Lets take out all factors to make this fair. You live next door to the grocery store and will be walking there. It takes 2 minutes to walk there; you could literally spit out your window and hit the store. No gas costs, and you have tons of time on your hands.
Is it cheaper to meal plan and buy every week/2 weeks/once a month or keep your house pretty sparse and run to the store 2-3 (or 7) times a week for what you need?
I meal plan. I really do. Then I grocery shop in bulk and end up with tons of crap I never use and frequently throw stuff out. I really think it would be cheaper in the long run if I buy what I need for the next few meals, plan leftovers into the next meals, and get what I need as needed.
Like, I made soup last week... so I needed 3 celery stalks. I fed my kids each one. Then I threw away the other 75% of the container. My kids don't really like raw celery. I have OCD and can't tolerate the texture of the strings when raw. None of us overly like celery but it goes good in the soup I made. Wouldn't it have been cheaper to buy a cup of chopped celery from the salad bar and have no waste?
I dunno. I feel like I can't win. I'm just so tired of throwing out so much food. My 1 year old is on whole milk, so I buy a gallon for her because I have this delusion that she needs whole milk for some reason, but she drinks maybe 6 oz per sitting. 128 oz/6 oz serving = 21 glasses. Yeah, we dump the milk out a lot. Seems like in the long run I'd do better buying her a half gallon, even though its only 70 cents less than a gallon, and having less waste. Don't I save the 70 cents if she's only going to drink half of the gallon before it expires? (I'm lactose intolerant so I don't use it for cooking or anything)