Monday, May 05, 2008

Menu Planning and Shopping

During the almost 28 years of my marriage, I have constantly struggled with making sure that we have good meal daily. Cooking is not my love, but I do love my family and want to give them a variety of healthy menus. The other thing that I struggled with on and off is keeping the grocery bill to a minimum. When you don't plan well, you end up with many trips to the grocery store - which wastes money, time and gas. I recently read America's Cheapest Family by Steve Economides and learned a couple of things that may be common knowledge to others,but I found very helpful. One was a reminder to limit your grocery shopping trips, his family goes shopping once a month. I used to shop once a week, but because of my poor planning ended up shopping several times a week. In his book he suggests you begin where you are and start reducing your trips, if you shop several times a week - change to once a week, if once a week change to once every two weeks. In order to accomplish this, they freeze their milk and they make sure they eat their produce in the order that it gets ripe. This may be a "duh" for those of you reading this, but it was great for me to hear. I worked to reduce my trips to once a week and started freezing milk. This has worked out great! I am now working to reduce my trips to once every two weeks and once a month to Costco. My husband asked why we still had grocery money left, so it must be working.


MamaLion said...

I've never tried freezing milk. Does it taste any different?

tootlepip said...

It doesn't taste any different. It does separate during freezing and so you have to shake it well when thawed. The gallons I buy have two circles impressed in the sides and that seems to allow for expansion during freezing. The trick is pulling a gallon out of the freezer before it is needed because it takes quite awhile to thaw. I read several blog articles on it before trying it. I have been doing it for about a month now and it is working well for us.