I try to shop for groceries every ten days. Those are my big planned trips, but there usually ends up being some additional shopping in the middle for things like bread, milk and yogurt. The first trip of the month is always the worst (read biggest and most expensive), so naturally I dread it the most!
My shopping trips always consist of two stops. I like to get it all done on the same day, so I plan for both Costco and Target (yes, I DO have a Red Card!).
My day usually starts by dragging out a stack of cook books....
I go through my books and begin a list of meals for the next 10 days. I like to try each week to add some new meals or things we haven't had in a while. If we end up not eating all the meals (due to leftovers or eating out), then I simply roll them into my next 10 days. For that reason, I always try to use any recipes that have ingredients that might spoil first.
Once I have my meals selected, I start on my lists.....
One for Costco, and one for Target. My initial lists are jumbled as I just write whatever I need while going through my recipes.
Here's a copy of my meal list for this week....
After I have my initial lists done, I go back and rewrite them so that they are organized into groups like: meats, breads, soups, pasta, veggies, etc. That saves me a lot of time in the store, and I tend not to miss as much as I'm going through the aisles....I hate having to back-track!
Before I leave for the store, I prep the back of my car. This consists of removing strollers & car seats and putting the 3rd row of seats down. I didn't have to do this with the suburban, but now that I have the new car, it's the only way to fit everything!
I usually try to go to Costco first, since that's where I tend to get the bulkier items that need to make up the "base" of the pile in the back of my car. Sometimes it only takes me one cart at Costco, but I have had several occasions where I've needed two carts! I normally spend anywhere from $300-$400 at this stop.....yesterday was a $400-day!
Once I'm done at Costco, I head across the street to Super Target. That's always a 2-cart stop, and it usually takes me a little longer (around an hour and a half). I normally spend about $300-$400 in there as well......and with yesterday being the beginning of the month, it was another $400 receipt. I'm thankful that my Target red card saves me 5%- that usually covers the tax on the total bill, and yesterday I saved $20 just by using it!
Yesterday, I took Caleb with me on my big trip and met Zack at Costco to help with the shopping. We went rather late, so I knew we'd be gone through dinner. We ended up picking up pizza from Costco when we were through, and Zack took it home for the kids to eat while I went on to Target by myself.
I'm not really a fan of shopping by myself, and I miss everyone terribly when I'm gone, so I'm thankful that it rarely happens! In fact, I usually have at least 2 to 3 kids with me when I shop, even on the "big trip" days! Yesterday, however, I spent my time at Target alone, and it gave me some time to think.
I realized, as I was loading my overflowing cart (I refused to get a second cart because I had no one to push it!), the sheer magnitude of the responsibility that my husband and I have as parents to EIGHT children.
It was a VERY humbling moment.
I don't know what was different, but it suddenly hit me that we have been given an incredible gift of great importance.....8 lives depend on us...and only us.
Honestly, I'm not sure why I've never felt this overwhelming feeling before now. It's one that I can't really explain, and all I can think to say is that I felt, for the first time ever, the hugeness of my job in this life.
And a simple shopping trip was all it took.