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Our $70 Grocery Shopping Budget + Menu Plan

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.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

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I’m trying something new this week! Instead of posting a menu plan at the beginning of the week and then sharing my shopping trips throughout the week, I’m sharing what we actually ate and what groceries I bought this week.

Please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries in these shopping trips that I used to make all of the meals we ate. And  it also means we didn’t use all of these groceries up this week — because some of them will be saved for later weeks!

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. 🙂

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • 3 Family-Sized Boxes of Nabisco Ritz Crackers — $1.99 with the Kroger Friday-Saturday Digital Coupon
  • 2 boxes of Raisinets — marked down to $0.19 each
  • Naked Juice — on closeout for $1.79, used $2/1 coupon — they deducted it down to $1.79 = FREE after coupon
  • 4 jars of Yoplait Oui Yogurt — marked down to $2.39 total
  • Bananas — marked down to $0.39/lb. = $1.88 total
  • Total with tax: $12.46, Got a $3 catalina back

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 1 Kroger Cottage Cheese — $1.89
  • 1 Johnsonville Sausage — marked down to $2.29
  • 5 packages of Kroger Ground Turkey — marked down to $2.29 each
  • 1 package Johnsonville Italian Sausage — marked down to $1.99
  • Used $3/$15 meat coupon Kroger mailed to me
  • Used $3 catalina earned in shopping trip above
  • Total with tax: $12.72

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

  • 1 Salad Kit — marked down to $1.89
  • 1 bag of oranges — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of peppers — marked down to $0.99
  • Oui Yogurt (2-pack) — marked down to $1.19
  • 1 dozen eggs — marked down to $1.19
  • 1/2 gallon chocolate milk — marked down to $1.39
  • Grapes — on sale for $0.88/lb. = $2.15
  • 3 cans of Kroger pumpkin — $0.99 each
  • 1 gallon milk — $2.69
  • King Arthur Flour — $3.89, used $1/1 Kroger Digital Coupon = $2.89
  • Oats — $2.49
  • Butter — $2.99 when you buy 5 participating items
  • 2 bottles Palmolive dish soap — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items, used 1 $0.50/1 Kroger Digital Coupon
  • Colgate toothpaste — $1.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $2/1 Kroger Digital coupon = FREE after coupon
  • 1 bottle Head & Shoulders — $1.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon = $0.99 after coupon
  • Total with tax: $29.75

Note: I forgot to buy the second bottle of Palmolive the first time around, so I had to go to customer service and add it to my order to get the $5 off!

Kroger Shopping Trips #4 & #5:

  • 1 Kroger cottage cheese — $1.89
  • 1 bottle Naked Protein Smoothie — marked down to $1.79 (not pictured; I picked this up for Kathrynne to have for lunch since she can hardly eat anything right now because she just got her expander put in in preparation for getting braces)
  • 2 packages of Pitas — marked down to $0.79 each
  • 4 dozen Simple Truth eggs — $1.77 with Kroger Friday-Saturday Only Digital coupon
  • 1 dozen medium eggs — marked down to $0.49
  • 1 Yoplait yogurt — Free with Free Friday coupon
  • 2 yogurts — marked down to $0.29 each
  • 2 packages of butter — $2.49 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Yo Crunch Yogurt — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items
  • 2 bottles Simply Lemonade — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • 1 bag of apples — marked down to $0.99
  • Total with tax: $23.71

What We Ate This Week

Breakfasts:

  • Cereal, Oatmeal, Baked Oatmeal (from the freezer), Toast/Eggs, Banana Bread with Peanut Butter (Everyone is on their own for breakfast!)

Lunches:

  • Hard Boiled Eggs, Avocados, Salad, Banana Bread, Turkey Burgers, Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Noodles & Sauce, Leftovers, Apples, Peppers (Jesse & Me)
  • Sandwiches, Fruit, Veggies, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Cookies, Capri Sun (For the kids — They are in charge of their own lunches.)

Snacks:

  • Banana Bread, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Fruit/Veggies, Hard Boiled Eggs

Dinners:

  • Sunday: Leftovers/Fend For Yourself
  • Monday: Turkey Burgers, Pickles, Peas, Grapes
  • Tuesday: Chipotle (School Spirit Night Fundraiser)
  • Wednesday: Pumpkin Waffles, Grapes
  • Thursday: Spaghetti Casserole, Steamed Peas
  • Friday: Spaghetti Casserole, Banana Bread, Steamed Broccoli (yes, we made enough to have it two nights in a row!)

What I Spent This Week

My grocery week runs from Saturday to Friday. However, I had $11.85 leftover from this past week, so I’m subtracting it from this week’s total.

Total for all these groceries minus the extra grocery money from last week: $66.79

Cashback Earned This Week: 125 points from Fetch Rewards for scanning my receipts

Help me out! Do you like this new format of me sharing my grocery shopping and menu plan? I’d love to hear your honest thoughts!

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47 Comments

  • Diane says:

    I like seeing others’ grocery trips, period, so however you choose to share them, I really enjoy these posts. I also enjoy seeing your sisters’ trips with photos. It completely makes sense that the trips don’t have to match what you eat because I am the same way with my meal planning and shopping. We eat out of the freezer and pantry and then shop to fill in staples and get fresh produce and dairy.

  • Melissa says:

    I like this new format. I’d love to see pics of your meals, too.

    This might be weird ;), but I’d also like to see how stocked your freezer and cupboards are since you frequently say you pull from their to make your meal plans.

    • Well, I feel like they change every few weeks in how they look because we have such a rotating supply! But I did share my freezer on Instagram stories recently and I’ve been thinking I should share a picture of my “Secret Stash” shelf with all of the treats that the kids can’t get into until I pull them down! 🙂

  • Kim says:

    It’s good! some fun rotations I would like to see would be – maybe a photo of prep day, i.e. getting ready for those breakfasts and lunches; maybe a shot of your dinner meal ready to eat with perhaps a before of the ingredients? and do you ever have days when it’s 4:30 and all your food is still frozen and what do you do for dinner then? ak! lol.

    • The kids actually make their own lunches each day (usually at night before bed) and then we all are just on our own for breakfast, so it’s probably a lot less organized and boring than you might be envisioning! 😉 I shared a BUNCH of dinner prep pictures when I did the Eat at Home Challenge a few weeks back. I’ll try to share some here and there on these posts, too.

  • Leona says:

    It’s definitely keeping it real. Menu’s often change as a result of changes in plans or deals found at the store. Like it.

  • Allison says:

    Love your “realness” because some days you just have hot dogs, leftovers, cereal, and eggs for dinner. Makes me feel better knowing I’m not alone! However, I have to ask…are those really the only snacks you guys eat?!?! Ha! I would say we eat fairly healthy and have an active family, but my snack line would include: ice cream, goldfish, crackers, snack mix, rice cakes with pb, and cheezits for my husband;-)! This is an area we need to improve on!

    • Those were the snacks we had this week… but it changes from week to week depending upon what I get on sale at the store. 🙂 Also, the kids always get one treat in their lunch every day, so typically, I encourage them to choose something healthier for other snacks.

  • Anna Rose says:

    I like this new format as well. We have a Kroger near church so I can go on Sundays for sure. But I think I will have to make more of an effort during the week to catch some markdowns. I did notice that some locations have cheaper markdowns than others (I guess because the price is up to the managers).

    I do find lots of markdowns at our Aldis just two miles down from home- baked goods and meats. Once they marked down value-packs of chicken breast for less than $1!

    • YES! That is so true that some locations have cheaper markdowns than others! And some of them have cheaper markdowns on certain items and more expensive prices for markdowns on others.

  • Akaya says:

    This format is much easier to follow. The “what I spent” summary would be great before the menu plan, right after your last shopping trip…my mind bounced from budget to menu to budget again. But again, I love this format, much easier for me to follow a one week summary 🙂 I enjoy these posts.

  • Need Anap says:

    Oh expanders (and later braces)! Yes, two of our kids had those! Soft foods, definitely!!

  • Carly says:

    Yes! I love his format! I enjoy this post so much every week. It really inspires me to keep our grocery budget low. Thank you!

  • Steph says:

    I’d love to see your meal and a breakdown of what items you purchased marked down were used to create it.

  • Jodi says:

    On the “buy 5 participating items” at Kroger do you have to buy 5 of the same like items or can you buy 5 items as long as they are marked?

    • You can mix and match any 5 items!

    • Kari Grantham says:

      It is buy any 5 of the participating items. And sometimes they will have 2 or 3 sections that are buy 5 or 10 or whatever. You can mix and match with all the sections. When I first started shopping at Kroger I thought it was within that section…lol. There are things though that are buy 5 of this item… those do need to be the same, just gotta watch the wording.

  • Callie says:

    I love seeing what you’re eating and what you bought! No matter how you set it up, it’s encouraging!

  • Katrina says:

    I live southern Ca and don’t see all the markdowns at my store. I’m going to ask the manager if there is a good day for me to catch markdowns. I feel like $70 is too low for my area but I did cut the bill down by from 150 to about 80- 100 a week with your tips and posts!!

  • Kimberly Walker says:

    I love this new format! Sometimes I get discouraged because I don’t think I am doing well, compared to your budgeting/cooking. Seeing your real life meals makes me realize that I can do this! Thanks for changing it up and keeping it real! You are amazing!!

  • Melissa says:

    Fend for yourself dinner is my favorite!!!!! Except we call it DIY night. I see it as teaching my kids how to take care of themselves. They won’t always live at home. If you can make Mac n Cheese at 11 can’t wait to see what’s to come.
    The OUI yogurt jars are amazing DIY jars (search Pinterest) or to clean out and use adhesive remover on the lip of the jars then use them for juice or small serving smoothies.

  • Linda says:

    Love this format. I also like your sister’s shopping trips and menu plans. I just find them fascinating…and very real. I learned how to do the Friday downloads this week and got the free yogurt, too. I’m quite proud of myself. 😊 I find your frequent trips to the store for the markdown items inspiring. It reminds me to look for them at the store and not to be afraid to buy them.

  • I just chopped $114 woohoo. Massive stock up!!!

  • Heidi says:

    I love these posts, even though they make me miss having a Kroger (we are stationed overseas in the Middle East)! Coupons and mark downs don’t really exist here out in town. But our base Exchange recently had snack food and cereal on clearance – we bought 2 cases of Cinnamon Life cereal (28 boxes) for $1/box (normally $5.49) and 15 bags of goldfish for $1/bag (normally $2.99). Gotta grab the deals when they have them!

  • Amanda says:

    I tell every mom who’s dealing with expanders- stock up on popsicles!!! They made the expander turning so much easier. Have your kid eat half the popsicle to get their mouth nice and numb. Then do the turn and have them eat the other half. Hardly any pain! It was a life saver for us. Maybe you can find some marked down!!

  • Julie says:

    I like the new format, although I’ll miss the daily videos! I never knew about the markdowns until you showed us. Went looking yesterday and saw a few! Is there a better day or time to go? Do you walk down every aisle? Thanks so much for your tips!

  • Jennifer Frank says:

    I love ground turkey! I usually cook a couple pounds of ground turkey at a time in a few tablespoons of butter, with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then I separate them into ziplocs and freeze. It has a little different taste than ground beef but very similar texture, so it makes a nice change for things like shepherd’s pie 🙂

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