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$70 Grocery Budget (+ what we ate this past 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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Thank you so much for your encouragement on my last Grocery Post letting me know how much you enjoy me sharing my menu plans. Your kind words meant a lot to me; thank you for taking the time to share!

And yes, I realized based upon all the comments and emails that many of you really find the menu plans helpful and inspiring — even if most of the social media comments/emails in recent weeks have been from people who have felt frustrated by the menu plans. So I’ll plan to continue sharing them! 🙂

Two of the kids had their yearly testing at school this past week, so they asked if I could make Energy Bites — and we ended up going through 3 batches of these this week! We’ve eaten them for breakfast, lunch, snack, and after-dinner snack! 🙂

Also, I showed on Instagram stories how I make Roasted Broccoli — and literally just stick the frozen broccoli straight from the bag into the oven!

Sometimes, I go to Kroger and find all sorts of great deals and markdowns. Sometimes, I go and basically find nothing.

My first Kroger shopping trip of the week was a complete bust. See above. 🙂 I hope this encourages you to know that it’s not like every single time I head to Kroger I strike gold!

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • 3 Dannon Yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each
  • 2 bags of carrots — $1 each
  • Total with tax: $3.67

A few pictures of my salads from this past week. For more salad inspiration, see my post on 10 Days of Salads.

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • Kroger Pork Roast — marked down to $4.99
  • Ground Turkey — marked down to $2.49
  • Ground Pork — marked down to $2.50
  • 1 multipack of Kleenex travel tissues — $1.69
  • 1 bag of peppers — marked down to $0.99
  • Spinach — marked down to $1.79
  • 3 bags of Mission Street Tacos — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • Palmolive Dish Soap — $1.49 when you buy 6 participating items, used $0.50/1 Kroger Digital Coupon = $0.99
  • 2 boxes Creamette Pasta — $0.49 each, got $1 back from iBotta = free after iBotta rebate
  • 2 bags of carrots — $0.99 each
  • Rice bowl — marked down to $0.29
  • Ortega Skillet Sauce — marked down to $0.49
  • 2 cantaloupe — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 when you buy 6 participating items
  • 3 bags of cookies — $0.99 when you buy 6 participating items
  • Pringles — $0.99 when you buy 6 participating items
  • Jarlsberg cheese — marked down to $1.69
  • Grapes — $0.99/lb. = $2.11
  • 1 bag Taco Bell Cheese, 1 bag Kraft cheese — $2.29 each when you buy 6 participating items, used Buy One, Get One Free Kroger Digital coupon = $1.10 each after coupon
  • 2 cartons cottage cheese — $0.89 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • Half & Half — $1.79
  • Kroger Vitamin D Milk — 2.59
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup — $0.49 when you buy 6 participating items
  • 1 box Kellogg’s cereal — marked down to $0.50
  • Total with tax: $46.65

Have you tried the Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls recipe yet? Cassey made them and posted them on Instagram stories this past week. YUM!

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

  • Deli Chicken — marked down to $4.19
  • 2 cans of Green Beans — $0.49 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 2 cans of Pringles — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 5 bags of Popchips — $0.99 each as part of the Friday-Saturday deals
  • 18-count eggs — $0.99
  • Nestle Crunch Bars — $1, used $1/1 Kroger Digital Coupon = Free
  • Total with tax: $16.26

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.


  • Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Peanut Butter/Banana Toast


  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrots, Oranges, Salads, Leftovers, Cookies, Protein Bars, Energy Bites


  • Cantaloupe, Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Crackers & Cheese, Refrigerator Pickles, Energy Bites


  • Sunday — Fend For Yourself
  • Monday — Chicken Tetrazinni, Oranges, Refrigerator Pickles, Carrots, Hummus, Roasted Broccoli
  • Tuesday — Pancakes, Sausage, Oranges
  • Wednesday — Sausage/Peppers/Potatoes, Cantaloupe
  • Thursday — Leftovers/Fend For Yourself
  • Friday — Rotisserie Chicken, Green Beans, Cantaloupe, Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Saturday — Chipotle

Total spent on groceries: $66.58

Cashback earned this week: 205 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $1.10 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards.

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  • Danielle says:

    Ok Crystal you have inspired me to really try to stick to more of a budget. I just spent $180 on my groceries for 5 for a week. Agh, I’m disgusted with myself.

    I’ve started the Dash Diet so really trying for more fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. So I know to look for the mark downs, but honestly I’m at a loss.

    I know I’ll keep recipes in mind so that if I get good deals I can just then make something to go with it. Thanks for all you do and to make me want to do better for my family. I really appreciate it.

    • Margay says:

      I wish we had Kroger in Southern California. Occasionally I can find a Kroger product at my grocery store. But never the deals that you find. So it is a challenge to find deals to lower my grocery bill

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement!

    • Amy says:

      You should not feel disgusted with yourself!
      My budget for our family of 5 is 850 a month and that is down from an average of 1100 a month last year.
      We eat much more produce than the menu that Crystal posted. For instance, she only has cantaloupe and oranges listed.
      I bought 5 pounds of apples, a bunch of bananas, 2 pounds strawberries, oranges, 2 cartons each of raspberries and blueberries. We went through all of it except the some apples and oranges in 4 days.
      We don’t have Kroger here and food allergies. Healthy eating is expensive!

      • Danielle Spears says:

        Thanks appreciate that. We go through probably 5 -8 pounds of bananas, 5 pounds of apples, 2 cartons of strawberries, blueberries, etc. Plus all the veggies – carrots, cucumbers, peppers, salads, etc. So yeah that definitely gets expensive. Oh and nuts, definitely eat nuts.

        We are lucky that in Indianapolis we have TONS of grocery stores. I mean i can shop at Target, Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, and Aldi’s all within .15 miles from each other. Plus Fresh Thyme and another health food store I can’t think of within a mile. Because of that all of the prices are pretty much the same. So when one has a sale they all do.

        I try to find the clearance veggies since I know i’ll eat them right away, but they never have fruit. Drives me crazy. I’m trying to not buy sale items just because they are on sale. I am trying to make sure my pantry is stocked with items I use every day and that I truly need. Its so tiring though.

        • The best thing for us has been to only buy the veggies/fruits that are on sale. Yes, it means we typically only have 2-3 different veggies and 2-3 different fruits that week (unless I found lots of sales/markdowns), but because the sales change, we eat lots of different veggies and fruits over the course of a few months.

          I aim to pay no more than $0.99 per pound for fruit and can usually always find at least 1-2 fruits that are that inexpensive (well, plus bananas which are always cheaper than $0.99/lb!) My kids can go through a few pounds of fruit every day, so keeping it to $0.99/lb and stocking up when there’s a great sale really helps!

          You probably already do that, but since you mentioned buying the same kinds of fruits every week, I thought I’d mention it as this alone saves us at least $20-$30 on our budget every week!

  • Marci says:

    Is there a way to make your cinnamon rolls without a bread machine?

  • Christy says:

    We make raspberry cinnamon rolls using the bread machine recipe. I just sprinkle frozen or fresh if we have them raspberries. They are a favorite of my daughters and all their friends! Thank you for the recipe. We really enjoy it!

  • Shauna says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Diane says:

    I love energy bites but have a really hard time stopping eating them!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I make energy bites pretty often, but I’ve never thought of making a large batch and freezing them. What a great idea!

  • Donna S Snider says:

    Thanks for sharing the energy bites recipe. My granddaughters have testing the next couple of weeks of school so going to be making these. They look yummy.

  • Kristan says:

    Thank you for sharing. I love roasted broccoli but have never tried frozen? Does it get soggy from being frozen? Or do you just do it exactly like fresh?

  • I have a couple of questions as our grocery budget is out of control and I would love to be saving money in this area. But, 1. Do you meal plan before you go to the store or do you go to the store, find deals, and then plan out the meals? And, 2. Do you use the Eat at Home Meal Plan service every week? We started using that back in January and I LOVE it. But, sometimes buying the ingredients for the meals gets pricey. We eat very clean and try to stick to gluten/dairy free so just looking for tips/advice. Have been a loyal follower for years- love the Podcast too! <3

    • We don’t currently use the Eat at Home service. We have used it in the past and I love it for busy seasons, but we’d need to raise our grocery budget to probably $100 or $125 per week if we were going to use it right now.

      As far as meal-planning, I actually do reverse meal-planning. Meaning, I buy what’s on sale/marked down that I know we’ll use and then I plan meals based upon that. I try to always have enough on hand to make 8-10 dinners and then I just decide the day of what we’re going to make that day.

      • Alicia says:

        That makes perfect sense- some of the ingredients on the meal plan (pot roast, chuck roast, etc.) can get pricey but all of the recipes are excellent, I must say. And, that also makes sense for planning out your meals based on deals. I need to practice that 🙂 Thank you for such a quick response!

  • Kerri says:

    Crystal, I notice you seem to buy yogurt pretty frequently. I know you have an Instant Pot; have you ever thought about making yogurt in it? I started doing this recently and it’s been such a game-changer. Saves me money and lets me control what goes into it. And it tastes good too!

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