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Brigette’s $80 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

I didn’t need to buy as much food this time since my older three children are gone to camp the entire week 😉


1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.67

1 loaf Organic Knock Your Socks Off Sprouted Bread, reduced – $1.99

1 pkg Hamburger Buns – $0.65

1 3-lb bag frozen Beef Patties – $3.69

1 3-lb bag frozen Boneless Chicken Breasts – $5.59

1 pkg Turkey Pepperoni – $2.19

1 pkg Uncured Turkey Franks – $2.09

1/4 Sliced Ham – $7.30

1-lb Sausage – $2.89

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.85

1 can Baking Powder – $0.99

1 can Whipped Topping – $2.65

1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

4 cans Green Beans – $1.52

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 2-lb bag Lemons – $2.89

1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.89

1 bag Spinach – $0.99

1 3-lb bag Pink Lady Apples – $3.89

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.89

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $2.19

2 large bags Red Grapes (@$0.79/lb) – $3.27

1 Cauliflower – $2.19

Zucchini and Summer Squash – from a friend’s garden

1 carton Grape Tomtoes – $1.49

1 32-oz carton Plain Greek Yogurt – $3.15

1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59

1/2 gallon 1% Milk – $0.74

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99

1 pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.29

1 4-ct pkg Protein Greek Yogurt – $2.98

3 individual cartons Greek Yogurt – $1.77

1 4-ct pkg Fruit Pouches – $1.75

1 32-z carton Egg Whites – $2.95

1 bag Kettle Chips – $0.99

1 bag Organic Blue Corn Chips – $1.37

1 dozen Eggs – $0.67

Grocery Total for the Week: $80.44

Weekly Menu Plan


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

Zucchini Muffins, Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled/Fried/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Yogurt, Fruit, Smoothies, Toast, Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes


Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Apples, Carrots x 2

Build-Your-Own-Salad Bar x 2

Leftovers x 3


Hamburgers on the Grill, Tossed Salad, Grilled Zucchini

Grilled Chicken, Grapes, Baked Potatoes, Roasted Cauliflower

Hot Dogs, Potato Chips, Tossed Salad, Grapes

Crustless Sausage Quiche, Green Beans, Zucchini Muffins

Taco Salad with Blue Corn Chips (using seasoned ground venison), Rice

Out to Dinner (since we only have one child :))

Pepperoni Pizza, Roasted Zucchini

2 Books on World War II That I Finished Recently

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

Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page.

The last two weeks, I finished two books and here are my reviews…

The Librarian of Auschwitz

This book has been recommended to me many times when people hear I read a lot of World War II books and novels. It is the true story of Dita Kraus — a girl who risked her life to protect the few books that had been smuggled into the concentration camp.

While Dita was the main character for much of this book, it also tells many other stories of others throughout. And it paints a very heart-wrenching picture of what it was like to be both a child and a parent in a concentration camp.

Overall, I though the book was a worthwhile read. However, it felt disjointed and a little bland at times. I also found that the passages of different books that were included seemed kind of hard to follow and I would have been fine without them (in fact, I found myself skipping over them).

Also note: There is some crass language and a few sections that delve into things that are more on the PG-13 level.

I would give this a 3.5 star rating. Because it was good, but not quite as good as a 4-star book.

Verdict: 3.5 stars

The Boy on the Wooden Box

We read this aloud as a family and it was a winner book — meaning, all of us enjoyed it and found it engaging. It is the true autobiographical story of Leon Leyson, a boy who survived the holocaust as a result of being on Schindler’s List.

While I’ve read a lot of books about World War II, this one brought insight and perspective on some things that I hadn’t heard before. I thought it was an especially good read for our current times as it reminds you of how much we still have, even though it can feel like there is a lot of unrest, unknowns, and upheaval in our lives.

It sparked a lot of great conversation and discussion around the dinner table. Do note that some of the material it covers might be scary or unsettling for kids who are especially sensitive. While it didn’t delve into the atrocities of war and concentration camps in really graphic terms, it did cover some of the hardships and brutality that the Jews suffered.

Verdict: 4 stars

What have you read recently? I’d love to hear! Tell us in the comments!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe

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

This chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie is ridiculously simple, super healthy, and SO delicious! It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

{Psst! Check out these other creative ways to use up ripe bananas!}

Simple Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Smoothies make SUCH easy afternoon snacks for kids or adults. And they’re so refreshing during the summer time!

If you’re looking for easy smoothie recipes, you’ll want to stop what you’re doing right now and whip up this ridiculously simple Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie. It only uses three ingredients!

It’s SO delicious and hits the spot every time!! And you can even make it dairy-free by using almond, soy, or oat milk.

Just toss everything into the blender and voila! You have a healthy snack, breakfast, lunch, or even dessert. It’s packed with nutrition!

Two Smoothies Side By Side

I originally started making this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe years ago when I was using the P90X fitness plan. It was an easy way for me to get extra nutrition during a time when I was burning a lot of calories each day with my workouts. And our entire family ended up loving it!

Banana Smoothie With Chocolate Drizzle

You can even toss things up a little and add some chocolate drizzle, oats, nuts, or chocolate chips on top for extra flavor! Yum!!

Personally? I think it’s better than ice cream — and it’s certainly better for you!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy:

What other favorite smoothie recipes do you love? I’d love to hear!

Parenting a Strong-Willed Child

“Could you share some parenting advice for raising my enneagram 8 daughter? She is very headstrong and persistent, but has a complete disregard for rules and regularly challenges authority. As an enneagram 5 (and people pleaser), I do not understand the way she thinks. We have gone around and around and I’ve tried to get to the heart is the issue. But it seems her bottom line is she is going to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. How do I help channel her perseverance and tenacity in a positive way? She is only 8 years old. -a podcast listener”

When I got this email in my inbox, I could relate so much — because I remember being that 8-year-old girl with a very strong personality. And truth be told, I think “headstrong” and “persistent” are two words that can still describe me as a 38-year-old woman!

Oftentimes, we hear people talk about their “strong-willed child” in a way that makes it seem so negative… as if a child’s will needs to be broken and replaced. But that’s like trying to strip someone of their God-given personality.

I believe that the character qualities of persistence and determination can be such a gift — to your home, to your community, and to the world. That’s why I want to encourage you to stop trying to stifle a child’s strong personality and instead embrace the strength that it can bring.

In this episode, Jesse and I share encouragement for parents who are raising strong kids. I share from the perspective of being a strong kid growing up and we both share from the perspective of raising a child who has a very strong personality.

In This Episode: 

[02:26] Why Swaddle Sacks have been a life-saver recently.

[04:53] I came down with mastitis on Tuesday, so here’s what’s been saving my life.

[07:59] My experience getting a Coronavirus test (Spoiler… it was negative!)

[10:59] A book update on Get Out of Your Head.

[14:07] We’re chatting all about raising strong-willed kids.

[16:21] It’s okay if you can’t relate with your kids, but seeking to understand them is so important.

[17:16] Why rules for an Enneagram 8 are very restrictive.

[19:29] Change your mindset and see the desire for independence as a blessing.

[21:03] Stop using negative labels to define your kids.

[22:07] How studying personality typings can be so beneficial.

[24:26] Celebrate their strengths because they really are gifts.

[26:11] Say yes as often as possible for your child.

[29:45] Don’t overly protect your kids from struggle and failure.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

Gretchen’s $82 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan


1 pkg Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.59

3 lbs Ground Beef – $7.19

2 Half & Half – $1.55 each

2 dozen Eggs – $1.09 each

2 lbs Butter – $2.66 each

1 pkg Taco Seasoning – $0.39

1 Sour Cream – $0.89

1 lb Ground Turkey – $1.89

3.10 lbs Red Grapes – $2.45

2 can Tuna – $0.68 each

1 pkg Flour – $1.15

1 gallon Milk – $1.69

1 can Refried Beans – $0.75

1 box Cinnamon Crunch Squares – $1.39

1 container Organic Yogurt – $2.69

1 box Fruit & Grain Bars – $1.35

1 can Black Beans – $0.48

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $2.19

1 pkg Hot Dogs – $0.79

1 Italian Dressing – $0.89

1 can Mushroom Soup – $0.49

3 pkg Chunk Cheese – $1.45 each

1 pkg Mootubes – $1.55

1 pkg Flour Torillas – $1.25

1 bag Baking Potatoes – $2.59

1 pkg Chocolate Chips – $1.69

1 pkg Sliced Almonds – $2.75

2 Cucumbers – $0.49 each

1 box Snack Crackers – $1.59

1 box Cheese Crackers – $1.49

1 bag Tomatoes – $2.19

1 box Mac & Cheese – $0.33

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $0.89

1 canister Raisins – $2.89

1 bag Gala Apples – $2.79

1 bag Spinach – $0.99

1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – $0.75

1 pkg Bagels – $1.49

1 loaf Bread – $0.95

Total: $75.73


1 bag Broccoli Cuts – $0.77

1 bag Sweet Peas – $0.84

1 bag Cut Green Beans – $0.77

3.97 lbs Bananas – $1.55

1 Pet Ice Cream – $2.94

Total: $6.87

Total for both stores: $82.60

Menu Plan for This Week


Cereal, Bagels, Eggs, Spinach Smoothies, Yogurt, Oatmeal


Mac & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Turkey Sandwiches, Hard Boiled Eggs/Cheese/Fruit, Salad Bar, Leftovers


Spaghetti, Toasted Buns (leftover from last week), Green Beans

Sour Cream Enchiladas, Cornbread, Steamed Peas

Taco Bar, Chips & Salsa, Refried Beans

Grilled Chicken and Hot Dogs, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

Cheese Pizza, Breadsticks

Ground Beef & Gravy over Rice, Banana Muffins, Steamed Carrots

Barbecue Meatballs, Twice Baked Potatoes, Biscuits, Tossed Salad, Ice Cream

10 Goals for This Week (plus an update on last week’s goals)

Well, last week didn’t quite pan like I had planned… I ended up getting mastitis on Tuesday and was pretty much bed-ridden Wednesday through Friday. Because of this, I didn’t get as many of my goals finished this last week as I had hoped. But that’s okay, my body needed to just rest!

Here’s my update on last week’s goals:

Last Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Take 5 morning walks in our neighborhood. (I took 2 walks.)

2. Finish The Librarian of Auschwitz. Read 3 chapters of Show Up for Your Life. Read 6 chapters of Get Out of Your Head.

3. Do pelvic floor exercises at least four times. (I did these two times.)

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 3 chapters of The Giver aloud to the kids. 

5. Go on a date with Jesse. 

6. Spend one-on-one time with each of the three older kids doing something they love.

7. Help Kaitlynn with prep for her birthday party.

Work/Blog Goals

8. Work on my final book edits before I turn it into the publisher on July 1.

9. Work on content for my Mastermind live coaching sessions this month on building your email list and creating a welcome series.

Word of the Year Goals

10. Attend an outdoor Night of Worship as a family.

Above: Kaitlynn getting everything set up for her birthday party (a full post with details is coming soon!) Can you spot Champ in the photo??

And here’s my plan for this week… I’m so grateful to be feeling pretty much back to 100%! But I promise I will still get plenty of rest and liquids. I definitely don’t want to get sick again if I can help it!

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Take 5 morning walks in our neighborhood.

2. Read 5 chapters of The White Rose Resists. Read 5 chapters of Show Up for Your Life. Finish reading Get Out of Your Head.

3. Do pelvic floor exercises at least four times.

4. Prep for leading youth group Bible study on Wednesday night.

Home/Family Goals

5. Read 3 chapters of The Giver aloud to the kids. 

6. Go on a date with Jesse. 

7. Take Kaitlynn out on a date for her birthday.

Work/Blog Goals

8. Work on my final book edits before I turn it into the publisher on July 1.

9. Finish content for my Mastermind live coaching sessions this month on building your email list and creating a welcome series.

Word of the Year Goals

10. Start watching a new show together as a family.

What are YOUR goals for this week? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear and be able to cheer for you!