SOCIAL MEDIA

30 April 2014

How to Avoid Grocery Shopping


 (Photo stolen from Angel's instagram)

Grocery shopping is not my favorite way to spend an hour or two. Because of that, I stretch the groceries we buy for as long as I possibly can in between trips, using several key strategies:

1. When we get home from the grocery store, I brown all ground beef or turkey that we purchased, and freeze it in meal-sized bags. Angel chops up the onions that we buy in bulk and freezes them so that I can add them to recipes easily.

2. I plan and eat meals involving fresh fruits and veggies and milk, anything that spoils quickly, for the first 5-7 days after a shopping trip. I cook meals too big for Angel and I to eat at once so that he always has leftovers to take for lunch at work.

3. I save meals involving primarily frozen or dry supplies till I've exhausted my supply of fresh foods with an expiration date. Once we're out of foods that have to be eaten while they're freshly bought, I start making a lot of meals involving rice and eggs and frozen meat and frozen veggies, along with longer-lasting produce like sweet potatoes and some canned goods. That can usually buy me another week, at least. Throw in a "Hey, Angel, how about a date?" and that's one more meal taken care of.

4. Then, if I want to avoid the grocery store even longer, I get even more creative about using the ingredients I have. Baked salmon filets with...a can of Bush's baked beans as a side? That could be dinner, right? Popcorn from my air-popper is a perfectly acceptable lunch. An apple, nearly too-long forgotten in the bottom of the refrigerator makes a bowl of oatmeal positively appealing. And a bowl of frozen broccoli boiled till just barely tender with a side of tortilla chips is really satisfying when you think about it. Angel's not quite as easily satisfied as I am when it comes to strange dinners, but here's where I thaw out the leftover chili that I stashed in the freezer two weeks ago and give it to him.

But, eventually, just when the refrigerator has reached it's near-perfect state of pristine emptiness, I have to brave the trip to the grocery store once more. At that point I'm usually consoled by the fact that now I will have more available to eat than popcorn and broccoli.

Right now we're nine days out from our last grocery shopping trip and I'm betting we can last at least another week.

What chore or errand will you go to great lengths to avoid?

61 comments :

  1. UGH! HATE grocery shopping! I think it's just stressful, and add in the people that are all pushing around and trying to get out of their quick... makes for a mild panic attack! Haha!

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  2. I hate grocery shopping too- I only shop every 2 weeks, even feeding 6 children. I take advantage of having an extra fridge and freezer. Also we eat the most perishable of the fresh fruits and veggies first. Saving things like apples and oranges for week 2.

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  3. I'm not a fan either - but I'm all about the fresh produce so i have to suck it up!

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  4. Impressive. With five people in our house, it'd be hard to avoid the store that long. But I do try to extend it as long as possible. :)

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  5. Haha- so much truth to this! We have "hodge-podge" dinner nights where we're scraping the pantry and fridge for anything that can be somewhat of a meal, when we're avoiding the grocery!

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  6. I HATE grocery shopping! So so so much! It's the worst.

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  7. I too hate shopping for groceries. That, filling up the car with gas, going to the bank...you name it, I don't really care to do it. I even hate sitting and getting my hair done.

    I thought I was the only person that thought popcorn for supper was perfectly adequate. Fact is that when my husband is overseas I can get darn lazy when it comes to cooking just for myself and like you, it doesn't take much to satisfy me.

    We can normally go about 10 days without buying groceries, but since I eat mostly veg and fruit I always need something fresh in the house so often it is once a week, even if I just pop in to get some lettuce and fruit.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  8. Hahaha, that's pretty impressive. I rather enjoy grocery shopping for some reason so I definitely don't mind going every week. ;)

    Popcorn is totally an acceptable lunch, though. I've been guilty of that lately, muwa ha ah ah.

    I don't know what errands I don't like. I really abhor going to hunting stores with my brother and dad, hahahaha. That's really about it. ;)

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  9. Great ideas! I avoid mopping the floors. I would rather clean the toilet. Rachel xo

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  10. Ugh I need to start doing this. We go to the grocery store almost daily because I HATE big shopping trips.

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  11. You are the queen of making groceries last! I am in awe! I go to the grocery store every few days. I wouldn't have to if we planned our meals better, but it's so close to us we just pop in for a few things. I like the date nights thrown in there. Those are a great night off from having to figure out what to eat:)

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  12. Hahaha. I love grocery shopping. But if I go with a bunch of cash with me it can get dangerous because I end up buying many things I crave for at the moment but really don't need. That is the cutest white dress too. Did you blog this Outfit before?

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  13. Ha! We grocery shop about 2-3 times a week. I actually like it - and I'm one of those people who will go to 4 or 5 different stores to get the right brands/best prices!

    I know my mom can not stand taking the silverware out of the dishwasher - and I hate sweeping.

    And popcorn is 100% a meal - I like to put a little olive oil and pepper on it!

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  14. I hate grocery shopping too. However, with two teenagers in the house the food never lasts very long :) I also hate getting my hair cut - the whole time I'm sitting there thinking of all the other things I could be doing!

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  15. I love food so going to the grocery store isn't a problem- I go with my bf so we make it fun it doesn't phase us. I always have a list ready so we know what we're getting and we're pretty efficient - we're in a store at most one hour. Woot woot, which reminds me I need to clean out my fridge - yikes! Have a great one Rachel and cute pic! -Iva

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  16. I really need to get better about grocery shopping. At this point, we stop by the store at LEAST every 2-3 days, if not every day, on the way home to pick up something to make for dinner. It's partially because I'm terrible at meal planning (it never fails that the meal I've planned is the one thing that does NOT sound good on that particular day) and partially because groceries here are so expensive, to buy food to last 2 weeks would probably cost at least $300-400 for just the 2 of us. And I just can't stomach that at once.

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  17. I don't mind going grocery shopping. We mostly shop at Sam's Club or Costco and lots of that stuff lasts about a month. The other shopping we do at Wal-mart (stuff that isn't in bulk). I put off doing dishes.. well, I don't even do them. My husband does. If it wasn't for him, I would never do them. I would just do paper plates. Haha!

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  18. so i look forward to going to the grocery store -- it might even be the case that i go once a day. is it something about the free samples? the inspiring assortment of fruits and veg? all the flowers when i walk in? knowing i can get a chai to sip as a i browse? hehe, probably all those things.. but as far as AVOID- laundry! gah! i let it pile up until we have absolutely nothing left to wear....

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  19. Hahaha...I LOVE grocery shopping. It's a struggle not to go at least once a week when really I have plenty of food to eat for at least 2 weeks. The last time I had a particularly bad day at work I cheered myself up by going to get groceries!

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  20. Snagging leftovers from dinner with parents is a good method, too, if you have the opportunity! :) I think my absolute least favorite thing to do is laundry. Groceries are cake when I think about gathering all my clothing, washing them, transferring them to the dryer, and then the worst part...having to put them away. Ugh! Makes me exhausted just thinking about it!

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  21. Oh yeah. The dinners we come up with for Saturday and sundays are pretty epic. I only go to aldi on Monday and it has to carry through til the next!

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  22. Anything to do with WalMart. I have to be desperate to go to WalMart. At the first of the month, I make our grocery list. We wait until about 8 o'clock and then go shopping at Brookshires (when it's quite). It takes about 30-45 min. to get in and out. I've never liked grocery stores, so I study the aisles well to cut back on time spent in them. We only make the one big grocery trip for the month. After that, we go back once more later in the month for another thing of bread or juice. Best of all, the one trip keeps us WAAAAAY under budget! As for WalMart, if we HAVE to go (I mean, there is no other way or place to find what we need), I have been known to suggest we drive the 30 min. to my parents' town to shop at theirs. It is a small town, meaning nicer, less crowded, and safer.

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  23. I despise cleaning bathrooms and since I've been with the hubs, I haven't had to clean the bathroom!! He's a saint. He hates to vacuum so I vacuum. It works out really well!

    I actually love to meal-plan and grocery shop. And I think you would hate how we do it LOL--we go to at least two stores for groceries once a week (Publix and a local supermarket that sells locally) and then to a farmer's market on Wednesdays. We both love food so shopping for groceries is kind of like a date night. The lamest date night. But a date night nonetheless. I live off fresh ingredients so I can't go past a week without needing to replenish the fridge. Maybe when we move and have a larger kitchen and a stand alone freezer I may channel your ways. =)

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  24. Seems like a lot of people hate grocery shopping just as much as me. I go weekly and just get exactly what I need for the week. I also take my meats and separate/freeze them. That's what gets me through.

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  25. See, I love food, so I love grocery shopping. The other customers bug me though, because they get in my way. But other than that, I like buying food. I hate cooking it though. Cooking is a chore I detest.

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  26. i wish i could avoid laundry; i hate doing laundry! grocery shopping is ok for me but ugh...laundry!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  27. Your grocery store avoidance reminds me of our grocery budget. If I can, I try to only go to the grocery store once a month, but it usually turns into two. But at the end of the month when the grocery budget is no more our fridge gets empty and I make random stuff in the cabinets.

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  28. I will squish the trash down in the trashcan for daysssss. By the time I actually get up enough strength to take it out the bag almost always breaks because it's so stuffed with trash. You think I'd learn...

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  29. I looooooove grocery shopping!!!! My most hated chore is by FAR the dishes!

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  30. I <3 grocery shopping!!! However, I never thought about using fresh foods first and then stretching out your groceries! I'm gonna try that out.

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  31. I know I am an idiot, but on your first tip, what did you mean by "Brown the meat". I hate grocery shopping too - I usually have to go to 3 different freaking stores so I am all for new tips and advice on how to prolong going.

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    1. I think she means that they cook it. Meat that's been cooked lasts longer in the fridge and freezes better (and saves a step later on!)

      I think meal planning is a big help to avoiding the store... but of course I'm pretty terrible at meal planning, so there goes that.

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  32. We go to the grocery store once a week usually for fresh stuff like fruits and veggies (so we don't eat junk all the time!) but I'm the queen of doubling up- if I'm going to make a casserole, I just double the recipe and make another to freeze. We make lots of hamburgers at one time, then freeze the leftovers.

    I don't mind doing the laundry, but I hate putting it away. That extra step, you know.

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  33. I hate grocery shopping, but with all of the kids, we can't go that long. My husband loves it, so he goes whenever we need something--as long as I write the list! :)

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  34. Grocery shopping! I end up going every Sunday and I dread it every single week. I plan dinners and all of Alina's little meals and then I shop. I never thought that I would have been the kind of mom that made her baby's food, but I was. Now she eats pretty much everything that we do. I like to keep her meals as healthy as possible and that can get pretty tiresome.
    I like your ideas of cooking all of your beef and freezing your chopped onions. That is super genius and something I should think about doing.

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  35. Lots of great tips here! Honestly, I loved to grocery shop when I lived in the US--- between Whole Foods and actual farmers' markets it was always an experience. However, shopping in Singapore is less enjoyable, because I have to rely on all imports to get products and sometimes things don't come! So frustrating!

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

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  36. Our friend (Rachel :) is staying with us right now. I gave up this week and she went to the grocery store last night for me. Usually I enjoy food shopping, but when I'm busy I hate it. Plus, our only option is Wal-Mart, which is just like a kind of torture.

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  37. You are so creative! :) I actually don't mind grocery shopping, I get to try out new ideas or recipes and being pregnant my likes and dislikes change so often a frequent shop is good for me, haha. Plus we have a small freezer so we can't freeze too many meals in advance.

    Away From Blue

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  38. I am definitely not a fan of going to the grocery store at all! When I do, I like to go to Aldi or Trader Joe's, because they are smaller and easier to navigate. Great tips though, my friend. Especially "Hey, Angel, how about a date?" Haha..I may or may not have used this *tip* with Patrick before :)

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  39. Rachel, we could be twins in this aspect! I loathe going to the grocery store and the last time I went and bought real groceries was April 7th! Of course, I've had to stop and get a few things like milk and lunch stuff but it was in and out and I only got the stuff we needed. I will have to start browning our meat when we get home and cutting the onion is genius because I will skip meals if it has a chopped onion in it! They just kill my eyes! And I can't tell you how many nights I've had popcorn for dinner. Eventually, Cory gets tired of cereal and protest that we must go to the grocery store!

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  40. I know i'm in the minority but I love grocery shopping. I always go up and down every aisle including the pet aisle even though I don't have one!

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  41. Haha #4 killed me, that's totally what I'd do. And for me it's laundry. I just can't stand it- the whole hauling and folding thing just makes my eye twitch. Thank God I have a lot of clothes so I can avoid it for a long time, haha!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  42. I had popcorn for dinner last night! : )

    I avoid laundry as long as possible because we have to use a laundromat in our complex. I hate it.

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  43. Yeah grocery shopping is not the most fun, and I HATE it when I forget something important. I'll find a way to just make do without it until the next planned trip.

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  44. I wish I had your determination to do all of that meal prepping! I might have to try browning all of my meat then freezing it, that is genius! I go to great lengths to avoid having to do dishes ha ha.

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  45. I do #1 too! I thought I was a genius when I started browning and freezing ground beef in 1-pound portions.

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  46. You are a clever, clever woman!!! I like the idea of cooking and chopping up all the stuff you can freeze at first. I need to do this cause I loathe the grocery store!

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  47. Well, I don't like grocery shopping either but it's a good thing there's a mall just one block away from our house so at least I can be forced to do the grocery! LOL

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  48. I use your same method of using Fresh stuff first, as I try shopping only every two weeks. I just wish we had a bigger freezer (we have a tiny, mini, fridge with a little freezer compartment) to store things longer, then I'd do it only once a month ;) Oh, and a car, because carrying a month's worth of groceries on buses doesn't appeal to me. So I'll stick to once every two weeks for now ;)

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  49. Grocery shopping can sure be a chore, and I find myself there much more often than I want to be. The sad part is that without some planning that I buy things we don't need, forget things we do, and spend much more money that what is necessary!! Yuck. No wonder grocery shopping is so unappealing!
    http://balmtomysoul.com/2014/05/frozen-paper-dolls-cory-jensen/

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  50. Lol! This is so me. I stretch the shopping all of the time, and believe it or not, I'll even eat air popped popcorn for lunch/dinner, so to stretch it out longer. OMG... have you tried the new seasoning shakers for popcorn that they sell now? Freakin delicious. ;)

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  51. LOL, I love your tips! I have five kids and a husband, so it seems like I'm constantly grocery shopping! My favourite tip is to make the kids unpack all the groceries...other than the mushrooms and broccoli ending up in the pantry one day, it's worked pretty well!

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  52. Grocery shopping is like the movie Ground Hog Day.....you just keep doing it over and over. I always dreaded it. My hubs loved to do it! I haven't had to shop in over 3 year now! I just make a list and he picks it up. It's like he's my own personal shopper!

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  53. I am not a fan of grocery shopping either-- and I take great lengths to make groceries last as long as possible! You have some good tips here. =)

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  54. My husband and I are wildly different when it comes to grocery shopping. If he could, he would go every day and only buy 4 things, while I prefer to do one big trip and get it over with. I've created a shopping list of the foods we most commonly buy and made about 20 copies taped inside the pantry door. That way when we start to run low on something, we can just check it on the list and get it on our next trip. I'm hoping that will reduce the frequency of our shopping trips. I think that's going to be a much smarter strategy, because each of his little trips ends up costing $40-$60. But I don't care let the pantry get all empty like you do because then I go WAY overboard and about buy out the store! #SITSsharefest

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  55. i dont mind grocery shopping so much, we make it a family affair. but i go to great lengths to avoid folding laundry! :-)

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  56. Maybe it makes me strange, but I just love grocery shopping. These are some good strategies, though! - Emily from Words I Wheel By :)

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  57. i used to love grocery shopping... but something changed and now i kind of detest it. i've also been known to make weird mash up meals, and i also have gotten some deliveries from plated which kills two birds with one stone - picking a recipe AND shopping for it!

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  58. I don't mind the shopping, it is just the cost!!! But I always used to do strange dinners like you!!! My now husband would ask what I'd eaten and be slightly bemused at the response! X

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  59. the sf bay area is such an 'on-demand' culture. we have services to bring everything we want to us (groceries, run errands, schedule a housecleaning). i can log into a service called instacart, and have my groceries delivered within a few hours to my kitchen and the minimal charge is worth the time most importantly, but also the gas we would've used up going to the store.

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