The Lessons I’m Learning

I went on my first once-a-month shopping excursion last week and already I’m learning some valuable lessons.

Lesson I

It’s better to go shopping alone. For a couple different reasons, this is a struggle for me. I am a stay-a-home mom and part of my responsibilities in our home is to take care of the grocery shopping. This typically includes taking at least one child with me, but when I’m shopping for the entire month, I need to put all my focus into my shopping so I don’t do something like “forget 3 or 4 items on my shopping list. Yes, that is exactly what happened. Fortunately, my shopping included stops at 2 different grocery stores so I picked up the forgotten items on the next stop. Problem is, the next stop tends to have higher prices so I spent more on those items than I would have spent otherwise. Lesson learned!  However, the other reason I struggle with not taking the girls shopping is the opportunity for them to learn.  By going with me they learn how to shop, can work on their math skills, reading skills, etc.  Fortunately, there are other ways for them to learn many of these skills, so for now I think I’ll try to do my once-a-month shopping alone.

Lesson II

When shopping, you’ll need 2 grocery carts, not 1. After all, I did have to purchase bulky items like toilet paper and paper towel, which leads me to Lesson III.

Lesson III

To save money and to eliminate the need for two grocery carts, I need to invest in less paper products. Our family isn’t willing to completely remove paper products from our lives, but there is some definite benefit to investing in things such as cloth napkins to eliminate the need for napkins and using old towels as rags instead of paper towel to clean up spills and messes. We’ve just made it easier to grab a handful of paper towel instead of making it easier to grab a few rags to clean up messes and I need to change that. By making some space for rags in different areas around the house, I could save our family a considerable amount of money.  Guess I need to start cutting up some of those towels that are about ready for the trash can.

Lesson IV

Be prepared to make little changes along the way. When preparing the menu for the month, I had completely forgotten that we were going to be gone the first weekend of the month. My menu had included meals throughout the weekend. My grocery list had included items for those meals. Yet, we weren’t home to prepare or eat those meals.  This means I’ve already purchased some foods for next month.

Lesson V

Expect to order more seeds for the garden as the month goes on.  I prepared a pasta dish with spinach and artichokes for dinner last night. It was yummy!!!! The recipe will be a post for another time, but as I was preparing dinner I discovered that we had not purchased any spinach seeds for the garden. Considering how easy it is to grow and freeze spinach, it seems pretty silly to not grow a decent crop of spinach. After all, it cost me more to purchase spinach at the grocery store than it costs for a packet of seeds that will grow an ample supply of spinach for future spinach and artichoke pasta dishes 🙂 and provides us yet another savings over the year.

I have no doubt that there will be more lessons learned as the month goes on and since knowledge is power, I expect to be armed with quite a bit of power by the end of the month.


  1. I loved using the once a month shopping approach too, but could never make it work completely due to dairy and its expiration dates. Have you found a way around this or are you dairy free?

    • We are not dairy free, but most dairy products can be frozen and that is the way around the once-a-month shopping for dairy. We don’t use just cow’s milk in our house. We also use almond milk and coconut milk which have longer shelf lives.

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