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Tag Archive: My Shopping Trips

Hospitality on a $70 Budget + GREAT deals at Kroger this weekend!

You can show hospitality even on a small grocery budget! This post is so inspiring!!

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.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

One of the best parts of this $70/week grocery budget challenge is not that we’re saving a few hundred dollars every month (though I’m stoked about that!) nor is it the fact that I’ve been re-invigorated to fill our freezer with food (we currently have close to 15 meals in there and I’m slowly adding to the stash every week!).

The best part is that buying ahead and stocking up on the sales and markdowns and being more of a strategic shopper means we have a lot more food at our house at any one given time — which means that spontaneous hospitality is so much easier to pull off!

Wednesday morning, I had the idea to invite a mom and her four kids over for dinner. She just recently moved to the area with her kids and I well remember what a big move like that is like!

I looked in our fridge and cupboards and realized I had just bought 7 pounds of marked down meat the day before, plus I had corn on the cob, marked down potatoes, and some frozen broccoli.

So we invited her family over plus two other families from church. I texted everyone and said that I was just making what I already had on hand. It wouldn’t be anything fancy, but we’d love to have them!

We ended up having 18 people for dinner — and we had plenty of food! Meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, roasted broccoli, and the other women offered to bring salad, mac and cheese, and fruit.

It was simple, it was inexpensive, and it was an evening of laughter, great conversation, and games.

Hospitality doesn’t have to require a lot of extra time or special ingredients. It doesn’t even mean you need to spend more $$ to pull off.

Hospitality is about welcoming people into your real life and bringing your real, imperfect selves to the table. It’s about saying, “Welcome! I want to share what we have with you. Come as you are and pull up a chair!”

While I was working on making food for our guests on Wednesday, Kaitlynn made two dinners’ worth of Spaghetti Casserole. We just made up the recipe using pasta we had gotten marked down, cheese I got on sale, pasta sauce I got from Aldi, ground sausage I got marked down, and cottage cheese I had gotten marked down and had frozen.

Kroger has some GREAT sales this weekend! Download their digital coupons (they are good through Monday evening) to get Seedless Watermelon for just $1.99 each (you can purchase up to 5 watermelon in one transaction at this price).

They also have Kroger Ice Cream Sandwiches and Fruit Bars for just $0.99 per box with the digital coupon (you can get up to 5 boxes in one transaction at this price).

I got the watermelon to take to a picnic we’re attending tonight where we’re supposed to bring enough of a side dish to feed 15 people and I got the ice cream sandwiches for tomorrow evening since we’re having two families over for pizza!

My total for the 5 boxes of bars/ice cream sandwiches + the watermelon was $9.49 — bringing my grand total for this week in grocery expenditures to $68, $2 under my $70 grocery budget!

Total spent so far this week: $68 (Yes! $68 even!)

Total left to spend: $2

Rebates: $1.50 Ibotta rebate for buying the 2 Fage yogurts, $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting my receipt, + a second $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting another receipt.

See our $70 menu plan for this week. See all my posts about our $70 grocery budget here.

My $30 Kroger Stock-Up Shopping Trip (I got great deals on laundry detergent and barbecue sauce!)

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.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

Kaitlynn had her end of school Awards Day all morning on Tuesday morning, so I didn’t get any freezer cooking done. But I did find some great deals at Kroger!

I was going to do the Buy 4, Get $4 Off Deal, but I only had 3 ALL laundry detergents and our store didn’t have the the razors I was going to buy, so I hopped onto KrogerKrazy.com on my phone in the store to see if there were any new deals that had popped up since the last time I checked.

And low and behold, there was a hot tip about how Kraft barbecue sauce was marked down (for one day only!) to just $0.25 each when you buy 4 participating items — no coupons needed!

So, of course, I grabbed some of them up! I decided to get 5 bottles because I think that will last us for at least 3-5 months.

Note to self: Always remember to check KrogerKrazy.com when I’m in-store so I don’t miss a hot deal tip!

Kroger Shopping Trip — $30.04

  • 2 lbs. Ground Turkey — marked down to $2.09 each
  • 4 pears — marked down to $0.99
  • 5 apples — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 3 jars of Oui yogurt — marked down to $0.59 each
  • 2 Dreaming Cow Grassfed yogurt — marked down to $0.59 each
  • Eggs — $2.79
  • 1 bottle of nail polish remover — $1
  • 1 gallon milk — $2.79
  • 5 lbs. of sausage — marked down to $1.69 each
  • 5 bottles of Kraft Barbecue Sauce — $0.25 each when you buy 4 participating items (offer no longer valid)
  • 3 bottles of ALL laundry detergent — $1.99 each when you buy 4 participating items (offer no longer valid), Used 2 $1/1 all Product printable
  • + $1/1 digital coupon (no longer available) = $0.99 each after sale and coupons
  • Total with tax: $30.04

Total spent so far this week: $58.51

Total left to spend: $11.19

Rebates: $1.50 Ibotta rebate for buying the 2 Fage yogurts, $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting my receipt, + a second $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting another receipt.

See our $70 menu plan for this week. See all my posts about our $70 grocery budget here.

This Week’s $70 Menu Plan + Saturday’s Kroger Stock-Up Shopping Trip

This $70 Grocery Budget Challenge for a family of 5 is SO inspiring!! Follow along for all kinds of great menu planning ideas and savings tips!

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.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

I had every intention of getting these Southwest Rollups done for Friday’s Freezer Cooking post. But alas I productively procrastinated on them and didn’t get them done before I had to get that post done.

But I did get them done! We had one pan for dinner that night and I put two bags of rollups in the freezer.

This is such a simple, frugal, and delicious recipe that we have loved for YEARS.

In fact, it would be fascinating to see how many of these I have made over the years. It’s probably an insane number! 🙂

Fun fact: This was a recipe that Jesse’s family loved and I love that it’s become one of our family favorites. These make such great quick lunches or snacks!

The freezer is filling up!! We currently have 9 dinners, 3 breakfasts, and 2 desserts in there. I’m aiming to have 30 meals in here by the end of June. We’ll see!

Kroger has been having fantastic Saturday only sales in recent weeks.

I was thrilled with the butter and water sale — two items that we use a lot!

You could buy up to 5 packs of butter for $1.99 each with the digital coupon — so, of course, I bought 5! We will stick these in the freezer and they should hopefully last us for two months (we usually use about 2 to 2 1/2 sticks of butter per week).

And I bought 3 cases of water — I found out later that the 32-packs were included in this sale. But they weren’t marked as such at our store, so oh well! We usually wash and re-use water bottles at least a few times before tossing them so this should (hopefully) last us all summer and will be so handy for time at the pool and road trips and other summer adventures!

Kroger Shopping Trip — $28.47

  • 5 packages of Kroger butter — $1.99 each with Saturday Digital Coupon offer
  • 3 cases of water — $1.99 each with Saturday Digital Coupon offer
  • 1 Larabar — FREE Friday Digital coupon offer
  • Chocolate syrup — $1.59
  • Disposable bowls — $2
  • 1 yogurt — marked down to $0.29
  • 2 Fage yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each (got $0.75 back per yogurt — Ibotta rebate)
  • 2 bags of apples — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 12 ears of corn — 4 for $0.99 each
  • 1 organic cauliflower — $0.99 each
  • Total with tax: $28.47

We had our Community Group (four other families) over for an Ice Cream Social. We provided bowls, cups, napkins, and spoons and chocolate syrup and cookies. Two families brought toppings and two families brought ice cream and we had a great get-together that was super simple and inexpensive for everyone!

Silas made some Homemade Oobleck last night and the kids had so much fun playing with it. This would be a great frugal fun activity for summer.

This morning, Silas and I made Homemade Pizza Dough on Facebook Live. I had planned to make a double batch and freeze half of it, but I realized that we were getting down the bottom of the flour jar. So we just made one pizza crust.

This boy loves helping me in the kitchen — and he just better and better at cooking and baking!

I hadn’t made dough on our new kitchen table until today. I wasn’t sure how it would clean up, but I’m so happy to say that it wiped right off. I continue be so happy that we chose this table for our kitchen. I just love how sturdy it is and how easily it cleans up!

Silas helped me knead the dough and I taught him what dough should feel like when it’s ready.

We couldn’t find our pizza pan and I’m guessing that somehow it disappeared in the move or that Kaitlynn may have confiscated it for some craft project and I just haven’t discovered it yet (she’s always making all sorts of crafts and projects and I try to encourage it as much as possible, thought I do sometimes have to tell her that my kitchen pans aren’t up for grabs — especially if they are going to get destroyed in the process of her experimentation! ;))

Silas made the pizza entirely by himself — from rolling out the dough, to putting on the sauce, to thawing the chicken from the freezer, to grating the cheese, to pre-heating the oven.

I only had to give a tiny bit of coaching! I am so excited with just how capable my kids are becoming and how much all those years of letting them help me in the kitchen had paid off!

Silas’ finished pizza! This will be our dinner tonight. Yum!

You can watch us make the Pizza Dough live in the video above.

This Week’s Super Simple Menu Plan

This menu is subject to change a little if I find some great deals or markdowns! 🙂

Breakfasts

Cereal, Baked Oatmeal, Eggs, Fruit, Toast

Lunches

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit, Veggies, Capri Sun, Cream Cheese Blueberry Muffins, (for the kids) Leftovers, Eggs, Yogurt, Pita Pocket Sandwiches, Salad (for me & Jesse)

Snacks

Whatever I Find on Sale/Marked Down (That works for snacks!), Ice Cream (our friends left the rest of the ice cream at our house from the ice cream social!), Yogurt, Cereal, Fruit, Popcorn

Dinners

Monday — Homemade Chicken Salsa Pizza, Apples
Tuesday — Spaghetti Casserole, Peas, Naan
Wednesday — Meatballs, Corn on the Cob, Homemade French Fries
Thursday — Haystacks
Friday — Picnic at Kathrynne’s School — we’re supposed to bring enough of a side dish to feed 15 people — I’m thinking of doing Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes since those always seem popular at potluck style dinners and I have all those potatoes that I got marked down. I may change my mind depending upon what markdowns I find.
Saturday — Takeout Pizza (we’re having friends over for dinner but we’re going to be gone all day long so I’m keeping it crazy simple!)
Sunday — Snack-y Dinner (fend for yourself — cereal, leftovers, etc.)

Total spent so far this week: $28.47

Total left to spend: $41.53

Rebates: $1.50 Ibotta rebate for buying the 2 Fage yogurts, $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting my receipt

My $32 ALDI Shopping Trip + Homemade Crinkle Fries & an easy way to earn $0.50!

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.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

I had planned to do a full Freezer Cooking Day on Tuesday, but I only ended up making a double batch of Turkey Meatballs and 4 pans of Baked Oatmeal.

I’m planning to make a double batch of Southwest Rollups tomorrow and then I’ll share more about my freezer cooking this week in tomorrow’s post (and show you an update on how our freezer is filling up!)

Remember those potatoes I got marked down? I turned half a bag of them into Oven-Baked Crinkle Fries — which we all LOVED! I made them similar to my Sweet Potato Fries recipe, only I used Olive Oil and then sprinkled them with salt and garlic pepper.

(My friend, Melissa, gave me this Crinkle Cutter and it is the best EVER. It makes chopping and eating veggies and fruits so much more fun and interesting!)

Thursday’s ALDI Shopping Trip — $32.42

  • 1 gallon water –$0.79
  • 3 lb. boneless chicken breasts — $5.99
  • 2 cans refried beans — $0.75 each
  • 1 bag onions — $0.99
  • Iceberg lettuce — $0.85
  • 1 bag of mini cucumbers — $1.99
  • Milk — $2.69
  • 2 bags of frozen peas — $0.95
  • Baby lettuce — $1.89
  • Baby carrots — $0.99
  • Radishes — $0.49
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil — $2.99
  • 2 bags frozen broccoli — $1.19 each
  • Pasta Sauce — $0.99
  • 1 can black beans — $0.55
  • 1 can diced tomatoes — $0.45
  • 3 boxes of Mac & Cheese — $0.33 each
  • Pure Cane Sugar — $1.95
  • Total with tax — $32.42

Total spent so far this week: $68.60

Want to hear more of why I shop at Kroger more often than ALDI + all sorts of other interesting tidbits, including what I do when a troll shows up on FB live? Watch the video above.

Make $0.50 in a Minute!

READER TIP: “Just wanted to give you a heads up. You might already know this but every Thursday there is a video you can watch to receive money for on Checkout 51. Today there were two. The videos are usually at the very bottom along with rebates for Sam’s club. I watched mine and remembered that one time I didn’t and I missed the rebate. You’ll get $0.25 for each video today. – a reader” Sign up for Checkout 51 here. (I just did this and it totally worked!)

Curious what we’re eating this week? Check out this week’s $70 Menu Plan here.

This Week’s $70 Menu Plan & Monday’s “HUGE” Grocery Shopping Trip

This $70 grocery budget challenge is SO inspiring! And they even menu plan and eat healthy while sticking to their budget each 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.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

It’s Week 4 of my $70 Grocery Budget Challenge and I’m excited to see how this week goes! I’m loving hearing from so many of you who are sharing how this challenge is motivating you to look for ways you can cut your grocery bill, too! That makes me so happy!

By the way, in case you’re interested, I spent $68.36 on groceries last week. And here was our menu last week.

I got these fantastic coupons in the mail from Kroger — including coupons for FREE bacon, FREE cereal, and $10 off any $40 purchase! (If you have a Kroger store, make sure that your address is correct in your account and hopefully you’ll get great coupons like this!)

Here’s what I bought at Kroger yesterday:

Monday Kroger Shopping Trip — $36.18

I wanted to be able to use the $10 off $40 purchase coupon + I hadn’t gone shopping on Saturday or Sunday, so I knew that I could spend extra and have a larger shopping trip (I allot $10 per day — though I don’t always go to the store every day, since it doesn’t always work out in my schedule or we don’t need anything or I’m not going to be driving by a store that day and have time to stop!)

But I have to admit that when my total rang up (before I swiped my card and my discounts and coupons had come off), I was a little scared to see such a high number showing on the screen. It said that my total was $76!!!

I know that’s not a huge amount, but since most of my shopping trips have been more like $10 or $15 each, this felt like some crazy ridiculous amount! 🙂

However, I was super happy that after the discounts and coupons, my total came down to $36.18. Much, much better!

Here’s what I bought:

  • 2 16-oz. blocks of cheese — $2.49 when you buy 4 participating items
  • 2 Skintimate Shave Creams — $1.99 each when you buy 4 participating items, used 2 $1/1 Skintimate Shave Gel or Cream printable, $0.99 each after coupons
  • 2 dozen Simple Truth eggs — $2.50 each
  • 3 packages of Salad Pockets — marked down to $1.29 each
  • 2 bags of produce — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 bag of Kroger rice — $1.69
  • 1 carton of Simple Truth egg yolks — marked down to $1.29
  • 2 pounds of Simple Truth Ground Turkey — marked down to $2.79 each
  • 1 package of Bacon — used FREE coupon that Kroger sent to me (see above)
  • 2 Simple Truth yogurts — marked down to $0.39 each
  • 2 tubs of Hillshire Farms Honey Ham — marked down to $2.39 each
  • 3 Suave Professionals Shampoo/Conditioner — $1.99 each when you buy 4 participating items, used 2 $1/1 Suave Professionals Wash and Care Product printable and used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon — $0.99 each after coupons
  • 1 Stayfree Pads — $1.79 when you buy 4 participating items, used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon — $0.79 after coupon
  • 4 packages of Goldfish crackers — $0.99 each when you buy 4 participating items
  • Kroger Raisin Bran — used FREE coupon that Kroger sent me (see above)
  • 2 boxes of Capri Sun (for lunches) — $2.49 each, used $1.40/2 coupon that Kroger sent to me (see above) — $1.79 each after coupon
  • Used $10/$40 that Kroger sent to me (see above)
  • Total with tax: $36.18

I was so excited about the salad pockets. I love to use them for quick sandwiches for myself. But in my excitement, I forgot to thoroughly check them before putting them in my cart.

And while two of them were great, one looked like this…

YUCK! Word to the wise: Always carefully check items that are marked down before buying them!

I used the liquid whole eggs to make some French Toast “batter” for that night’s dinner.

I love this cookbook, if you couldn’t tell! 🙂

It might seem weird for me to take the time in the morning to mix up the “batter” for French Toast, but I try to do as much prep as possible for dinner as early in the day as possible, because I’m often not super energetic or inspired at dinner time. So having dinner as done as much as I can, makes it so much easier!

Last night, Silas had a double-header Flag Football Game (his team won!), so being able to whip up French Toast in just a few minutes was such a help for getting out the door!

This Week’s Super Simple Menu Plan

This menu is subject to change a little if I find some great deals or markdowns! 🙂

Breakfasts

Cereal, Baked Oatmeal, Eggs, Fruit, Toast

Lunches

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit, Veggies, Capri Sun, Banana BreadCream Cheese Blueberry Muffins, (for the kids) Leftovers, Chorizo Breakfast Burritos (for Jesse) Leftovers, Eggs, Pita Pocket Sandwiches, Salad (for me)

Dinners

Monday — French Toast, Bacon, Oranges
Tuesday — Southwest Rollups, Fruit, Rice
Wednesday — Meatballs, Corn on the Cob, Homemade French Fries
Thursday — Haystacks
Friday — Steak (We had some in the freezer that I need to use up!), Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Saturday — Dinner Out
Sunday — Snack-y Dinner (fend for yourself — cereal, leftovers, etc.)

Total spent so far this week: $36.18

Total left to spend: $33.82

I spent $68.36 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.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

One of the things I’m loving about this $70 Grocery Budget Challenge is that it’s inspiring me to look through our cupboards and freezers and find odds and ends of items that I forgot we had.

For instance, I found this half bag of Great Northern Beans last night in one of our cupboards. I had planned that we were going to go out to dinner tonight, but when I saw that bag of beans, I decided to take a raincheck on the eating out plans and make sausage and beans in the Crockpot instead.

I used this recipe for inspiration and cooked the beans for three hours and then chopped up the sausage and mixed it in. I already taste-tested it and it’s super yummy!

Another thing I’m loving about this challenge is that it’s encouraging me to think outside my usual box. As you all know, I drink a gallon of lemon water every day. And that means that I go through a LOT of lemon juice — to the tune of one 32-oz. bottle every 8-10 days.

A few of my readers told me that Dollar Tree has lemon juice… why had I never thought to look there?? Sure enough, Jesse was there last night with Kaitlynn and I had him check and they had 32-oz. bottles for $1. Woot!

I had been buying lemon juice for $2.49 at Kroger, so I was thrilled to discover this much cheaper option! And I realized that this one simple change will save me at least $40+ over the next year!!

You guys! Never stop looking for creative ways to stretch your grocery budget further and save on those things you buy all the time. The savings can really add up!

Dollar Tree Shopping Trip — $2.20

2 bottles lemon juice — $1 each + tax

I ran by Kroger this morning and was excited to find a few deals to round out my grocery spending for this week (I allot $70 per week and my weeks run Saturday to Friday). I didn’t need to buy anything, but I still had $13+ to spend, so I wanted to go ahead and spend it on some snack items and other things that were on a great deal that we could use over the next 1-3 weeks.

(By the way, this is one way that we save a LOT — I try to always be buying ahead when items are on great deals. Even though it means my grocery purchases don’t necessarily match what we’re eating that week, it means that we have a variety of items to base our menus on and it means that we are rarely paying full price for most items!)

Friday Kroger Shopping Trip — $12.33

  • 2 bags of Goldfish Crackers — $0.99 each when you buy 4 participating items
  • 3 bags of Quaker Rice Snacks — $0.67 each when you buy 4 participating items
  • Lindt chocolate — Free Friday Download coupon
  • 2 boxes of Barbara’s cereals — on sale for $1.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used $1 off coupons = $0.99 each after coupon and sale
  • 1 bag of apples –marked down to $0.99
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey — marked down to $1.99 each
  • Huggies wipes — $0.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used $0.50/1 Kroger Digital coupon, $0.49 after sale and coupon
  • Total with tax: $12.33

I made some DIY Taco Seasoning and browned the ground turkey with it.

And then I let it cool and stuck them into two freezer bags and froze them — and two more dinners are in the freezer!

Our garage freezer was almost empty after we moved and I’m excited to slowly be filling it back up with freezer meals. We now have Chorizo burritos, 2 pans of lasagna, 2 bags of Taco Meat, and 1 bag of sausage/onions/peppers to serve over rice.

My Grocery Total For This Week: $68.36

Cash back: $0.25 from Ibotta for submitting my receipt, $1.50 from Ibotta for buy 2 cups of Fage yogurt, and $1 from Ibotta for buying Bubly, and $0.25 from Checkout 51 for buying Tortilla Chips last week, another $0.25 from Ibotta for submitting my receipt, $3 from Ibotta for buying 3 boxes of Kroger Ibuprofen = $6.25 in cash back!

To see all of the grocery shopping I did this week + what I spent and what we ate, be sure to check out all of my $70 Grocery Budget posts.

Want to virtually “have coffee with me” and see me talk about my grocery savings today? Watch the video above. 🙂