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food shopping once a month...

icedragonicedragon Registered User Posts: 2,170 Senior Member
edited June 2012 in Parent Cafe
Is it possible?

I will be moving into an apartment on campus this fall (hoping for a single) and will have to cook for myself. I grew up learning how to make things streach (Ie: boil a chicken, shred it for samwiches, soups, salads, or something else, then use the stalk for soup or freeze it) and will be able to do so this fall. I could potentially buy a chuck roast (or any other large piece of meat) and portion it out into smaller ones (cuting it up into smaller portions for stirfry or what have you).

I do know that the school provides the stadard freezer on top refrigerator.

I also have to make it gluten-free, tomato-free, greese-free, and non-spicey.

I know how to shop on sales (for example i got 16 or so boxes of rice chex on a sale a while back for 1.29 a box instead of the almost 4.00 i normally pay) and such.

I also enjoy frozen veggies (spinnage is one of my favorites). I also, however, am an apple fiend, so by stashing them in the fridge I think i can make them last a bit longer (i normally eat at least one a day). Eggs, however, I dispise with a passion (i cannot eat them as a meal, they make my stomach upset ;/, but in a dish like pancakes, I do fine).

Outside of this, I also know it is a good idea to plan ahead for the month.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
Post edited by icedragon on

Replies to: food shopping once a month...

  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 18,442 Senior Member
    If you're going to watch the sales, you're going to need to be more flexible, since grocery stores usually change their sale items weekly.

    I find I can go quite a while without going to the grocery except for fruit, veggies, milk, and yogurt. Those items, I need to buy weekly.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,252 Senior Member
    ^^ Agree with this. I dread big grocery store visits but can manage with a big box store once a month (for canned goods, cereal, frozen items), but supplement that with regular visits to the local produce, meat store, etc. to get fresher dairy, produce, meat.

    How about 2x a month??? At least to start - then you can see if you can stretch your trips out a little longer.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,899 Senior Member
    Not going to happen. Like VH said, there are many things that need to be bought weekly. I usually do one major shopping trip once a month and smaller weekly ones for dairy, fruit, etc.
  • annasdadannasdad Registered User Posts: 4,827 Senior Member
    Is there an Aldi near you? High-quality food, but no national brands, very low cost, as long as you don't mind bagging your own groceries and dispensing with the frills. We spend 90% of our grocery budget there and eat very well.
  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom Registered User Posts: 4,461 Senior Member
    What grocery or farmer's market options will you have available to you?
    Do you have a Whole Foods or equivalent nearby for gluten-free options?
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,252 Senior Member
    Also, what are your limitations to only wanting to shop once a month? Transportation? Time? Money?

    My other suggestion overall - get a crockpot. My D who is newly out on her own finds it a lifesaver in terms of having good, cheap, meals ready to eat when she gets home exhausted at the end of the day.
  • dmd77dmd77 Registered User Posts: 8,663 Senior Member
    You haven't mentioned that high-quality, low-cost staple to college students everywhere: peanut butter (which keeps quite well). Beans are also a long-storing, low-cost form of protein, and very easy to cook if you have a crockpot.

    If you're trying to shop less often, you need to look at items you can buy in bulk which give you the maximum bang for your food dollars. Oatmeal also comes to mind (as well as the beans and peanut butter). Your freezer space is no doubt shared, and thus limited.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 13,142 Senior Member
    To shop only once a month, you would have to live almost exclusively on shelf-stable foods (those that do not have to be refrigerated until after the package is opened).

    This is possible, but it's difficult to do without a sophisticated understanding of both nutrition and cooking.
  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 Registered User Posts: 5,966 Senior Member
    It's actually really easy to do virtually all of your grocery shopping once a month. You just have to know the strategy... it sounds like icedragon would be good at this, they already know a few of the basic concepts. Icedragon, your freezer probably isn't big enough to do the whole program, but you should research Once-A-Month-Cooking, or OAMC. They can give you some shopping techniques and you can probably figure out how best to make use of your freezer to stretch a few more complex meals. Very, very few things need to be bought fresh every week. The things that do, much can be bought frozen or shelf stable if it's ABSOLUTELY necessary not to go to the store more often. We just have the standard freezer-on-top fridge too and we manage to do quite a bit.

    It's a lot easier to just go to the store every week or every other week, but if that's not doable you can make do with once a month if you have a way of transporting a months worth of groceries at once.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    You may also have to be flexible with storage. Student kitchens may be
    quite small. Is there a reasOn you are limited to once a month shopping trips?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,130 Senior Member
    How many folks are sharing that freezer space? If there others, you may find that shopping twice a month might work better so that you don't fill the freezer with your things. My kids both shopped for staples every month or so...but they got fresh veggies and fruits every week. They kept pasta and canned or jarred sauces available at all times, as well as some canned soups. I don't think you will have much success keeping some foods FRESH for a month (veggies, milk products).

    I would say...twice a month might work better than monthly.
  • moonchildmoonchild Registered User Posts: 3,296 Senior Member
    It sounds like you know how to make food stretch, but be sure that you are getting plenty of fresh food in your diet and not relying on boxed or processed (canned) foods. Frozen is ok, as the nurtrients aren't degraded or full of extra sodium and sugar like they are in canned and boxed. There's nothing like fresh food to maintain your health.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 33,857 Senior Member
    We like to be able to go the store fairly often, especially for fresh fruits & veggies. They tend to have a short shelf-life, so need to be purchased close to the date they are consumed. Leafy green veggies especially are best when purchased close to the date they are eaten & we love them--they provide lots of B vitamens which are important to good health.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    16 boxes of rice chex? :eek:
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    There are some things you can get that don't need to be refrigerated, unopened peanut butter, aseptic packaged tofu & soy milk, dried beans for soups etc, but especially if you are not eating most whole grains ( and actually anyway), you need to be eating fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber as well as for vitamins.
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