Since I started shopping at a new warehouse store, I’ve sliced 3 hours each week from my grocery shopping, menu planning and food prep time.
It’s changing my life.
I stop by my warehouse store once a month to make my bulk purchases–and then I don’t have to go back until the next month.
I’ll bet you have one where you live: it’s called Kroger. (Where you live, it might be called Ralph’s, King Supers, or Fred Meyer.) It’s just a grocery store.
I know what you’re thinking: Wait! What makes that a warehouse store?
Well, technically it’s not. But I’m shopping it like it’s a warehouse store, and it’s saving me 3 hours each week.
I’m making time for important things. Grocery shopping’s not one of them.
I don’t mind grocery shopping–I actually kind of enjoy it–but it’s not one of my top priorities. Right now I’d rather be spending the time I used to spend grocery shopping on other things–things that only I can do.
I would love to have my groceries delivered, but the options aren’t great in my town (yet).
But we did finally get a Trader Joe’s last fall, and shopping there is a breeze. It’s tiny–less than 10% of the size of my neighborhood Kroger. Yet they carry 80% of the items I need each week, at prices I’m happy to pay.
We hit Trader Joe’s about once a week. Usually either my husband or I will stop on our way home from work. If we take the kids, it takes half an hour. A solo adult can be in and out in 15 minutes, especially because we get pretty much the same things every time.
Since we have gluten, soy, and dairy allergies in my house, we don’t linger over the prepared frozen foods Trader Joe’s is famous for because we can’t eat any of them anyway. Our shopping list rarely changes: You can see it right here.
But this means that I hardly ever need to go to Kroger anymore. So when I’m there, I need to buy a month’s worth of whatever I’m getting, because I’m not gonna be back anytime soon.
My shopping cart for my monthly Kroger trip looks ridiculous: I might buy 3 bottles of gluten-free soy sauce when I’m at Kroger, or 300 straws, or 4 boxes of popsicles, or 30 pounds of my favorite boneless chicken breasts when they’re on sale, or 5 pounds of plain old white rice.
I’m going automated, streamlined, simple.
I’m a food-lover for sure. So is my husband. (Want proof? Check out our huge stash of kitchen reference books.) We love to try new foods. But these days, we’re eating a lot of really simple meals.
We’re giving up the giant grocery store’s huge selection, and we’re giving up some of the variety we used to enjoy. But we get the job done. We’re eating fresh, healthy foods we enjoy. We’re saving a ton of time and a little money–without paying a membership fee.
And we’re spending the 3 hours we’re saving every week doing other things.
In this busy season, that’s a trade I’m happy to make.
Do you enjoy spending time grocery shopping or not?