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One big grocery trip or a bunch of little ones?

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
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Question One big grocery trip or a bunch of little ones?

I'm awful at making a list and going grocery shopping all at once. I find I forget things I need, or buy stuff I don't. So I've been trying to do mini trips during the week, picking up what I'm making for dinner each night. I find the food is fresher also, which is a bonus. How do you do your shopping?

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:46 PM   #2
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I'm torn between them. I'm a military brat, so we were raised to do two BIG trips per month (pay day) to the commissary (grocery store on base), but then I spent six years in Europe where that's not even an option - so for big bulk type items, once a month - huuuuge trip. Then for fresh produce and milk and eggs, little trips
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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I'm a once a week person. I stay on track better when I know what I am going to be making for dinner from day to day. A week is the perfect interval for me as it's long enough so we are not always going up to the store but short enough that what we buy does not go bad before we use it.

When I lived in Italy I did the every couple of days thing too, but I was walking everywhere. Here I'd be driving to the store and I am unwilling to make special trips more frequently, it's wasteful in our situation (being that I never really drive anywhere except once a week). I grew up with the military 2x per month thing as well... The commissary was always SO packed on pay days! But I think this contributed to the fact that I didn't eat a vegetable that didn't originate in a can until college!
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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Once a week.. to save time, gas money and my sanity! :P I scour the ads on Monday and Tuesday, make a menu on Wednesday and Thursday and then do my shopping on Friday. I also stay on track better if I know in advance what my meals will be.. none of that eating a meal while standing in front of the fridge trying to decide what to make, business!! It's also cheaper since I shop from the ads as much as possible.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:57 PM   #5
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Well we currently don't have a vehicle or license, so family does us a favor and drives us to the store. So as not to inconvenience them much more than needed we do one big trip a month. Its very restrictive on fresh fruits and veggies, as well as milk though my mother gave me a good tip and suggest I freeze a carton of milk for the second half of the month. One beneficial thing is it helps me budget what money we do have to buy food with, its not a ton so I got to go with whats on sale at the time. Though given the choice I would go a few trips a month just so I could pick up fresh produce. Sometimes I do enjoy a veggie not stored in a can.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
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I used to go for one big trip but found myself going back week after week for little things. Now, I got once a week, I figured I might as well do it weekly since I'm going a lot anyway. I found I've saved a little more $$ too I just buy what I need for the week. Also, I avoid going on the weekend cuz its so busy, I usually go Monday evening when its less crowded.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:50 PM   #7
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It really depends.

IN the winter I tend to make a big trip - but that's because in the winter I used a lot of canned and frozen stuff, dried beans and lentils, etc. I make soups and stews and casseroles and freeze them. So winter is all about efficiency.

IN the summer, sometimes I'll go to the market every day on my way home from work and get the freshest veggies and fruits.

I'd say most of the time it's once a week. With room for flexibility.

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Old 08-28-2008, 06:19 PM   #8
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Well I don't go out of my way to go grocery shopping and it usually means multiple days of shopping.

1) Go to Costco for normal items (they are on my way home from work)
2) Go to the farmer's market on Saturday to pick up CSA veggies, also shop at Whole Foods since it is nearby
3) Go to the asian market on my way home
4) Go to a regular grocery store, if needed, on the way home.

I've been pretty busy the last month so grocery shopping has been mostly once a week but I go to my farmers market every week.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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Lots of little ones. I know it's not eco-friendly but I try not to take the car.
If I buy lots of stuff in, I eat it. I know I need to learn to have more self-control but at the minute prevention is better!
Anyway, the supermarket is only 10 minutes walk away, so I try and walk there every day. Well, that was the plan, can't say it's always worked. (blush)

The only time I Need the car is when I go for the dogfood, which comes in 10 Kg sacks. Wow, when I think I need to lose 4 of those sackfuls! aaaaaaagh! At least I've lost half a sack already!
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
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We do one big one on sunday and then if we need anything throughout the week we will run to the grocery store.

I am usually pretty good about making a list and having an idea what we are going to have each night for supper so I dont get anything more than what we are going to need for that week.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:45 AM   #11
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I make a weekly menu and hit the supermarket once a week. I make a list and stick to it. Sometimes I'll go alone because my husband and my kids try to throw things in the basket when they "think" I'm not looking.

We still got to Sam's Club or Costco for the things we use the most to purchase in bulk like soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc. We catch meat deals at these stores as well and store in our freezer. I'll make the menus based on what's on hand. That way I only have to replenish the basics.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:35 AM   #12
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I forgot to say the reason I do multiple shopping trips is because the stores each have different things.
1) Farmers market - well I bought into a CSA so I pick up my weekly veggies/fruit
2) Whole foods - Bulk items, 365 brand, produce on sale
3) Costco - frozen berries, frozen veggies, fresh veggies, fresh fruit
4) Asian market - variety of cheap produce and other interesting items
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #13
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I generally go about once a week, to get things like milk, bread, etc.

I belong to an organic food delivery service, so I get organic fruits and veggies every 2 weeks.

I also hit BJ's every 2-3 months to buy in bulk.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:49 PM   #14
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The absolute freshest produce is at my farmers' market and it's only open on Saturday mornings, so I buy all my fresh produce for the week then.

My preferred grocery stores for non-produce items are Trader Joe's and Safeway. Luckily they are in the same shopping center, but it's not terribly convenient, so I usually just do one trip per week and try to get everything then.

We keep a grocery list on the fridge (Safeway items on the front, TJ's items on the back) and any time we run low on a staple during the week, I add it to the list right away so that I don't forget to buy it. Then I plan out a week's worth of meals on Friday and add all the ingredients to the various lists.

If I do run low on something or forgot to buy something, there is a Lucky's next to my gym (which I go to every day) so I can just stop in after my workout to pick up whatever I've forgotten. But I hate hate hate Lucky's--every time I'm in there it's a bad experience, how can one store so much--so I really try to get everything when I do the weekly shopping.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:02 PM   #15
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I shop about every other day. I like to pick up fresh veggies that often, and I plan my meals about two days at a time. I also, to avoid buying things "off-list", often plan the trip around buying a certain wrap that my grocery deli makes. I go at lunch time, eat my wrap, drink my iced coffee and then shop when I am totally full. Plus, I love the wraps, which have 370 calories for a the perfect lunch -- so I look forward to the trip and do not resent the stuff on the shelves I am not buying. I think I do it this often because I just like to get out of the house that often. It is a break that I enjoy, and I often make new recipe's out of Cooking Light (or similar) for dinner, so looking for new ingredients is fun.
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