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I only spent $67.08 on groceries this week!!

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.). 

You can see all of my $70 Grocery Budget Update posts here. For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories.

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I only had $5.66 left in my $70 grocery budget to spend on Friday, so I had to be careful and use it sparingly. I only needed to pick up two items — distilled water for my sinus rinse (this has been the BEST thing ever — I no longer have to be on allergy meds or sinus meds because of using this daily and changing my diet!) and lemon water for my gallon of lemon water a day habit. 🙂

(I should have realized that I was almost out of both of these things earlier in the week, but I totally didn’t. That’s just life sometimes, isn’t it?!)

So, while I was at Kroger, I picked up my FREE Friday item — the picture shows the Doritos Blaze, but it’s actually good on ANY Doritos. I didn’t realize this until I got home and was talking about it on Facebook Live.

I also wanted to pick up some Kroger bandages. They are on sale for $1 per box right now AND there is a $1/2 digital coupon. Since I only had $5.66 left in my grocery budget, I just picked up two boxes since I thought they would be $0.50 each.

Well, when I went to check out, they rang up as $1 per box, but then the e-coupon took $4 off — making each box FREE! I couldn’t figure out why my total was so low until I looked carefully at my receipt.

Kroger Shopping Trip — spent $2.74

  • Doritos — Free with Free Friday Download digital coupon
  • Lemon Juice — $1.69
  • Distilled Water — $0.89
  • 4 boxes of bandages — on sale for $1 each, used $1/2 digital coupon (limit of 5 uses per card per transaction) — the coupon took off $4 (I’m not sure why!) making these FREE!
  • Total with tax: $2.74

See more details on the deals I got in the video above.

All totaled, I spent $2.74 at the store — bringing my final grocery spending total for this week to just $67.08, a few dollars under my $70 budget! YAY!

By the way, if these posts on my grocery budget have been making you frustrated or you’re feeling like, “I just can’t do what she’s doing!”, I want you to read this post I wrote.

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  • Naomi Jones says:

    These are some of my favorite posts and highly motivating to me! We are also a family of five but we have special dietary issues. My goal this past week was to reduce our weekly food budget to $100 and it was $99! Previously, I thought that I couldn’t save money because of our food restrictions but I wasn’t really ready to try.

    • I LOVE this! I’m SO proud of you! And I’d love it if you had time to share a few specific tips on what you did to lower your grocery budget!

      • Naomi Jones says:

        Sure! First of all, our restrictions are soy, nuts, and seeds allergies (including their oils). I myself am supposed to eat as preservative free as possible with high fiber thrown into the mix because of a chronic medical condition.

        Here was my strategy:

        1) Create a food shopping budget. I based this off of the MyPlate recommendations for food consumption. On my shopping list, I put a dollar amount next to each category that I was shopping. For example, Fruits were allotted $20. My categories are Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Dairy and Protein.

        2) Don’t make a meal plan until I see the local sales. Got this tip from you! I looked all the sale leaflets up online and filled in my shopping list categories, being careful to write down the price of what I was expecting to buy to stay with my category’s budgeted amount.

        3) Shop the sales at my local Kroger, Aldi and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. For us, Thursday is “Double Ad Day” at Fresh Thyme, where the previous and coming week’s sales are all up for grabs.

        3) I did all my shopping on one day and kept a running total of each category on my shopping list. I knew when I hit $13 for grains.

        A big key for me to make this work for our family was to buy only “ingredient items,” no prepackaged foods. For breakfast this week, we are eating muesli but instead of buying an allergen friendly muesli, I bought the ingredients to make my own.

        Also, I gave myself $25 for extras. Fats and sugars fell under this category, along with coffee beans and tea. I used some of this to buy marked down ground beef I hadn’t been planning on purchasing ahead of time. I saved so much, we used some extra money to buy our favorite allergen friendly pizza.

        Thanks for inspiring me to try to save! Our pantry and refrigerator are stocked for the week and I feel pleased with myself for saving money.

        As a point of reference, I was spending about $180 a week on our food.

        • Thank you SO much for sharing! Would you be at all interested in expanding this a little and turning it into a guest post? I know that so many people would LOVE to hear your tactics and strategies!

          • Naomi Jones says:

            How flattering! Thanks for asking but right now isn’t the right time for me. I would want to give it my all and I cannot in this season. Feel free to take any of the ideas I shared and use them.

  • karen says:

    I am LOVING these posts! You have inspired me to get back in the game of trying to cut down my grocery budget. Found some great markdowns at my Kroger today.

  • Diane says:

    I wondered if you have a goal or designation for the money you are saving. Or if you are saving some back to groceries to restock the pantry later.
    We got good produce this week and also ordered from Azure. Most of our meat is from zaycon and most grains from azure then dairy,eggs, and produce at Aldi or Fresh Thyme.

    • I’m mostly doing this just as a personal challenge — because a lot of people have asked whether I felt like it was possible to keep our grocery budget low now even thought coupons and deals have changed so much since our law school days. So I wanted to see if I could and how well I could do! And, I’m always happy if we can find ways to spend less and free up money for other projects or passions of ours!

      • Diane says:

        Makes sense! I’ve been following you for 9 years. I remember how I used to coupon and spend so little. I think my family eats well now, though, and we are still well below the thrifty plan.

  • lori says:

    Just wanted to say that if you go to the DeLallo website they have good coupons you can use on little bottles of lemon juice, which my Kroger keeps in the aisle with the Italian specialty items. The coupons refresh every month, and I keep getting lemon juice for pennies. I have enough stockpiled to easily last a few months.

  • Lynn says:

    Thank you for sharing these posts! I fell off of the frugal shopper train and our finances could tell. These have been very motivating and timely.

  • Are you not following the diet of your nutritionist anymore? I don’t know if you have addressed this anywhere, but it seems like your groceries the past few weeks have been more “normal” meals.

    • I’m not — I “graduated” from the program a number of months ago! So now I just eat a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains. But it’s a pretty “normal” diet. 🙂

  • Archie says:

    These posts motivated me. I shop Clicklist at the Kroger store where I pick at. I do what works for me and that is shopping the sales that fit what I am going to cook and prepared. Keep up the great work. Since I been working Clicklist almost two years ago I lost 70 pounds. I workout and feel great.

  • Marissa says:

    I hope I’m not being to nosy by asking this, but I know some bloggers earn a lot of gift cards through Swagbucks and things like that and use them to shop on Amazon or other websites. If you do that, do you count things you buy for “free” with gift cards when figuring your $70? I mean – are you spending $70 plus getting free toiletries or food or cleaning items with gift cards, or do you count the value of the free stuff in the $70? That could potentially make a huge difference in a budget – especially compared with someone not earning tons of free gift cards through blogging to supplement their budget.

    • For this challenge, I’m only using the $70 because I want this to be as realistic as possible. So, for instance, if I do purchase something on Amazon with Swagbucks gift cards, I’ll be subtracting that from the $70 budget. You’ll see an instance of this in a toilet paper purchase this next week. 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    I wanna know more ’bout this lemon rinse thing (I deal with allergies too 😀 )

  • Valerie Cortalano says:

    I was wondering how you used the distilled water for a sinus rinse please

  • Katie Hignight says:

    Hi! I wanted to chime in as well. We have a large family of 8, I’m pregnant, and we eat a lot of nuts, seeds, greens, avocados and berries (but less meat) compared to most families. I felt like I really wanted to try this challenge too but I knew $70 wasn’t going to work for us. 😉 Also my husband totally doesn’t like me running all over town or couponing because I really can’t afford the time at this point in life. I did Walmart delivery and Aldi this week along with the farmers market, planned carefully, and spent $250 this week. I won’t have to buy some of that stuff next week though (diapers and chicken for instance) so I’m aiming for more like $200 a week for the rest of the month. I’m trying so hard! I so want to shave several hundred off our budget per month!!!

    • Woohoo! And just remember that $70 is the number I chose for OUR family — but I don’t think it’s any sort of magic number and it really depends upon how many kids you have and the season of life you are in! One thing to consider is the possibility of fitting in an extra trip to Kroger or another discount grocery store once a week to look for markdowns + to get digital coupon deals if you’re going to be right by the store, only have 1-2 kids with you, and have a few minutes.

      HOWEVER, I honestly think that just planning creatively, you can definitely save so much money just by shopping at ALDI and that’s where I used to shop exclusively. I only am doing Kroger more now because I go right by three different Kroger stores multiple times per week, I love it, it’s a fun hobby for me, and it’s super easy for me to do!

    • Diane says:

      I sometimes just shop at Aldi 2 or 3 times a month for our family of six. I do appreciate the time saving part of shopping less frequently. Grocery shopping is very much do what works for your family right now.

    • Heidi says:

      I’m so glad to see someone post with a large family! I also have a family of 8- and I’m averaging $250 a week. That’s with couponing, deal shopping, using Aldi for most things . I’d love to get my weekly total to $200 also, but with 4 teenagers- maybe $225 would be more realistic. Thanks for your comment. Makes me feel like I’m not too off track! ?

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