I spent my time last week while my gallbladder was making me miserable and I was otherwise unproductive to really sit down and plan out a monthly menu - including all snacks, meals to take to others (three this month), anything needing taken to church (chili cookoff and cake), dog needs, office needs, birthday gifts needs (three in the next 30 days) .... you get. Everything.
Most of the blogs I had visited researching this told me to expect to spend four to six hours getting a month's worth of groceries. After reviewing the Sunday ads and realizing that not a lot of what I needed was on sale anyway, I made a little adjustment to my plan. I placed most of my monthly order online at Sam's Club using their Click & Pull service. I used to use it all the time when the boys were babies. It was so simple. You simply click what you need and add it to your cart. Then you pick a time for the following day that you want to pick it up. When you arrive at Sam's you can go straight to the check out lane, hand them your membership card and tell them you have a Click & Pull order.
Here's a breakdown of my trip on Monday. And yes, all three boys were with me.
12:30: Left house.
12:40; Arrived at Walmart.
1:00: Done at Walmart ($60.02), headed to Clarksburg
1:25: Arrived at Sam's Club. Filled up tank with gas at $3.74 ($56) and got hot dogs at concession stand with boys (hot dog and drink $1.70 each = $7.20), picked up a case of Nestle Quik, Olive Garden Italian dressing, and liquid Zyrtec then headed to check out to pick up my order.
2:10: Done at Sam's Club ($383.12) and heading to Aldi's.
2:15: Arrived at Aldi's - heading straight to bathrooms thanks to giant drink at Sam's.
2:45: Done at Aldi's ($41.89) and heading home.
3:10: Distracted by kids pleas to please go through the car wash. Pulled into Laser Wash in Fairmont. Waited for almost fifteen minutes in line to wash the car ($7).
3:40: Arrived back home just in time for Ronnie to get home from work and help us unload the haul.
Thanks to placing my order the night before, it didn't take me any longer to go to these three stores than it does on a biweekly basis. Plus, the guy at Sam's loaded the two flatbeds of already packed boxes of stuff into my van for me.
Here's a picture of what I picked up:
Grand total for the trip: Groceries $485.03
I know, a lot of the produce is stacked on top of each other. I also bought fifty pounds of dog food, two gallons of vinegar, 7 1/2 dozen eggs, six gallons of milk, a case of juice in bottles, and a case of bottled water.
Ronnie and the boys played outside while I put all this away.
Even with this big day, I had dinner on the table (thanks to a chicken in the crock pot and stuffed potatoes from the freezer) by 5pm.
Produce wise, my plan is to eat the quickly perishable first (berries, salads, ect) then focus on the better storers (apples, clementines). Also, my extra bread and milk are in the freezer. The only thing I think I'll have to pick up this month is more milk. I can have Ronnie do that on the way home from work.
Now to see if it lasts a month.....