I’ve tried lots of plans and strategies to make sure that I can put dinner out
every stinkin’ night for my family. I have a bevy of books on the topic, and have experimented with the ideas presented by OAMC, Saving Dinner, and other methods. I recently found this, and might be able to employ it sometime soon – learning curve, you know. I’ll let you know if it sticks.
If you are able to whip up dinner each night with what you have around the house, this is not the blog post for you! This is for those of us who are not creative and are uninspired at 4:30 p.m.
Here’s what I’ve been doing – and it feel like a million bucks. I start out with the sales circular for my preferred supermarket, Shoprite, a couple of cook books and my laptop. Why the laptop? Because I’m shopping from home! Shoprite lets you place your order in time slots from 4 hours to 5 days in the future.
Based on what’s on sale, I plan at least 7 dinners. If I can pull out 10, even better and I am shooting for 2 weeks of dinner and groceries at a time. I order each ingredient that I will need to prepare each dinner and make a note of what I am going to serve. Nope, I won’t remember. I think about breakfasts and lunches, inventory the cabinets and order what I will need to keep up with those 2 meals too. I deal with Ethan’s lunches, snacks, paper products, cleaning products and toiletries. I TRY to think of everything.
When I shop for this amount of groceries by myself in the supermarket, I have needed two carts and it’s a big production. It also takes me about 2 hours. It is a big time suck. I know it’s necessary – but I thought there had to be a better way. When Shoprite started offering the ability to pick up my groceries for $10, I just could not resist. I felt like I would save that much in impulse items and take out – or at least that is what I told myself.
Every time I’ve placed my order, my personal shopper (did you read that!?!) has called with questions about my preferences or a possible substitution on an item. Get this — as I am washing my dishes, mopping my floors and doing my laundry, ‘Stacey’ is calling me to make sure she is shopping my list properly! This last time, I forgot to order milk and kitchen sponges so I called and they said it was ‘no problem’. I still drive 15 minutes to the store, but I can go with 1 or all of the kids if necessary – not something I would EVER do to procure this quantity of provisions. There are special spots to pull my car into and they keep my cold stuff in the fridge and my frozen stuff in the freezer. Although I have walked the 15 feet into the store to get my things each time, they have told me they would gladly bring it to the car for me.
I end up with a full pantry and a list of meals to keep up with more than a week of dinners that we can choose from. For $10 – I am shopping like a rock star – in my pajamas.
How do you get dinner on the table?
In WA, Safeway used to DELIVER tobour house our groceries for $5!!! Boy, I miss that! Lately Aldi is our store. I promise myself a treat if I go since I’m saving so much money (it’s further out of the way so I lack motivation). I have never liked grocery shopping and can’t wait to pass the job to an eager child who can’t wait to try out their new license. 🙂
I do think you save money with shopping online because like you said, no impulse buys. You can also compare unit prices online very easily. Unfortunately here only the more expensive stores have that service.
I love your chalkboard and your organized pantry. I can put dinner on the table every night with little issue, but my pantry is a wreck and I never remember to update my chalkboard. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.