We recently put a new grocery shopping strategy into practice. I sat down and planned out seven days of meals, wrote up an ingredients list, and only bought exactly what we need to make it through a week.

I think I can safely call this the single biggest change we've made to reduce our spending and food waste. I've bought groceries for less than $40 for three weeks running now. This past week, because we're shopping light on the promise of Thanksgiving leftovers, we got our week's worth of groceries for a whopping $28, and all the food we bought was fresh and unprocessed. I feel pretty good about it.

I was amazed to realize how much food we were buying that was simply extra. We ate most of it, but a fair amount was getting thrown away, because it was being bought without a real plan.

I definitely recommend giving this method a try if you don't do it already. You might be surprised.


  1. I'm so pleased that you're having success with the shopping budget! It's kind of ridiculous how much pleasure I get out of buying all my food for the week for less than $40... especially when I can still get it all at the health food market.

    (I also have all the ingredients for veggie pot pie waiting to be made after Thanksgiving. I got the most gorgeous butternut squash at the farmer's market, and he's just begging to be hacked open and stewed...)

  2. I have to say, I really didn't expect it to make such a huge difference, but when you said it had helped you spend less, I had to give it a try. I LOVE shopping this way. I sort of miss my leisurely stroll through every aisle of Whole Foods, but I really enjoy the satisfaction of a good deal and money saved, so it balances out.

  3. I may have to try this in a more committed fashion, as I did go grocery shopping for three meals, but also picked around the usual things, as well.

    Also, on a semi-related note, I found Stonyfield Farms milk here in Cincinnati! I think that was the one you recommended? Either way, it is AMAZING. It tastes like the milk we had in Switzerland, and I banked on its goodness and bought whole milk, which I never do. I do not regret it!

  4. Amen sister! I'm all about meal planning and buying what's on sale and I think since I've been married I've thrown away 3 potatoes, an orange or two, and half a chicken breast. It's so wonderful only spending money on what you'll actually eat. Much better than my pre-married days.



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