So about a month ago I shared with you guys that our goal was to only go to the grocery store (we shop at Aldi) once a week. When we lived in the Czech Republic I went EVERY SINGLE DAY so going once a week was quite the adjustment for me BUT I am happy to report that we have successfully done it! And honestly I much prefer it to going every day. Since doing it I have noticed there are a couple of key steps for success….
Keep a piece of paper on your fridge so that when you run out of staple items, you can write them down so you don’t forget about them later in the week when you go to make your list.
MAKE A LIST! This has been the biggest game changer for me. I used to go to the store and wander around every aisle just choosing whatever sounded good to me. That wasn’t great for planning or for our budget, so I have changed my ways. I always take inventory of what we have at home, decide what types of meals we want to have that week and then make a list from there. *I don’t decide exactly what meal we are going to eat, but if we want a vegetarian meal one night, Mexican food another night, etc
Choose a day that is going to be your consistent grocery shopping day. This is really helpful so that you know exactly how many days of food you are shopping for (mostly important for the protein).
Usually my list looks very similar each week, typically something like this:
Fruit: 7 bananas, a bag of oranges/nectarines, a large watermelon, a bag of apples, 2 lemons
Vegetables: One bunch of kale, a cucumber, 3 bell peppers, 2 zucchini, a head of broccoli, a bag of brussels sprouts, one bunch of asparagus, 3 avocado, a bag of tomatoes, a large container of mushrooms, a bag of yellow onions, 2 heads of garlic
Protein: 2 cartons of eggs, 4 chicken breasts, 4 salmon fillets, beef, frozen shrimp
*This is enough protein for lunches and 6 dinners, and then we will have frozen pizza for the 7th night, or go out to eat.
Dairy: A block of white cheddar cheese, shredded cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 carton of chocolate milk, 1 carton of regular milk, 1 carton of full cream milk (for coffee), Greek yogurt
Starch: Pasta, potatoes, rice, a loaf of bread from the bakery, a loaf of sandwich bread, English muffins, cereal, chips, pretzels, 1 sweet potato, tortillas, crackers
Frozen food: 2 frozen pizzas, ice cream, frozen berries (for on top of ice cream)
Canned goods: 1 can of lentils, 1 can red kidney beans, 1 can corn, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 can tomato paste.
Other: Coffee, salsa, EVOO, jam, peanut butter, butter, peach iced tea, hummus, a bottle of red wine, baking goods
That is a full stock list aka if I am out of most everything. Typically I only have to buy rice, potatoes, peanut butter and jam like every third week, pasta every other week, onions, garlic and coffee every other week, EVOO about once a month. I have only had to buy baking goods once since being here. Everything else is usually a weekly buy. And you want to know the best part??? It is always around 150-175 AUD, right where we want our food budget to be! For a whole week of food that is awesome!! Especially considering how expensive things are here.
So what kinds of meals do you usually eat with this grocery list, you ask? Well you can check out my Instagram for a more in depth look at typical eats, but a normal day would look something like this:
Breakfast- Coffee, 2 eggs, a piece of toast, sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes topped with shredded cheese and salsa.
Lunch- Kale salad with 1/2 a chicken breast or hard boiled egg, parmesan, avocado, tomato and crushed Doritos. Peppers and hummus.
Appetizer- Cheese and crackers
Dinner- Shrimp fajitas with bell peppers, onions, shredded cheese, corn, salsa and avocado. (Dinner is always a protein, at least once vegetable and a starch. How I conform all of those things into a meal differs depending on the day)
Dessert- Ice cream and a cookie