Episode 119 How to Avoid Multiple Grocery Trips

How many times do you go to the grocery store each week? My goal is to go twice a week. I like to do a big shopping trip at the beginning of the week and a small trip for more produce and sometimes fresh fish at the end of the week.

But in reality, I can often go to the store many times a week.

Part of that is because I live five minutes from 9 grocery stores and it is just too easy to get to the store.

I also have to manage more than just the food for my family of six. I have to manage the food for the recipe testing, photos, and video production for the website.

 

Today I have 2 big tips to help you make fewer trips to the grocery store.

1- Keep a well-stocked pantry.

  • Having a well-stocked pantry means you don’t need to run to the store for staples. It also helps you make substitutions in recipes. If you don’t have penne pasta, you can substitute rotini or another shape from the pantry.
  • In episode 108 I talked about how I like to do a deep-dive shopping trip once a quarter to stock my pantry with basics.
  • If you have a tight budget, you may want to do this once a month rather than once a quarter.
  • Have a system for keeping track of items that are getting low.
  • Have a system for rotating pantry basics so items don’t get stuck in the back of the pantry unused.

 

2- Plan

  • When you plan your meals at the beginning of the week, you know the ingredients you need to buy at the store. There is less guessing at the grocery store and you can purchase exactly what you need.
  • Get the free Weekly Meal Planning Sheet
  • I understand if you like to go to the store to get inspired or to shop sales. That is okay, but make a plan first. You can adapt your plan if you find a good deal in the store.
  • If you don’t have a plan when you go to the store you will likely end up making the same foods over and over and you will need to go back to the store to get extra items to complete recipes.

 

Extra trips to the grocery store waste time. Even when you are close to the store, you have to get in the car, drive there, park, and drive back home. A “quick run” to the store takes more time than you think. These tips will help you be more prepared and make fewer trips to the store each week.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

Click here for a transcript. 

Episode 103 Is It Too Soon To Talk About The Holidays?

Are you thinking about the holidays? It has been a crazy year. Do you think it is too early to talk about Thanksgiving and Christmas? As soon as Halloween is over, retailers will promptly clear out all the Halloween candy and costumes and replace it with all things Christmas. You can respond with an eye roll, a bit of panic, or embrace it.

 

This year I am choosing to embrace it. In the past week I have had two friends talk about how organized I am, but the truth is I’m not that organized. I have just learned that if I don’t get things out of my head and onto paper I will get completely overwhelmed and will start dropping balls.

There are hundreds of decisions we have to make when it comes to creating a “Holiday experience.” Are we sending Christmas cards, who is hosting Thanksgiving, are we going to make any donations, what is the best present to buy Aunt Bertha? If we keep all these ideas in our head it takes up a lot of brain space. By putting it all on paper, we can free up the brain space, plan a little ahead, and make intentional decisions about how we will spend our time and money during the holidays.

Imagine it’s the week before Christmas and you are sitting in your decorated home with dinner in the oven. All your presents have been purchased and wrapped and you are spending time with your family or just enjoying a quiet moment of peace.  That is my ideal and is why I created the Feed Your Family Tonight Holiday Planning Guide. It walks you through all the hundreds of decisions you have to make about the holidays. You can plan your shopping so you aren’t making multiple trips to the same store. You can save money on shipping by shopping early too.

For more information on the Holiday Planning Guide click here.

You can find a transcript of the episode here.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

Episode 101 Does Your Family Like Soup?

As much as it pains me to admit, my family does not prefer soup. There, I said it. I really wish they loved soup as much as I do. One of my daughters is a big fan of soup, but the rest of my family would never choose it.

My friend, Steph Jenkins, of Cheapskate Cook makes soup for her family at least once a week and usually several times a week. It is a great way to stretch your food budget. It is especially frugal when you make your own broth from leftover meat bones and veggie scraps.

In Episode 75, The Emotional Burden of Feeding Your Family, I told the story of how I carefully served my husband the best part of a vegetable beef soup and he rejected it. As much as I want to have a family of soup lovers, I don’t. That means I have had to create some strategies to make soup a little more palatable for my picky family.

1-Serve soup with lots of carbs.

                I will make chicken noodle soup with lots of dried or frozen noodles. The big tip for adding noodles to soup is to cook them in a separate pot in broth or well-salted water. Noodles absorb liquid as they cook. When you cook them separately, it reduces the amount of broth they soak up in the soup.

                I will make some type of bread. I like to make corn bread, beer bread, or biscuits. All are quick and easy to make and are great alongside soup.

                If I make tortilla soup, I will serve it alongside some nachos.

               

2-Serve soup on a really busy night.

                When our family is extra-busy, they have less time to complain about what I made for dinner. Serving soup on busy nights works well because it keeps on the stove or in the slow cooker for a long time and family members can eat whenever they are home.

 

3-Add extra meat to the soup.

                My family is a little carnivorous. I often add extra round steak to beef soup, or an extra chicken breast to chicken soup. Having lots of meat and noodles keeps the pickier eaters in my family from complaining too much.

                This tip works really well if you have special dietary needs in your family where one person is eating keto or low-carb. You can make a big pot of soup, serve them mostly meat and veggies and the rest of the family can have it with noodles or bread.

4-Serve soup with sandwiches.

                I like to make sandwiches when I make creamy soups like my Asian Carrot soup, Pumpkin soup, or Tomato soup. I can have a little sandwich and a big bowl of soup. Other family members can have a little bowl of soup and a big sandwich. Even my pickiest eaters will dip a grilled cheese sandwich in a little bit of tomato soup.

5-Make soup just for your breakfast or lunches.

                I will often make a creamy soup with leftover veggies and eat it for breakfast or lunch. (I know it is unusual to eat soup for breakfast, but I have found it can be a great way to fuel me for the day.)

                I have one daughter that loves soup and she is home at lunch time. I will often make a big batch of soup and freeze it in mason jars. She can pull out a jar and reheat it in the microwave for a quick lunch.

 

I hope your family loves soup, but if they don’t, know you are not alone. Use a few of these tips to make it easier to serve soup to your family.

For a transcript of this episode click here.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

Episode 80 Finding Your Best Place to Buy Groceries

Finding your best place to buy groceries means you have to decide what is most important to you. Is it prices, convenience, safety, freshness or something else? Your values may change in different seasons of your life. What is most important is that you decide what you value now, decide where to shop based on that value and then stop second guessing yourself.

We make thousands of micro decisions each week and the more we can “batch” our decisions, the more brain space we create. You can decide where to shop each week, or decide where to shop for a season of life. Just free yourself from all the second guessing once you have made your decision.

 

Episode 76 Grocery Pickup or Delivery 101