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25/05/2009, 10:07 AM
Hi girls, I need some tips/advise for shopping fortnightly,
I am currently shopping weekly and it has got out of control, I feel like Im spending more and more every week.
Do you meal plan? How do you stop everyone from eating everything in the first week? What things to you still buy weekly?
So what are your best tips???
25/05/2009, 10:17 AM
I shop fortnightly and meal plan to a degree, but not down to the fine details eg Tuesday is spaghetti night etc.
What I tend to do is stock up on staples when they are on special (pasta, rice, flour, tinned tomatoes, legumes etc) so I always have the basics on hand. I make sure I have enough base ingredients for 14 dinners to get me through to the next shop.
I do shop for bread, fruit and vegetables more often as I like them fresher and I buy these when they are on special as well.
My family all know that I'm not going back to the shops for extras, so if I buy something as a treat and it's gone in the first day, that's it. I usually bake snacks (muffins, pikelets, oat bars etc) once a week and I freeze half of each batch so there's a variety on offer.
I hate grocery shopping so I find it's easier this way, and you do get used to it pretty quickly. On weeks where I am disorganised and have to go to the supermarket several times in a week, I end up spending a lot more than I would if I plan ahead.
25/05/2009, 10:26 AM
We did a big shop last thursday and we wont be doing another this thursday because we have enough food to feed us for a fortnight.
We buy most things in bulk.Then we only need to buy nappies and pull ups and milk and bread this week on the off week.
You just have to use your imagination on what you can cook up for the night. Every night doesn't have to be a 5 star meal.
25/05/2009, 10:34 AM
I shop fortnightly and I find it impossible if I don't do some sort of meal plan. I write out a list of what meals we will be having, but not as detailed as what we are having on which night - just a general idea that this week we will have chicken one night, pasta another night etc etc. I also tend to be a couple of variations as well. I also stock up on the pantry stuff - flour, herbs, foil, stock etc etc when on sale, and also on stuff like washing powder, shampoo and dog food.
Works best if I buy a couple of kg's of mince / chicken breast / steak etc and seperate it into meal size amounts in freezer bags and then write the weight on the bag. That way if I am planning on making speghetti and lasagne in the same fortnight, I will put about 500gr of mince in one bag, and about 750 - 900gr in another bag.
For the frequency, I do a big shop one week and get all meat / veg / grocery etc and the next week just get more fruit and veg, and top up things like dairy and bread. That way, if there is anything else I have run out of, I can get it then.
Since I have started doing it this way, I have got the grocery bill down by about $50 a fortnight (buy all the meat in bulk and can justify buying bigger boxes of cereal etc that work out to be cheaper per 100gr than the smaller boxes. If you have pets, ring around some pet food stores and see if you can get bulk pet food as well - I get the Supercoat biscuts for my dogs, which cost $24 for 8kg at Coles / Woolies, but I have found a pet food shop that sells the same biscuts from the same supplier in a plain yellow bag for $30 for an 18kg bag. As I have a husky and a ridgeback (both big dogs) we go through A LOT of dog food, so that has saved us HEAPS.
Make sure you get enough bread for lunches through the week - put a couple of loaves in the freezer and then leave them in the bag to defrost - not quite as nice as fresh bread, but doesn't make any difference if you make toasted sandwiches those days. Make things like chicken schnitzel's and freeze them individually so you can make schnitzel sandwiches for lunches (my DH hates vegemite / peanut butter etc but likes meat sandwiches. If he had cold meat every day I would be back at the shops a few more times a week to get fresh stuff). He also gets BLT's, sausage sandwiches and leftovers for lunch at work through the week as well and only get's cold meats for a day or two after I get the grocery's.
That's all I can think of for now...
25/05/2009, 10:48 AM
Try shopping online and see if that helps. Woolworths only costs $6 for delivery to my area and although I have only started doing it I find I dont spend as much because I can keep a constant tab on how much it's all costing me. You can add to your list over a week or two and save it as you go.
If you do it fortnightly you'd eliminate an extra delivery fee. Woolworths online seem to have a ton of specials too so you can search for things by special. It's very easy to find stuff, the search feature works quite well and you can then narrow the results by category/aisle.
I dont know if I'll stick with it but I'm going to give it a try for a while. The prices are a bit more expensive for some items than the local store but I find I'm not impulse buying or because I tend to go shopping with half a list I'm walking around "do I have this or that" and grabbing things "just in case" or because I cant remember, where at home I can get up and walk to the pantry to check my stock.
The past few weeks my grocery bill has been significantly less shopping this way.
26/05/2009, 11:28 AM
Dh is paid weekly, but mortgage is fortnightly. On the week that is not 'mortgage week', i do a big shop which includes fruit & veg for that week and top up on meat,if needed (i buy meat bulk every 6-8wks). The 'mortgage week' i buy fruit & veg for that week, and any other essentials that we need. Like pp said, we also freeze bread and milk. This year i am also baking, so i try to make sure i have enough flour & butter in the house to bake as i need. I dont have a meal plan at all, but have a really good idea what we all eat & work around that.
I have found that buying the meat in bulk has help greatly, DD1 is VERY picky with what meat she will eat, only will eat meat that has no fat on it, a very redeming quality, but an expensive one. DD2 is very picky about all the other parts of her meals, she doesnt care so much about the meat. Buying meat in bulk has allowed me to be able to afford the dearer cuts, as they cut it to the size that you want, also i can buy roasts cheaper & cook them in the slow cooker (our oven is crap). I have brought Fillet steak & T-bones, cook them as is & then cut off the fat before putting on DD1's plate.
26/05/2009, 11:41 AM
Go to Aldi, Kimmy. You will save at least $80-100 a fortnight and then you can top up with fruit and veg during the week
26/05/2009, 11:50 AM
With most things that we use the most eg laundry powder, cling wrap, alfoil ect I always have one in stock so when I do the grocery shop I am replacing the stock so we never run out.
I always buy a few of the things we use alot on special eg weetbix, pepsi max.
You need a big freezer to store it all I find it easier. I always have some frozen vegies in the fridge as usally towards the end of the two weeks my fresh veg has run out or gone off.
Like someone else said that when the goodies/ treats have run out the kids know that they will have to wait until shopping day for more.
26/05/2009, 12:50 PM
Just one little thing but lately we have been buying things like oranges or mandarins by the box load. It means that is the main fruit that everyone eats for a while but they tend to keep well for two weeks so we are not running out of fruit as usually happens. We also buy frozen vegies to eat when the fresh stuff runs out (kids actually prefer the frozen peas anyway) and have been buying Lebanese flat bread (from a Lebanese wholesale bakery) which doesn't take up a lot of space in the freezer. We also used to get fresh pasta home delivered by a wholesale place that mainly supplied restaurants (unfortunately they have changed ownership and no longer sell to the public
). With cooking, I tend to do a lot in bulk (have both a big and a small slow cooker) and then freeze a portion to have the next week. I work full time so this also saves me cooking during the week. We have a second fridge with quite a big freezer and I find this really essential in enabling me to shop less often.
26/05/2009, 01:00 PM
Grab a book called Tabletucker - available online. (Google it) It is written by Pernina Peterson. It is also australian. It has a whole years worth of meal planners and shopping lists available every week according to what is in season. It has saved me the heartache and money and the hassle of deciding what to buy and I only shop once every week.
26/05/2009, 03:11 PM
Then each fortnight work out what meal suits each day, then make sure you have what you need for those 2 weeks.
Snacks/staples. Buy when on special, so you always have stock. We used tupperware, but the new packet sits behind the container. You could use your top shelf in pantry for 'week 2' snacks.
Fruit and veg can be bought at green grocer's by the box, but we struggle with fridge space to keep it fresh enough. Banana's are ok. We'd go at least once a week for f&v.
We bake our own bread, but will occasionally get bread when it's reduced at safeway.
And we buy beef in bulk every 6-12months (a side of beef cost us $500, and should last 12months) we get chicken off MIL, but when she doesn't have any, buy bulk packs from the chicken shop.
26/05/2009, 03:22 PM
I actually do a monthly shop, and then a weekly fresh shop.
I have a list (a spreadsheet actually
) of everything
I need for a whole month, and how much of each thing. Then, once a month I spend a few hours doing a mega-shop. I get nappies, tinned food, pasta, rice, herbs, eggs, dried fruit, crackers, baby food, etc tc.
I go to a few places - Big W for bulk washing powder, detergent etc, NQR for frozen vegies, butter (I freeze butter) etc, Aldi for nappies, pasta, weetbix, crackers etc, a cannery outlet for pureed fruit, tinned kidney beans, lentils etc. Basically, you need to work out the best places in your area for different things.
Then weekly I menu plan from my pantry as it is so well stocked. Then I just need to buy meat, dairy and fruit/veg every week. I also buy bulk meat and freeze it.
I think we have shaved at least $250 off our monthly bill, if not more.
By shopping this way I have eliminated all those 'in-between' shops that always end up costing all those extra dollars.
26/05/2009, 03:29 PM
We shop once a fortnight.
I write up a meal plan for dinners and ensure we have everything in the house we need for those things. DH can then have leftover for lunch at work. Also I only buy what is on the list.
I agree with going to Big W for things in bulk for washing powder and that sort of thing. Also I keep an eye out for specials on things like nappies, formula and coffee.
27/05/2009, 08:56 AM
We always meal plan now. Have started buying groceries at Aldi and Big W but live mostly on F&V which we have delivered from the market.
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