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Gretchen’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 5

Aldi

1 bag Long Grain Rice – $1.85

2 Mac & Cheese – $0.34 each

1 Flour – $1.15

2 dozen Eggs – $1 each

2 bags Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.59 each

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.85

1 box Fruit & Grain Bars – $1.35

1 box Granola Bars – $0.95

2 bags Shredded Cheese – $2.75 each

2 boxes MooTubes – $1.55 each

1 box Balance Cereal – $1.69

1 box Crisp Rice Cereal – $1.39

4 Yogurts – $0.32 each

1 lb Butter – $2.66

1 Chunk Cheese – $1.45

2 bags Frozen Peas/Corn – $0.75 each

1 pkg Ground Beef – $7.21

1 Grape Jelly – $1.29

1 Applesauce Cups – $1.19

1 Peanut Butter – $1.15

1 Orange Juice – $1.59

1 gallon Milk – $2.57

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $0.92

1 can Black Beans – $0.47

2 cans Cut Green Beans – $0.38 each

1 box Golden Rounds – $1.59

2 pkg Flour Tortillas – $1.45 each

1 bag Romaine Lettuce – $2.99

1 bag Green Peppers – $2.19

1 Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

1 Baking Powder – $0.99

1 Ranch Dressing – $0.89

1 Cinnamon Raisin Bagels – $1.49

1 loaf White Bread – $0.59

1 loaf Wheat Bread – $0.55

2 Cucumbers – $0.55 each

1 bag Tomatoes – $1.39

1 Cream Cheese – $0.79

1 Strawberry Cream Cheese – $1.49

1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies – $0.39

2.33 lbs Bananas – $0.91

Total: $77.93

Grocery Outlet

1 pkg Turkey Breast – $1.29

2 pkg Go-Gurt – $1 each

1 pkg Dairy Free Go-Gurt – $0.50

2 boxes Chewy Granola Bars – $0.50 each

1 pkg (6 count) Lunchables – $1.99

1 Strawberry Jelly – $2.39

Total: $9.17

Total for both stores: $87.10

Menu Plan for This Week

Breakfasts

Cereal, Eggs, Bagels & Cream Cheese, Yogurt, Fruit, Oatmeal, Toast

Lunches

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Mac & Cheese, Cheese Quesadillas, Cheese/Crackers/Veggies/Fruit, Turkey Sandwiches, Lunchables, Leftovers

Dinners

Salad Bar with Chicken, Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

Sour Cream Enchiladas, Chips & Salsa, Corn

Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits, Steamed Peas

Chicken & Rice, Tossed Salad

Spaghetti, Green Beans, Homemade Bread

French Toast, Eggs, Fruit Smoothies

Cheese Pizza, Breadsticks

A Peek Into Last Week + An Update On My Goals

Welcome to my weekly update post where I share my weekly goals each week. These goals are based (somewhat) on my yearly goals for 2021, with some extras thrown in depending upon the week and what other short-term goals I have.

But first, a little peek into last week…

Her newest obsession is books! She loves them — and she leaves her mark on the library every time she goes into it! She loves to sit and look through the picture books on her shelf and it’s the cutest.

 

I discovered there were three opened bottles of pasta sauce in the fridge this past week. (How does that even happen??) So I froze them with this little helper!

One of my decluttering projects was to go through the library this past week. I had done this a year ago, so it didn’t need that much decluttering. But I did move a few things around and found a tall stack of books to get rid of.

We love getting to babysit for this sweet boy — and it’s so fun to see both babies on the move!

We got snow twice in the last week — which is a pretty big deal for the Nashville area! And the kids were thrilled that they even got a Snow Day and school was cancelled!

My parents and brother came to visit us for the afternoon and evening on their way to drop my brother off at college. It was great to get to see them again and to have them at our house.

I don’t discuss politics online, but I did want to say something about the events of last week. As I sat on Wednesday and watched the events unfold on TV, I felt prompted to write this prayer that I prayed over all of you Wednesday evening. I wanted to share it here in hopes that it might encourage some of you.

Now, even though it feels weird to transition from that, onto the goals…

Last Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Log 8,000 steps/day = 56,000 steps for the week.

2. Finish 3 books: Code Name: Lise,We Were the Lucky Ones, and In a Boat in the Middle of a Lake.

3. Fill out my habit tracker every day.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 10 pages of A Boy’s War as a family. Read 5 chapters of Charlotte’s Web to Kierstyn.

5. Take down Christmas decor and go through Christmas decor bins — declutter and organize.

6. Whole House Clean Out spaces to go through/organize/declutter: Library, main floor bathroom, laundry room.

Work/Blog Goals

7. Record 7 videos and write content for the 10 Days to Be a Happier Mom Challenge.

8. Write a post on the books I plan to read in 2021.

9. Write a post on how I use my Habit Tracker.

Fun Goals

10. Go on a date with Jesse for our 18th anniversary.

11. Play Throw, Throw Burrito as a family (the kids are obsessed with this game!)

12. Take the girls on a shopping date to spend their Christmas money.

You’ll notice that this week’s goals are heavy on the work side. As I’m gearing up for the launch of my new book (it comes out in March), I have planned a few more work hours in my week so that I can add in the extra responsibilities and projects that come along with a book launch.

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Log 8,000 steps/day = 56,000 steps for the week.

2. Finish 2 books: We Were the Lucky Ones + Something Needs to Change.

3. Fill out my habit tracker every day.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 10 pages of A Boy’s War as a family. Finish reading Charlotte’s Web to Kierstyn.

5. Whole House Clean Out spaces to go through/organize/declutter: Laundry room, bedside table, kitchen cupboards.

Work/Blog Goals

6. Finish all the content and emails for the 10 Days to Be a Happier Mom Challenge.

7. Write a post on the books I plan to read to Kierstyn in 2021.

8. Write a post on how I use my Habit Tracker.

9. Put together details for my book launch team.

10. Film the trailer for my book promo.

Fun Goals

11. Get a manicure with a friend.

12. Do a craft project.

What’s on your list of goals for this week? I’d love to hear — and help keep you accountable!

Brigette’s $98 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family!

Aldi

5 bags frozen Broccoli Florets – $4.25

2 bags frozen Riced Cauliflower – 2.98

1 Cauliflower – $1.99

1 large English Cucumber – $1.19

3 bags Fresh Green Beans – $4.77

1 3-lb bag Lemons – $2.69

1 bag Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 bunch Bananas – $0.87

1 carton Grape Tomatoes – $1.49

1 carton Blueberries – $1.79

1 Spiral Ham, reduced– $13.74

1 16-oz pkg Deli Meat – $2.49

2 large cans Chicken Breast – $3.98

1/2 gallon Orange Juice – $2.29

1/2 gallon Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.49

1 32-oz carton Half and Half – $1.29

1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.45

1 gallon 2% Milk – $1.45

1 can Whipped Dairy Topping – $2.29

1 16-oz carton Heavy Whipping Cream – $1.35

3 cans Green Beans – $1.14

1 large canister Old Fashioned Oats – $2.29

1 large canister Quick Oats – $2.29

2 8-oz blocks Mozzarella Cheese – $2.50

2 pkgs Deli Sliced Cheese – $2.50

2 16-oz bags Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $3.98

3 dozen Eggs – $2.10

5 individual cartons Greek Yogurt – $2.95

2 pkgs Rice Cakes – $1.98

1 pkg Flour Tortillas – $1.45

1 32-oz box Elbow Macaroni – $0.99

1 loaf White Bread – $0.59

2 pkgs English Muffins, reduced– $0.50

Total: $84.68

Harris Teeter

2-ct bag Avocados – $0.99

2 boxes Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese – $2.00, used $1.00/2 – $1.00/2 after Coupon

1 bag Tastykake Donuts – $1.49, plus receive $1.00 rebate from Ibotta – $0.49 after Rebate

1 40-ct box Truvia Sweetener – $1.99, used $1.50/1 – Truvia Stevia Sweetener (SS Jan. 3), plus receive $1.50/1 rebate from Ibotta  – $1.01 MM after Coupno and Rebate

1 bag Pyure Sweetener, reduced – $6.49, used $2.00/1 catalina printout coupon – $4.49 after Coupon

4 boxes Kellogg’s Cereal – $10.00, used 2 $1.00/2, plus receive $5.00 off wyb 5 select Kellogg’s products (HT promotion), plus receive 2 $0.60/1 rebate on the Raisin Bran from Ibotta – $2.80/4 boxes after Coupons, Promotion and Rebates

1 box Kelloog’s Pop Tarts – $2.00, plus receive $5.00 off wyb 5 select Kellogg’s products (HT promotion) – $1.00 after promotion

1 bag Grapefruit, reduced – $1.00

1 bag Pepperoni – $2.99 (Aldi was out)

1 Light + Fit Collagen and Antioxidants Yogurt – $1.50, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – FREE after Coupon

Total after Coupons, Promotion, and Rebates: $13.75

Weekly Grocery Total: $98.43

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Cereal, Oatmeal, Toast, Fruit, Yogurt, Scrambled/Fried/Boiled Eggs, Smoothies, Veggie Omelets

Lunches

Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Blueberries/Grapefruit, Cucumbers x 2

Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter, Apples, Carrots x 2

Leftover x 3

Dinners

Ham, Cheese and Egg McMuffins, Broccoli

BBQ Meatballs (using half venison), Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Tossed Salad, Butterhorns, Green Beans

Pepperoni Rolls, Green Beans

Ham and Beans, World’s Best Honey Cornbread

Build-Your-Own-Burrito (Tortillas, Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Sour Cream, Olives, Shredded Cheese, Seasoned Ground Venison, Avocado), Spanish Cauliflower Rice

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Roasted Cauliflower, Baked Potatoes, Biscuits

Date Night Out (Kids eat Macaroni and Cheese and Broccoli)

52 Books I Plan to Read in 2021

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

For 2021, I set a goal of reading 3 books per week —  1 fiction book, 1 non-fiction book, and 1 audiobook each week. I know this is an audacious goal, but reading is something I love and it’s a way I learn, challenge my mind, improve as a writer and communicator, and am refreshed and encouraged through inspiring stories.

I have a few shelves full of books (mostly that I’ve gotten free), so I decided to choose 52 books from off my shelf to read this year. I’ll also read other books that I find/am sent that pique my interest. Plus, I plan to go through a lot of audiobooks (I get mine free from the Libby app).

Each week, I plan to give an update on what I read/listened to + my honest reviews. We’ll see how I do with my reading goals. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to hit them, but it will be fun to try!

Note: I have not read any of these books, so my inclusion of them on this list is not an endorsement or recommendation of them.

Foster Care/Parenting Titles

Spiritually Encouraging Non-Fiction Titles

Fiction Titles

(I need some more title recommendations for fiction. I like clean titles that have good character development, depth, and meaning but that are also well-paced and engaging. Any suggestions??)

Marriage Titles

Biographical Non-Fiction

Business/Entrepreneurial Titles

Other Non-Fiction Titles (that don’t really fit into a category!)

Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read first?

Coming soon: the 12 books I plan to read to Kierstyn in 2021.

Gretchen’s $75 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 5

Aldi

1 bag Frozen Chicken Tenderloins – $6.05

1 Carton Organic Plain Yogurt – $2.99

1 Applesauce Cups – $1.35

1 pkg Cinnamon Raisin Bagels – $1.65

1 box Raisin Bran Cereal – $2.05

1 box Cocoa Rice Cereal – $1.65

1 Grape Jelly – $1.45

1 Peanut Butter – $1.29

1 pkg Chocolate Chips – $1.45

1 pkg Flour Tortillas – $2.19

1 pkg Carrots – $1.45

1 pkg Celery – $1.39

1 pkg Chunk Cheese – $1.65

1 pkg Sliced Cheese – $1.99

1 Oven Roasted Turkey Breast – $4.65

1 jar Pasta Sauce – $0.95

1 gallon Milk – $2.85

1 Spreadable Butter – $2.55

1 pkg MooTubes – $1.75

4 Yogurts – $0.35 each

2 dozen Eggs – $1.09 each

1 bag Frozen Broccoli – $0.95

0.41 lbs Bananas – $0.98

1 loaf Bread – $1.05

1 pkg Tortilla Chips – $1.05

1 pkg Potato Chips – $1.25

1 box Chocolate Puffs Cereal – $1.45

1 pkg Crackers – $1.99

1 pkg Pretzels – $0.95

1 Unsweetened Applesauce – $2.15

1 can Corn – $0.45

1 box Fruit & Grain Bars – $1.49

2 can Tuna – $0.75 each

2 can Green Beans – $0.45 each

1 box Granola Bars – $1.05

1 box Pasta – $0.85

3 boxes Mac & Cheese – $0.39 each

2 Cucumbers – $0.65 each

1 carton Orange Juice – $1.75

1 large pkg Tilapia – $6.75

1 Whipped Topping – $0.89

0.64 lbs Roma Tomatoes – $0.67

Total: $75.52

Menu Plan for This Week

I have lots of leftover fruit and frozen fruit from the last two weeks that I’ll be using up this week.

Breakfasts

Cereal, Bagels, Eggs, Yogurt, Oatmeal, Homemade Carrot/Veggie Juice

Lunches

Mac & Cheese, Turkey Sandwiches/Chips, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches/Applesauce, Fruit/Cheese/Crackers, Tuna Sandwiches/Chips, Leftovers x 2

Dinners

Cheese Pizza, Fruit Smoothies

Grilled Tilapia, Biscuits, Steamed Peas, Baked Potatoes

Taco Bar, Chips & Salsa

Italian Chicken, Homemade Bread, Steamed Broccoli

Pancakes, Eggs, Fruit Smoothies (My kids are obsessed with fruit smoothies lately!)

Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Breadsticks

Venison & Gravy over Pasta, Fruit Salad

My 12 Goals for This Week

As I mentioned last week, I’m planning to share my weekly goals here each week. These goals are based (somewhat) on my yearly goals for 2021, with some extras thrown in depending upon the week and what other short-term goals I have.

I’ve been working on doing a Whole House Clean Out right now. This is something I usually do at the beginning of the year and it’s so great to start the year with all of the closets and cupboards and shelves decluttered and organized. Plus, I’ve found that if I do a really thorough job of it, it mostly stays pretty well for the majority of the year — and then it’s not too hard to do again the next year!

I’m always surprised at how much I find to get rid of, though! 🙂

One of the things I’ve been enjoying is an afternoon ritual of a cup of tea and some kind of treat. It slows me down and it reminds me to savor the beauty of the life right in front of me. Over the years, I’ve established a number of different rituals throughout the day — most that I do without even thinking much about them — but they serve me so well + just make life more enjoyable and orderly!

Now, on to this week’s list of goals:

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Log 8,000 steps/day = 56,000 steps for the week.

2. Finish 3 books: Code Name: Lise, We Were the Lucky Ones, and In a Boat in the Middle of a Lake.

3. Fill out my habit tracker every day.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 10 pages of A Boy’s War as a family. Read 5 chapters of Charlotte’s Web to Kierstyn.

5. Take down Christmas decor and go through Christmas decor bins — declutter and organize.

6. Whole House Clean Out spaces to go through/organize/declutter: Library, main floor bathroom, laundry room.

Work/Blog Goals

7. Record 7 videos and write content for the 10 Days to Be a Happier Mom Challenge.

8. Write a post on the books I plan to read in 2021.

9. Write a post on how I use my Habit Tracker.

Fun Goals

10. Go on a date with Jesse for our 18th anniversary.

11. Play Throw, Throw Burrito as a family (the kids are obsessed with this game!)

12. Take the girls on a shopping date to spend their Christmas money.

What’s on your list of goals for this week? I’d love to hear — and help keep you accountable!