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I spent $68.36 on groceries this week!

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.). 

You can see all of my $70 Grocery Budget Update posts here. For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

One of the things I’m loving about this $70 Grocery Budget Challenge is that it’s inspiring me to look through our cupboards and freezers and find odds and ends of items that I forgot we had.

For instance, I found this half bag of Great Northern Beans last night in one of our cupboards. I had planned that we were going to go out to dinner tonight, but when I saw that bag of beans, I decided to take a raincheck on the eating out plans and make sausage and beans in the Crockpot instead.

I used this recipe for inspiration and cooked the beans for three hours and then chopped up the sausage and mixed it in. I already taste-tested it and it’s super yummy!

Another thing I’m loving about this challenge is that it’s encouraging me to think outside my usual box. As you all know, I drink a gallon of lemon water every day. And that means that I go through a LOT of lemon juice — to the tune of one 32-oz. bottle every 8-10 days.

A few of my readers told me that Dollar Tree has lemon juice… why had I never thought to look there?? Sure enough, Jesse was there last night with Kaitlynn and I had him check and they had 32-oz. bottles for $1. Woot!

I had been buying lemon juice for $2.49 at Kroger, so I was thrilled to discover this much cheaper option! And I realized that this one simple change will save me at least $40+ over the next year!!

You guys! Never stop looking for creative ways to stretch your grocery budget further and save on those things you buy all the time. The savings can really add up!

Dollar Tree Shopping Trip — $2.20

2 bottles lemon juice — $1 each + tax

I ran by Kroger this morning and was excited to find a few deals to round out my grocery spending for this week (I allot $70 per week and my weeks run Saturday to Friday). I didn’t need to buy anything, but I still had $13+ to spend, so I wanted to go ahead and spend it on some snack items and other things that were on a great deal that we could use over the next 1-3 weeks.

(By the way, this is one way that we save a LOT — I try to always be buying ahead when items are on great deals. Even though it means my grocery purchases don’t necessarily match what we’re eating that week, it means that we have a variety of items to base our menus on and it means that we are rarely paying full price for most items!)

Friday Kroger Shopping Trip — $12.33

  • 2 bags of Goldfish Crackers — $0.99 each when you buy 4 participating items
  • 3 bags of Quaker Rice Snacks — $0.67 each when you buy 4 participating items
  • Lindt chocolate — Free Friday Download coupon
  • 2 boxes of Barbara’s cereals — on sale for $1.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used $1 off coupons = $0.99 each after coupon and sale
  • 1 bag of apples –marked down to $0.99
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey — marked down to $1.99 each
  • Huggies wipes — $0.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used $0.50/1 Kroger Digital coupon, $0.49 after sale and coupon
  • Total with tax: $12.33

I made some DIY Taco Seasoning and browned the ground turkey with it.

And then I let it cool and stuck them into two freezer bags and froze them — and two more dinners are in the freezer!

Our garage freezer was almost empty after we moved and I’m excited to slowly be filling it back up with freezer meals. We now have Chorizo burritos, 2 pans of lasagna, 2 bags of Taco Meat, and 1 bag of sausage/onions/peppers to serve over rice.

My Grocery Total For This Week: $68.36

Cash back: $0.25 from Ibotta for submitting my receipt, $1.50 from Ibotta for buy 2 cups of Fage yogurt, and $1 from Ibotta for buying Bubly, and $0.25 from Checkout 51 for buying Tortilla Chips last week, another $0.25 from Ibotta for submitting my receipt, $3 from Ibotta for buying 3 boxes of Kroger Ibuprofen = $6.25 in cash back!

To see all of the grocery shopping I did this week + what I spent and what we ate, be sure to check out all of my $70 Grocery Budget posts.

Want to virtually “have coffee with me” and see me talk about my grocery savings today? Watch the video above. 🙂

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  • Angela says:

    I am loving these posts!! It has ignited my inspiration to snap out of a rut and get back in the savings game! We love this recipe with sausage and navy beans, simple and very delicious with crusty bread. Thanks for the inspiration, i have been following you since your other faith based blog you had long ago when you made wedding dresses.

  • Kelli says:

    I would love to be able to do this but my area does NOT have the same prices -even my Aldis is more expensive. I’m focusing on the positive though and slowly reducing my food spending.

    • Remember that I chose a number for our grocery budget based upon what I know I can do with where I’m at in life and what options I have. I encourage you to choose a number that works for your family. I’m not trying to ask others to choose the same number as me because that would never work because everyone is in a different season with different needs, different capacity, different stores, and different options.

      So please challenge yourself to do what works for you when it comes to your budget and don’t feel discouraged or defeated when it’s different than me! Also, do you have an ALDI or discount grocery store in your area?

      • Kelli says:

        You have always been positive and encouraging. I am going to set an amount and hopefully stratergize from there. You have great ideas and motivation.

  • Elizabeth Buckner says:

    I just did this tonight. We had meat still frozen, so I found three cans of tomato soup in my pantry, a bag of couscous I haven’t used and a can of peas and a fan of green beans. SO I made a tomato soup withcouscous, green beans and peas and then topped it off with cheese on top, salt and pepper. I am trying to work through what we have and get creative. Everyone ate it. Some had seconds. 🙂

  • Kimberly Walker says:

    I started the $70 a week grocery challenge three weeks ago. The past two weeks were not so good, but I was trying. Last weekend, I sat down and went through everything in my pantry, big freezer, little freezer/frig and wrote down a list of what I had. Made my May meal plan based on what I had available and made planned leftovers (also, a plan B, just in case things were yummier that I thought they would be!!!!). Today, I went shopping and used all kinds of coupons and deals and my total was $75.12 – including some luxury items and not on the list items. I made notes on my shopping list for some ideas for next week/month meal ideas for some freezer prep. I was so proud of myself!!! I had made the bargain with myself that if I were within $10 of my goal, I would treat myself to beautiful roses. And when I went to get my roses, there was a mixed bouquet of orange/red and yellow/orange – my favorites!!! So proud of myself! Thank you for posting this challenge and showing ways to save money!!! And once I master this, I will be doing freezer meals!!!

  • Amy Dunham says:

    I love your Kroger shopping savings posts! And I have always enjoyed your weekly meal and shopping trip posts! My Kroger store is my favorite store to shop at in town. I always check for my yellow tags and I love the personalized coupons they send me as well as their digital coupons and deals. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  • Jami says:

    I, too, drink lemon water and wonder do you worry about the preservatives in the non organic lemon juice? I’ve just been juicing lemons because I’m not sure!

    • I think you should always do what you feel most comfortable with it. I don’t worry about it, but if it bothers you, than I think you should definitely do what feel best about!

      • Des says:

        Can I just say…I love that you don’t worry about this? I love your balance! It’s refreshing! Please never start soaking grains for pizza dough and pancakes and becoming obsessed with phytates and whatnot (probably spelled that wrong!).

        I need to start adding lemon to my water. Maybe it will help me get back on track with my intake!

      • Jami says:

        Thanks, Crystal! I should do a bit of research – I’d love to spend less. 🙂

  • Dee says:

    I love the idea of this, but if you are shopping sale items, how do you plan? Our family has a very tight schedule. I work full-time as the family breadwinner and run a home-based business. My husband works part-time but lately that’s been nearly full-time. He’s a cashier so the hours are unpredictable. I want, no need to save more money, but planning is also central to our week. I have to plan our week around our changing schedules. I usually plan meals on Saturday and my husband shops on Sunday when he is off. So do you have to give up on planning in order to live on this tight of a budget?

    • Do you have any time during the week where you will be driving by any grocery stores? If so, could you run in and see if you could find any great deals? I work full-time, too, but I’ve learned that when there is a will, there is usually a way! I just have to get creative.

      I also encourage you to think about your hourly wage. Could you take 1-2 hours you’re spending working on your home business and “make more” by investing that time into money-saving activities? For instance, I typically save about $20 to $30 (off regular prices) in most grocery shopping trips. If I’m going to be driving right by the store and it only takes me 15 minutes to shop, I consider that a really great hourly wage!

      Also, I try to mostly be buying for the coming week. So that way, I’m planning the menu based upon great markdowns/sales I was able to get the week before.

  • Tosha Kelly says:

    How long do your snacks last? If my kids see snacks or any leftovers, they eat it. (I have two teen boys with a hobby of cleaning the fridge and leaving nothing but vegetables behind!) I love to buy ahead but know I need a good hiding place!

    • Mia says:

      I keep a tote in my basement that I put extra snacks in when I find them onsale. Keeps it out of the reach of kids and I pull the snacks out as needed. I do this with cereal when it goes on sale or I have coupons. Saves me a ton of money.

    • I’ve found that if my family can see the snacks in the pantry, they will eat the snacks. 🙂 So I usually set aside 1/2 to 1/3 of the snacks hidden on a high shelf to save for later — in case there’s a week when there aren’t any great deals on snacks or we need a snack for something (or need to bring a snack to something) at the last minute.

  • Tosha Kelly says:

    And I went to Kroger last night and found 10 packages of organic ground pork marked down. That was my happy shopping moment for the week! They had no produce marked down. 😩

  • Brooke Arroyo says:

    The past three weeks I have been checking out the fresh meat at Aldi and have found mark downs each week. I got three packages of chicken that were a little over 2lbs each for about $2.50 per package, pork tenderloins for half price, and boneless pork ribs 2lbs for $2.50. It would be worth your while to stop by an Aldi and look for marked down me.

    • Thanks so much for sharing! I don’t drive by Aldi very often since it’s in another part of town, so it takes an extra 15-20 or so minutes to make a trip there and back — which is why you won’t see Aldi very often in my shopping trips. I love ALDI, if only there was one I drove by every day like Kroger! But I am going to try to make a trip there this coming week!

  • Connie in KS says:

    Hi Crystal, I really like the sauté function on the Instant Pot for cooking sausage. It’s fast, easy to clean up, and lots of times you can add your other ingredients and cook everything in it. There is also a really handy little tool called a hamburger chopper that breaks up the meat really quickly and easily. Thanks, Crystal! Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂

  • Hi Crystal! I’ve been absolutely loving following along with your $70 Grocery Budget Challenge! I really appreciate how you show exactly what you bought, AND how you use it. It really demonstrates how much you can save, and how you can actually feed your family with the awesome deals. I’ve been documenting how I save each week this year, and even I’m surprised how much each little savings add up to be long-term. Thanks so much for creating this challenge for yourself and sharing it. You are an inspiration to us all!

  • Julie says:

    I love how your posts challenge me to think differently about how I choose to use my families resources! Thank you for sharing your menu planning and shopping processes and being a great example of a home economist!

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