So, I have completed my three month challenge of virtually no shopping. It went well; I saved money, and I learned a lot. I am going to re-stock up on the “essentials” (whole wheat flour, oats, honey, butter, coconut oil, dried beans) and then stick to my monthly/weekly food budget. I am also planning on shopping once a month for needed items based on my monthly meal plan.

So, in summary I:

-spent around $200 per month on food

-initially spend around $1200 stocking up (I still have food left- cheese, some meat…)

-so spent on average less than $500 a month on food- which is quite a difference (Note: I also buy raw milk which is not cheap ironically)

-saved ample amounts of time by avoiding long shopping lists and multiple shopping trips to multiple stores

-avoided waste- between monthly meal time, making so much homemade, and avoiding the tempting supermarkets

-Really went homemade: didn’t have ranch and wanted it so I made it, strawberry jam, graham crackers, bread, muffins, scones, desserts, ice cream…

-planned meals, planned cooking, prepped foods- became much more smart and efficient in food prep

NOW in Summary:

-Shop for the essentials- keep these stocked

-Keep making everything homemade

-Shop once at the beginning of the month at the supermarkets for the items I need for the month- tying cooking to shopping, while continuing to save time and money

-Stick to my budget of $300 a month for fruits veggies, dairy at Lassens (adding bananas and apples), and the monthly stock-up items if needed.

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