Once-a-month-shopping and fresh produce

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Once-a-month-shopping and fresh produce
Mon, 03-08-2010 - 12:31pm

I was talking to another mom at the playground this past weekend about grocery budgets. She has a family of five that she feeds for $400/month. She does either once-a-month shopping or every-other-week shopping.

I've often wondered how those who do infrequent grocery shopping still manage to work fresh produce into their menu. This mom told me that she doesn't. She buys enough fresh produce for the first few days, and then they just do without until the next shopping trip.

I wondered whether that's part of why my grocery budget is so much higher -- because we eat a lot of fresh fruit every day. I also try to work in fresh veggies, tho' we're still working on getting the kids to eat more than a bite of veggies each day.

For those of you who have really low grocery budgets and/or shop only rarely, do you eat less fresh produce? Do you eat less fruit/veggies generally? How do you work produce into your budget and into rare shopping trips?


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1997
Mon, 03-08-2010 - 5:19pm
When I do a huge shop for


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2005
Mon, 03-08-2010 - 7:25pm
most of my fresh produce comes from a co-op (which I've posted about on here), and I get a basket of fruits and veggies every other week. But sometimes I do still have to buy fresh produce (my kids go through fruit like you wouldn't believe). I try to set aside some $ to restock if need be, that is just one type of food I could not go without for any long length of time. A few days is one thing but I can't imagine not eating fruit or veggies for 2-3 weeks at a time. I guess for those diehard people who truly only shop once or twice a month, well, if it were me I'd be stocking up on frozen fruits and veggies..even canned would be better than nothing. Again, I couldn't go very long without some form of produce!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2007
Tue, 03-09-2010 - 12:05am

I REFUSE to do without fresh salads.

Avatar for monkeesmom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 03-09-2010 - 8:30am

I tried the once-a-month shopping thing years ago, just wasn't practical for me. I've done produce delivery (organic), which was wonderful and I may get back to it, but for now I stopped it because it was too much repetition and I was running out of things to do with kale! (which we love). So now, I just stop at the farmer's market.

If I strictly did the once a month thing, I would definitely buy a lot of frozen fruit and veggies. Fresh vegetables would be things that would last, like root vegetables, or things that I could cook up ahead of time and freeze. Fruits for the long haul would have to be stuff like apples and oranges, which can hang around for a couple of weeks without going bad. I think it can be done, but you are somewhat limited as to variety.

I don't think produce is that expensive as to be a budget buster, I think it depends on what you buy (in season)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Tue, 03-09-2010 - 8:43am

When I did monthly shopping I did a lot of frozen veggies and fruit.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Tue, 03-09-2010 - 10:11am

Thanks for all the feedback! I was curious about whether people who shop less frequently sacrifice healthy eating, but it sounds like it doesn't have to be that way.

The once-a-month shopping sure sounds appealing to me in theory, but I think the reality is it would not work for my family's eating style (fresh produce). And, I can usually find good enough deals on fresh produce, so canned/frozen are often more expensive -- not to mention that my kids like canned/frozen less well.

In my area, the farmer's market is NOT cheaper than the discount grocery store and loss leaders, so I just watch sales. I'll occasionally go to the farmer's market just for the experience or if I want something especially fresh tasting, but otherwise it's more expensive for me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2003
Sat, 03-13-2010 - 9:08am

I've not been able to pull off the OAM shopping gig, even when we weren't eating so much fresh produce.

Avatar for jennebryan
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-25-2003
Sat, 03-13-2010 - 4:42pm

Oh, how I wish I could do once a month shopping, but that'll never happen.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2005
Sat, 03-13-2010 - 10:48pm

I shop for my family of three once a month and spend about $100. We are on WIC so that helps with our fresh fruit, since we get $6 a month worth.

We eat a lot of canned fruits and veggies and my parents have a garden. So in spring and summer we get a lot of fresh fruits and veggies.

I don't feel like we are sacrificing healthy eating, with once a month shopping. For us it works. Every other month we spend an extra $50 for our meat.

I do set aside some money for in between when we need milk and want more veggies. We do a lot of potatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Then apples, oranges, bananas, grapes (when I can get CA grapes) and strawberries.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2004
Tue, 03-16-2010 - 3:22pm
For those of you who have really low grocery budgets and/or shop only rarely, do you eat less fresh produce? Do you eat less fruit/veggies generally? How do you work produce into your budget and into rare shopping trips

hello!! we go shopping about once or twice a month. but im pretty lucky. i work in a grocery store so if i know we need something, i tend to pick it up after work. we dont eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. but if i do buy them, i usually buy things that i know stay good for a lil while. like oranges, apples, baby carrots, tomatoes. most of the veggies we eat come out of the can though. i only buy the fresh produce when its on sale-and then again, buy the stuff that either we are going to eat within a few days or stuff that will stay good for awhile. i have been trying to clock my grocery spending this month and right now, we are at about 200. i figure by the end of the month, it should be about 300-325. its for a family of 4. take care!!