Shopping Twice a Year.

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Could you go to the store just twice a year to do your shopping? Being quarantined and being a high-risk person I haven’t been to the store in over a month and a half until the other day, and even then it was a quick trip into city market for some fresh produce, I have saved a few dollars from doing this haha.

So I have been thinking about putting more effort into just doing a twice a year shopping. It is something I have thought about doing before but really never put a lot of effort into it but now after having not gone to the store in over a month, I think it is completely doable. When I did go the other day all I had to get was fresh produce. And that is something I can grow myself.

There are few things that we can’t grow or make ourselves so I will have to get a few things but if I plan it just right and start moving to be even more self-sufficient it can totally make it work.

With the rising prices and upcoming shortages training yourself to only shop twice a year will make you think more about either doing without or figuring out how to make and grow your own. Just like our Grandparents did.

Back when most people only went to town once or twice a year they didn’t have a long list they either grew or made most of everything they needed. When they did got to town they bought basic things like sugar, flour ( if they didn’t grow their own wheat) coffee, tea, fabric, thread, tools, and a few other things but as you can see it wasn’t a very long list. While I know most people now days are going to want a lot more than that from the store we can still work on making a shorter list so that once or twice a year shopping is doable.

Shopping once or twice a year will use a pretty good amount of money to start but you will be saving so much in the long run ( you may want to start with once a month then gradually work your way up). There will be no impulse shopping, no gas going to town, and you will be saving a lot of time. I don’t know about you but when I go to town to go shopping it ends up being an almost all-day thing even when all I need is a few things.

You may not be able to start doing this right away but here are a few things that can help get you pointed in the right direction

1. Plant a garden
2. Learn how to make do with less
3. Learn how to substitute things
4. Make your own
5. Cook from scratch
6. Get a milk goat (if you can have one where you live) or find a farmer you can buy milk form directly
7. Chickens (again if you can have them where you live) or find someone with chicken to buy from directly or barter for them. If you have to buy eggs from the store you can buy several months’ worth then freeze or oil them.
8. Get meat from a local farmer and fat also ( us the fat to render down for cooing and soap making).
9. Start making a list of what you use from the store and how much you use so you have an idea of what you use in a 6 month time period.

That gives you a few ideas on how to work towards shopping only once or twice a year. While I know there are some of you that can’t have animals or grow large gardens or know anyone to buy meat and eggs from that is fine. Just work with what you have. Start small by shopping once a month stock up on the sales and learn to do a lot more from-scratch cooking.

Make a list of what you use for a month then when twice or once a year shopping just times your list by 6 or 12. On things that you don’t use a lot of when you open a new one put the date in it then that will give you a pretty good idea of how much you use in any given time.

I am a sale shopper and some things are going to come on sale when it isn’t my time to shop so I will still be picking up these items but I am going to do the online and curbside shopping. On the really good sales, I will be trying to get six months to a year’s worth. Especially on the things I can’t grow or make myself. Strawberries are one of them for some reason I just can’t get strawberries to grow so when they come on sale I get a years worth then freeze and can For now anyways as I would really like to make it a whole 6 months without buying anything. I know it can be done but it is going to take a little work and a little sacrifice to get to that point.

To start I am going to start looking at the things I do have to buy now and see what I can grow to replace or make to replace to lower the items I need to buy.

Here are a few things I am working on to accomplish this goal and what I can replace the store-bought with. This is just a starting list and hope to add to it as time goes by. This is to keep me out of the stores where I am tempted to buy things that I really don’t need.

Sugar- I bought some sugar beet seed and have researched how to make sugar from them so will be planting some of them. Honey I can buy honey from a local beekeeper, I will still have to buy it but it will not be from the store but from a local farmer. And for a sugar substitute, I want to grow my own stevia.

Wheat/Flour I will go to the local mill to get flour and wheat. There is no way at this time that we can grow enough wheat for everything we use it for. I grind the wheat for flour, use it in our animal feeds, sprout it, and make fodder with it.

Coconut milk, I use a lot of coconut milk I will be getting coconut cream concentrate to make my own milk with it will save a lot of money and I can store the concentrate on the shelf till ready to use.

Dairy products, I get milk for a friend of ours who has a small dairy farm so I will be making all my dairy products. Except for cheeder cheese since I haven’t figured that one out yet.

I will have more on this later I will still be implementing my 300 a month with the cost of the milk and what I buy online and on sales. My goal though is to get to a complete twice a year shopping plan. Except for the milk.

I know there is a lot online about once or twice a year shopping but a lot of them use online shopping every few weeks so just because they are not going to the store but only once or twice a year I don’t think it qualifies as once or twice a year shopping. So my main goal is to really shop only twice a year. Once in the fall and once in the spring. I know it will take a little bit of time to get to that point but I will get there hopefully sooner rather than later. And hope I can stick to it. It will be interesting to see how far I can get with it and if I can truly stick to it. I will be making a list in the next few days for my springtime shopping trip.

How many of you want to try and do once or twice a year shopping? And do you think you could stick to it?

4 Replies to “Shopping Twice a Year.”

  1. NRP & Blue

    Living a Lifestyle that is conducive to living like the Great Depression makes it a little easier to move to the 1-2 times a year shopping mode.

    For probably the last 8 years I have tried very hard to move into that exact Lifestyle.
    It has NOT been easy OR cheap. A few years back I did a small little experiment as to what I would save by purchasing ONLY of sale items, of course there is always the occasional Candy Bar, but that don’t count….. Right?
    So what I ended up with was 10 of something that seemed stupid to have at once…. Until that item was needed again, and sure enough there it was stuck in the Deep Pantry.

    BUT there are a few tricks that needed to be upheld for the Deep Pantry to work.
    First and Foremost; An Inventory, with Items, Dates, Quantities, Cost, among other things.
    Second; First In First Out, meaning rotate your stock.
    Third; A good assessment of the number of items needed for, let’s say 2 years.
    Fourth; Commitment, Yep, that’s right you had better be committed to what you’re undertaking.
    Lastly; STOP EATTING OUT, I have gone into semi-retirement, so today I did a little experiment. I came to work without any Home Meals, Ate Breakfast and Lunch from a Carry Out Restaurant…. OMG!!!!! I’m down almost $20 for JUNK FOOD!!!!!!

    Ok Ok, back to the Article;
    I already have semi-committed to doing shopping ONLY when very much needed, But to say “only” once or twice a year might be a little different, such as I buy Red Wheat Berries from Cortez Milling and Beans from Adobe Milling, but only get up that way when I can.
    So to do “all” the shopping only once a year makes the Idea of only buying “On-Sale” a little harder…….

    Ok this is getting long, So let me wrap up with this.
    Everyone and I do mean Everyone, is shortly going to find their own way to cut cost (Buying on sale) or making their own. I know a few people like Connie that are doing their very best, as am I.
    Living a Simpler life or Lifestyle, may be coming one way or another.
    I will leave with this, what happens of the Economy completely crashes (And don’t say it ‘can’t’) and we are tossed back into a Greater Depression?
    That Deep Pantry and the Skills you learn may/will be the difference between living as you want to or living as you are told……….

    Connie; Thanks again for a very good Article, and getting folks to think.

  2. Kellie

    I love your updated site, Connie!

    I have not been to the store in over a month, but have ordered some online. Shopping twice a year would take a lot of thought, planning and discipline, but I would like to try.

    I got a good deal on eggs and wanted to ask how you freeze or oil them to last longer?

    Thank you and for all of the help. Very uncertain times!

    1. Post author

      Thank you I am really liking how it turned out.

      YOu are right about a lot of planning and discipline I am trying to make a list of what all I need to get it isn’t much but there are some things you don’t really think about but I am going to give it a try. It would be nice to not have to go to Walmart anymore. I do think I will end up ordering stuff in between my shopping times. I hope not but sure there will be something I have forgotten or need lol.

      Here are a couple of links for the eggs just let me know if you have any questions, To oil the eggs

      How to freeze

      You are welcome and have a great day.