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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.).

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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! 🙂


Cereal, Baked Oatmeal, Eggs, Fruit, Toast


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)


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

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  • Milissa says:

    I just read your post about how so many people are making excuses about how they could never make this work, and I’ll admit, those thoughts were in my head, too. I don’t have a Kroger and none of the grocery stores around here offer such great sales. Couponing isn’t super effective, either, at least here in the St. Louis, MO area because it’s usually cheaper to shop Aldi or buy store brands. BUT, I decided that I didn’t need to try to shop for our family of 4 on $70 a week. I decided to shoot for $85 per week. Last week’s trip came in at exactly $85. This week, I’m focusing on using stuff from my pantry and freezer, so even without the great deals you’re finding, my groceries are going to come to about a $60 total, including snacks and toilet paper! Tonight, I threw some cauliflower, zucchini, squash, carrots and onion into my food processor and pulsed it into small pieces. I put it all into a baking dish and added some cooked quinoa, a jar of marinara, seasoning and mozzarella. Baked until cheese was browned and bubbly, served with toasted baguette and salad. DELICIOUS!!! And it cost NOTHING because these were items I had purchased for other meals and didn’t use up! I prefer to feed my family a mostly plant-based whole food and gluten-free diet. This meal met those requirements, except for the baguette, which could be left out. Organic would be tough, but if I keep meals and snacks simple and give up processed convenience foods, I bet I could keep our budget to about $100 per week. And even THAT would be a HUGE savings! Also, sometimes you have to tell your kids no—to fruit snacks, Cheeze-it’s, doughnuts, whatever! So take that, naysayers;)

  • Tracy says:

    I’m newish to an area with a Kroger and love their deals! My question is do you find a particular day of the week to be better for markdowns? Or do they happen regularly? I always find them but was just curious if you noticed a pattern.

  • Kandice says:

    Be sure you take back the moldy item. Even with clearance items Kroger has always replaced any damaged or spoiled items if they were still in date when purchased.

    • Jen R says:

      Very true. It’s happened to me and no questions asked. Love shopping at Ralph’s (Kroger) for markdowns. Have been doing this for almost 10 years and I have found super great markdowns.

    • Jennifer B. says:

      Yes, that’s what I was going to comment as well. Take the item, its complete packaging and your receipt back for a replacement or refund. If you think it may be a few days before you make it back to the store, call and let them know now. You may need to list a employee’s name when you go back, but Kroger should honor it even if it takes a few days for your physical return of the item. (If they get the call before the expiration date, it should be easier, even if you return the item after the expiration date.)

    • Thanks for the tip!

  • Amie says:

    I enjoy these posts. We cut our spending way back due to finances. My husband has had significant health problems and I have been the only one working for several months. I have a family of 5 with active boys and I supply after school snacks for 3 additional children. My husband also has a special diet. We have been able to cut back to approximately $300 for groceries and all household products. I cut out all the packaged snacks and make my own for the kids: mini-muffins, popcorn, fruit, cereal bars (Rice Krispie style), etc. I have chickens so we always keep hard boiled eggs on hand. We usually have homemade soup and bread once a week. I look for meat markdowns and we mostly eat chicken and ground turkey that can be prepared so many different ways. Our meals are actually really good. I’ve googled recipes and learned to make my own sauces and gravies and the flavor is so much better than anything store bought. We also love several recipes from MSM. 🙂 The best part of cutting back on our spending has been how great our meals have become because of the thought we put into them.

  • Mireille says:

    Inspired my your freezer cooking I looked around my fridge and pantry and made some pork enchiladas using leftover Boston butt, shredded cheese and tortillas and sauce I had gotten on sale. Put it in freezer for after we return from vacation. Getting better at this game, I am! 😋

  • Christy M says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I have loved reading your posts about shopping for markdowns. I have mainly been using ClickList for awhile now because I have twin infants plus 2 bigger kids but I am excited to look for deals next time I go grocery shopping by myself! All of us may not be able to do it exactly as you do but we can all take something from your challenge to help us save money. Thanks for sharing!

  • Wendy Magrath says:

    Love your blog, but am noticing you are not buying any milk for your growing children. Am I missing something?

    • Guest says:

      I’ve seen milk in previous grocery trips of hers and she has mentioned that she freezes it. Last week (earlier this week?) she was defrosting a jug of buttermilk for pancakes. Can’t speak to her family but our family does not drink milk with meals. Like Crystal’s family, we eat yogurt, cheese, etc. but we stick to water for drinking. We buy a half gallon each week for cereal and cooking and that’s it. I’ve noticed friends who grew up on farms and older family members drink a lot of milk but many of us do not. Thankfully kids from all of these families are just fine. 🙂

    • My kids rarely drink milk, so they really only use it on their cereal, in mac & cheese, or we use it for baking. So we typically go through a gallon about every 5-6 days, depending upon how much cereal they eat. 🙂 So that’s why you’ll only typically see me buying one gallon or so every week.

      • Kellie says:

        Oh my! I have a family of 5 with all boys. We go through a gallon in a day about 2-3days!

        Love your tips. I want and need to cut down on our grocery bill. Unfortunately we don’t have a Kroger, but we do have Aldi’s! I don’t use coupons either. I forget to bring them or that I have them, or they’re for stuff we don’t use.

        But I’m hoping to use your tips to help cut my grocery bill down. So I thank you!

    • Jessica says:

      Not all people can drink cow’s milk. My daughters and I are lactose intolerant. I could not even have cow’s milk based formula as an infant. The results of me consuming milk are… “explosive.” On the other hand, my husband and son down two gallons per week. I use almond or cashew milk as coffee creamer and in my oatmeal.

  • Jonna says:

    I love getting Kroger coupons in the mail. It seems like God tells them to send the coupons when I really need them to stretch my money. I’m looking forward to getting my Free box of Van’s gluten free waffles! 🙂

  • Christine says:

    Why did you stop using the Eat at Home slow cooker menu planning service?

    • Since I’m challenging myself to stick with the $70 grocery budget right now (as we’re in a much calmer season now heading into summer and I have more time to shop and plan and cook!), I’m planning our meals based upon what we already have on hand and what deals I can find at the store. We’ll likely start using it again when we head into another busy season (like Back to School!)

  • Carrie says:

    I started Ibotta in August and have made $54 on my Kroger snd Costco shopping. It is the first app I ever downloaded and was quite skeptical but gave it a try after my sister in law recommend it.

    I often find rebates that can be stacked with Kroger (Fred Meyer) coupons. Mainly I just use their ‘s my item’s rebates and it has really stacked up.

    • That’s amazing! Way to go!!

    • Corrine says:

      I struggle to even get my first $5 payout from Ibotta. The items are so limited, name brands, or at stores where I rarely shop. I also have trouble getting a rebate from the app. Three times it said it was invalid.🤔

      • Are you doing the weekly $0.25 offer? It’s not much, but it definitely adds up!

        • Carrie says:

          I always do the 25 cent offer and the usually have 25 cents off any brand of bananas, bread, and milk ever other month or so. I also combine them with items that also have a Kroger or red plum coupon. When stacking I have gotten many things for under $1.

          I have not tried to collect my payout yet, I am saving up for something…I just don’t know yet!

  • Carla says:

    It appeared in your shopping list, with your purchase of 4 items savings, you were able to use a coupon plus the digital coupon as well. I’ve been told by other shoppers they have also, but when I have tried to use both, I’m told I cant use them with the digital.

    • No, it’s one manufacturer’s coupon per item. So I bought 3 Suave items and used 2 paper coupons and one digital coupon. If I had only bought 2 items and tried to use 3 coupons, one of them wouldn’t have worked. I hope that helps!

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