GROCERY SHOPPING FOR OUR LARGE FAMILY
is part of the Write 31 2017 Challenge.
Read 31 Days of Life in a Large Homeschooling Family for more posts.
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Grocery shopping for our large family is tiring!
In the early days, it was so much easier not only because there were less people to shop for but also because they ate much less. Today, we have, by the grace of God, 4 (soon to be 5!) teenagers, two of which are boys. And my girls aren’t small eaters either.
Lots and lots of food to shop for and then lug back.
In the early days when we had less littles, we would bring everyone to shop and make it educational. So, you would often see four small bodies trailing behind as us as walked through the supermarket aisles.
But as the family grew, it got complicated. And tiring.
I really did not want to be picking out food while making sure little bodies are not wandering off and getting lost. So things had to change.
Rope in the man!
So, we agreed that Henson would do most of the grocery shopping weekly. This is when Menu Planning came in really handy. I needed to menu plan so that I could give him a list of food (with the correct quantities) to buy. And he could buy what needed topping on the way home from work.
It was soooo helpful!
But it was funny. People are not used to seeing a man grocery shop. Plus he was buying A LOT of food. He would get asked questions like, “Are you in the restaurant business?” Lol!
But as the youngest grew up and the older ones could be trusted to occupy her if she should fuss, I took over the grocery shopping again.
Again, menu planning was critical because I had to be very efficient at the supermarket. I could not stroll aisle to aisle hoping to jog my memory for the things I needed to get. I had to be in and out in 30 minutes at most.
Freezers and Fridges
At one point, we had 2 fridges and 2 standalone freezers. No kidding. This allowed me to do grocery shopping just once a week.
They were totally worth the money and making space in the house for. When the freezer we were blessed with (the family was moving overseas) died, we bought another one to replace it.
Fast forward to today
Both our standalone freezers died over time. But I have not replaced them. Instead, we now just have the two2 large fridges. Because now, I can go grocery shopping twice a week.
And now, I do most of my grocery shopping at the wet market. Things have indeed changed since the early days. But grocery shopping remains tiring! More food to lug back!
Why the wet market?
I have written before that I usually buy chicken, pork and fish (including shellfish) from the wet market because the butcher and fishmonger will cut and pack my meats in one kilogram bags for me, making it very easy for me to freeze the food. My fishmonger will de-shell my prawns and clean and slice the squids for me too!
And to make things even easier for me? I text over my orders to them the night before and just collect the next day! No need to queue and wait for them to slice and pack for me. Cool, right?
For beef, I order from QB, usually ordering frozen beef cheeks and frozen minced beef. Check them out if you are local because the prices are amazing for these two items. We seldom do steaks ever since their prices shot up A LOT. They used to sell their so-called grass-fed strip sirloin for $20/kg, They are now selling them at $28.30/kg!
Vegetables are bought at both the supermarket and wet market, depending on what is needed.
Always changing and adapting
And that’s how we grocery shop for our large family. It has changed and been adapted over the years as our family grew in size and needs changed.
Hope this helps someone out there who is struggling with grocery shopping for their own family.
Menu Planning is a Necessary Evil in My Books!
Do I Have to Cook and Clean to be a Good Mother? i.e. Can’t I Just Farm Them Out?