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19 May 2019   ·   0

This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget (+ our menu plan!)

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 . 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 .

I was excited about the Buy 5, Get $5 Off Sale that Kroger was running this week! Barbecue Sauce for $0.49 — no coupon needed? Sign me up!

I was sad to find that my store was completely sold out of the Pancake Mix that was on sale for just $0.99. But I still have three boxes of pancake mix that I got on sale/marked down, so I can totally wait for another sale!

Here’s what I got at Kroger on Tuesday (I especially excited to finally find another markdown on eggs again!):

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • Chex cereal — marked down to $0.69
  • 5 dozen cage-free brown eggs — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 Moose Tracks yogurt — marked down to $0.25 each
  • 2 Simple Truth yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each
  • Simple Truth Organic Maple Syrup — $3.99, used $1/1 = $2.99
  • 2 boxes Kroger Raisin Bran — $1.49 each
  • Hillshire Farm ham — marked down to $2.19
  • Hillshire Farm brats — marked down to $1.49 each
  • 3 Bountiful Salad Kits — marked down to $1 each
  • 2 pounds Private Selection Ground Beef — marked down to $3.79 each
  • 1 bag of onions — marked down to $0.99
  • Vitamin D milk — $2.69
  • Huggies baby wipes — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $0.50/1 = $0.49
  • 2 bottles Kraft barbecue sauce — $0.49 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Suave Kids’ Shampoo — $1.99 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $1/1 = $0.99
  • 2 Speedstick deodorant — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Sara Lee whole wheat bread — $1.49 when you buy 5 participating items
  • Tropicana Probiotic — marked down to $1.29
  • Bear Naked Granola — $2.49 when you buy 5 participating items, used $3/1 = free after coupon
  • Stayfree pads — $1.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $2/2 = $0.99 after coupon
  • Total with tax: $44.06


Need an end of year Teacher Gift? Here’s a great idea!

 wrote in and said: “I made your chocolate chip cookies today for my preschooler to take to school. They’re DELICIOUS! I feel like I’m #winning at this mom thing… at least for a nanosecond out of my day.” (By the way, she used.)

a photo of Aldi

Did you see my post on 5 Things You Should NOT Buy at Aldi?

By the way, the marked down Lentil Salad I got above was kind of blah and I wouldn’t buy it again.

I was super stoked that Kroger had a weekend sale on butter! We had just ran out of the butter I bought in the last sale!

Did you get your free Core Hydration Water at Kroger?

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

family fun at Sonic

We kicked off 100 Days of Summer Fun on Saturday with walking to Sonic. Our goal is to do some simple family fun activity every day for the next 100 days.

If you want to join us, you can where I’ll be documenting what we do each day.

(And if you want to join us, I’d love for you to share your family fun on Instagram or Facebook and tag me (@themoneysavingmom) and use the hashtag #100DaysofSummerFun.)

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.

Our Menu Plan


  • Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Toast


  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrots, Oranges, Salads, Leftovers, Cookies


  • Fruit, Peppers, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Hard Boiled Eggs


  • Sunday — Leftover ziti, Bread Machine Buttery Rolls, salad, peas
  • Monday — Leftovers (We apparently made way too much for when we had guests over on Saturday night! Hey, at least it meant I got two nights off from cooking!)
  • Tuesday — Corn bread, ground beef with tomatoes and onions, fruit
  • Wednesday — Leftover corn bread with chili and cheese
  • Thursday — KFC
  • Friday — Breakfast for dinner: pancakes, sausage, fruit
  • Saturday — Leftover pancakes and sausage, frozen pizza + we walked to Sonic and the kids got drinks and chili dogs

Grocery Budget Totals

Total spent on groceries: $68.13

Cashback earned this week: 136 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $0.20 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards.

18 May 2019   ·   0

Brigette’s $87 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!


2 bags Riced Cauliflower – $3.78

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.89

1 bag frozen Broccoli Florets – $0.95

1 3-lb bag Sweet Potatoes – $1.55

1 Pineapple – $0.99

2 Avocados – $0.88

1 pkg Zucchini – $1.24

1 Cauliflower – $2.19

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.49

1 2-lb bag Red Onions – $1.79

3 large Cucumbers – $1.47

1 pkg Baby Carrots – $0.79

1 pkg Vine-Ripened Tomatoes – $1.48

1 pkg Broccoli Crowns – $1.39

1 3-lb bag Pink Lady Apples – $2.79

1 bunch Bananas (3.52lbs @ $0.42/lb) – $1.48

1 pkg Baby Bella Mushrooms – $0.99

1 pkg Artisan Lettuce – $2.39

1 pkg (5.53lbs) Fresh Boneless Chicken Breasts – $8.45

1 jar Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $2.69

1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.45

1/2 gallon 1% Milk – $0.95

1/2 gallon Orange Juice – $1.59

1/2 gallon Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.69

1 can Whipped Dairy Topping – $2.65

1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59

4 Individual Cartons Flavored Greek Yogurt – $1.96

1 can Parmesan Cheese – $2.29

1 can Baking Powder – $0.99

1 can Garbanzo Beans – $0.48

1 2-lb bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $4.49

2 2-lb bags Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $4.30

1 pkg Flour Tortillas – $0.65

2 boxes Honey Nut Oats – $2.30

1 bag Gluten-Free Pretzels – $1.85

1 box Cheese Crackers – $1.49

1 pkg Plain Rice Cakes – $1.15

2 cartons Egg Whites – $3.18

2 dozen Eggs – $1.78

1 pkg Turkey Pepperoni – $1.99

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.65

1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – $0.59

1 pkg Hamburger Buns – $0.65

Total: $87.87

Grocery Total for the Week: $87.87

Weekly Menu Plan


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

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


Cheese Quesadillas, Carrots, Apples x 2

Pretzels/Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter, Mini Peppers, Bananas x 2

Build-Your-Own-Salad Bar, Rice Cakes

Leftovers x 2


Hot Dog Cookout (Church Event – we just have to show up!)

Pizza Casserole (recipe from the “Trim Healthy Table Cookbook” – the crust is made from riced cauliflower), Tossed Salad

Crustless Ham Quiche, Broccoli, Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists

Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Pineapple, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Healthy Roasted Veggie/Rice Bowl (making a variation of recipe),

, , Zucchini Fries, Pineapple

, Oven Baked French Fries, Tossed Salad

18 May 2019   ·   0
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17 May 2019   ·   45

5 Books I Finished in April

Want to know what books I finished in April? In 2019, I’m sharing the books I read each month and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.)

5 Books I Finished in April

I set a goal to  and a second goal that 40 of those books will be books I already own. (You can see which books I picked to read from those I already own here).

By the way, I’m truly loving  to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! And I’ve been ahead on my goal for the last month!

I finished 5 books in April — yay! Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books:

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

This book had been highly recommended multiple times. When I found it available on Libby, I “checked it out” and started listening to it. Honestly, I almost didn’t keep listening because she has such a strong and brash personality.

But I’m glad I stuck with it because her story was fascinating and sad… but worth listening to/reading. I really had no understanding of what Scientology was before this book and while I know that this is just one person’s story, it was shocking to hear of her experiences in the Church of Scientology, what she was required to do, how she was mistreated, and how much money she paid into the Church as a member.

Note: There is strong and crass language in this book.

Verdict: 3 stars

After I read Hillbilly Elegy, multiple people said I had to read . Again, I found it was available on Libby, so I checked it out.

It’s one of those stories that I don’t know how to describe. It was engaging and thought-provoking, but also incredibly sad and haunting.

It’s the story of a woman who grew up in a very dysfunctional and poor family… and yet, despite the dysfunction, there’s also this layer of mystique that she paints her parents in. Like, you want to really dislike them, but you can’t fully allow yourself to because they also have these likable traits, too.

The book left me wishing I could have a conversation with the author and her siblings. It was also one — like Hillybilly Elegy — that I wished I would going through in a Book Club setting so I could discuss my big and sometimes disparate feelings about the book.

Note: There is language in the book and also some various details and stories that could be triggering, depending upon your background.

Verdict: 3 stars

This book is part memoir, part self-help. Elisabeth Hasselbeck shares lessons she learned from being on Survivor, being on The View, being fired from The View, being co-host on Fox & Friends, and ultimately deciding to leave television and focus on being a wife and mom.

I appreciated her candid honesty about her struggles with pushing herself too hard, trying to do too much, and not acknowledging her limitations and capacity. I also loved the behind-the-scenes stuff she shared about being on the various shows she’s been on.

My complaint with the book is that I wanted more. 🙂 I would have loved to hear even more details on what it was like to be on Survivor, be on The View, co-host Fox & Friends, be wife to a NFL player, and come home full-time to be a mom.

Verdict: 3 starts

I wanted so much to like this book. I loved Chasing Excellence and was hoping this would be a similar book.

It’s written by CrossFit Games Winner, Jason Khalipa, and the premise of the book is promising. He encourages you to live life with the AMRAP mentality.

(If you’re not familiar with CrossFit terms, AMRAP means As Many Reps As Possible. It’s basically where you push yourself as hard as you can go.)

I enjoyed some of the personal stories and inspirational tidbits he shared, but I felt like the book was sort of all over the place, not well edited, and it was hard to follow because it kept jumping from one part of his story to another and then back again.

In addition, I struggled with figuring out what he was inferring when he encouraged people to live with the AMRAP mentality. How does this actually look in real-life? He talks about being fully present when you are working on, or working on your business, or hanging out with your family, but I would have loved for him to unpack that a lot more.

Clearly, most people disagreed with me on this because it has 72 reviews and every single one of them is 5 star! So yeah, you might completely disagree with me on this one!

Verdict: 2 stars

This was — by far — the best book I finished in April! Many of you told me you thought I should read it as soon as possible and you were so right.

It’s the tragic and true story of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals and how they played out in the lives of the children who actually went through this horrific experience.

Truth be told, I had never heard of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals before listening to this book — and I live in Tennessee! I have asked multiple people who live here and they haven’t heard of it either.

It’s heart-wrenching and horrible and I think a powerful reminder of how money can cause people to make terrible decisions that can hurt people in devastating ways.

The book is well-written and engaging and appears to be very well-researched historical fiction. It is also the beautiful story of sibling love and how trauma and devastation doesn’t have to define your future.

Note: There are a lot of situations in the book when it comes to abuse that could be very triggering to people, depending upon your life experience and trauma. The book doesn’t give nitty-gritty details, but it’s enough that it could be very triggering.

Verdict: 4 stars

What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I really need to read soon? I’d love to know!

17 May 2019   ·   0
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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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17 May 2019   ·   0
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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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17 May 2019   ·   0
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17 May 2019   ·   0
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17 May 2019   ·   0
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