I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).
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One of the best parts of this $70/week grocery budget challenge is not that we’re saving a few hundred dollars every month (though I’m stoked about that!) nor is it the fact that I’ve been re-invigorated to fill our freezer with food (we currently have close to 15 meals in there and I’m slowly adding to the stash every week!).
The best part is that buying ahead and stocking up on the sales and markdowns and being more of a strategic shopper means we have a lot more food at our house at any one given time — which means that spontaneous hospitality is so much easier to pull off!
Wednesday morning, I had the idea to invite a mom and her four kids over for dinner. She just recently moved to the area with her kids and I well remember what a big move like that is like!
I looked in our fridge and cupboards and realized I had just bought 7 pounds of marked down meat the day before, plus I had corn on the cob, marked down potatoes, and some frozen broccoli.
So we invited her family over plus two other families from church. I texted everyone and said that I was just making what I already had on hand. It wouldn’t be anything fancy, but we’d love to have them!
We ended up having 18 people for dinner — and we had plenty of food! Meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, roasted broccoli, and the other women offered to bring salad, mac and cheese, and fruit.
It was simple, it was inexpensive, and it was an evening of laughter, great conversation, and games.
Hospitality doesn’t have to require a lot of extra time or special ingredients. It doesn’t even mean you need to spend more $$ to pull off.
Hospitality is about welcoming people into your real life and bringing your real, imperfect selves to the table. It’s about saying, “Welcome! I want to share what we have with you. Come as you are and pull up a chair!”
While I was working on making food for our guests on Wednesday, Kaitlynn made two dinners’ worth of Spaghetti Casserole. We just made up the recipe using pasta we had gotten marked down, cheese I got on sale, pasta sauce I got from Aldi, ground sausage I got marked down, and cottage cheese I had gotten marked down and had frozen.
Kroger has some GREAT sales this weekend! Download their digital coupons (they are good through Monday evening) to get Seedless Watermelon for just $1.99 each (you can purchase up to 5 watermelon in one transaction at this price).
They also have Kroger Ice Cream Sandwiches and Fruit Bars for just $0.99 per box with the digital coupon (you can get up to 5 boxes in one transaction at this price).
I got the watermelon to take to a picnic we’re attending tonight where we’re supposed to bring enough of a side dish to feed 15 people and I got the ice cream sandwiches for tomorrow evening since we’re having two families over for pizza!
My total for the 5 boxes of bars/ice cream sandwiches + the watermelon was $9.49 — bringing my grand total for this week in grocery expenditures to $68, $2 under my $70 grocery budget!
Total spent so far this week: $68 (Yes! $68 even!)
Total left to spend: $2