We are currently in a time of uncertainty, of what is going to happen tomorrow, next week or even in the next few months. Nathan and I have been focusing on spending more time together at home and spending time at the dinner table, unplugging and being a family again.
There are so many people who may loose their jobs, who may not be able to provide food for their families, and my hearts go out to all of you. I really do hope that our world starts to find ways to support and take care of their neighbors, just like the big companies and government are starting to come up with a plan to help each and every person, business and community alike.
I’m hoping that with this article, you can use it to find ways to buy in bulk and save $$ like we do.
Our family loves to save, and we have found that Costco is a great way to do that (if you stay on task and don’t venture, this is key!). I know that a lot of you have done your shopping already, but if you haven’t.. here is what we typically buy at Costco every 2 weeks for the fresh items and every 2-3 months for the canned and dry good items.
This shopping list honestly helped us from having to go to the store last week. We braved the chaos yesterday and only had to grab a few fresh items. Of course, Theo couldn’t come, which was unfortunate, as he usually loves to sit in the cart and watch everyone in the store.
Shopping List: Every 2 Weeks
- Ground Beef and Chicken (if stocked)
- Ciabatta Rolls
- Turkey and Cheese slices from Deli
- Smart Noodles (only 25 calories per serving!)
- Bananas (Great for smoothies and baby food)
- Mini Romaine Hearts
- Brussel Sprouts
- 1 Cesar Salad Kit (2 Dinners for 2 people)
- 1 Case of Bottled Water
- Diet Coke (We drink a lot of this, so we usually buy 2-3 cases)
- Wine or Beer (If we have budgeted for it)
Shopping List: Every 2-3 Months
- Frozen berries and vegetables (for Theo and us)
- Fish Sticks (Theo LOVES fish sticks)
- Milk (look at the expiration, usually 1 case, which is 3 gallons will last you for 2 months)
- Cereal (Raisin Bran and Cheerios)
- Peanut Butter (Jif Creamy)
- Organic chips and salsa (Mateos)
- Tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Fresh white onions and red onions
- Green Beans
- Chicken Broth
- Beef Bullion
- Cheese Whisps
- Dave’s bread
- Toilet Paper and Paper Towels
- Dish Soap
- Cascade and Laundry Detergent (every 3-4 months- buy the powder laundry detergent, it is so much easier to measure and portion out!)
So the second list is stuff we already had at home before people were requested to do social distancing and stores and restaurants started to close up. Having some of these things made it easier for us to stay home when we need to, and there is a lot that you can do with canned food. And honestly, it is a lot easier to just toss in a can of corn or green beans than make something from scratch.
Here are a couple of other tips to help keep you prepared and always have something to cook on hand:
- Take the ground beef that you buy and separate it into about 4 to 5 sections. I like to put 3 out of the 5 sections into plastic bags, flatten so they can freeze flat and it easier to put on the stove frozen if you forget to thaw it. Take one other section and put into another baggie for ground beef pasta sauce or tacos and put into the fridge for the week. Take the last section, mix in some seasoning to make hamburger patties, and put in the fridge. You just prepped 2 meals for the week and have 3 in the freezer. These portions usually make 2 servings with leftovers, which is great for lunch the next day!
- Take the chicken you bought, put 3 out of the 6 breasts in the freezer, if you have the time I would try to find a way to make sure it is flat in the freezer and doesn’t ball up so it thaws better in the fridge when you pull it out. Use the remaining 3 for things like baked chicken and green beans, chicken pot pie or chicken and rice. If you don’t think you will eat it fast enough, only keep 2 out of the 6 breasts in the fridge. Each package makes 4-6 servings depending on your appetite.
- If you don’t have any pasta sauce at home, you can combine the tomatoes and tomato sauce with the garlic and onions with some Italian seasoning. This will create a great sauce from your pantry in a jif! And it can be a bit more cost effective, not much but some. Mix with the pasta and boom! you have a home cooked meal.
- People say that bread can loose it’s luster in the freezer, but I don’t care! I think it tastes just fine, if you are one of these people, I understand what you’re saying but I really don’t see much difference. Pop it from the freezer to the toaster oven for toast or microwave for mushy bread. I promise it is still good! We buy Dave’s bread from Costco, and yes you get two loaves, so what I do, is I like to put one in the freezer and keep one out, so in case you are in a pickle where you can’t make anything, you have peanut butter in the pantry and bread in the freezer. Easy lunch meal! Bonus if you have bananas on hand.
So since we had a lot of things on hand, we were very fortunate to not have to go out in the first few days of the “panic.” I really don’t like to use this word because we all have a right to worry, but I must say, if we take a moment and breathe, and don’t panic, things will get better. And, we can even start to take care of our neighbor and leave some for the next guy.
And to be fair… we went to Costco at 2:30 in the afternoon… it was like COstco on a Saturday or Sunday after church. Just with people wearing masks that was unsettling.
Good luck my friends and I hope we all stay safe and start to spend more time at home, cooking and taking care of our families in the best way that we can possible with the resources that we have, so that we can be kind to our neighbor and stop the spread!
Love you all lots, and so does Theo. Here is a photo of him eating Costco Chicken and homemade pasta sauce, if I don’t say so myself, he loves it!