Hi friends, it's great to be back on the blog today after a lovely Summer break! We headed to the family beach house for nearly 10 days and just lapped up lots of relaxed and fun family time. How did you spend your Christmas break?
Because we head off on our holiday on Boxing Day, it means that throughout December, we are essentially 'winding down' [#slackingoff] with household chores, meal planning and cooking. The fridge and cupboards are left pretty bare, so whenever we return from holiday, we have to do a big grocery shop and get back into the swing of things. A tough ask after so much relaxation time!
I think I can say that I have finally got my grocery shopping process down pat, and can now manage to hit the supermarket just once a month. The best! We get fruit and vegetable deliveries once a fortnight, and top ups on essentials throughout those 4 weeks.
I love only having to shop once a month, as it's definitely not a job I enjoy. Does anybody?? I talked more about the process here, but I really encourage you to give it a try - it is such a huge time and money saver, and once you get into the swing of things, is really quite easy to maintain.
The one thing I was missing in the whole process was an organised blank shopping list. My previous one was separated into the 4 aisles of the supermarket, but I wanted to highlight the different categories to make writing the list (and getting the shop done) as quick and easy as possible. I created the template shown below using categories: pantry, meat, fruit and veg, fridge, freezer and 'other'. We buy our meat from the market, and get fruit and veg delivered, so these columns for me are usually blank, but sometimes we need a top up or I've forgotten something. The supermarket I shop at (Aldi) is also pretty much laid out in this order, so it's easy to tick off the items as I go.
When writing my monthly shopping list, I first create my monthly meal plan, and then use my Master Shopping List (grab it here) which lists everything that we buy/need, and the blank shopping list. I go through each item and write down what we're out of/low on, and then double check the pantry, fridge and freezer to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.
I've found the key to grocery shopping once a month is to buy multiples of the products you use the most of, and make sure you've got the extra storage space in the fridge or pantry to hold these products. For example, I buy 3 tubs of yoghurts, 3 loaves of bread (freeze 2), 2 blocks of cheese and parmesan, 4 packets of pasta, 2kg bags of flour, 3 bags of oats etc. The dry goods surplus is stored in our hallway cupboard, but I also use good storage containers so I can hold larger amounts without them going stale.
I printed multiple copies of the blank shopping list, and attached them to a clipboard which lives on the inside door of my pantry. This means I can easily add anything that we need throughout the month.
It was good to have my husband home this time to help me unpack the shop as it was a big one! A monthly shopping trip definitely means you need to set aside extra time for loading and unpacking, but once it's done it is a great feeling, and you don't need to think about it for another month. Woop!
Here's the pantry completely stocked...
A well-stocked fridge...
And organised freezer. I even got inspired to do a bit of rearranging in here... it's the one spot in the kitchen I am always reorganising! Trying to make room for a bit of upcoming batch cooking.