How Going Grocery Shopping Every Week is Actually SAVING us Money

How many times a month should you go grocery shopping?  

once a week grocery shopping

That’s the question I would ask for years so that I could save as much money as possible.  If you read any of my other posts regarding grocery shopping you’ll see that I am (or was, I should say) a huge advocate for grocery shopping less.  Going once every two weeks, or if you can somehow figure out how to do it, go once a month (I could never master that one.)

My theory? If you go to the grocery store less than you will not impulse buy.  You won’t buy an insane amount of snacks.  You will make do with what you have instead of not eating what you have at home because you just don’t feel like it.

Well, I’m changing my stance on this.  That’s right, the once every two weeks grocery shopping plan was not the right fit for my family.  Or at least it isn’t anymore.

Now, hear me out.  I totally believe you can save money by stretching out the time in between grocery trips IF you are organized and don’t end up in the grocery store in between to supplement your major shopping trip.  That means you have a meal plan, and a shopping list.  You plan out all meals and even snacks.  Trust me on this, if you don’t do it you’ll end up like me.

What do I mean, you ask?



So,  my routine for years has been to grocery shop every two weeks.  I’d drive 40 minutes into town and get what I needed.  That’s where the cheap grocery store is so it’s worth it for me to drive the 40 minutes.

However, we never had enough food in between.  Oh sure, I’d have my dinners taken care of, but we’d run out of basics like bread and milk.  And, snacks.  There were never enough snacks in this house.  I come from a family of major snackers.  And while I could maybe curb the snacking a bit with my kids, my husband makes his own decisions. 🙂

And so I’d find us at the small, expensive grocery store 15 minutes from our house to supplement our shopping.  You know, a loaf of bread, a bag of milk, etc.  Or that’s what it would start with.  Then a bunch of things we didn’t really need would end up in the cart. And this would happen almost every week without fail.

We’d always need things.  I started to realize the problem.

I clearly wasn’t buying enough food  to last us the two weeks.  My kids are getting older as well, with one of them a new teenager this year.

They ain’t kidding when they say teenagers can eat. My bi-weekly grocery shopping trip was no longer keeping up.  Truth be told it hasn’t been keeping up for years.

I also found I’d be stressed on my once every two weeks grocery shopping trip.  I’d spend way too long in the grocery store than I’d want to and I’d often forget things on my list.  I was always so exhausted by the end.

So, I decided to try a new strategy.  Grocery shopping once a week.

Guys – I don’t know why I didn’t try this before, and if you feel like you are going over budget time and time again you need to try this.  I know, I know – it goes against all the advice the experts say you should do to save money on your grocery bill, but for some, like me, it just works better.

I’m in the store half the time I was before, and we don’t have to buy things we need in between our trips.  And because I’m at the store more often I find that if we do run out of something it’s no big deal to wait a day or two until we get to the store again.

And, I’ve even taken it one step further to make it better.  Right now I am doing online grocery shopping where I just order on the internet and schedule a time to pick it up.  I drive in, pick up my groceries, and go home.  I don’t find myself wandering the store adding things to my cart that I shouldn’t.

I have definitely seen a decrease in my monthly grocery costs.  And also decrease in my stress level because I hate shopping anyways.  My stress level has also decreased because every time we’d run out of food in between and take a trip to the grocery store it used to make me anxious.  “We’re going over budget!  This isn’t the plan!” I’d say.  Except, we did need that food.  Minus the extra bags of chips of course. 🙂


Most frugal living gurus will tell you to take as few grocery trips as possible each month.  Here’s what I’ve learned.  While money saving experts offer a wealth of knowledge which I am so grateful for, sometimes it just doesn’t work for us. 

When it comes down to it you need to analyze the numbers and decide whether the advice they are giving you is actually saving you money or not.  The numbers won’t lie.  Take an honest look at your budget and find out if you are overspending in areas you don’t realize you are.

If the common money saving advice isn’t working for you, try something else.  Tweak your approach and see if there’s a different way that can save you and your family more money instead.  You may just find that a new approach can put extra cash into your pocket and even reduce your stress because the method is easier than your previous way of doing things.  

This doesn’t just apply for groceries.  It can apply for housing costs, extra-curricular costs, vehicle costs – you name it.  Look at what you are doing and decide if there’s a more effective way to reduce costs for you and your family.




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