How to Grocery Shop Once A Week

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Small bowl of Quinoa.

Even if you don’t mind going to the market, we all want to shop more efficiently. Cutting back on trips to the grocery store feels smart — and leaves you more time to actually cook! It feels pretty dang good to get organized, and minimizing trips to the market and having a plan means saving money. One of the ways to feel like you have some semblance of order in your house is to master The Big Supermarket Shop.

Small bowl of Quinoa on a red table.

Weekly Food Shop

Many people are quite intimidated by the idea of a big weekly food shop. Too much to grapple with at once. But the payoff is significant. If you get the rhythm of it, you can even aim to to to the supermarket every two weeks – even more efficient! This will still allow you to lay in enough fresh produce if you shop smartly and store things well.

Getting yourself organized to do one big weekly market trip will save you time, money, and unnecessary last minute dashes to the grocery store.

Tweet This

6 Tips for Grocery Shopping Once a Week

Here are a few pointers to guide you:

1. Make a master list.

Make a master list of things you always want in your house, and organize it by area of the supermarket (dairy, baking ingredients, produce, and so on). A well-organized list saves you trips to the market, and also time spent zig-zagging through the market, retracing your footsteps. Create the list on your computer, and you can easily edit it every week.

2. Check your list before you hit the market.

Check the master list against your fridge, freezer and pantry before you hit the market. Stocked up on chicken broth? Take it off the list. Running low on quinoa? Stays on the list. You’ll also save money and aggravation by not buying another carton of milk or eggs because you couldn’t remember if yours was full or almost empty.

Woman holding hard boiled egg.

3. Meal plan before you shop. 

Meal plan before you shop. This is one more great time, money and stress-saving habit that rewards you all week long. Pick out the recipes you plan to make throughout the week, then add the ingredients you need to your master list, in the appropriate categories.

4. Organize your pantry.

Take a bit of time to get your pantry into shape, so you can easily see what you need. Group like items together — all the pastas, tomato products, grains, condiments, etc. — making things easier to find. A bit of groundwork really pays off in terms of being well-stocked and knowing what needs replenishing.

Pantry filled with labeled ingredients.

5. Shop the sales.

Check out what’s on sale — before you leave the house. Most markets post their weekly specials on their websites, which is very helpful. Make note of what non-perishables and frozen items are on sale, and decide what to stock up on.

Or you may want to buy some usually pricy perishables to freeze, like a beef tenderloin or a filet of salmon. If seasonal fruit is one sale, you may want to prep and freeze that for smoothies, crisps and cobblers later in the year when peaches and blueberries are hard to come by.

And if you see that pork chops, for instance, are on sale, that may inform your meal planning for the week. It might even inspire you to try a new recipe, like Grilled Pork Chops with Peaches or Pork Chops with Applesauce.

Frozen ground beef on a blue surface.

6. Buy Sturdy Long Lasting Fruits and Vegetables

You can and should buy produce like berries and arugula, but since they are more delicate they probably won’t last a whole week, or longer. So, make sure you also buy fruits and vegetables that will last for a while. Some sturdier fruits are: citrus (oranges, grapefruits, etc.), apples, crunchy pears, pineapple, melons, coconuts, pomegranates. Some hardy vegetables are winter squash (butternut, acorn), broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, beets. Head lettuce like romaine, endive, radicchio and iceberg last the longest.

Don’t skip the frozen food aisle! Frozen fruits and vegetables are terrific to have on hand, whether it’s mango for smoothies, hashbrowns to top casseroles, or peas for a simple quick side for any dinner, or to add to a pot pie.

The Big Shop is not a perfect science. However, getting more purchased in one big swell is just an easier way to get through the week. Yes, you will likely have to make a quick pit stop because you will inevitably run low on orange juice, or have an unexpected influx of teenagers who wipe out your snacks, or want to pick up a piece of fresh fish to cook later in the week. But there will be fewer of these supermarket dashes, which is a lovely thing.

And give yourself some time to get into the rhythm of it. Start with your list of basics, add on from there. And by all means, get some help unpacking the car.

More Supermarket Shopping Tips

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *