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This Week’s $100 Grocery Shopping Trip (ALDI + Kroger)

This Week's $100 Grocery Shopping Trip

We went to ALDI and Kroger on Sunday night and got some great deals.

Note: If you missed my post on Why I’m Back to Grocery Shopping, Menu-Planning, and Freezer Cooking, be sure to read it here.

Our Grocery Budget

We currently budget $125 per week for groceries for our family of 5. This does not include eating out once a week (we budget separately for that).

We also get some of our expensive groceries and personal products (such as makeup) via Amazon using credit earned from Swagbucks + we get the majority of our household products (cleaners, toothpaste, detergent, etc.) via credit earned from Grove.

I only spent $100, which leaves me wiggle room to buy more markdowns at Kroger if I have time to swing by there later this week to see if they have some great markdowns. If I don’t have time or they don’t have good markdowns, I’ll roll over the extra $$ to next week.

This Week's $100 Grocery Shopping Trip

Here’s what we bought:

ALDI Shopping Trip

  • Kidney beans — $0.59
  • Diced tomatoes — $0.59
  • Frozen corn — $0.95
  • Baby carrots — $0.99
  • 1 bag chicken breasts — $5.49
  • 2 loaves of wheat bread — $0.99 each
  • 4 yogurts — $0.29 each
  • Arizona Green tea — $0.74
  • Cashew halves — $2.99
  • Diced tomatoes with green chili — $0.59
  • Mini cucumbers — $0.99
  • Baby lettuce — $1.99
  • Feta crumbles — $1.79
  • Dried cranberries — $1.29
  • Canned Broth — $0.49
  • Maple syrup — $6.49
  • 5 Nectarines — $0.35 each
  • Tortilla chips — $1.19
  • Blueberries — $1.49
  • Peanut butter — $1.49
  • 1 bag of oranges — $1.69
  • Chocolate chips — $1.79
  • 3 packages of corn on the cob — $0.99 each
  • Bananas — $2.52
  • Pears — $2.49
  • Romaine hearts — $1.99 (got $0.25 back Checkout 51)
  • Greek yogurt — $0.75
  • Whole milk — $2.39
  • Honey — $4.99
  • Honey Nut Oats — $1.19
  • Strawberry preserves — $1.49
  • String cheese — $1.99
  • Cheddar cheese — $1.69
  • Tomatoes — $1.49
  • Half & Half — $1.89
  • 2 pair of girl’s shorts for $0.99 each — I was SO excited about this deal!
  • Total with tax — $74.26 (Plus, I uploaded my receipt to Yaarlo & earned a little cashback for doing so. If you haven’t signed up with Yaarlo, use my coupon code MONEYSAVINGMOM when you sign up to earn more.)This Week's $100 Grocery Shopping Trip

Kroger Shopping Trip

  • 2 packages of bacon — $2.50 each
  • 2 packages Applegate Peach Sausage — $3.79 each
  • 2 packages ground pork — $3.49 each
  • Eggs — reduced to $1.79
  • Sub sandwich buns — marked down to $0.99

Total with tax: $24.03 (Plus, I uploaded my receipt to Yaarlo & earned a little cashback for doing so. If you haven’t signed up with Yaarlo, use my coupon code CRYSTALP861 when you sign up to earn more.)

This Week’s Menu Plan

Interested in what we’re eating this week? You can see our menu plan for this week here. I plan our menu based upon what we already have on hand, so I didn’t have to buy every single item needed to make everything on our menu.

How to Be a Meal-Planning Mama

Struggling with menu planning? Check out this post on How to Be a Meal Planning Mama.

How much did you spend on groceries this week? Tell us in the comments!

My Completely Honest Review of JellyTelly

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One of the best parts of blogging for me has been the opportunity I’ve had to get to know some really brilliant people who have done amazing things with their lives. One of those people I’ve been privileged to get to know a little through blogging is a man named Phil Vischer.

You might not know his name right off the bat, but I bet you’re familiar with VeggieTales®. Phil is the original VeggieTales® creator. And let me tell you he is the real deal.

He and his team are not only hilarious, they are humble, gracious, and warm-hearted. Phil is very honest about the mistakes he made with VeggieTales® and what his heart is for his current company and products.

We’ve long been huge fans of the What’s in the Bible? series and how it has served as a springboard to having amazing spiritual conversations with our kids.


Which is why I’m excited to tell you about JellyTelly today. It’s a kids’ streaming video app co-developed with VeggieTales® creator Phil Vischer and it allows you to instantly stream hundreds of hours of fun, family-friendly videos and movies for kids about God, the Bible, and faith.

We signed up for it about four months ago and our kids have spent lots of afternoons during their movie time each day gathered around the computer or TV watching shows from it. I love that it offers a wide variety of fun and engaging entertainment options for kids, but that I don’t have to worry whether the content is safe or kid-friendly.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a FREE 7-day JellyTelly trial subscription.
    Get a completely FREE month of
  2. Once you’ve signed up, scroll through the videos and movies and shows they offer and add ones you or your kids want to watch to your playlist. There are shows from VeggieTales®, What’s In The Bible?, Hillsong Kids, the Jesus Storybook Bible and many more. Just hover over any video you want to add to your Playlist. Fam-Couch-2_VT-Screen-1-logo
  3. You can play the videos directly on a laptop or desktop computer or through the JellyTelly streaming video app. The JellyTelly app is available for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Kindle. We’ve used both the online site on our desktop computer and the app through Apple TV and not had any issues with either.
  4. If you watch a show and you or your kids really love it, you can choose to click “Favorite” on it to add it to your My Favorites list. Your Playlist and Favorites list can be accessed from the menu button.Get a FREE month of
  5. JellyTelly also offers a page with a variety of games on it. All of them are fun games and many have Bible-based themes.
  6. JellyTelly wants to encourage families to make screentime more meaningful. You can sign up at the bottom of any page on their site for their free weekly 5-minute family video devotional —  design foster important conversations with your kids about their faith.
  7. If you decide to continue on after your free week is up, you’ll pay $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. It’s a lot less than Netflix and you can trust that everything they offer is family-friendly and wholesome! (If you want to cancel your membership before the month is up — or at any time! — just go to the JellyTelly website click on “Cancel Membership” on the “My Account” page and follow the instructions for cancellation under the heading “Cancel Membership.”)

You can go here to watch a video about JellyTelly to learn more about their overall mission and how it works.


(Note: This post was underwritten by JellyTelly. Read our disclosure policy here.)

*Payment information is required when you sign up for the trial. If you do not wish to continue your membership once the free trial is up, visit the JellyTelly website and click on “Cancel Membership” on the “My Account” page and follow the instructions for cancellation under the heading “Cancel Membership.”

My Completely Honest Review of thredUP (get 40% off your order!!)

(Note: This post was underwritten by thredUP. Read our disclosure policy here.)

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUp

Do you love name-brand clothing but hate paying the price tag? ThredUP is an online consignment store whose mission is to help customers afford the brands and designers they might not normally be able to.

ThredUP sells high-quality, practically new women’s and kids’ clothing and accessories, with a range of great brands to choose from at up to 90% off the original retail price!

We’ve ordered many, many clothes from ThredUP over the years and many of the clothes we’ve ordered have been items we’ve worn over and over again.

ThredUP recently approached me about doing an in-depth review and I was thrilled to accept the opportunity because I’m a fan of this company and also because so many people have asked for my opinion about thredUP.

I love getting great deals and shopping secondhand, but honestly, at this season of my life, digging through racks at the thrift store or going to garage sales just isn’t really my cup of tea. So I love that there are options to shop secondhand clothes online. ThredUP is one of my favorite online sites to buy secondhand clothes.My Completely Honest Review of ThredUp

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUp

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUp

Some of my favorite things about thredUP:

  1. They have a HUGE selection. Seriously. It would take me hours and hours and hours to get through all the clothes they offer just in my size alone!
  2. They allow you to search by size, color, and brand. Because they have such a massive number of options, I love that you can really drill down to very specific searches — you can refine your search in great detail if you choose: what colors of clothes you want, what brands you want, and what price range. This allows you to really find exactly what types of things you are looking for.
  3. The box is always well packed. ThredUP prides itself on the “unboxing” experience. When you receive your thredUP box, all of the clothing items will be hand-folded with cute thredUP tags attached to each. The items are wrapped in nice tissue paper and delivered to your doorstep in an cute polka dot box. Our kids were SO excited to get our boxes in the mail and begged and begged for us to open them ASAP so they could see what I had ordered! 🙂My Completely Honest Review of ThredUp
  4. They often offer coupons. Some of their normal prices are a little on the high side — especially when it compared to thrift store and garage sale prices. However, they often offer coupons which make it much more affordable. Speaking of which, scroll down to the bottom of this post for a 40% off coupon!!
  5. They offer good deals on high quality items. One of my favorite ways to shop thredUP is to search for deals on high-quality brands I already know that I love and adore but would never pay full price for. You can often find name brand items that are in like-new condition (or even new with tags!) — for up to 90% off the retail price! I was really excited this time around to get the kids some brand-new with tags items plus a number of other items that looked like they were brand-new. My kids LOVE Under Armour, so Silas was so thrilled that I found him an Under Armour hoodie. I’ve found that they have especially good prices on name brand jeans for kids and women. I prefer to buy high quality jeans that will last a long time, so being able to buy them like new at a fraction of the cost is a huge win!
  6. They have lots of items for $5-8 each. ThredUP has so many name brand kids’ items in the $5 to $8 range — and if you use the 40% off coupon code (below), you’ll be able to find some amazing deals!

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUp

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My Completely Honest Review of ThredUP

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUP

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUP

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUP

ThredUP also offers an easy way to clean out your closet. You can check their website to see which brands of your secondhand clothes they take and what the payouts are. Simply order a thredUP Clean Out Bag, fill it with items you no longer want, and place it at your door for pick-up. It’s so simple.

Would you like to try thredUP?

thredUP is offering readers a special offer! Here’s how to get your discount:

  • Sign up for thredUP as a new customer.
  • Browse and shop for the styles you’re looking for. Add them to your cart.
  • Use coupon code MSM40 at checkout to get 40% off your entire purchase (up to a $50 discount).

This coupon code is valid through September 15, 2016.

Have you tried thredUP before? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on your experience with it.

My Completely Honest Review of ThredUp

I can’t believe what I got for just $0.99 at ALDI!!

I went to ALDI this weekend to do my grocery shopping and was really excited about one of the deals I found there…

Look what I found at ALDI for just $0.99!

I saw a cart that said, “Everything in this cart is just $0.99!” Of course, you know I had to go check it out! 😉

There were girls’ shorts that were perfect for Kathrynne. I was sure they’d gotten misplaced and weren’t really $0.99, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. And what do you know?? They really were just $0.99!!

Look what I found at ALDI for just $0.99!

And if you need another reason to shop at ALDI, check the above photo out! They have Pure Vanilla for just $2.49!

P.S. See what I got for just $83 at ALDI last week.

This Week’s $100 Menu Plan (+ school starts tomorrow!)

This Week's Menu Plan

School starts this week! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, our kids are going to a 4-day Classical School this year.

After homeschooling for the past 7 years, it’s definitely going to be a new season of life for all of us — with a new schedule, a new rhythm, and new challenges. However, we’re also excited for this change and new season for our family. It’s a decision that was made with much prayer and thought and careful consideration and we truly have a lot of peace that this is what is best for our family (for many, many reasons) for this coming year.

(Though, trust me, I will likely be an emotional mess when we drop the kids off at school tomorrow! It’s like I’m doing the first day of kindergarten times three!!)

This Week's Menu Plan

Since this is a 4-day school, Mondays are at-home days where they kids are assigned projects and homework to accomplish at home. The school does this with the desire to give families a true Sabbath on the weekends — which I love.

Tuesdays through Fridays, we need to leave by 7:30 a.m. Our plan is for Jesse and I to continue getting up every week day at 4:45 a.m. to work out from 5 to 6:30 a.m. in our garage “gym”.

We’ll get the kids up at 6:30 a.m. and they’ll have 30 minutes to get dressed and ready for the day (they are packing their lunches and taking showers the night before to make mornings smoother). 7 a.m. will be breakfast and family time and then we’ll leave for school at 7:30 a.m.

We’ve been prepping for this new routine during the summer to make the transition easier. So I’m hopeful that things will be pretty smooth this week. We’ll see how it goes!


Breakfasts are a big deal at our house. Not necessarily because of what we eat, but because this is the one meal we’ve committed to eat together around the table pretty much every single day.

Dinners are often somewhat grab and go or brown bagged — especially on the 3 nights a week the girls have swimming and skating. But breakfast, it’s a given. We eat, we talk, we read together, we pray together, and we linger around the table. It’s been a beautiful addition to our schedule + a great way to start the day!

Choose from:

  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Bacon/EggsThis Week's Menu Plan

Lunches & Snacks

We’re trying something for lunches during the school year. Our extra refrigerator is going to be 100% devoted to lunch items. We’re making up a big batch of freezer-friendly PB&J on the weekends and, in addition, I’ll have 4 different bins of items that the kids can choose one from — cheese sticks, snack packs, veggies, fruit, applesauce, chips, cookies, etc.

Each bin will have something different so that when they choose one item from each, they’ll have a well-rounded lunch. I’m hoping this makes things super simple and easy for them to put together their lunches at night.

Jesse and I are in charge of our own lunches and I’m going to have items on hand to choose from: fried eggs, toast, chips & salsa, yogurt, refried beans & cheese, salads, fruits, veggies, and/or leftovers.

Snacks: Chocolate Banana Muffins


Jesse and I splitting up the cooking responsibilities for dinner this week. He’s in charge of the first two nights (since I have busier work days on Monday and Tuesday this week). I’m in charge of everything else.

Freezer Cooking

I’m doing a Freezer Cooking session on Wednesday where I’m combining dinner prep with freezer cooking. This means that I’ll really only have to bake/cook one day this week. I’ll be making the meat for Taco Lettuce Wraps, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Crockpot Taco Soup, and Chocolate Banana Muffins. Look for more details on how that goes later this week!

This Week's $100 Menu Plan for 5
We spent $100 on groceries this week from Kroger and ALDI. Look for my post tomorrow with full details on what all we bought and how much we paid for everything!

Related Menu-Planning Posts:

3 Recipes I Made Recently Using What We Had on Hand
Last Week’s Menu Plan
Last Week’s Freezer Cooking Session
Why I’m Back to Menu-Planning, Grocery Shopping, and Freezer Cooking
Why We Stopped Making Family Dinners a Priority
YEARS of Past Menu Plans We’ve Shared Here
6 Ways We’re Keeping Our Grocery Budget Low
Why We More Than Doubled Our Grocery Bill

What’s on YOUR menu this week? Tell us in the comments!