooked) meats, prepared dishes, frozen vegetables & fruits, and keep a covered container for scraps to make stock.
Eat the most perishable foods first. Berries, grapes, bananas, cucumbers, mushrooms, etc all tend to have a short shelf life. Be sure to consume these foods before they go bad. If it looks like you won’t eat all of the bananas or berries before they will “expire,” place them in the freezer for use later.
But how do I get started with grocery shopping every two weeks?
You can do this! Start with a weekly menu and figure out which ingredients you use the most. Stock up on those first. For me, I know that we eat mainly boneless, skinless chicken breasts and ground beef. I make sure to keep plenty of both in the freezer. Even if I haven’t planned a meal, I know that I can throw those chicken breasts into the Instant Pot and have a meal in no time.
One way a friend of mine began doing this reduced grocery shopping was to write down every food they ate for a week. Every time they had a snack or meal, she wrote that food on a sheet. At the end of the week, she could clearly see the foods that her family actually ate that week.
With this information, she can now see which foods she needs to stock up. At this point, you aren’t trying to reduce spending, you’re simply making sure that you have all of the foods needed for two weeks for your family.
If your goal is to reduce spending as well as grocery shopping time, look at the foods that were consumed that week and see where you can make changes. Maybe add fruit instead of chips for a snack. Or cut up cheese and apples to snack on instead of cookies.
This is also a great way to ensure that you are eating a well-rounded diet. Do you serve too many carbs? Or maybe don’t eat enough vegetables? How can you add more of the “good stuff” in while removing some of the “not so good stuff?”
For now, begin by making that list of the foods you regularly eat per week. Times that by two and you have your bi-weekly shopping list. Just be sure that you follow the tips included in this article to ensure you fully utilize the foods you purchase.
How often do you grocery shop? Any tips you can add to my list?
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