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We spent $66 on groceries for our family of 5!

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.

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This $66 weekly menu plan for a family of 5 is really inspiring and full of all kinds of practical ideas to plan a menu on a budget!

A lot of you have been asking how I come up with meal ideas based upon what we have on hand/what is on sale and marked down at the store.

I don’t have some sophisticated system; it’s honestly just the result of lots of practice!

For instance, when I was at the grocery store last Sunday, I found a loaf of homemade bread + Sargento cheese was just $1.49 each. I instantly made a mental note to put Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on the menu for one of our busy nights of the week.

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

I also saw that Beef Smokies were on sale for $1.88 and I found crescent rolls marked down to $0.79. So guess what I made for our family Super Bowl party? Yep, Pigs in a Blanket!

We also had gotten all those bags of chips for $0.99 at Kroger and I had gotten a great deal on Refried Beans, I had gotten Guacamole for free last week, I had some sour cream I had found marked down, and we had some salsa and cheese. So I made another re-invented Layered Dip for our Super Bowl party, too.

Questions I Ask Before I Buy Something

This is how we roll around here. When I find items marked down or a great deal on something, I think about whether it’s something we will use or something we could use. I ask myself whether we have the items needed to make something with it, if it’s something my family would like, if we have the money in the budget for it, and if we can store it (if we won’t eat it right away).

If so, then I think about how much I should buy based upon how much I know we’ll use, what the price is, and how much money we have left in the grocery budget that week.

One of the companies I work with sent our family a fancy s’more kit for Christmas and I had stuck it in the freezer. We pulled it out on Monday and had a little fire pit and roasted s’mores. It felt all fun and fancy — and something you usually wouldn’t do on a Monday. It was a memorable way to kick off the week!

We were almost completely out of fruit, so I was so thrilled to find all these produce markdowns!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 4 packages of Brats — marked down to $1.79 each
  • 2 packages of avocados — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 bag of cuties — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of grapefruit — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of oranges and grapefruit — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of apples — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of red peppers — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 box of organic arugula — $2.40
  • Total with tax: $17.52

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

I saw a Taco Casserole recipe on Facebook this week and it inspired me to make my own twist on it. I layered ground turkey with taco seasonings and canned tomatoes, then cheese, then cornbread. I baked it and then we topped it with more cheese. It was a HUGE hit!

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. ?



  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese/Crackers, Grapefruit, Avocados, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Oranges, Cookies



  • Sunday — Pigs in a Blanket, Layered Nacho Dip (Super Bowl Party)
  • Monday — Pizza on the Grill, Oranges, S’mores
  • Tuesday — Sausage/Onion/Peppers in the Crockpot, Oranges
  • Wednesday — Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Oranges
  • Thursday — Zaxby’s after Kathrynne’s basketball game
  • Friday — Pancakes, Apples
  • Saturday — Taco Casserole, Salad, Apples

Total spent on groceries: $66.48

Psst! Need some help with cutting your grocery budget? Check out my series: 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget.

Cashback earned this week: 100 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards$1.60 back from iBotta for buying bread, Red Baron pizza, sliced cheese, and scanning a receipt.

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  • Leah Fiandt says:

    When do you find that your Kroger marks down their items usually? Honestly, I never find this many markdowns at our local Kroger. We do live in a smaller town of only about 12K people so I’m sure that has something to do with it as well!

  • karen b says:

    A different twist on the sausage, peppers, & onions….add potatoes. We love it w/ potatoes!

  • Amanda says:

    I love your deal posts even though I do not have a Kroger. Could you possibly consider sharing how you organize and inventory your pantry and freezer? Sometimes I purchase things and then forget what I have. We ate down the pantry and the freezer during the government shutdown and I kept finding stuff I forgot about- which was a blessing at the time for sure but I would prefer to keep better track as I go. I’d love to hear your tried and true methods for tracking what you have. Thanks!

    • Lg says:

      For me I just keep an inventory list on the side of my fridge. It’s not perfect but it gives me an idea. I also review it before I go grocery shopping so I know what I have for suppers.

    • Well, I’m afraid that I won’t be much help because I have close to a photographic memory when it comes to what’s in our freezers and cupboards. I will occasionally forget one or two things, but I typically know exactly what we have and where it is in both freezers. If your brain works differently, I think having an inventory on your phone or on a sheet as you put things in and pull things out could be really helpful!

    • Need Anap says:

      You could Google something like free printable freezer inventory. And the same for pantry. Some grocery or meal planning lists will include a basic inventory. HTH

    • Jenna Walker says:

      Do you put any seasoning on it? Is there a recipe?

  • Liz Gould says:

    I feel like I should know the answer to this as I’m a long time reader, but…Do you make a grocery list or meal plan ahead of time? Obviously from the post, you provide yourself with flexibility. Do you do a little of both pre-planning and seeing what’s marked down? Or just go by what you find?

    • Most shopping trips, I plan the basics of what I’m going to buy at the store based upon what’s on sale or I know that I’m hopeful I’ll find produce marked down, etc. But I plan our meals based upon what we already have on hand and what I find marked down. I try to make sure we have enough on hand to make 10-15 dinners at all times and then I just plan day-by-day based upon how much time I have and what sounds good for dinner!

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks for sharing all your great meal ideas! I am definitely inspired by that yummy taco casserole 🙂

  • Sheila says:

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. I went to the grocery store this afternoon. My grocery store had a special on English Muffins. Buy one, get two free packages of Thomas English Muffins. Cheese was on sale also for 1.99 plus I had a coupon. and I made sauce yesterday. I have pepperoni and other toppings like peppers at home. Making some English Muffin Pizzas for dinner

  • Teri says:

    I love seeing qhat you buy…..BUT
    Howw about meat? I rarely see you purchase any meat on these weekly shopping trips – aside from the marked down ground turkey I’ve noticed on a few occasions.
    How does meat like chicken or red meat (steaks or stir fry) figure into this.

    • I typically buy 4-8 pounds of meat per week and stick it in the freezer. You have to pay close attention to see it in my posts. 🙂 This week, I actually bought 9 pounds — 4 pounds of beef sausage, 1 pound little smokies, and 4 pounds of brats. We typically go through 3-5 pounds per week, so that means I am usually buying at least a few pounds extra… and we actually currently have over 25 pounds of different meats in the freezer as a result. I plan our meals based upon what we have in the freezer. We currently have sausage, bacon, beef sausage, ground beef, beef hot dogs, pork loin, brats, and chicken in the freezer.

      I rarely steaks because they are usually not marked down cheap enough. 🙂

  • Laurie Villotta says:

    My kroger has their meat marked down first thing every am. I have been scoring NY strip sreaks for 2.49. My freezer is stocked.

  • PAt says:

    Would you mind sharing your recipe for the taco casserole and sausage in crockpot

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