Saturday, July 18, 2009

Some advice required!

Well my friends, I need some advice. Nothing too deep and troublesome, I promise!
I've just been spending time this morning revising our routines and things after learning a lot during our first homeschool week. And I have one thing that I just can't seem to find a good time to slot in.

The grocery shopping.

We've been doing the groceries on Tuesday afternoons after Saraya's dance class, at about 4 o'clock. However, this late in the afternoon is always VERY busy and the children are tired and hungry- not a good time to be doing it. Mornings are tricky now due to schooling, but we do pop out and about as part of our week so it could be possible.

I'm just wondering.......... when do you all find is the best time to do your grocery shopping? (please don't tell me there is no 'best time'- I'm already fearing this may be the case!!). Also, where do you do your shopping? I get all our fresh fruit and vegies from our local markets- it's well-priced and beautiful produce, most of it locally grown, and well worth the effort of going. I'm a Woolworths shopper for our pantry/fridge goods, but just so desperate to cut down what I've been spending that I'm willing to try anything! Buying organic meat in bulk straight from a farmer was mentioned by a friend recently, and I'm looking into this- cheaper and fresher, and no middle man! Has anyone got a positive / negative opinion of Aldi? We've got one in town, but I also like to buy Australian and wonder if a lot of their groceries are imported???

Thanks in advance, I value your input!


Tamra said...

Hmmmm...well, I try to do my groceries either on Monday morning so that we are all fresh and happy or wait until Josh comes home and kids are in bed and go by myself at night. I'm sure that soon I will only go by myself at night or when Josh can go with me as I'm not sure how we'll handle it with 4 littles. =)

Aldi--I think they're okay but they don't have everything I need. You'd have to shop there first and get what they have and then get everything else at Woolies.

At this time in our lives I've decided the best option for me with the children is just to get everything at one store. So we shop at Woolies 99% of the time. We don't have markets at a good time (Sunday mornings) and both fruit shops are out of the way.

We've also gone in with friends and bought a cow from the local butcher. The price is REALLY good. We do that about twice a year.

Anyway, doubt that helps but that's what we do. =)

p.s. I count menu planning, grocery list making, looking through sales flyers and grocery shopping as a very essential part of homeschooling!! =)

Saminda said...

On the contrary Tamra, that was really helpful! Especially the bit about counting the menu planning, list writing and shopping as important for the children too! I couldn't agree more. :)

Copland said...

I'm all about the night time shopping. When I lived in Sydney my housemates and I would go shopping at around 9pm (the stores closed at midnight). But in Maryborough you can probably do it about 7 or 8 and the place will be empty enough, plus they are generally marking down stuff at that time.

The late night shop is the go, I reckon. Kids asleep, Stu on the computer. Empty shops.

Of course you could always buy a goat, and use it for milk and meat? Of see if Stu can go hunting with some boys in the back of a ute... ha ha!

Theresa said...

Well Saminda, we get paid fortnightly on a Friday and so that's shopping and bill paying day:) With our budget we have broken all our monthly bill paying into easier more managable fortnightly payments (this could be a got homeschooling task?) And we hit the shops in a big way. As the week in between happens the grocery list grows and we try really hard to do just the one big shop.

We do all of our Fruit and Veg shopping at a great wholesaler F&V shop, really cheap good quality and even at times have seconds that are still really good. We have a good butcher we have come to know quiet well and gives us a good deal on our meat.

As for Woolies or Coles girl. Well I have been a Woolies girl all my life. But just recently I have discovered a few things we get cheaper at Coles. So I have begun shopping between the two (not much help I know).

As for when I go shopping... well that depends on a number of factors.
(1) Both children. Then it is first thing of a morning after everyone has had breakfast we are off and running and will be home for lunch.
I have on two occasions now invited our friend Leanne to come shopping and she does her weekly shopping with one of the children and I do ours with the other. This works really well:)
(2) Just Nate. I have found two ways that work, either late morning, have a lunch date wih mummy and then complete the shopping so that when we get home, it is Nate's afternoon naptime OR wait until he is up from his afternoon nap and leave then.
(3) Just Isaac. After his lunchtime feed and Nate is napping.
(4) Child free. Usually at afternoon nap time I have about two hours to get things done.

Hope this helps:)

JM said...

Hi Sam

Recently I've returned to the once a month cooking, not for everyone but it's working here because of the unpredictability with our nieces and RJ just being grumpy and needing me after nap or maybe there is some school to be finished or... I just want some freedom from the kitchen. Ironically that does mean I'm tied to the kitchen for a day, sun up till whenever I finish - has been known to be midnight. This option is not for the faint hearted or the time strapped and you do need support :)

As I only have my two boys, I'm determined that now that they are older they will shop with me. I feel the whole process is far too important for me to not be brave and take them along, and unlike your little tikes, they are older (easier, although I cannot imagine your kiddos doing the things mine get up to at the shop, so embarrassing). For the most part they are great but it has taken 'training' :)

So our shop has started today. Strange I know, but what I mean is that I've cleaned my kitchen out. The cupboards and fridge were emptied and cleaned and anything that needs to be used, thrown out or replaced has been noted and I begin my list from there. Thursday morning we'll hit the markets, which always begins with croissants from the Bakery, a plant each and my boys are very happy to amble around with me to get the rest. The supermarket follows this and I'm a Woolies gal too, although Coles may be an option this week as I love flybys. I just reached enough points on Flybys to get a $40 voucher woohoo :)

As for Aldi, my mum swears by it, but I think the place is a waste of time, I mean that literally. What I may save in money, I'll burn in the time it takes looking for replacement products. Aldi doesn't have the brands I'm looking for and I just find them inconvenient. To have to pack my entire shop myself with my two boys getting antsy at the end of the groceries run... no thanks!

Back to the shop thing, I take an esky with us for all the cold stuff. After the supermarket we go to the butchers and buy seasonal fare which makes it cheaper. (oh, I always pack lunch and good things we never have and books to read). Then last but not least we head to the fishmonger and we are done! I go home, get the boys to help unpack, they then watch a movie as a reward and for me the cooking begins. In the future when I have a year or two more on the boys capabilities, I'm looking forward to including them in the cooking part too.

This has definitely helped things be easier for me. It isn't for everyone but I have found that for two difficult days (shopping, cooking) I usually have over a months worth of meals and no nonsense trips to the shops where I walk in for a few items and pay thirty to eighty dollars I didn't budget.

Any incidentals Matty picks up because he gets only whats needed and never walks out with anything extra.


As usual, long winded from me but its a little different and maybe something from this may help. I hope so ;)


Sandra said...

Great suggestions you have there. Don't have anything to add to that really. I have done different things at different times. Ideally, shopping when the boys can stay home or are at school, are the best and cheapest. But the shopping process is educational. Involving them in the list writing and finding things makes shopping more interesting for them.
And I can't get into Aldi. I can never find anything the few times I've gone in and I think I would still have to shop elsewhere too.
Planning is probably the best money saver.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Hi Saminda!
I have written about grocery shopping a couple of times... in my post about raising well mannered children and 'Why I'm not a Soccer Mum'. I used to shop at Coles after gymnastic lessons every Thursday 5pm ...a terrible time to shop with young children... hungry, tired, packed store, queues, traffic, home late. You get the picture! Then we swapped the gymanstics for ice skating on Saturday mornings. About the same time an Aldi opened... not too far from the ice rink. I swapped to Aldi and started doing my groceries at 8am as soon as the store opens. Store is empty, shelves restocked, no queues. I love Aldi! It has saved me so much money and time. I estimate I spend $50-$80 less each time by shopping at Aldi. Just compare the prices sometime! They also have a printable shopping list gadget on their website. I use two big canvas trolley bags which velcro into the trolley...I load straight into these at the checkout and I have a strong cooler bag for cold stuff. So I do not have to spend any time packing bags or loading bags into the trolley! I buy their meat, dairy products - all excellent quality, some tinned goods, organic lines and some veggies. I know the store layout inside out and I can do my shop in 20-30 minutes. I then the pop over to Woolworths for the few items I cannot buy at Aldi. I buy Weetbix (kids don't like Aldi's brand, rolled oats, my favourite coffee and a few other items. I can go through the less than 15 items aisle. I have also taught my children to shop! They are a help not a hindrance. I do believe if you don't take them and train them 'in situ', they won't learn. I encourage them to help from an early age; because we always buy the same items, they know exactly what we need and because Aldi only has a few aisles, it is easy to find them if they race off to fetch the butter! I also have a well stocked pantry and buy my staples in bulk at a local organic food store... wheat for grinding, grains, etc. I like to use local produce whenever I can and give my business to local producers and what we don't grow ourselves in terms of produce, I try to buy from the farmer's markets and side of the road stalls that I pass. Changing to a healthier lifestyle also helped transform my shopping experience.. there are so many aisles I do not need to go down these days, the soft drinks aisle and the biscuit aisle, for example. Changing the time of day and where I shopped has transformed our grocery shopping experience. I'm at the ice rink by 9am watching the children have their lessons. I'm usually home before lunchtime and everyone helps to unload and put everything away!

Linda said...

My choice would be to go to Coles around 10am. And buy their brand.

Renata said...

Hi Saminda - interesting topic - definitely a great question & I wish I could help, but am still trying to work it out myself. I've been going to Aldi once a month & I stock up on lots of canned goods - most are Australian made. I also go to Wagga once a month & there is a butcher that sells bulk meats at a great price that's attached to an abatoir - I also stock up on fruit & veges there. And of course there's Woolies that I still have to go to because Aldi doesn't sell everything - I usually go once a fortnight - usually on Saturday & I take one child with me - it's their "special" time - they love it!

Our Red House said...

Now that I work four days a week I do my grocery shopping each Saturday, between kids' sporting commitments (my kids are older than yours). I don't like Coles or Woolies and there is no Aldi in Adelaide. My favourite supermarket is Foodland in Norwood. They have lots of niche products not sold by the big two, and lots of local South Australian products. When my kids were little I often used to grocery shop in the evening.


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