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Brigette’s $81 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!


2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $3.18

1/2 gallon 2% Milk – $0.74

1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.24

3 cartons Strawberries – $2.97

2 cans Green Beans – $0.76

1 pkg Grape Tomatoes – $1.49

2 bags Red Grapes ($0.79/lb) – $3.22

1 bunch Bananas – $1.01

1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

1 16-oz bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.19

1 bag Spinach – $0.49

4 bags frozen Broccoli Florets – $3.36

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.99

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 Cauliflower – $2.19

1 2-lb bag Brown Sugar – $1.29

1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59

1 family-size box Crisp Oats – $2.69

2 pkgs String Cheese – $3.96

1 bag Nacho Chips – $0.75

1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89

1/4 Sliced Ham – $7.04

1 10-lb bag fresh Chicken Quarters, reduced – $3.30

1 can Chicken – $1.99

1 16-oz bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $2.75

2 16-oz pkgs Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $5.25

1 pkg Sliced Cheese – $1.33

1 bag Pecan Halves – $5.29

1 pkg Tortillas – $0.95

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.67

1 loaf Sprouted Grain Bread – $2.99

4 individual cartons Greek Yogurt – $2.36

4 dozen Eggs – $2.68

Weekly Grocery Total: $81.06

Weekly Menu Plan


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

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


Baked Potato Bar, Cucumbers, Applesauce x 2

Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Strawberries, Broccoli x 2

Macaroni and Cheese, Tossed Salad, Bananas

Leftovers x 2


Burrito Bar (Seasoned Ground Venison, Chopped Romaine, Shredded Cheese, Salsa, Tortillas, Black Olives, Chopped Tomatoes, Chopped Onions), Chips, Grapes

Chick-Fil-A (using gift cards someone gave us)

Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Turkey Bacon

Grilled Chicken, Tossed Salad, Grapes, Homemade Biscuits, Grilled Cauliflower

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, Strawberries

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Green Beans, Fruit Squeeze Pouches (my husband and older two will be gone, so a simple dinner it is! :))


My Favorite Non-Coffee Drink

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

Looking for good non-caffeinated drinks or trying to stop drinking coffee? I’ve tried many coffee alternatives, and this have become my favorite non-coffee drink that I make every single morning! It gives me energy naturally, lets me continue the ritual of savoring a hot drink while prepping for my day, and it’s oh-so delicious!

{Psst! You might also like this Decaf Chai Tea Latte Recipe!}

My Favorite Caffeine-Free Coffee Alternative

I stopped drinking coffee almost four years ago. And while I love drinking decaf teas (see some of my favorite decaf teas here), I’ve also had fun coming up with some other creative non-caffeinated coffee alternatives.

coffee alternatives idea

One of them that I concocted last year was a mix of The Morning Motivator and Dandy Blend. I had purchased both of these from Amazon since people told me that were yummy and great substitutes for coffee.

When I tried The Morning Motivator by itself, it tasted too chalky to me. And Dandy Blend tasted too strong by itself. But then I had the crazy idea to mix them together — and I fell instantly in love!

prepping a morning beverage

This is sort of like a fancy mocha drink — that’s packed with nutritional value AND it’s caffeine free! Here’s how I make it…

scooping dandy blend into cup

Add 1 to 1 1/2 generous teaspoons of Dandy Blend to a large mug.

scooping maca blend into cup

Then, add 1 heaping teaspoon of The Morning Motivator.

stirring coffee alternatives together in a mug

Mix together.

creative coffee alternatives

Pour boiling water over.

stirring morning beverage in a mug

Stir until blended.

half and half with morning hot drink

Top with a very generous amount of half & half (if you’re a cream person like me!)

Morning Coffee Alternative Drink

Stir and enjoy!

Crystal Paine with coffee mug

This is the perfect morning or afternoon pick-me-up drink!

sweet foam to top off morning drink

Want to make it really fancy? Top it with whipped cream (and maybe chocolate shavings?) or go all gourmet and use Reddi-Whip Sweet Foam! (Note: This whipped cream is really sweet… so if you don’t like sugar-y things, you won’t like it.)

mug of hot beverage with whipped cream on top

P.S. Want to know more about why I stopped drinking coffee? Read this post here. You might also like this Decaf Chai Tea Latte Recipe or this list of My Favorite Decaf Teas.

How to Save on Snacks: Minimize The Cost Per Serving

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

Does your family love snacks? This is such a simple tip to save money on snacks!

{Psst! Check out how making your own snacks can save you over $100 per year! And read about how we afford snacks for our kids on a tight grocery budget.

save money on snacks

Guest post from Margaux of A Momma and Her Flock:

We are a snacking family. Typically, we find a way to squeeze four snacks into the lunchboxes on top of the main lunch item.

But a healthy snacking appetite can be bad news for the grocery bill. That is why I started calculating the cost per snack serving, so that I could try to find cheaper alternatives.

The True Cost of Snacks:

I like to believe that I am reasonably thrifty with my grocery spending, but some snack habits can catch me off guard.

For instance, grapes and Honeycrisp apples both cost $2 per pound, but my husband eats more grapes at a time than the equivalent of a single apple.

To calculate the ‘cost per serving’ of a snack, I base it on the actual amount I or my family would eat in a sitting. A “serving” is what fills up the person eating the snack, not necessarily the recommended portion on the box.

One snack my husband likes to devour after his morning workout is hard-boiled eggs. Since he eats three eggs at a time, I divide the cost of 12 dozen eggs to get $0.37 per 3-egg serving.

My personal rule of thumb is to keep any individual snack under $1 per serving. The closer to $0.50 or less per serving, the better!

Berry Healthy Snack

How to Minimize the Cost per Serving:

If you can minimize the cost per serving on snack foods, you can save quite a bit of money!

With this cost per serving goal in mind, here are 3 ways I satisfy my family’s “snack tooth” without breaking the bank…

1. Find the most filling snacks.

Occasionally I find myself munching through an entire bag of chips. Some snacks are not as good at satisfying hunger.

I search for snacks high in fiber and protein that will still appeal to our taste. When comparing items in the grocery store, I ensure there are at least 150 calories and 3 grams of protein per serving.

Nutritionists recommend pairing proteins with carbs for the ultimate filling combo – like grapes and cheese, or apple slices and peanut butter.

When I eat denser and more filling snacks, I find that I need fewer snacks throughout the day — which ultimately saves money.

Pre-Packaged Snacks

2. Avoid pre-packaged snacks.

Many foods are now available in snack packaging, but the convenience comes at a high markup. Think of mini hummus cups, snack cracker packs, pre-cut cheese squares, and more.

The difference in cost is striking in the example of homemade versus pre-packaged peanut butter snack cups.

JIF To-Go peanut butter is priced at about $0.40 per 1.5-ounce cup. If I make my own to-go cups by spooning out 1.5 ounces from a full-size jar of JIF peanut butter, each serving costs only $0.24 for 1.5 ounces. And if I use store-brand peanut butter instead of JIF, the serving cost drops to $0.14 for 1.5 ounces. (Note: These prices are based off what I find in my region: $3.19 for an 8-count pack of JIF To-Go, $2.39 per full size jar of JIF, and $1.50 per jar of store brand peanut butter.)

You can easily make single-servings on your own by dividing a regular size item into individual containers.

For reusable containers, I like the Rubbermaid Brilliance storage containers. Alternatively, disposable containers can be purchased in bulk from a store like Gordon Food Service.

If you are unsure about finding time to make your own snack packs or wash the resulting containers, try starting out with one of these simple solutions:

  • Cut your own cheese slices or cubes from a block
  • Slice your own salami or pepperoni from a large roll
  • Dish out peanut butter, hummus, yogurt, or crackers from a full-size container

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Snack

3. Mix in cheaper substitutes

I go through seasons where I eat primarily dairy-free, and the challenge is that the dairy alternatives are more expensive.

The way I justify purchasing dairy-free yogurts, ready-made snacks, and other items above my target cost per serving is by mixing in low-cost substitutes.

For my husband and daughter who enjoy Greek yogurt, I find that cottage cheese is less than half the price for the same calorie and protein content. So sometimes we forgo a day of yogurt and eat cottage cheese instead.

Also, consider swapping out these pricey snacks:

  • Almond butter -> Peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt -> Cottage cheese
  • Berries -> Apples, Bananas, or Oranges
  • Bell peppers -> Carrots or Celery sticks
  • Rice crackers -> Tortilla chips

Start Saving!

I recommend doing a personal snack-spending inventory this week.

Calculate the ‘cost per serving’ of the most popular snacks in your household. Do not worry if the cost is higher than you thought. Set a cost target and work on lowering snack spending gradually.

Want a jump start on snack savings? Try these ideas:

Margaux is a full-time mom, wife, and engineer who firmly believes there are not enough hours in a day. She is a fan of schedules, to-do lists, and mom hacks. Above all, she tries to keep God at the center of everything. She writes at A Momma and her Flock.

Cut your grocery bill!

Psst! Crystal here! Need more help saving on groceries? Go here and sign up (it’s free!). I’ll send you my 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill By $50.

Gretchen’s $81 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 5


3 dozen Eggs – $0.97 each

1 bag Kettle Chips – $0.97

1 jar Mayonnaise – $1.89

1 Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

2 Half & Half – $1.55 each

1 pkg Chicken Drumsticks – $4.41 (This was supposed to be $1 off but I didn’t realize until I got home that they didn’t take the extra dollar off.)

1 can Tuna – $0.79

2.52 lbs Red Grapes – $1.99

1 jar Ketchup – $1.19

1 pkg Tomatoes – $1.89

1 bag Gala Apples – $2.99

1 pkg Flour – $1.15

1 bag Chocolate Chips – $1.69

1 pkg Tortillas – $1.25

3 pkg Chunk Cheese – $1.45 each

1 pkg Hot Dogs – $0.79

1 pkg Sliced Deli Cheese – $1.79

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $0.89

3 boxes Mac & Cheese – $0.33 each

1 Peanut Butter – $1.15

2 pkg Strawberries – $0.99 each

1 loaf Bread – $0.95

1 lb Oven Roasted Turkey Breast – $3.99

1 lb Ground Beef – $3.29

1 bag Spinach – $0.99

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.85

1 can Black Beans – $0.48

1 lb Butter – $2.89

1 box Snack Crackers – $1.59

1 box Cheese Crackers – $1.49

1 box Graham Crackers – $0.85

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.19

1 gallon Milk – $2.19

1 bag Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.59

Total: $67.77


1 Green Leaf Lettuce – $1.49

2.40 lbs Bananas – $1.18

1 Kroger Yogurt Tubes – $1.79, used $0.50/1 e-coupon – $1.29 after coupon

1 Kroger Mini Sandwich Cookies – $1.50, used $0.75/1 e-coupon – $0.75 after coupon

1 box Kroger Popcorn – $1

2 cans Rise Cold Brew Coffee – $2.99 each, used Buy One, Get One Free Ibotta rebate AND Buy One, Get One Free Kroger Cash Back – Free after rebates

1 Yasso Frozen Bars – $2.49, used $1/1 Ibotta rebate – $1.49 after rebate

1 Mom’s Best Cereal – $1.99

1 pkg Kroger Cookies – $1.29 (Once again, the $1/1 e-coupon did not work for these. I can’t figure out why.)

1 Coke Energy – $1, used Free e-coupon – Free after e-coupon

8 Stonyfield Yogurts – Marked down to $0.25 each, used $1/2 Ibotta rebate – $0.12 each after rebate

1 bag Chia Rye Bread – Marked down to $1.29

1 loaf Italian Bread – Marked down to $0.49

1 box Raisin Bran – Marked down to $1.19

2 cans Tomato Sauce – Marked down to $0.25 each

1 Core Organic Water – $1.67, used Free Ibotta rebate – Free after rebate

Total after coupons and rebates: $13.95

Total for both stores: $81.72

Menu Plan for This Week


Cereal, Eggs, Spinach Smoothies, Oatmeal, Fruit, Toast


Papa John’s Pizza (company for lunch), Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Mac & Cheese, Tossed Salad Bar, Fruit/Crackers/Cheese, Leftovers x2


Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Biscuits

Taco Bar, Chips & Salsa

Turkey Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit Salad

Grilled Chicken & Hot Dogs, Steamed Broccoli, Baked Potatoes

Pancakes, Eggs, Fruit

Homemade Cheese Pizza


My 10 Goals For This Week (+ an update on how I did on last week’s goals)

This past week was another great week! Every day is full at our house, but we’re slowly getting into a good groove and I’m seeking to savor the beauty in each day. I was thrilled with the progress I was able to make on my goals for this past week…

Here’s an update on how I did on my goals last week:

Last Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Take 5 morning walks in our neighborhood.

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 three times.

4. Prep for leading the girls’ youth group Bible Study.

Home/Family Goals

5. Finish reading The Boy on the Wooden Box aloud to the kids. 

6. Go on a date with Jesse. 

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

8. Finish final Foster Care training for this year.

Work/Blog Goals

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. Make a yummy snack and have a family movie night together.

And here’s my plan for this week…

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Take 5 morning walks in our neighborhood.

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.

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.

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

We Spent $68.87 on Groceries This Past Week (Kroger, Aldi, Big Lots)

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of seven. 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.

I’m loving getting back into the swing of bargain shopping again! This week, I went to Kroger twice plus Aldi and Big Lots. Here’s what I got…

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • Salad Greens — marked down to $1.79
  • Greek Salad Kit — marked down to $1.69
  • 2 jars peanut butter — $1.50 each
  • Peppers — marked down to $0.99
  • Grapes — $1.52
  • Total with tax: $9.53

I went to another Kroger later in the week and found crazy egg markdowns!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 5 boxes Kellogg’s cereal — $1.69 each when you buy 6 or more participating items + get $0.75 back from iBotta = $0.94 each after iBotta rebate
  • Godiva Pudding — marked down to $0.79
  • 2 Yoplait Yogurt 8-packs — marked down to $2.19 each
  • 5 blocks/bags cheese — $1.49 each when you buy 6 or more participating items
  • 2 Nourish bowls — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 3 cans Pringles — $0.99 each when you buy 6 or more participating items
  • Capri-Sun — $1.79 when you buy 6 or more participating items
  • Dole Spinach — marked down to $0.79
  • 2 30-count eggs — marked down to $0.69 each
  • Kroger brown eggs — $0.99
  • 3 bags avocados — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 bags nectarines — marked down to $0.99 each
  • Milk — $2.59
  • Kroger cookies — $1.29, used $1/1 digital coupon = $0.29
  • 3 2-lb packs of strawberries — $1.88 each
  • Total with tax: $47.22

BigLots Shopping Trip:

  • 2 loaves bread — $1.40 each
  • 1 pack hot dog buns
  • Total with tax: $4.48

ALDI Shopping Trip:

  • Oats — $2.39
  • 3-lb bag of Fuji Apples — $2.99
  • Tortilla Chips — $0.89
  • Bananas — $0.89
  • Total with tax: $7.64

Total spent on groceries: $68.87

Our Menu Plan This 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.


Sunday — Sausage, Scrambled Eggs, Toast

MondayCrockpot Rotisserie Chicken, Twice Baked Potatoes, Salad, Grapes

Tuesday — Chicken & Noodles, Oranges, Cheesy Garlic Bread

Wednesday — Sausage/Potatoes/Peppers in the Crockpot, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

ThursdayBreakfast Casserole, Roasted Potatoes, Grapes

Friday — Leftovers, Fruit Salad

Saturday — Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches, Strawberries, Pringles (we are taking a short little in-state road trip this weekend to visit my sister and her family who currently live in Johnson City so we’re eating this on the road!)