Anyone who knows me knows that I hate grocery shopping?. My trips include going to the store, thinking to myself “Why don’t I ever create a list”(or forgetting said list), strolling through the aisles trying to Pinterest recipes as I go, wondering why don’t I end this cycle. I know you’re thinking “Girl just plan”. Don’t know why, but it’s always been a struggle. Also, why is Walmart always redesigning? STOP MOVING THINGS ALREADY!! I digress.? So needless to say when Amazon Prime debuted I was the among the first to sign up!
Since Amazon Prime, several companies have jumped on board by also offering fast shipping at affordable prices. Which is a win-win for me, because I get to save time and money!
So I have a method that I live by when it comes to shopping for my girls. I literally count out everything that I possibly can. This may seem strange and I used to feel guilty. The truth of the matter is, if I didn’t give boundaries, my children will eat the house too! Please don’t think I starve them, but teenagers seem to have bottomless stomachs!
Oh to be young again…
How it works
I start with figuring out my numbers. I decide how far in advance I would like to buy my snacks. This is completely based on my mood and budget, but most recently I have really honed in on every 3 months, which is working out quite nicely. I typically purchase snacks for a 5 day school week, but you can add 2 more days if you want to include the weekend. I then decide how many snacks I want them to have per day. Depending on how I can stretch the budget I will allow them to get 3 snacks per day, per child.
I try my best to stay at 3 because I like the flexibility it gives them. The rule is, it doesn’t matter when you eat them, but you can have only 3 snacks per day from the snack box. If you can’t help yourself and eat 4, you know you need to minus a snack the next day, but this rarely happens.
The Number Crunch
So let’s look into how this breaks down…
I make sure to pull out the calendar so I can get the correct number of days for the coming 3 months. This example we will use Jan, Feb, Mar of 2018.
I know it may seem like a lot of snacks, but it feels so good, once it’s done and it’s amazing how much order you gain back into your house with this system.
Clearly, in order to get this amount of shopping done, I purchase in bulk. I’ve fallen in love with an online store that delivers bulk groceries to my door and I don’t have to pay a membership fee! CRAZY… I know! I thought so too. The company name is Boxed, they are an Amazon version of Costco/Sams.
I’m in Texas and have to reach $50 in products to have free shipping and it arrives in 1-3 days, but when I place an order it’s always large, so that’s never an issue.
Their selection is limited and always changing, but I suppose that’s how they can keep their prices low. That works out for us because it keeps me saving money and gives the girls variety.
Here are a few of the items that I’ve bought for snacks from Boxed
- Quaker Chewy Bars – Variety Pack 58 Count
- Smartfood White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn – 40x 0.625 oz.
- Pepperidge Farm Goldfish – 45 x 1.0 oz
- Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers – 45 Count
- Popchips Variety Pack – 30 x 0.8 oz
- Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks – Variety Pack 42 Count
- Kettle Brand Potato Chips – Variety Pack 30 x 1.5 oz
I will pick out a nice variety of snacks, or sometimes let the girls select their own snacks. Then I will start the counting. Remember, I need 780 snacks for the 65 days, so once I’ve added the snacks we want to the cart, I will add up the amount that comes in each box.
For example –Quaker Chewy Bars
Variety Pack 58 Count
Since the Chewy Bars come with 58 bars in them I will purchase 2 boxes to have a total of 116 bars. I continue to do this for each snack until I reach the 780 snacks needed. I don’t worry about them getting tired of the snacks because I try to purchase at least 10 different snacks and they are usually variety packs. So they have a good variety of many different flavors.
When the snacks arrive I sort them and place them in various bins. This makes it easy for school days and allows them the freedom to pick what they want for that day. It’s interesting to see how each of the girls decide to eat their snacks and no one has yet to complain.
Child 1: Will take all 3 snacks and eat them in the morning for breakfast
Child 2: Will eat 2 for lunch and save one for an after-school snack
Child 3: Will eat 1 for lunch and save two for after school
Child 4: Will eat 1 for breakfast, 1 for lunch, and 1 for after school.
This saves me so much time, money and energy. I don’t have to fight lines, push around a huge basket, and I’m no longer tempted to buy items I don’t need. So I can focus the extra time, money and energy on other things.
The snacks are extremely cost-effective, and to make it sweeter Boxed pays everyone for shopping with them. I earn cash rewards every time I shop and I can give $15 every time I refer a friend (who places an order over $60) and I get $15 too. There’s no limit on the number of people you can refer! Some of the orders I have placed have been completely free, because of their referral program!
Snacks arrive within 1-3 business days by FedEx, and if you catch them upon delivery they will put the boxes in your house for you. I do purchase other food items from them, but that’s for another post.
It’s awesome because I can place my order on my phone or computer. Boxed also allows me to just add my past orders to my cart. So that it eliminates my personal struggle of creating a list and I can easily do it while I’m waiting in the school pick up line or during a tutoring session.
When you first start out you may want to purchase for shorter time frames so you can see what your kids like. You don’t want to purchase a bunch of items they don’t like. Since I’ve been doing this for a while, I know what moves fast and I have more room to throw in surprises.
I know you’re probably wondering “What do I do if I have items that don’t get eaten?”. Well, that’s where another rule comes in. All snacks must be gone before another order is placed. MOM SECRET: I don’t wait that long to place another order, but I will hide the new order until the old snacks are gone. It’s amazing to see how things just disappear. 🙂
When I first started doing this I felt like the snack witch, but I have found that by creating boundaries it’s less stress on my wallet and my mind. I no longer get upset when I just bought something and the WHOLE box is gone, because it doesn’t happen. The inevitable “Can I have a snack?” or “What can I eat for a snack?” has disappeared as well. MAGICAL!
I did have a to make a bit of an adjustment though. We have family and the girls have friends that always come over. So I realized I needed to have extra snacks on hand. So in order to not mess with my numbers. I purchase a few snacks for the visitor snack box, which has worked out great!
I want to know..
Do you have a snack system in your house? Do you purchase snacks in bulk?