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$70 Grocery Budget Challenge (what I bought + our menu for this week)

This $70 Weekly Grocery Budget for a family of 5 is super impressive!! Check out her menu plan!

Now that we’re all moved and settled in, I’m having fun getting back to deal-shopping again! And I decided to go “back to my roots” and challenge myself to see how well we could eat on $70 per week for our family of five.

I’m mostly going to be shopping markdowns and planning our menu around that, plus looking for any really fantastic deals with printable coupons. Since I changed our morning routine (and it’s going SO well!), I now have time in the morning after school drop-off to run by a store for 10 to 15 minutes to look for markdowns.

For some of you, it might feel crazy and ridiculous for me to be going to the store multiple times per week and just doing little shopping trips. For me, it’s a fun hobby that also saves us money!

In addition, I’m not wasting any extra gas or time since it’s right on the way home for me to go to Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, or Target. I’m also hoping to hit Aldi and Dollar Tree every now and then when I’m over in that part of town.

I hit the motherload of deals on Thursday (see photo above), but I’m not including that $48 total in this week’s grocery spending because that was our “big” grocery shopping trip last week.

Since I’m challenging myself to stick with a $70/week grocery budget this week, I’m allotting $10 per day to spend when I look for markdowns and deals. (I can go over, of course, if I find a great deal, but it means that I have to spend less on another day then! So it’s easier if I just shoot to spend less than $10 every day!)

Here are my grocery shopping trip purchases so far:

Friday’s Kroger Shopping Trip — spent $11.84

  • Buttermilk — marked down to $1.19
  • Sweet Tea — marked down to $0.99
  • Lemonade — marked down to $0.69
  • Dream Cow yogurt — marked down to $0.69
  • 3 containers Greek yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each
  • 3 Fage yogurts — marked down to $0.59 each (got $1.50 back from iBotta!)
  • 2 Yoplait mixins — marked down to $0.49
  • 3 bags of Red Peppers — marked down to $0.99 each
  • Dannon Oikos drinkable yogurt — marked down to $0.49
  • Total with tax: $11.84

Saturday’s Kroger Shopping Trip — spent $10.01

Monday’s Kroger Shopping Trip — Spent $9.56

Tuesday’s Walgreens Shopping Trip — spent $1.72

4 packages of ALL laundry tabs — on sale for $1.99 this week, used 4 $1/1 coupons (no longer available) + used $3 Walgreens Balance Rewards

Total with tax: $1.72

This Week’s Super Simple Menu Plan

This menu is subject to change a little if I find some great deals or markdowns! 🙂

Breakfasts

Cereal, Yogurt, Eggs, Fruit, Toast

Lunches

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit, Veggies, Yogurt, Fried Eggs, Avocados, Salad, Leftovers

Dinners

Monday: Pancakes, Eggs, Fruit
Tuesday: Smoked Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, Berry Cottage Whip
Wednesday: Meatballs, Homemade Bread or Muffins, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Salad, Fruit
Thursday: Waffles, Turkey Bacon, Fruit, Scrambled Eggs
Friday: Sausage/Peppers/Peas/Onions, Rice, Fruit
Saturday: Dinner out (not included in our grocery budget)
Sunday: Snack-y dinner (popcorn, cereal, etc.)

Total spent so far this week: $33.13
Total left to spend: $36.87 (Stay tuned for updates over the next few days if I score any great deals!)

Total Cashback: $1.50 from iBotta for buying the Fage yogurt and $0.50 from Checkout 51 for buying the Artisan lettuce!

Join the Grocery Budget Challenge!

Want to join me in this challenge? Choose an amount that you are committing to spend on your groceries for the next week and then watch for my posts over the next week for you to check in and tell us how you are doing!

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram — I’m sharing my grocery shopping savings every day on Instagram Stories!

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49 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    Collards work really well in the instant pot. Not sure if you’ve tried that, but you should!

    • We made them the “Southern way” and hated them! We ended up throwing the rest out — something I rarely do! 🙁

      • connie says:

        I am southern. We cook them for a long period of time with some sort of seasoning meat (ham hock is traditional) but some folks just add some oil. But then the additional step is to fry them and chop them in a cast iron skillet till most of the moisture is out. Also very important to take the big ribs out of the collards. If they are made right they are awesome but it is possible that it is a regional taste.

  • Julie says:

    Love the budget shopping deals!

  • Beth says:

    I really dislike cottage cheese, but your “berry whip” has intrigued me! It seems like it might be the solution I’m looking for to get rid of the texture that I dislike!

    Also, I cracked a smile when I saw you are buying feminine products again–I recall a while ago that you had a huge stash that you had gotten a great deal on. Nothing lasts forever! We had been that way with Pantene for a long time and it felt weird to have to be looking for shampoo deals again.

  • I’ve been watching your Kroger deal lives. Kroger is so awesome. i’m happy to be near one again. Also, I’ve discovered Albertson’s which is another great place to shop.

  • Kayla Potts says:

    I love to run in Kroger a couple times a week and just shop the deals. It really does save money!

  • Jen says:

    Your Friday Kroger shopping trip says, “Total with tax: $1.84”. Do you mean $11.84? I saw that total and was like, “Dang, that girl did an amazing job getting all of that for $1.84!” LOL

  • Olivia says:

    Are your Kroger deals in one spot, or spread throughout the store? I love the idea of running in and checking for markdowns like this!

    • They are spread throughout the store. I just shop the perimeter of the store and look at the produce, the meat, the dairy, the markdown bread shelf, and the organic refrigerated section — looking for yellow woohoo tags! 🙂

  • Jen G. says:

    I’ve been scoping out the produce markdowns lately and scored a fantastic deal on marked down idaho potatoes! Made some homemade potato skins w/bacon & shredded cheese and my hubby gobbled them up! It’s not the healthiest use of the potatoes, but they were a yummy treat!

  • Jayme Howard says:

    I would LOVE to learn how to stick to a grocery budget! I have a Kroger…and could go several times a week! How do I find the marked down items? Where do I start? Do you shop the deal and coupons online? We are a family of four and I need to make a change and SAVE money! Please Help!

    • Just go to the perimeter of the store and look at the produce, meat, dairy, bread, etc. and look for the yellow stickers. 🙂 The more you do it, the better and faster you’ll get at being able to spot them and knowing where to look! I can scout my entire stores in about 7 minutes now. 🙂

  • Emily says:

    This post excites me so much!! I’ve been going back through your archives to page 5000 or something because I have missed posts like this lately. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Andrea says:

    Are breakfasts and school lunches included in your $70/week?

  • Liz says:

    Great deals! Do you freeze the yogurt?

  • Louise says:

    I don’t quite get it. Are you not including what you already have on hand or pantry staples in this allowance? You didn’t buy any flour, meat, etc., but those are included in your menu. Will you include them in the $70/week as you have to restock?

    • Actually, all of the meat we’re using was purchased in this grocery trip and in the grocery trip I showed in the top picture. 🙂 I’ll be re-stocking the pantry with the $70 only… so every week I’ll be buying some ahead for the coming few weeks in addition to buying items for that week. I’m a BIG fan of buying ahead whenever there’s a great deal and then freezing stuff. If you watch these posts over the next few weeks, you’ll start to see how that works! I hope that helps!

      • Melanie A Bonenfant says:

        But your menu includes the food from the first picture (motherload) which you said you’re not including in the $70 total? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that your weekly meal plan costs more than $70? Yes, you only spent a certain amount but that truly isn’t what it cost to feed your family for that week. Sorry, I don’t mean to be picking apart your post but it is frustrating to read posts like this that claim to have this super low budget but then find out that the kids eat all their lunches at school or half of the weekly meal plan was previously purchased and came from the pantry or freezer.

        • No, because I’m only spending $70 per week (I only spent $70 that week with the food pictured in that picture).

          Every week, I buy extras of whatever is on a great sale that I can also wing in my budget. This is one huge way to cut your grocery bill — by stocking up on items when they are on great sales and then planning your menu for the next week based upon what you were able to get on great deals over the past few weeks. Does that make sense?

          Keep following along here and you’ll see how food that I bought a few weeks before often shows up in menu plans later on down the road. And oftentimes, food that I buy one week isn’t used that week but is saved for later weeks. So long as I only spend $70 total per week, then it is truly only costing $70 per week to feed my family.

  • Amy Smith says:

    I’ve never been to a Kroger’s store yet. The one in KS is far enough away from us that it isn’t worth the drive, but Aldi is the next best we can do on good deals. Price Chopper is also proving to be better on great deals than I thought. Love the idea of a $70/week challenge!

  • susan jones says:

    Would you share your Berry Cottage Cheese recipe? Thanks!

  • Naomi says:

    Curious: you mention some veggie options in your meal plan that I didn’t see in the grocery purchase (Brussels sprouts, broccoli) did you already have those on hand? Those two veggies are really expensive where I live, 😔. just wondering.

  • Laurie says:

    My Kroger hasn’t had markdowns peppers in forever and my entire family usgoing thru withdrawal because refuse to pat full price! I check in nearly everyday and it’s been more than a month since I last saw veggies.

  • Sarah Churyk says:

    I tried some of your tips at the grocery store this week, my favorite being check the marked down produce and I can’t believe the deals I found on organic veggies! Best tip ever! Made a huge pan of roasted veggies on Saturday and have been eating everyday just changing it up a bit. First night was with pasta and garlic bread and salad, second night was with sausage, and then sandwiches for work lunches and school lunches! Thank you for sharing!

  • Alexandra Higgins says:

    Hi! Love the posts. I’ve got a question. Is it just 70$ a week, roughly 280 a month? Or do you also do a Big shopping trip. I am going to try this, we go to costco for a couple things, like dog and cat food and toilet paper and such. We just bought our first home and I want to up the ante on my frugality. I am very frugal already, but am up for a challenge.

  • Joan Dahlen says:

    I came to your website because I wanted your baked oatmeal recipe and saw your $70 a week challenge. I was worried that it might be all processed foods, but happily I see you love whole and organic foods for your family. When I was teaching college composition I had an extra credit assignment challenge. The student had to eat only unprocessed food for a week and keep a diary of what he ate. Some students said it was life changing to discover the world of unprocessed food. So good for you for making your challenge one that is based on healthy choices.

  • Ginnie says:

    Crystal: You are so fortunate to have stores that offer such great bargains and markdowns. I do shop at Aldi for fresh fruit, some canned goods and some dairy products but I have only seen a few markdowns. I shop at Shoprite but their sales are not that good.

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