Well I have to be honest with you here and tell you that grocery shopping is not one of my most favortite things to do! I like to shop for clothes, kitchen gadgets and pretty much any other thing....but not so much groceries. I think part of the reason is it is kind of like housework...it can get monotonous and never ending! But just like housework I realize it is a necessary part and therefore I try to make the best of it!
I do most of our shopping in a Superstore about an hour from us. We try to get there once a week otherwise I have to do some very strategic packing to fit it all in the cart!!! Plus making meals starts to become challenging!
We have a fair sized pantry, and a second fridge to hold our groceries for the week. We have an extra of everything on the shelf. Because we live in the country we cannot just hop over to the store when we run out of something. If we do run out we usually just do without or borrow from our dear neighbors, Josh and Rebecca :)
We have a master grocery list that has all of the things that we use on a consistent basis. It is in order of all the grocery isles and catagories...therefore making it so that I don't run back for all the missed items at the end (although I still do manage to miss stuff ???)
When it is grocery shopping day (which has to be quite flexible because of farming....usually we double grocery shopping with parts runs!) we take the list, look through the pantry, fridge and freezers and take inventory :) We also have a pad of paper on the fridge which things have been added during the week that are not bought often (eg. spices, kitchen gadgets...)
We have a weekly meal plan so we go through the menu and check off any "not the norm" items we need for the week.
Our average grocery bill is about $400.00 a week. This number is less in the summer months when we have our own garden produce....and it's at it's peak late winter, early spring when we run out of the previous years produce.
We grow our own beef and chicken and have our own eggs and milk so that saves a lot on our grocery bill. Other things we make ourselves is bread, butter (not enough to feed us, I still have to buy some margarine), yogurt, tortilla shells, noodles, soup (I do buy some canned soup to add to some of our homemade soup and for casseroles). Very rarely do we buy cookies or cake mixes or things like that. Most of our baking is from scratch. We grind our own wheat/spelt for bread but still use some white flour for some baking. We also just started making our own laundry detergent and baby wipes.
We don't buy very much boxed cereal as it is only on the menu plan once a week. It is just too expensive and not very filling.....and I don't find it's the healthiest way to start the day! So it is kind of a once a week treat!
I was asked if we use coupons? Yes, but not very many. I just don't come across very many. I use the in-store coupons, and once in awhile I will get them from inside a product. I wish I could use more but not sure where to get them (if there is anyone in Canada who knows of a good website or something I would love to know!)
I do keep an eye on the flyer of Wal-Mart and Co-op for "deals" on things. If there are case or lot sales I stock up on the items we use a lot of (eg. soup, toilet paper, flour, etc) But Superstore is my favorite (close by) store because they have a lot of bulk items and they usually have a free item when you buy a certain amount of groceries...often it is a gas coupon or a gift certificate (that we use on next weeks groceries!) so that helps a lot! You also get points on your mastercard if you bring your own bags/bins.
When we go to the "big city!" a little over 2 hours from us, I like to shop at Costco and Real Canadian Wholesale Club. The items I stock up on when we go to the city? HUGE bags of flour and sugar. BIG Popcorn, Big Pails of Peanut Butter (haven't seen them at Costco lately though :(, Garbage Bags, Baking Cocoa, Yeast and Margarine.
Because we take the small car rather than the van (too much gas money!), we usually only take along a couple of children. They take turns. Grocery shopping goes a lot faster when we have some kids along because they love to get things and put them in the cart and help unload the cart when we are done. But if Mark and I haven't been out alone for awhile, we use this opportunity to go on a "date"! We have taken all the kids grocery shopping a few times.....let me just say I feel like a mother duck :) It's actually pretty fun! Unless the store is crowded :)
And that's about how we do grocery shopping!!! Did I miss anything?