"She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants." Proverbs 31:15
I know I have MANY articles waiting to be typed up and posted, but I said I would get this one out SOON and I am! :)
Now I didn't come up with OAM Shopping and before this month I had never done it. I came across the idea at Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling while I was looking around her blog. I noticed her family was about the same size and roughly the same ages. Now I've been searching and searching how to 1) get more for our money when shopping and 2) save or not use as much when shopping. After reading about what she does with her shopping I asked Daddy what he thought and he was all for it.
To figure this out I rearranged a few things in our budget and came up with a way to have our whole months shopping budget on the 1st of the month. You might say "Well you must have one fancy shopping budget!". No, actually we have a very modest budget of $600 a month for food, baby supplies, cleaning supplies, clothes, school supplies, and our feed for the animals on the farm.
So how did I manage to OAM shop? Pretty easily actually! I always keep a running list of what we need between shopping trips anyway, so that part is simple for me. I've been reorganizing and decluttering the Homestead so while doing that I also printed out some "Pantry Supply" Lists and wrote what I had and how much in stock. (This is very helpful when planning meals!) For meal planning I have a running list of easy and cheap meals our family likes to eat. (Be on the look out for those.) I picked 15 meals to make for the month. I then figured when to have them and doubled or tripled the ingredients. (I will post my meal planning soon.)
Now for the planning, I tend to serch all the weekly ads for that time of all the stores in town (online); Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Bi-Lo, and Food Lion. I have been doing this long enough to know the better deal. Once my list is complete for those stores the rest is done at Wal-Mart. I then search my coupons to add to my savings.
Since I make a lot of our food from scratch we cut costs and space by not having a bunch of boxes of pancakes, waffels, corndogs, chicken nuggets, etc... in our freezer. We don't buy many chips, if at all, we bake our own baked goods, and we stick to milk, juice and water for drink (for an added treat we put a squirt of MIO in our water! :) ) I also make our laundry detergent, dish washer detergent, a lot of our cleaners, and use cloth diapers/wipes/training pants. We use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper and I buy packs of 4/$1 plastic plates and cups instead of paper every season.
For our meat meals we 1/2 the amount of meat with either beans or brown rice or both to make it "stick to your ribs" as Daddy says and still get protein. I also try to make a veggie meal a week and an all bean meal (no meat, but still protein) a week to cut back on meat costs.
When I finally went shopping, I started with the JClan and all my small stores: Dollar Tree, CVS, and Dollar General (were on my list this time). Then I took them home to Daddy and finished at Wal-Mart. Total time: aprx 5hrs plus 1 hr to put away. Honestly I was gone maybe 1 hr longer than for one trip of twice a month shopping. I also don't usually shop with the JClan, especially not Bug. I usually take the 2 older JBoys, or the JGals. So I was loading and unloading them for part of my time. Plus my meal planning and shopping list time took even less time than usual! :) We had gotten our feed the night before with Daddy, but that really takes all of 10mins since the guys at the feed store load the feed for us.
I ordered new cloth diapers this month, and bought party supplies for Sissy's birthday party and still spent $6 under budget! :) So OAM Shopping is my NEW fav! And I won't have to hit the store til June unless their is an emergency or really good deal on something!
If you have any questions please ask in the comments and I will respond as quickly as I can remembering we are a homeschooling family with a small working farm. :) Would also LOVE to hear if you have done OAM Shopping! :)