Some of our bulk supplies
This past Friday we made our trip to TJ’s for our “3-weeker” shopping trip–meaning we shop at the store every 3 rd Friday. We stock up on such grocery items like butter, nuts, onions, cheeses, mayo (chocolate!) and so forth. The rest of our staples (rice, dried beans, oats, TP, etc) comes from a co-op. Sure, it’s a little bit of extra work to figure how much one needs to make it over the 3 week period, but with a handy list that’s tacked on
the refrigerator we are able to figure out how much we use and buy accordingly.
For instance, instead of picking up say 2 packages of butter for the week, we pick up 6 and so forth. Since we eat fairly simple meals our winter grocery bill is still comes out to about $110-$120 a week (for family of 4 and one part time volunteer). Sometimes I do underestimate, especially if we are doing some extra baking – but that’s the challenge in not running and going to the store just because you ran out of an item.
Instead we ask ourselves do we really need it, can we supplement another ingredient. Such lessons in “shopping” discipline and going against what is “normal” helps one become more creative and looking for alternatives. In a sense we are preparing before we are “required” to change our habits.
It’s all about doing your homework before the test right?
The record of weeks in between shopping trips was one summer when we went 8 weeks without going to the grocery store! In summer when the garden is at its peak we will probably increase the “3-weeker” to “4-weeker or even 6-weeker.”
Interested in where PTF purchases healthy, affordable organic foods in bulk and not break the bank spending at Whole Foods? There’s a natural foods co-op in town.
The co-op doesn’t have a physical site (yet). It is organized like a buying club. Local families order direct from the sources on a monthly or weekly schedule. The Co-op organizes pickup/distribution sites and sharing via phone and email.
It’s always very satisfying to come home with a load of bulk good and fill up the empty or dwindling jars that line the shelves.
P.S. I know one PTF reader will find the white shelving in the picture very familiar. 😉