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We spent $66 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.).

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

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I was so happy with all of the groceries we got this past week. And I was especially excited to realize we now have 25 pounds of meat in the freezer and a pantry that is really, really full. All that has been stockpiled a little bit at a time on our $70 grocery budget.

An Important Note for Those Who Are Feeling Frustrated

Some of you have been frustrated recently that I share my groceries because you don’t have Kroger. Here’s what I want to encourage you with: instead of being frustrated, focus on what you CAN do. I’ve lived without a Kroger and been able to still have a small grocery budget. It just takes a can-do creative attitude… and a willingness to do the best you can with the time and resources you have.

A few tips for beginners:

  • If you’re new to trying to cut your grocery bill, start by having a grocery budget, working on sticking with it, and planning a menu based upon simple, inexpensive meals.
  • Then, step it up, by planning your meals based upon what is on sale at the store and what you have on hand.
  • Next, pay attention to why items are at their lowest prices and start setting aside a little bit of your grocery budget to stock up on items when they are at their lowest prices.
  • The more you do this, the easier it will get to lower your grocery budget and slowly build a stockpile of food that you got at a discount!

Here’s what we bought at the grocery store this past week:

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • Romaine lettuce — marked down to $1.29
  • Spinach — $2.99
  • Lemon juice — $2.59
  • Loaf of bread — marked down to $1.29
  • Milk — $2.49
  • Total with tax: $8.85 

I spent $3 on this Harry’s Shaving Bundle (I forgot to add this into my grocery budget last week, so I’m adding it here.). I was super impressed with the razor and have been using it all week.

Walgreens Shopping Trip

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 3 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios — $1.79 each when you buy 6 participating items, used $1.50/3 coupon that printed last time I went to the store = $1.29 each after coupon
  • 4 tubs of Fage & Simple Truth yogurt — marked down to $0.49 each
  • 3 tubs of Moose Tracks yogurt — marked down to $0.19 each
  • Pita bread — marked down to $1.29
  • Land O’ Lakes butter — $2.99
  • Pork Roast — marked down to $4.99
  • Cousin Willie’s Kettle Corn — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 2 half gallons of Apple Cider — marked down to $0.50 each
  • Baking Powder — $1.19
  • Ocean Spray Pink Grapefruit Juice — $1.99 when you buy 6 participating items, used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon = $0.99
  • Total with tax: $22.29

Kroger Shopping Trip #3

(I was almost out of lettuce for my two salads a day, so Jesse ran by Kroger when he was out and found two bags marked down for me!)

  • 2 bags of Kroger Romaine — marked down to $1.29 each
  • Total with tax: $2.74

Speaking of salads, I’ve gotten a lot of comments and messages about the fact that I’ve mentioned that I eat two salads a day in recent weeks.

So I decided to show people practically what this looks like for me. I’ve been posting my lunch salad on Instagram stories — and I’m loving that it’s inspiring so many of you to also eat more salads!

Wondering how I make my salads? It’s usually a bed of Romaine or dark greens I’ve gotten marked down at Kroger (these are pre-washed and ready to go so I literally just stick them on my plate) topped with whatever odds and ends I find in the fridge (other marked down veggies, fruit, leftover steamed or roasted veggies from dinner the night before, a hard boiled egg —we make a batch in bulk in the Instant Pot each week, or leftover meat from last night’s dinner.)

It typically takes me no more than 3 minutes to put together my lunch salad. Who says eating healthfully has to take a bunch more time?

And then for dinner, I usually just put the main dish on a bed of lettuce. That might sound gross to you, but I’ve gotten so used to it that it doesn’t bother me at all.

I feel so much healthier and energetic when I eat a lot of salads and fresh fruits and veggies, so I’ve worked to find creative ways to make more salad eating possible without spending a lot of time and money to do so.

Also, for those who are wondering, I rarely ever use dressing. Yes, I know, that might sound crazy but it’s true!

Kroger Shopping Trip #4:

  • Capri Sun — $1.79 when you buy 6 participating items, used $0.60/1 coupon Kroger had sent me recently, $1.19 after coupon
  • Bananas — $1.30
  • 5 cans of Red Gold Tomatoes — $0.39 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 1 bag oranges/apples — marked down to $0.99
  • 18-count Simple Truth Cage Free brown eggs — $3.49, used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon = $2.49
  • Cabo Guacamole — $2.99 when you buy 6 participating items, used $3/1 coupon = Free after coupon
  • 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 3 boxes of Creamette pasta — $0.49 each when you buy 6 participating items, used $1/3 coupon that Kroger sent me recently = $0.47 for all three
  • Kroger Purified Water — $0.79
  • Total with tax = $12.13

Kathrynne and I made Homemade Pizza for Friday night and I showed her how we used to make pizza when Jesse was in law school and we’d only buy one bag of chicken every other week most weeks (that would typically be the only meat we’d be able to afford in our budget), so we’d just put a tiny bit of meat on the pizza usually (see example above).

It was good to remember those days. I never want to forget and I want our kids to know this part of our story.

What We Ate This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, 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 my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

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. 🙂

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese Quesadillas, Cheese/Crackers, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Clementines, Cookies

Snacks:

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Fend for yourself (snack-y dinner)
  • Monday — Cracker Barrel for dinner for Kathrynne’s birthday
  • Tuesday — Pork Roast, Oreida Fries, Roasted Broccoli
  • Wednesday — Baked Chicken, Peas, Pineapple, Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Thursday — Kielbasa, Peas, Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Friday — Homemade Pizza, pineapple
  • Saturday — Leftovers

Total spent on groceries: $66.12

Psst! Need some help with cutting your grocery budget? Check out my series: 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget.

Cashback earned this week: 125 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $1 back from iBotta for buying bread, milk. water, and scanning a receipt.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

34 Comments

  • Elizabeth Rotering says:

    Would LOVE to see pictures of your stockpile

  • Amy says:

    I just finished a January grocery challenge of $40/week (family of 4, kids are 15 & 19 yr old boys!!). So pleased to say I was successful!! I did this because we had a very full stockpile that needed to be used up. The hardest part was passing up a couple good stock up deals, but it was very helpful in using up what we had on hand.

  • Megan says:

    I don’t know if anyone else would enjoy this but I typically just dress my salads with red wine vinegar. I find I don’t miss the oil and it works out well especially if I have another component with stronger flavor such as green onions, croutons, shredded Parmesan (preferably all of the above!:)

  • Melissa says:

    I’ve followed your blog for years and appreciate posts like these since I do all the grocery shopping in my home. So I’ve been wanting to ask this for a while however since you always post the disclaimer that you buy ahead often, I haven’t. But I can’t stop wondering… you seem to buy a lot less produce than you used to. I could be wrong but most weeks I’m like, how does she do it on so little fresh produce? This is the first week I’ve seen 4 bags of salad although I know you’ve been eating it a lot lately. How do you make 7 bananas, 5 apples and 2 oranges last all week for 5 people?? I have to assume you have vegetables frozen or canned and stock piled right? My family of five eats very healthy (I know your family eats pretty healthy too) and my main expense each week is produce. I buy 2-3 lbs of baby carrots, a bell pepper, cucumbers, and salad or celery almost every week. I also buy bananas, apples, and berries, grapes, pears or oranges depending on what’s on sale. And we blow through all of that every week. My kids (8, 5, 2) eat fruit 3 times per day (sometimes more) and fresh or frozen veggies twice a day. My husband and I eat a lot of produce as well. I’m wondering if you intentionally skimp on produce to cut costs or if you have it hidden away somewhere. haha Please understand I’m not trying to be critical of your food choices, I simply want to understand your strategy/method a little better!

    • Great question! I realized that I didn’t hardly buy any produce this week when I posted these and that was because I had multiple bags of frozen veggies (peas/broccoli) in the freezer that we used for dinner, a pineapple I bought last week we hadn’t used, bananas in the freezer we used this week for banana muffins, and a bunch of apples and clementines I’d gotten marked down from the previous weeks that hadn’t been eaten that we used this week.

      To be really honest, my kids actually don’t eat as much fresh produce as they used to — as the girls have gotten older, I let them make more of their own choices for food and while I encourage them to eat veggies and fruits each day, I don’t make their plates any more so they don’t choose to eat as many fruits and veggies as they used to — especially now that they are in school all day. Usually, they will have an apple or banana or clementine every day + veggies/salad at dinner and then often some fruit or veggies in other things (like bananas in muffins or a smoothie). I know that some people probably will freak at out me admitting this, but it’s the truth.

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks for the insight! I assumed you may have had some produce stored away. And it definitely makes sense about your kids making their own food choices. I didn’t really think about my kids possibly changing their eating habits as they get older. Good thing to keep in mind! No judgement here… we moms have to let them take the reigns in more areas as they get older. Like you said, you offer and encourage healthy choices and the rest is up to them! Thanks for your reply. 🙂

        • You’re welcome! And yes, life is much different when you hit the teen years. It’s wonderful in its own way… but gone are the days of me picking out matching outfits and fixing dinner plates! 🙂

  • Ann says:

    I don’t use dressing either! People think it’s strange but that’s the way I like it. I sometimes add a splash of lemon juice instead.

  • Samantha says:

    I read every single comment. Congratulations to all of you and great Job. I’m just a family of one. But its still a challenge as I live on a fixed income. And am grateful for what I do have.!! Not a meat eater or bread. O I forgot don’t do sweets or coffee either. I know I sound weird but for me those items make my heart race and itch. Love color and fruits, vegetables plus things li kie beans. Egg whites. Lots of tea and juice!!
    Keep up the good work all!!

  • Leslie S says:

    I love that you made pizza with your daughter and explained to her how you and your husband got by back in his law school days. I think often times we as the parents are very careful to make sure our kids don’t feel like they have to do without that they can become young adults with unrealistic expectations. It’s good for our kids to understand that we have had to make hard choices to get to a more financially stable place in our life. And that making choices and sacrifices is part of being an adult. I was pretty naive when I was first starting out and don’t want my kids to have the same “adulting” issues that I did. Thanks for offering a great example of how to connect this lesson with my kids without it taking away from a fun time just making dinner as a family.

    • I try to take my kids shopping with me often and we talk about why we rarely buy things at full price. I want them to learn the skills of being creative, thinking outside the box, and learning to make great meals and eat well — on a budget! I don’t know what the future holds for them, but my hope is that we help set them up for success when it comes to money through our example and by giving them opportunities to have to learn and practice handling money themselves.

  • Shannon says:

    One of my goals for 2019 was to cut my grocery budget. I have gone from a $125 per week to $80 per week. I succeeded for January and I am determined to continue. My goal is to put that additional money towards paying off debt. Thank you for all your posts. They are so helpful.

  • F. H. says:

    Wish I could do this but both my children are autistic which comes with very limited eating tastes. No I can not force them to starve to make them eat because they would literally starve. Digornos, crinkle frie and chicken nuggets all stuff NEVER on sale in my part of Florida. Let me tell you how lovely it is getting 2 weeks worth of Digornos and 4 pound bags of crinkle fries in front of all the people judging me out the door because that’s all I feed my kids. Onemof which is 24 years old.

    • Just do the best you can do! And maybe focus on cutting expenses in other places? Also, DiGionos pizza was on sale at Walgreens last week — which I’m guessing you have in Florida? And it’s on sale at Target and other places fairly often, too!

  • Cathy says:

    Most of your deal look amazing and impressive!! I usually pick up lemon juice at Dollar Tree ~ 32 oz. for $1.00.

    • Yes! I love to get it there — if I’m on that side of town. It’s pretty far out of the way, so it wasn’t worth a trip there. But next time we’re there, I need to stock up!

  • Mel says:

    Went to the ‘fancy’ grocery store instead of Aldi this weekend. Helpful husband got the milk while I was getting something else. After seeing the organic milk from Aldi for many weeks, that’s what helpful husband put in the cart. I had to gently explain that is pretty much an Aldi only item and substituted the cheaper non organic, but hormone free milk instead.

  • H.H. says:

    I find January to be a great time to have an eat-from-the-freezer/pantry month. We have a nice stock pile plus there are usually yummy treats and food gifts leftover from Christmas. We managed to spend only about $30 this month on some fresh items. It inspires me to be creative with what we have and I sort of turn it into a game so it never feels like we haven’t been to the store. We consistently stockpile when prices are rock-bottom and this alone has helped us to become debt-free. Sometimes it didn’t always feel like saving a dollar on an item really made a difference but when I finally learned to do it on everything I bought, we managed to throw lots of those dollars at our debt! Coming from a home where we just bought what we wanted without a budget, I’ve come to learn how a budget-especially a grocery budget is so essential to help me be responsible with finances. Thanks for your encouragement!

  • Barb says:

    I actually find that Safeway has really good sales and I believe that they have better meat sales than Kroger (Randalls or tom thumb I guess in other parts of the country). Also, it is worth going beyond grocery stores as you say. Walmart, Walgreens have food deals and Target often has things like a ten dollar gift card off 25 bucks in frozen food that you can combine with coupons.

  • Jonna says:

    A picture of your stockpile would be cool to see. Mine is very small, but it works for the space & I don’t like to overload myself with things! I find that having a huge stockpile (a whole room etc.) just doesn’t work for me. Thanks to your posts I went back to my Kroger for the first time since they started the remodeling of the store. I managed to get good deals on the brand of vegan cheese I love (dairy sensitive) & my favorite brand of white grape juice in family size bottles!

  • Tracy K says:

    I love that you encourage others to use the resources they have. I live in an area of limited choices for grocery shopping. However, I am fortunate enough to have an Aldi within a 20 minute drive, as well as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Walmart. Our local IGA has great sales from time to time and I stockpile when available. Our monthly grocery budget for a family of 3 (1 female and 2 ravenous males) is approximately $100 to $150. A friend and I are currently challenging ourselves to a $40 budget for the month of February. Due to my pantry and freezer stockpile, this challenge should prove to be not much of a challenge at all 🙂

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