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A Grocery System that Works | Dana Byers

A Grocery System that Works

“I don’t remember my mother ever playing with me. And she was a perfectly good mother. But she had to do the laundry and clean the house and do the grocery shopping.” – Patricia Heaton

Before I moved back to Oklahoma, I had a wonderful grocery system.  Four weeks into our move and I barely have a working list.  I miss my old process so much that I want to share it in case you can use it.  Here it is, minimalist friends!

I have a two week rotating menu that I use to create my shopping lists.  Every two weeks I purchase the bulk of my groceries online for delivery via Peapod.com.  When I consider that time spent getting groceries could be spent with family, is stressful (to me, at least) and can take a few hours, the delivery fee is a wash.  An added benefit to our budget is I only get what’s on the list so I’m not buying unnecessary items to rack up the cost of groceries.  Peapod is great because every time they deliver they give me a coupon off my next order, and sometimes I’m emailed a free delivery code.  Peapod lets me search for and save gluten free items to use.  I also LOVE the feature of being able to save every item on my account’s list so I can use an app on my smartphone to schedule orders ahead of time.  Amazing!

My bi-weekly delivery order typically consists of ingredients to make 12 dinners at home (so we can eat out once or twice a week) and frozen or pantry goods for breakfast.  Each week I keep part of our monthly grocery budget in a cash envelope to use for purchasing food for the kids’ packed lunches or our family’s toiletries.

I’ve used online grocery delivery off and on for more than 5 years now in a few different states and overseas.  The trick is realizing it’s not a time or money savings unless you’re consistent and use what you purchase.  Otherwise you’ll be forced to make last minute trips to the grocery to get a forgotten item, defeating the purpose.  Planning up front makes it a smooth process.

  • If you don’t have delivery in your area, you can buy home and pantry goods online in bulk. (If you’re in the Edmond/OKC area, check out the great folks at The Riley Group for grocery help and lots more!)
  • Some cities’ locally owned supermarkets allow you to place an order online and pick it up in store – another excellent service to consider.
  • National drug store chains have begun providing order online/pick up in store service for pantry and toiletry basics, as well.

One thing to keep in mind if you have groceries delivered: have your 2 week menu out as you put items away.  Sometimes an item received will expire before you’d planned to use it, so you’ll want to adjust your menu to account for that.

How do you take the pain out of planning and buying items for your family’s meals?  I’m always looking for helpful ideas!

Dana

PS – Still have problems with the idea of paying for grocery delivery?  The decision was easy for me when I counted up time spent at the store and what my time is worth (even when I was not earning a salary).  I encourage you to consider paying for a little help if it means keeping  your home, diet, and routines running smoothly.

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