Shopping challenge success

Kelly Dyer updates us with progress on the Great Monthly Shopping Challenge.  It’s a piece of cake, says she…

It’s hard to believe that it was nearly four months ago we embarked on the once a month grocery shopping challenge.

As you can see in the photo, we had a very well laden trolley. We did go rather overboard that first time. I think we were worried about running out of food (and if you’ve seen how much Mark can eat, you would have been worried too!).

Our shopping trolley since then has been more moderately sized as we try and only buy replacements for the food items we’ve actually eaten, not those we think we’re going to eat.

Making a huge list of every grocery item in the house has helped. It’s pinned to the fridge, and as something runs out, we mark it on the list for the next grocery shop.

We did fall off the wagon in December; with uncertainty about who was going to be where and for how long we slipped back into weekly shopping to avoid over-stocking our shelves. We girded our loins, gritted our teeth and got back into our monthly routine last week and did our monthly shop. And were pleasantly surprised at the reduction in our bill. The first trolley full of groceries cost a whopping $600! Yet last weekend we got away with spending only $400 to get food for three people.

We do get asked, “Do you save time doing your shopping once a month?” “Do you save money?” Well, I think we’re at the point where planning ahead and shopping monthly is saving us money. We’re using up what we have before buying more and if it doesn’t get used up, it doesn’t get replaced in the next shop. As to time, I can shop for a month in not that much longer than it takes for me to shop for a week, leaving me with more free time on a Sunday morning to do important things, like sleeping in.

I still find myself popping down to the fruit and vege shop a couple of times a week to stock up on perishable fruit, because fruit just doesn’t keep in this hot weather and I’d rather buy small amounts frequently, rather than a large amount where half of what you buy gets thrown to the worms. I do end up at the New World near my work occasionally as well, as there are some things you just can’t get at Pak ‘n Save, or there’s that one thing we ran out of unexpectedly that we can’t live two weeks without.

Do I think monthly shopping is worth the effort? Hell yes!

Are we going to carry on in the challenge? You bet!

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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