Grocery Geek Presents: Shopping for Freezer Cooking

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OK, I promise this is the last time I’ll talk about freezer cooking for at least a month few weeks. I regularly report about good grocery deals, but this week I don’t have any to report because I didn’t go shopping. Since my freezer is packed with most of a month’s worth of food (except for produce and milk) we’re good to go until next Monday or Tuesday when I take advantage of great sales that are going on.

I thought I might give you a peak at how I’m going to approach grocery shopping for the rest of the month. Crystal explained how she does it. This week she cooked from what she had so she has November’s budget left to spend toward stockpiling and buying for next month’s freezer cooking day.

Here’s what I’m asking myself as I plan my grocery shopping:

What’s my budget?
Last weekend I think I spent about 1/2 our month’s budget on freezer cooking ingredients and the 6 gallons of milk that my family quickly consumed. That leaves me a little more than $300 to spend during the rest of November. (About 40 bucks will go toward milk!)

What do I need now?
I know that I want to stock up on milk, fruits and veggies to complement our freezer meals. I also need a few starches as we will run out of rice and potatoes before we get to the end of our months’ worth of menus.

What is on sale now?
Since this is Thanksgiving Month, the sales have started in earnest. My local stores are featuring eggs, canned veggies, apples, potatoes, baking ingedients, turkeys, and roasts all at great prices.

How will this work into Dinner next month?
Since I know I want to do some freezer cooking at the beginning of next month, I’m thinking about the things that I know I will want and starting a pencil-list of menu ideas. This is easy to do since the holidays are approaching and there are certain foods that we love to have each December, like homemade tamales and easy pop-in-the-oven casseroles.

Even though I don’t “need” anything more than milk and produce, I’ll shop with this in mind as I go through the rest of the month.

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  1. I see you spend a good portion of your grocery budget on milk…us, too. Do you check the prices of milk at your local convenience stores and/or gas stations? Often, they have excellent prices on gallons of milk – totally worth the trip.

  2. Menu planning is such a good way to keep "control" of the grocery shopping… and something I need to work harder at!!

  3. I wish I could get by with $40 for milk for a month – I probably spend more like $90! The biggest container I can buy is 2L (about 1/2 a gallon) which lasts about a day, and it costs over $3. But I have 2 little boys, and I don't want to discourage them from healthy habits.

  4. My family also LOVE's homemade tamales, but they are so much work. I can't wait to see how you do it, maybe you have a more efficient method?!

  5. Oooo- I would love to hear about your tamales! I had one miserably failed attempt, but have not given up all hope!