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Hospitality on a $70 Budget + GREAT deals at Kroger this weekend!

You can show hospitality even on a small grocery budget! This post is so inspiring!!

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.

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 best parts of this $70/week grocery budget challenge is not that we’re saving a few hundred dollars every month (though I’m stoked about that!) nor is it the fact that I’ve been re-invigorated to fill our freezer with food (we currently have close to 15 meals in there and I’m slowly adding to the stash every week!).

The best part is that buying ahead and stocking up on the sales and markdowns and being more of a strategic shopper means we have a lot more food at our house at any one given time — which means that spontaneous hospitality is so much easier to pull off!

Wednesday morning, I had the idea to invite a mom and her four kids over for dinner. She just recently moved to the area with her kids and I well remember what a big move like that is like!

I looked in our fridge and cupboards and realized I had just bought 7 pounds of marked down meat the day before, plus I had corn on the cob, marked down potatoes, and some frozen broccoli.

So we invited her family over plus two other families from church. I texted everyone and said that I was just making what I already had on hand. It wouldn’t be anything fancy, but we’d love to have them!

We ended up having 18 people for dinner — and we had plenty of food! Meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, roasted broccoli, and the other women offered to bring salad, mac and cheese, and fruit.

It was simple, it was inexpensive, and it was an evening of laughter, great conversation, and games.

Hospitality doesn’t have to require a lot of extra time or special ingredients. It doesn’t even mean you need to spend more $$ to pull off.

Hospitality is about welcoming people into your real life and bringing your real, imperfect selves to the table. It’s about saying, “Welcome! I want to share what we have with you. Come as you are and pull up a chair!”

While I was working on making food for our guests on Wednesday, Kaitlynn made two dinners’ worth of Spaghetti Casserole. We just made up the recipe using pasta we had gotten marked down, cheese I got on sale, pasta sauce I got from Aldi, ground sausage I got marked down, and cottage cheese I had gotten marked down and had frozen.

Kroger has some GREAT sales this weekend! Download their digital coupons (they are good through Monday evening) to get Seedless Watermelon for just $1.99 each (you can purchase up to 5 watermelon in one transaction at this price).

They also have Kroger Ice Cream Sandwiches and Fruit Bars for just $0.99 per box with the digital coupon (you can get up to 5 boxes in one transaction at this price).

I got the watermelon to take to a picnic we’re attending tonight where we’re supposed to bring enough of a side dish to feed 15 people and I got the ice cream sandwiches for tomorrow evening since we’re having two families over for pizza!

My total for the 5 boxes of bars/ice cream sandwiches + the watermelon was $9.49 — bringing my grand total for this week in grocery expenditures to $68, $2 under my $70 grocery budget!

Total spent so far this week: $68 (Yes! $68 even!)

Total left to spend: $2

Rebates: $1.50 Ibotta rebate for buying the 2 Fage yogurts, $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting my receipt, + a second $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting another receipt.

See our $70 menu plan for this week. See all my posts about our $70 grocery budget here.

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


  • Rachel says:

    That baked spaghetti looks awesome! Do you have a recipe that you use for it? I would love to try to make it but have never seen it before now.

  • Bridgett says:

    I want to have my in laws over but want to do it on the cheap end. This menu looks great! Hope you share the meatball recipe on fb live soon!

  • Liz says:

    I LOVE the idea behind what you are doing. Our budget/income is pretty tight right now so I am also challenging myself to make cheaper meals. I normally only shop every two weeks which I have found to really keep our budget down but we also purchase MOST of our dried food in bulk. For e.g. we purchase rolled oats in 50lb bags. This REALLY makes them inexpensive. Not only that we try to eat as organically/naturally as possible which does increase our food budget but even then by purchasing in bulk we can really save. We also have company this weekend so was thinking of what to cook that would be hearty and filling. I have just started a batch of Kamut Sourdough bread and then tomorrow plan to make a big pan of baked beans. Those two items are relatively inexpensive and there is nothing like fresh warm bread smothered in butter. Yummmmm… All the best to you in your endeavors.

    • Jessica says:

      What kind of storage do you have for bulk dry goods like that? The last time I bought a 25# bag of flour, it ended up with pantry moth larvae in it and I had to toss half of it out.

    • Thanks so much for sharing! I want to get back to buying in bulk. After our pantry got infested with moths and we had to throw out the 50-lb bag of wheat kernels I had in there, I’m kind of scared to! I’d love to hear your tips for storing bulk foods and where your favorite places are to buy them!

  • Crystal, thanks for sharing! I’ve been buying marked down meat as well. $1 per pound savings is excellent, and the meat is organic too. It’s so exciting to think outside the box and still eat healthy. 🙂

  • Heather says:

    I love that you started documenting this. It has definitely motivated me to look for deals too. Our Smith’s grocery store has a 4 day coupon for 19 cents per pound seeded watermelon so we bought our first one of the season.

  • Rebekah Jarrett says:

    I have been a follower of MSM since 2007. Thank you for helping me start off our marriage couponing and deal shopping! Now I’m a stay at home mom, have 4 kids, and my husband is a youth pastor. He has a steady income, but not extravagant.

    Recently, my son has had a lot of health issues. We have had to dramatically change his diet to gluten free, dairy free and nightshade free. I will probably soon be eliminating other food groups as well. We are still waiting on test results. But all that being said, we are in survival mode and have been for some time (my husband just had his 5th skin cancer surgery and this time they sewed his eye shut for 2 weeks to heal it).

    Do you have any suggestions of where to get better prices on items such as gluten free flours like tapioca or almond flour or egg substitutes? Publix is the main grocery store where I live which is just too expensive for these items. I definitely can’t afford Whole Foods. I’m having to make everything like ketchup, Nomato sauce (spaghetti sauce without tomatoes), mustard, and so many other foods in life I’ve totally taken for granted for years. I’m having to make everything from scratch. If I find a gluten free item it almost always has dairy or nightshades in it. My body and brain are worn out and our budget is almost worn out too.
    Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

    • My advice (from when I’ve been gluten-free/dairy-free or my kids have been) is to focus on what you CAN eat instead of making substitutes for what you can’t. And look for blogs online that offer GREAT recipes for gluten-free/dairy-free AIP diet stuff. There are LOTS of them!

      If it were me, I would just not worry about things like ketchup and mustard and sauces and gluten-free substitutes and egg substitutes and coming up with recipe substitutes… I would just focus on the basics and what you CAN eat and the simplest recipes possible. Meat, produce, legumes, fruit, etc. Stick to the basics.

      Also, look into buying what you can eat in bulk from a co-op or Azure Standard. Whole Foods also does have some great sales, but I typically find Amazon to be a better deal for natural and organic products.

      • Rebekah J says:

        Great ideas! Thank you for the advice Crystal!

        • Deborah Swanson says:

          Hi Rebekah J – It’s a year later and I’ve stumbled on your post. I hope that you and your family are doing well. Try uniting your church membership and that of your sister churches. There are probably other families locally dealing with dietary restrictions and the costs. If nothing else, maybe you’ll find a partner to share the purchase of bulk items. You’re probably an expert by now but your journey reminded me of trying to feed my gluten-free niece touched my heart. Enjoy the day.

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