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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I was so happy with all of the groceries we got this past week. And I was especially excited to realize we now have 25 pounds of meat in the freezer and a pantry that is really, really full. All that has been stockpiled a little bit at a time on our $70 grocery budget.
An Important Note for Those Who Are Feeling Frustrated
Some of you have been frustrated recently that I share my groceries because you don’t have Kroger. Here’s what I want to encourage you with: instead of being frustrated, focus on what you CAN do. I’ve lived without a Kroger and been able to still have a small grocery budget. It just takes a can-do creative attitude… and a willingness to do the best you can with the time and resources you have.
A few tips for beginners:
- If you’re new to trying to cut your grocery bill, start by having a grocery budget, working on sticking with it, and planning a menu based upon simple, inexpensive meals.
- Then, step it up, by planning your meals based upon what is on sale at the store and what you have on hand.
- Next, pay attention to why items are at their lowest prices and start setting aside a little bit of your grocery budget to stock up on items when they are at their lowest prices.
- The more you do this, the easier it will get to lower your grocery budget and slowly build a stockpile of food that you got at a discount!
Here’s what we bought at the grocery store this past week:
Kroger Shopping Trip #1
- Romaine lettuce — marked down to $1.29
- Spinach — $2.99
- Lemon juice — $2.59
- Loaf of bread — marked down to $1.29
- Milk — $2.49
- Total with tax: $8.85
I spent $3 on this Harry’s Shaving Bundle (I forgot to add this into my grocery budget last week, so I’m adding it here.). I was super impressed with the razor and have been using it all week.
Walgreens Shopping Trip
- 6 boxes of sandwich bags/storage bags — on sale Buy 1, Get 2 Free = 3 for $2.79
- 4 boxes of DiGiorno Pizza — on sale Buy 1, Get 1 Free = 2 for $7.49
- Used $5 off $20 coupon that printed when I went to Walgreens last week
- Total with tax: $17.11
Kroger Shopping Trip #2:
- 3 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios — $1.79 each when you buy 6 participating items, used $1.50/3 coupon that printed last time I went to the store = $1.29 each after coupon
- 4 tubs of Fage & Simple Truth yogurt — marked down to $0.49 each
- 3 tubs of Moose Tracks yogurt — marked down to $0.19 each
- Pita bread — marked down to $1.29
- Land O’ Lakes butter — $2.99
- Pork Roast — marked down to $4.99
- Cousin Willie’s Kettle Corn — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
- 2 half gallons of Apple Cider — marked down to $0.50 each
- Baking Powder — $1.19
- Ocean Spray Pink Grapefruit Juice — $1.99 when you buy 6 participating items, used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon = $0.99
- Total with tax: $22.29
Kroger Shopping Trip #3
(I was almost out of lettuce for my two salads a day, so Jesse ran by Kroger when he was out and found two bags marked down for me!)
- 2 bags of Kroger Romaine — marked down to $1.29 each
- Total with tax: $2.74
Speaking of salads, I’ve gotten a lot of comments and messages about the fact that I’ve mentioned that I eat two salads a day in recent weeks.
So I decided to show people practically what this looks like for me. I’ve been posting my lunch salad on Instagram stories — and I’m loving that it’s inspiring so many of you to also eat more salads!
Wondering how I make my salads? It’s usually a bed of Romaine or dark greens I’ve gotten marked down at Kroger (these are pre-washed and ready to go so I literally just stick them on my plate) topped with whatever odds and ends I find in the fridge (other marked down veggies, fruit, leftover steamed or roasted veggies from dinner the night before, a hard boiled egg —we make a batch in bulk in the Instant Pot each week, or leftover meat from last night’s dinner.)
It typically takes me no more than 3 minutes to put together my lunch salad. Who says eating healthfully has to take a bunch more time?
And then for dinner, I usually just put the main dish on a bed of lettuce. That might sound gross to you, but I’ve gotten so used to it that it doesn’t bother me at all.
I feel so much healthier and energetic when I eat a lot of salads and fresh fruits and veggies, so I’ve worked to find creative ways to make more salad eating possible without spending a lot of time and money to do so.
Also, for those who are wondering, I rarely ever use dressing. Yes, I know, that might sound crazy but it’s true!
Kroger Shopping Trip #4:
- Capri Sun — $1.79 when you buy 6 participating items, used $0.60/1 coupon Kroger had sent me recently, $1.19 after coupon
- Bananas — $1.30
- 5 cans of Red Gold Tomatoes — $0.39 each when you buy 6 participating items
- 1 bag oranges/apples — marked down to $0.99
- 18-count Simple Truth Cage Free brown eggs — $3.49, used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon = $2.49
- Cabo Guacamole — $2.99 when you buy 6 participating items, used $3/1 coupon = Free after coupon
- 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
- 3 boxes of Creamette pasta — $0.49 each when you buy 6 participating items, used $1/3 coupon that Kroger sent me recently = $0.47 for all three
- Kroger Purified Water — $0.79
- Total with tax = $12.13
Kathrynne and I made Homemade Pizza for Friday night and I showed her how we used to make pizza when Jesse was in law school and we’d only buy one bag of chicken every other week most weeks (that would typically be the only meat we’d be able to afford in our budget), so we’d just put a tiny bit of meat on the pizza usually (see example above).
It was good to remember those days. I never want to forget and I want our kids to know this part of our story.
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. ?
- Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Hard Boiled Eggs, Peanut Butter Toast, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese Quesadillas, Cheese/Crackers, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Clementines, Cookies
- Cheese/Crackers, Yogurt, Popcorn, Apples, Cookies, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Brownies, Chips/Salsa, Goldfish
- Sunday — Fend for yourself (snack-y dinner)
- Monday — Cracker Barrel for dinner for Kathrynne’s birthday
- Tuesday — Pork Roast, Oreida Fries, Roasted Broccoli
- Wednesday — Baked Chicken, Peas, Pineapple, Twice Baked Potatoes
- Thursday — Kielbasa, Peas, Twice Baked Potatoes
- Friday — Homemade Pizza, pineapple
- Saturday — Leftovers
Total spent on groceries: $66.12
Psst! Need some help with cutting your grocery budget? Check out my series: 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget.