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Tag Archive: My Shopping Trips

My Honest Review of Kroger Pickup (formerly ClickList)

Last week, I tried out ALDI Instacart Delivery. It was sort of a big fail — or at I definitely couldn’t recommend it from a money-saving standpoint. (Read my post here, if you missed it.) But so many of you followed up and messaged me asking if I could try out Kroger Pickup and do a review of my experience.

So, this week, I decided to branch out and try Kroger Pickup (formerly Clicklist) and share my honest thoughts on how it went. I, once again, challenged myself to stick with our $70 budget and see if I could get enough groceries to last for the week with Kroger Pickup. Here are my thoughts after trying it out…

Pros of Using Kroger Pickup

You can get the same weekly deals and digital coupons with Kroger Pickup that you can online.

This is a huge selling point! I went to KrogerKrazy.com and looked at the weekly ad to find what deals were running, clipped the digital coupons, and then added these items to my cart. I was able to score a lot of great Buy 5 or More Participating Products, Get $1 Off of Each deals + take advantage of some of the weekly Digital Coupon deal (hello, $4.99 bags of frozen chicken!)

Kroger Pickup is currently waiving their fee, so it’s free to use the service on $35+ orders!

As of right now (and I believe it’s been this way for a number of months!), it is completely free to use the Kroger Pickup if you spend $35! The fee is usually $4.95. If you have little kids, are immunocompromised, or just don’t want to have to go into the store for your weekly shopping, as long as you are spending $35+, it literally costs nothing extra for someone to shop for you and bring your groceries out to your car. Score!

Cons of Using Kroger Pickup

You can’t get markdowns.

One of the reasons we’re able to keep our grocery budget low while also having lots of variety in it is by scouring our Kroger stores for their fantastic markdowns and closeouts. The only way to get these markdowns and closeouts is by shopping in-store.

You don’t know you final total until you pick up your order.

This drawback was a big deal for me. I found it really difficult to figure out what my total would be when the prices weren’t showing what I would actually pay for each item after the Buy 5 deals + the digital coupons — which were a lot of the deals I got.

My total at checkout said I was going to pay $120+… but I knew that wasn’t correct. By my estimation, I thought it would be right around $70 after taking off all of the Buy 5, Get $5 off discounts + the digital coupon discounts. However, I completely messed up on the pizzas and accidentally calculated the price they would be *after* the Ibotta rebate.

If you were on a really tight budget with no wiggle room, I think it could be very hard and frustrating to not know your exact total — and to maybe end up spending more than you had planned to, which could really throw your budget into a tailspin.

Instead of $70 like I thought our total would be, our total was actually $82 — which is okay since we fund our budget categories for the month ahead. So I’ll just make sure to only spend $58 this week on groceries and it will be alright. Not ideal, but we’ll make it work. Back when Jesse was in law school and we didn’t have any extra wiggle room in our budget, the $12 unexpected extra it cost could have been a devastating blow to our budget.

I think with time and practice, I could definitely get better at figuring out the totals and making sure I didn’t overspend. But I still much prefer shopping in-store where I can see the shelf tags and ring up my own groceries at self-checkout and see the prices in real time.

That said, if we end up in a really full season in the future (such as when we say yes to another foster placement, etc.) and I need to take a break from hardcore strategic shopping OR we are trying to stay out of the stores because we are caring for a medically fragile foster child or something, I think that using Kroger Pickup could definitely be a great option — provided we were okay with spending a little more on groceries and not knowing our exact total.

Kroger Pickup Shopping Trip

Here’s what I ended up buying and paying:

  • 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
  • 2 cartons Kroger ice cream — $1.79 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
  • 3 bags frozen veggies — $1 each
  • 5 DiGiorno Pizzas — $3.99 each with the Kroger Weekly Digital Coupon deal
  • 3 3-lb. bags frozen chicken breasts — $4.99 each with the Kroger Weekly Digital Coupon deal
  • 2 packages Pampers wipes — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
  • Peanut Butter — $1.50
  • 4 boxes cereal — $1.49 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
  • 2 bottles Kraft BBQ sauce — $0.49 each when you purchase 5 or more participating items
  • Pringles — $0.99 when you purchase 5 or more participating items
  • 3 bags Kroger chips — $1 each with Buy 2, Get 1 free sale (I just realized they didn’t take off my digital coupon — I thought these were going to be $0.75 each.)
  • Water — $0.89
  • 3-lb. Gala Apples — $3.99
  • 32-ounce shredded cheese — $4.99 when you purchase 5 or more participating items
  • Eggs — $2.50
  • Milk — $2.49
  • Carrots — $1
  • 2 heads Lettuce — $1.79 each
  • Total with tax — $82.61

By the way, after you place your order, it’s super easy to pick it up. I got an email notification + a text notification reminder to pick up my order. They also notified me that one item wasn’t available and offered me the choice of a substitute.

When you get to the store, you can let them know you are on your way through the app. Then, just pull into the designated stall and let them know you are there through the app. They bring out your order and load it up for you.

A few pieces of advice:

  • If you choose to allow substitutions, I’ve heard they are very generous in what kinds of substitutions they offer often giving you a larger size for the same price. However, keep in mind that they won’t take off the digital coupon nor will they give you the discount if what they substitute is not part of the Buy 5 deal. I chose not to have any substitutions because I bought so many items that had digital coupons and Buy 5 discounts attached to them.
  • If you order on the day before the sales change and then pick up the next day (the day the sales change), I’ve been told you won’t get the day before price but the day of prices. This could dramatically change your totals… so just something to keep in mind!
  • You do not get a paper copy of your receipt. Instead, it is emailed to you and also available in the app. I wish they would give you a paper copy to review to make sure everything is correct. Plus, it would allow you to easily scan it into iBotta for rebates.

Have you used Kroger Pickup? If so, I’d love to hear your experiences/thoughts/tips!

My Not-So-Great Experience With ALDI Instacart Grocery Delivery

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

Thinking of trying ALDI grocery delivery through Instacart and looking for reviews? These are my really honest thoughts on my experience with it! (You might also enjoy my honest Kroger Pickup Review!)

ALDI Grocery Delivery Review

As you all know, I love ALDI. If I didn’t have multiple Kroger stores nearby that offered such great markdowns and digital coupon deals, I’d likely be shopping at ALDI every week.

Last week, I took you along on my grocery shopping trip — and so many people said they found it really helpful for me to do so but asked if I could showcase different methods of shopping. So this week, I decided to try a different method: ALDI Instacart Delivery Service.

My Honest ALDI Delivery Review

I challenged myself to see if I could get everything we needed for our menu plan this week and spend less than $70 while using ALDI Grocery Delivery. Well, I definitely learned some lessons in the process…

1) Instacart Charges You More Per Item

I noticed right away that each of the items cost just a little bit more on Instacart than they do by shopping in-store at Aldi. It was just about $0.10-$0.50 per item, but that adds up quickly! I estimate I paid about $4-5 more than I would have spent in-store because of this.

2) Instacart Does Not Offer the Weekly Sale Prices

Also of note: I wasn’t able to get any of the weekly produce specials. Usually, I mostly just buy the produce specials at ALDI. Instead, I went with the more inexpensive regularly priced produce options, but I still would have saved probably $6-7 by purchasing only the sale priced fruits/veggies.

3) The Tip/Service Fee/Delivery Charge Add Up Quickly

Because I don’t have an Instacart membership, I paid $14 for the tip (15%) + service fee + delivery fee. You won’t pay as much each time if you have the membership, but you have to pay the membership fee — which is pretty hefty.

So, all total, I estimate I spent about $25 more by using Instacart than by shopping in-store. And there’s no way we could sustain a $70 weekly grocery budget if we were to exclusively shop ALDI with Instacart delivery.

In fact, the only way I was able to stick with our $70 budget this week was because I relied heavily on what we already had in our pantry and freezer that we have gotten marked down in previous weeks with different sales and coupons.

ALDI delivery grocery haul

My ALDI Grocery Delivery Shopping Trip

  • Broccoli Crowns — $2.28
  • Tortilla Chips — $0.89
  • 10-lb bag of Potatoes — $4.39
  • 3-lb bag of Onions — $1.35
  • 1 pint blueberries — $2.09
  • 3-lb bag of Gala apples — $3.65
  • 2 cans Refried Beans — $0.89 each
  • Tater Tots — $1.65
  • 2 cans Green Beans — $0.55 each
  • Oats — $2.65
  • Oyster Crackers — $0.89
  • Crispy Oats — $1.25
  • Milk – -$2.59
  • Eggs — $0.95
  • 16-inch Pizza — $5.49
  • Salsa — $1.35
  • 3-lb. bag of Jazz apples — $4.22
  • 3-count Romaine hearts — $3.04
  • Carrots — $1.55
  • Cottage Cheese — $1.87
  • 16-oz Mozzarella Cheese — $3.22
  • 16-oz. Cheddar Cheese — $3.22
  • Powdered Sugar — $1.55
  • Tax: $3.50
  • Delivery charge: $3.99
  • Service fee: $2.60
  • Tip (15%): $7.78
  • Total: $70.12

4) You Might Not Get What You Ordered

While I felt like the price — with the extra fees — were more than I’d want to pay on a weekly basis, the overall experience was pretty easy and I was kind of excited to have the groceries delivered to our door… which felt like this crazy luxury!

The only thing was, when they were delivered, 7 items were completely missing! The shopper had just left everything on our porch and then we got an email that it was delivered. When we went out there, we discovered that probably what amounted to an entire bag of groceries was missing.

I’m guessing that somehow the groceries were delivered to a different house or left in her vehicle. It was probably a fluke thing, but it was definitely a disappointment.

The good news? I contacted Instacart and they quickly contacted me back and processed a refund for what I didn’t get…

ALDI delivery review experience

I shared about my Instacart shopping trip on Instagram stories and heard from a few hundred of you about your experiences. Here were just a few of the responses:

amazing Instacart customer service

I heard from so many people that they’ve had a good experience with Instacart Customer Service, so that was encouraging to me!

Instacart Issues

I thought maybe the person who got my bag of groceries may have needed the groceries or maybe it was a special blessing for them in some way.

funny story about Walmart Pickup

This made me laugh! 🙂

Instacart Delivery Review

I just had to share this one above. I love it so much!

Overall, I’d say my ALDI delivery review is that it’s probably not for me, but I could see how it would be really helpful for many families!! And based on the messages I received on Instagram, I do think my experience of having items missing may have been kind of a fluke thing.

Have you ever tried ALDI grocery delivery or Instacart? I’d love to hear your reviews, if so!

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

Cut your grocery bill!

Want to cut your grocery budget? Go here and sign up (it’s free!) I’ll send you my 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill By $50.

We spent $84.09 on groceries this past week (ground beef stock-up!)

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.

Last week, I talked about how we were around $15 under our $70/weekly budget and how I wanted to use that extra to stock up on a good deal this week. I wasn’t sure what good deal I was going to stock up on… until I saw ground beef marked down to $1.99/lb.!!! You better believe I grabbed up that deal to stick in the freezer!

Here’s what we bought at the store this past week…

The boxes of cereal were only $0.79 — because they were bent. Hey, so long the boxes are not torn, I will gladly pay half price for boxes of cereal that just don’t look as pretty!

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • 6 jars Pasta Sauce — $1 each
  • 3 2-lb flats of strawberries — $1.88 each
  • Facial Tissue — marked down to $0.49
  • Breakfast Sausage — marked down to $1.79
  • Burnt Pork Ends — marked down to $2.99
  • Marshmallows — marked down to $0.69
  • Comet — marked down to $0.49
  • 8 jars peanut butter — $0.99 each
  • Cinnamon Cereal — marked down to $0.79 per box
  • 2 meatloaves — marked down to $3.99 each
  • Milk — $2.59
  • Chocolate Chips — $1.99, used $0.30/1 Kroger digital coupon = $1.69
  • Organic Bananas — $1.27
  • Half & Half — $1.99
  • White vinegar — marked down to $0.89
  • Total with tax: $48.55

I could not believe this price on ground beef when I saw it — WOW!!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2

  • 6 pounds ground beef — marked down to $1.99 each
  • Danimals — marked down to $1.59
  • 2 cans refried beans — marked down to $0.49 each
  • Milk — $2.59
  • Salad Greens — marked down to $2.49
  • 2 packages Butterscotch Chips — on closeout for $0.80 each
  • 3 bags Flaxseed Meal — on closeout for $0.67 each (we use this in Energy Bites)
  • 2 Mott’s Fruit Snacks — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Cheerios/Honey Nut Cheerios — $1.79 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $1/2 Kroger digital coupon = $1.29 each
  • Rice a Roni — marked down to $0.39
  • 2 loaves bread — $0.99
  • Water — $0.79
  • 2 bags Chex Mix — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $0.50/2 Kroger coupon — $0.75 each after coupon
  • Total with tax = $35.54

Total spent on groceries this week — $84.09

What We Ate This Past 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.

Breakfasts — Cereal, Eggs/Avocados/Strawberries, Toaster Pastries, Apple Cinnamon Bars, Energy Bites, Breakfast at McDonald’s (Saturday morning), Breakfast at the hotel (Sunday morning)

Lunches — PB & Honey Sandwiches, Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Cereal, Strawberries, Bananas

Snacks — Cereal, Strawberries, Energy Bites, Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Bread, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Eggs & Sausage with Cheese
  • Monday — Egg Casserole, Banana Bread, Strawberries
  • Tuesday — Salad topped with marinated chicken and hardboiled eggs, Banana Bread
  • Wednesday — Leftovers
  • Thursday — Meat loaf, mashed sweet potatoes, salad, peas, strawberries/bananas
  • Friday — Dinner on the road: Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches, Chex Mix, Fruit Snacks, Danimals
  • Saturday — Dinner out with two of my sisters and their families

Cashback Earned: 100 points from Fetch Rewards

We spent $125 on groceries the past two weeks

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 didn’t get a chance to post our groceries and menu plan last week, so I’m posting both weeks this week. We were well under budget both weeks. I’m hoping there’s a great sale on something in the next week or two and I’ll use the extra to stock up on that. I’ll keep you posted!

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • 3 dozen eggs — marked down to $0.20 each
  • 2 boxes Yoplait Dunkers — marked down to $1 each
  • 4 bags of peppers — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 3 2-lb tubs of strawberries — $1.88 each
  • 2 boxes Instant Potatoes — marked down to $0.35 each
  • Milk — $2.59
  • Total with tax: $16.46

Kaitlynn turned 13 this past week and she had a birthday party with friends that she planned and pulled off entirely by herself.

She put together a plan and worked within a budget and made all of the food herself. We used some of our kids’ activities budget for her party since she had specific decor and food she wanted to make/buy so all of the food costs for it came out of that.

(I’ll share more details on her birthday party and how she did it on a budget in a blog post soon!)

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • Sugar — $2.69
  • Honey — $8.69
  • Formula — $29.96
  • Total with tax: $45.06

Creative Meal Planning

I love coming up with creative meals based upon what we have on hand, what’s on sale, and what’s marked down. Pictured above was one of our dinners recently — banana bread (using marked down bananas), strawberries (on sale), sweet potatoes/sausage/peppers in the crockpot (I had the sweet potatoes in the pantry from a number of weeks ago, the turkey sausage was in the freezer from a deal a few months ago, and the peppers were marked down).

Here’s another meal I’ve eaten for breakfast many mornings the past two weeks: fried eggs (since I got SO many marked down recently), avocados (that I got 7 for $1 two weeks ago), and strawberries (on sale).

One more example: We had some chicken wings in the freezer from a Kroger deal a few months ago so we baked with some barbecue sauce I had gotten marked down. We served it with a side of brown rice, roasted broccoli, and English Muffin Bread.

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

  • 3 jars peanut butter — on sale for $0.99
  • Toilet paper — $9.99
  • 2 bags chicken — $6.99 each
  • Tikka Masala — marked down to $0.69
  • Water — $0.79
  • Milk — $2.59
  • 2 boxes cereal — $1.49 each
  • 4 boxes Simple Truth Organic Apple Cinnamon Bars — on closeout for $0.57 each
  • 4 boxes Annie’s Toaster Pastries — on closeout for $0.87 each
  • 2 bags red peppers — marked down to $0.99
  • Bananas — marked down — $0.50
  • 3 bagged salads — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 tubs lettuce — marked down to $0.79 each
  • 4 boxes Kashi granola bars — on closeout for $0.75/box
  • 2 snack trays — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 snack trays — marked down to $0.59 each
  • 4 cans energy drinks — marked down to $0.59 each
  • Total with tax: $63.81

There haven’t been many great deals on toilet paper recently, so I just got the best deal I could find at Kroger — and hopefully I’ll find a great deal before we need to stock up again!

There also haven’t been almost any markdowns or sales on meat recently and we’re getting down to the last few pounds I’ve gotten on sale and marked down in our freezer, so I bought the best deals I could find at Kroger this week — 2 pounds of sausage for $2.50 each and 6 pounds of chicken for $6.99 per bag.

Total spent the past two weeks: $125.33

What We Ate The Past Two Weeks

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.

Breakfasts — Cereal, Oatmeal, Eggs/Avocados/Strawberries, Baked Oatmeal, Eggs/Toast, Toaster Pastries, Apple Cinnamon Bars, Energy Bites

Lunches — PB & Honey Sandwiches, Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Snack Boxes, Cereal, Peppers, Strawberries, Bananas

Snacks — Peppers, Strawberries, Energy Bites, Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Bread

Dinners:

  • Sunday — McDonald’s on our drive home from visiting my sister — we bought from the dollar menu and spent $17 + ate some snacks we had brought we us
  • Monday — French toast, marked down yogurt, turkey sausage, strawberries
  • Tuesday — Beef hot dogs, twice baked potatoes, strawberries, peppers
  • Wednesday — Sausage/Potatoes/Peppers in the crockpot, fruit
  • Thursday — Leftovers
  • Friday — Homemade Mac & Cheese, Strawberries, Peppers
  • Saturday — Scrambled Eggs, Toast
  • Sunday — Dinner out
  • Monday — Sweet Potatoes/Sausage/Peppers in the Crockpot, Banana Bread, Strawberries
  • Tuesday — Barbecued Chicken Wings, Brown Rice, Roasted Broccoli, English Muffin Bread
  • Wednesday — Chicken Rice Casserole, Peas, Red Peppers, Chocolate Cake
  • Thursday — French Toast, Sausage, Fruit Salad
  • Friday — Friends sent dinner to us from a local restaurant (how kind was this for them to do so two months after Kierstyn was born??
  • Saturday — Oven Fried Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries, Veggies
  • Sunday — Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Toast

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.

Dinners:

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!)

We spent $71.40 on groceries this week (+ what a wild & crazy week!)

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 five. 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.

Whew! What a wild week it’s been!

In addition to everything surrounding COVID-19… school cancellations, church cancellations, sports cancellations, my parents cancelling their trip to come see us, Kathrynne being in Suriname while all this was going down*, and just figuring out how to navigate life in the middle of all of the unknown, we’ve also personally had some pretty HUGE things happen at our house this week… namely, we said yes to fostering a newborn who was born prematurely and is currently in the NICU.

So, much of our week was spent at the NICU loving on this little baby and meeting with the social worker/DCS/the medical team and learning how to care for a medically fragile baby.

I had never stepped foot in the NICU up until 4 days ago, so it’s been a whole new experience. And of all of the weeks, this was probably one of the most unique and weird weeks to be spending a lot of time at a hospital!! (They have a screening process just to get in the door and then to get in the NICU is a whole other level!)

The nurses and staff and social worker and DCS have all been amazing throughout this process and they have taught me so much and walked alongside us so well through this new territory. Also, we are so thrilled that the baby is doing so well, has started to bottle feed a little this week, and maybe get to come home in a few weeks!

(And yes, in case you’re wondering, this means that we’re planning to have two newborns at our house soon!! The kids could not be more excited!! Of course, this is foster care, so things could always change at any time… we’re just taking one day at a time and seeking to love well in this.)

If you want to follow along with this journey, I’m sharing little peeks on my Instagram stories every day.

*As of last night, Kathrynne is currently stranded in Suriname because they closed the borders just hours before she was supposed to fly back home today! Her school is working hard to get this situation resolved ASAP and get the girls back home. In the mean time, she has such a good attitude about it all. You can read more details here.

Okay, enough of an update! Let’s talk about groceries!

We checked our stockpile and realized it was lacking in a few areas, so we shored up those areas so that we have a 30-day supply on hand — even though not everything was on sale this week.

I’m grateful that we did this earlier in the week, because our stores are pretty sold out of a lot of staple items now.

Jesse ran by Kroger on Monday to pick up a few things we needed:

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • Potatoes — $2.49
  • Milk — $2.99
  • Cheese — $2.29
  • 4 yogurts — marked down to $0.39 each
  • Total with tax: $9.91

And then he ran by Aldi later on in the week to get a few more staple items:

Aldi Shopping Trip

  • 10-lb. potatoes — $3.79
  • Eggs — $0.58
  • Black Beans — $2.45
  • 4 boxes Mac & Cheese — $0.33 each
  • Steel Cut Oats —  $2.99
  • Great Northern Beans — $1.69
  • Milk — $2.49
  • Total with tax: $16.07 (The bag of sugar had a small hole in it, so they gave it to Jesse for free!!)

Psst! Have you checked out my post on my 25 Favorite Things to Buy at Aldi?

I’m glad we got potatoes, because our store was completely sold out of them by Friday! (Who knew potatoes would be the big thing to stock up on?? That one surprised me!)

Kroger had some three-day sales that I wanted to try to take advantage of. I wasn’t sure whether they would have these items in stock when I went by on Friday night, but they did!

In thinking of making sure we have a 30-day supply of food and household items, I made sure we had enough on hand to make 30 dinners with our freezer and pantry items. I always love to have a few frozen pizzas on hand — especially for a quick dinner on busy nights or if the kids have friends over at the last minute! Yay for them being on sale for just $3.14!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 2 Kroger Pizzas — $3.14 each with the three-day sale
  • 2 bags of rice — $1.99 each
  • 5 packages Kroger cheese — $1.29 each with the three-day sale
  • Eggs — $1.19
  • 3 packages strawberries — $1.67 each
  • 2 bunches bananas — $2.71 total
  • 5 packages Nathan Beef Franks — $1.99 each with the three-day sale
  • Milk — $2.99
  • Apples — $3.99
  • Total with tax: $45.42

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.

Breakfasts: Cereal

Lunches/Snacks: Leftovers, Salad, Apples/Peanut Butter, Mac & Cheese, Banana Muffins, Danimals, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cookies, Pears, Yogurt, Random other markdowns/sale items 🙂

Dinners:

Sunday — Fend for yourself

Monday — Turkey Meatballs, Breaded Eggplant, Salad

Tuesday — Rotisserie Chicken, Steamed Veggies, Twice Baked Potatoes

Wednesday — Chicken Tetrazinni, Banana Muffins, Veggies

Thursday — Meatballs, Apple Crisp

Friday — Leftover Meatballs, Leftover Twice Baked Potatoes, Steamed Veggies

Saturday — Pumpkin Waffles, Bacon, Strawberries

Cashback Earned: 75 points from Fetch Rewards and $1 from iBotta