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We Spent $71.30 on Groceries This Week (+ our dinner menu)

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.

Last week, I only spent $60 on groceries, so I went a little bit over this week. Here’s what we bought…

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

Kroger Shopping Trip #2

Kroger Shopping Trip #3

  • 2 Tyson Anytizer Chicken — $3.99 each with Kroger weekend digital coupon
  • 3 dozen eggs — marked down to $0.39 each
  • Strawberries — $1.67
  • Carrots — $0.99
  • 1 bag avocados — marked down to $0.99
  • Milk — $2.89
  • Cage-free eggs — marked down to $1.29
  • Tortillas — $1.50
  • 2 Private Selection Chips — $0.99 each with Kroger weekend digital coupon
  • Refried beans — marked down to $0.49
  • 4 jars Pace salsa — $0.99 each when Kroger weekend digital coupon
  • Refried beans — $0.79
  • Total with tax: $28.89

Dinners This Past Week

By the way, what are your best tips for keeping lettuce fresh? I don’t want all the lettuce I bought to go to waste before we can use it, but it will probably take us at least 5-7 more days to eat through all that. Any great suggestions?

Brigette’s $89 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family!

Aldi

3 bags Frozen Broccoli Florets – $2.85

2 cans Green Beans – $0.76

1 8-oz tub Baby Bella Mushrooms – $1.19

1 bunch Bananas – $0.66

1 pkg Cherub Tomatoes – $1.79

2 Avocados – $0.78

1 3-lb bag Pink Lady Apples – $3.89

1 plg Fresh Zucchini – $1.68

1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.89

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.09

1 pkg Broccoli Crowns – $1.59

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.49

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.69

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.79

1 bag Romaine Hearts – $2.39

1 head Cauliflower – $1.79

2 dozen Eggs – $1.96

1 pkg Cheese Sticks – $1.99

1 8-oz pkg Sliced Deli Cheese – $1.79

1 pkg Goat Cheese Crumbles – $2.39

4 Single-Serving Greek Yogurts – $2.36

1 2-lb bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $5.19

1 2-lb bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $5.19

1 jar Organic Ketchup – $1.65

1 16-oz pkg Deli Meat – $2.85

1 pkg Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs ($1.69/lb)– $6.30

1 3-lb bag Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – $5.89

1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89

1 64-oz carton Orange Juice – $1.64

1 32-oz carton Half and Half – $1.55

1 gallon Skim Milk – $0.97

1 64-oz carton Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.65

1 gallon Whole Milk – $0.97

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.85

1 carton Table Salt – $0.35

1 large can Black Olives – $1.05

1 Family-Size Box Honey Nut Crisp Oats – $2.45

1 box Raisin Bran – $1.59

1 32-oz box Spaghetti Noodles – $1.12

1 bag Pretzels – $0.82

1 bag Gluten-Free Pretzels – $1.85

2 loaves Sandwich Bread – $1.34

Grocery Total for the Week: $89.97

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Cereal, Oatmeal, Toast, Fruit, Yogurt, Smoothies, Scrambled/Hard Boiled/Fried Eggs, Veggie Omelets

Lunches

Pretzels and Peanut Butter, Cheese Sticks, Apples, Cucumbers x 2

Deli Meat and Cheese Sandwiches, Bananas, Mini Sweet Peppers x 2

Leftovers x 3

Dinners

White Chicken Chili, World’s Best Honey Cornbread (I bought the ingredients to make this last week, but then our stove wasn’t working all week, so we ended up doing grilled chicken instead! Since our stove is fixed now, this Chili is back on the menu this week – all I needed to buy to make it was chicken.)

Barbecued Meatballs (I make these using a mixture of ground venison and ground beef), Twice-Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, Tossed Salad

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs, Roasted Cauliflower, Tossed Salad, Biscuits

Dinners at a Friend’s House

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Baked Potatoes, Green Beans, Tossed Salad

Spaghetti Carbonara, Easy Italian Breadsticks, Broccoli

Date Night Out (kids eat Grilled Cheese at home)

Sprucing Up Our Bathroom on a Budget

Note: This post is sponsored by At Home, but all opinions are my own. Read our disclosure policy here.

Refreshing Our Bathroom on a Budget

Have a space in your home that could use a refresh but don’t have a big budget to do so? I thought it would be fun to show you how I spruced up our upstairs bathroom — in just minutes and on a small budget!

Our upstairs bathroom has been a rather neglected room in our house ever since we moved in about two years ago. It was the bathroom that ended up getting all the rejects — the random towels, the red rug that was castoff from another bathroom, and a white shower curtain that we didn’t need in any other bathroom.

While this bathroom is primarily Kathrynne and Silas’ bathroom, it’s also often used by overnight guests who stay in Kathrynne’s room or by the kids’ friends or adults when we host groups and they are upstairs in our Bonus Room.

Despite it usually having quite a bit of foot traffic, I just hadn’t prioritized doing anything with it. So when At Home contacted me and asked me if I could write a post on refreshing a bedroom or bathroom on a budget, I knew exactly which space I should choose!

At Home’s Bed & Bath Event & Clearance Specials

By the way, At Home is currently running a huge Bed and Bath sale. If you’ve not been into this store before, it is a goldmine of deals.

Not only do they have weekly and monthly specials, but they also have incredible clearance deals. (For instance, right now, our store had over three full aisles’ worth of Christmas decor that was marked down 75% off!!)

One of my favorite things that At Home offers is their weekly Flash Finds. These are often deeply discounted deals for the week and are usually advertised right at the front of the store.

They have so many items that are available as part of the Bed and Bath Event — and many of them are under $30!

Jesse came with me to shop today. Want to know a true confession? We only do fancy restaurant date nights about 1-2 times per year (and usually with gift cards that our parents have given to us for birthdays or Christmas!).

However, we love going on frugal dates where we go grocery shopping and to other stores looking for deals!

I ended up deciding to keep it simple and get new towels, hand towels, and wash cloths. Plus, a rug and shower curtain set.

Before & After Pictures

I’m a little embarrassed to show you these pictures! Since I’m all about keeping it real, here’s the before of the bathroom. Like I said, it was badly neglected!

Speaking of keeping it real, notice that there aren’t any towels on the towel rack? Well, when I went to take the before pictures, the towel rack was completely empty! (I promise that my kids do actually take showers! ;))

Usually, the towel rack has some hodge podge of random towels — and they never match! Again, because this poor bathroom has just always gotten the leftovers.

Just 15 minutes and a few tiny changes later, the bathroom looks so much more inviting.

(And yes, the shower curtain probably needs to be ironed. However, there are two problems. 1) I don’t have an iron. 2) I figured that the steam from the shower would get those wrinkles out quickly!)

P.S. I’m torn on keeping the smaller rug in front of the toilet. Does it look weird there? I can’t decide. I thought about moving it to in front of the sink area instead. Also, I’d love suggestions for other simple ways to spruce up this bathroom.

5 Books I Read This Week (+ 1 classic movie we watched)

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

Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

If you want to see what I’m currently reading or what I’ve read so far this year, you can check out my GoodReads account.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Here are the 5 books I finished last week…

No Better Mom for the Job

I really loved this book! While it was written more for moms of younger kids, it was great to read as I gear up to be the mom of a baby and toddler and preschooler again!

If you sometimes question whether you are really cut out to be a mom or you sometimes wonder if your kids are getting short-changed because your mothering style and strengths are so different than other moms you know, I think this book will really encourage your heart.

Becky writes from the trenches as a mom who has experienced the exhausting stage of mothering three young boys who were very close in age. In this book, she shares what she has learned as a mom. She shares her story to embrace her gifts, lean into her strengths, and rely on the Lord in the middle of the mundane and messes of motherhood.

For more on how this book inspired me, read this post I wrote based upon one of the quotes in the book.

Verdict: 4 stars

100 Words of Affirmation Your Wife/Husband Needs to Hear

These books, by Matt and Lisa Jacobson, are a quick but impactful read. If you need some practical ideas and encouragement to speak words of life to your spouse or you just would love to glean from the wisdom of a couple who have raised 8 kids and been married for 27 years, I think you’ll find these books insightful.

I think it would be especially fun to read them together as a couple and to compare notes. (Some of their suggestions sparked good conversations between Jesse and me the past two weeks!)

These books were a good reminder to me of how important it can be to take the little bit of extra time to express how much we appreciate our spouse. It doesn’t cost any money, it takes very little extra effort, but it could make a huge difference in our marriage.

My only complaint? They were really short and I wished they had been a little more in-depth.

Verdict: 3 stars

Great Escapes of World War II

I read this book aloud to the family last week. It’s fairly short and each chapter covers one specific story of POW escape during World War II.

While some of us knew parts of some of the stories, we all learned new things. And it was one of those books that made you want to dig deeper into the stories shared.

It also was interesting to read at the same time I was listening to Killing the Rising Sun. The contrast between how different countries treated POWs was really sad and fascinating.

I think the thing I was most struck with was how much effort the POWs expended to try to escape. And in almost every case, dozens (or even hundreds!) of POWs worked together for just a few to escape. It was an inspiration to think of their sacrifices on behalf of others.

Verdict: 3 stars

Killing the Rising Sun

Last week, I told you how I didn’t enjoy Killing Patton. Well, this book certainly redeemed that reading experience.

I listened to this book on the free Libby app and am so glad I did. It is well worth listening to — especially if you enjoy history.

This book chronicles the backstory leading up to the end of World War II. A lot of the content surrounds the creating and dropping the atomic bombs.

While it mostly focuses on facts and history, it does bring up a lot of valuable ethical questions surrounding the use of atomic bombs. It made me think long and hard about these decisions people made and the longterm ramifications of them.

Verdict: 4 stars

Classic Movie We Watched This Week

The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it.

I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!)

The Sound of Music

This movie was on our list from the get-go this year. I have watched it a few times in my life, but it’s been a long time.

The girls had watched it once before, but they had forgotten parts of it. Silas just kept having his eyes grow wide when they’d start singing one of the songs. “Whoa! That song came from this movie, too??” he’d say. (I think the songs were actually originally from the musical that was turned into the movie, right?)

Many years ago, I read the true story account that the movie/musical was based on. The kids enjoyed hearing me share what I remember was fact and what was added to the storyline.

While the movie is long and a little slow moving in parts, we overall enjoyed it. And now I’ve had all the Sound of Music songs in my head all week!

What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list??

10 FREE Ways to Keep the Romance Alive

Keeping the Romance Alive

I reached over last night and took his hand and said, “I really like you.”

It might seem like such a simple gesture, but after 17 years of marriage, I’m so grateful that we don’t just love each, we LIKE each other, too.

A good marriage doesn’t just happen; it requires two very different people to be willing to put forth time, effort, and sacrifice.

To choose their spouse everyday — on the good days and the bad days.

Faithfulness and leaning in and loving on the dark and difficult days.

To look for the good, to appreciate your differences, to ask forgiveness, and to be willing to extend forgiveness.

To stay when it’s hard, to persevere when it’s exhausting, to be a champion and cheerleader instead of a comparer and complainer.

A good marriage is work, but it’s worth it.

This week, on the podcast, Jesse and I share candidly about romance and intimacy and give you 10 ideas that have helped us keep the sparks flying (some of them are probably not what you’d expect!).

In This Episode: 

[01:12] In light of last week’s episode, I had to tell you that I literally broke up with my phone — unintentionally. 🙂

[03:11] What’s saving our lives? A percussion massage gun and drinking a gallon of water.

[09:18] I’m reading Killing the Rising Sun and Jesse is reading the He Reads Truth daily devotional.

[13:38] Romance and intimacy… let’s talk about some ways we’ve found to keep the spark alive.

[15:29] Jesse shares 5 of his suggestions.

[21:16] My 5 ideas — and we had to laugh at how my first idea correlated to his 5th idea!

[29:10] What would you add to our list? 

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

This Week’s $60 ALDI and Kroger Shopping Trips (+ a different way of grocery shopping!)

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.

We’ve been using the Eat at Home Menu Plan service this week for our meals this past week. I wanted to demonstrate a different way to shop and cook for those who want to stick with a budget but don’t have time to go to multiple stores each week or shop markdowns/sales.

The Eat at Home Menu Plan service only goes on sale twice a year and it’s on sale through Tuesday at midnight for 30% off with coupon code HOME. You can get the annual plan for just $1.13/week with this code — and the code locks in the 30% off rate for the rest of your subscription!

We love this menu plan service and have personally found it to be super helpful during really full seasons of life. Check it out here.

I saw these Tearless Onions at Aldi last week. Have you purchased these before?? I’d never heard of them. Do they actually work and not make you cry when you cut an onion??

Aldi Shopping Trip — $42.75

Kroger Shopping Trip — $17.04

Dinners This Week

  • Sunday — marked down rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
  • Monday  —  grapefruit, Pumpkin Waffles, bacon
  • Tuesday — oranges, Broccoli Cheese Egg Casserole, Banana Muffins
  • Wednesday —  Slow Cooker Italian Chicken/Potatoes, Banana Muffins, green beans
  • Thursday — Slow Cooker Chicken a la King, Biscuits
  • Friday — Dinner out since Kathrynne had an out of town basketball game
  • Saturday — The kids had leftovers, Jesse and I went out with friends
  • Sunday —  Slow Cooker Cheeseburgers, Sweet Potato Fries