Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

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!)

Brigette’s $86.13 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!


1 pkg fresh Chicken Thighs/Drumsticks ($0.89) – $5.00

1 jar Salsa – $0.89

1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

1 3-lb Yellow Onions – $1.69

2 pkgs Zucchini ($0.89/lb) – $4.04

1 Cauliflower – $2.19

1 3-ct pkg fresh Garlic – $0.85

1 bunch Bananas – $1.15

1 pkg Broccoli Crowns – $1.95

2 Avocados – $1.38

1 bag Spinach – $0.99

2 4-ct pkgs Corn on the Cob – $3.38

1 pkg Fresh Cilantro – $0.75

Roma Tomatoes ($0.85/lb) – $0.86

Pineapple – $1.49

2 pkgs Asparagus – $3.78

2 bags Red Grapes ($0.79/lb) – $2.64

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $2.19

1 carton Grape Tomatoes – $1.49

4 cartons Strawberries – $3.96

1 3-lb bag Lemons – $2.89

2 half gallons 1% Milk – $1.48

1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.24

1 jar Garlic Powder – $0.69

1 16-oz pkg Deli Meat – $2.85

1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89

1 pkg Uncured Turkey Franks – $2.09

1 large canister Quick Oats – $2.36

1 large canister Old Fashioned Oats – $2.29

1 8-oz pkg Sliced Cheese – $1.33

2 16-oz bags Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $5.50

1 16-oz bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $2.75

1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59

1 bag Organic Blue Corn Chips – $1.37

1 pkg Rice Cakes – $1.75

1 box Crisp Rice  – $1.36

1 jar Organic Salsa – $1.38

1 32-oz carton Egg Whites – $2.95

4 dozen Eggs – $2.80

5 single-serve flavored Green Yogurts – $2.95

Weekly Grocery Total: $86.13

Weekly Menu Plan


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

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


Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter, Bananas, Carrots

Pancakes (recipe from Trim Healthy Mama cookbook), Strawberries, Mini Cucumbers x 2

Build-Your-Own-Salad-Bar x 2, Grapes

Leftovers x 2


Hot Dogs on the Grill, Corn on the Cob, Strawberries, Grilled Zucchini/Onions

Taco Salad, Grapes

Venison Roast in the Instant Pot, Roasted Cauliflower, Tossed Salad, Homemade Biscuits

Grilled Chicken, Asparagus, Baked Potato Wedges

Pancakes, Scrambled with Cheese, Bacon, Pineapple

Meatloaf (using ground venison), Broccoli, Creamy Milk Rice


Want to save money and eat healthier?

The One Book I Finished Last Week

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.

Last week, I finished one book and here’s my review…

Heartfelt Discipline

This book has been on my radar and one I’ve heard about for a number of years. While I’ve been a fan of Sally Clarkson’s books and have read almost all of them, for some reason, I had never read this one by her husband.

I think this quote from the book, sums up the heart of its message: “We often aim our disciplinary efforts at the wrong target. We set our sights on stopping and changing a child’s wrong behavior and we miss the real target of shaping and influencing the heart, which is the source of the wrong behavior.”

A big portion of this book centers on the topic of physical discipline and whether it is Biblical or not. I appreciated the way that the author brought in a lot of different verses and cultural context to explain his position. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, it will make you think and examine the way that you approach discipline in your parenting.

Overall, I felt there were a lot of worthwhile sections in the book. However, while the book promises to not be prescriptive, I felt that the section on media and entertainment was pretty black and white and bordering on prescriptive.

While I definitely think we should be careful and prayerful about what influences we allow in our home and in our kids’ lives, I don’t think we can make hard and fast rules about what all families should do when it comes to media. I believe it really depends upon the family, the child, the situation, and the form of media. I also feel that if we set up hard and fast rules for what is right and wrong in this area, we can become very critical and judgmental of other families who don’t adhere to our personal convictions.

Note: The book I read was an older edition. Some of these things could have been changed in the newer additions.

Verdict: 3 stars

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