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Gretchen’s $45 Grocery Shopping Trip and Menu Plan for the Week

Health Food Store

1 Organic Kale – Marked down to $0.99

1 Rudis Organic Sandwich Flatz – Marked down to $0.99

2 Grapefruit – $0.50

0.86 lbs Peaches @ $0.99/lb – $0.85

Total with tax: $3.57

 Dillon’s Meat Trip

We were getting low on meat so I made a run to Dillon’s on the day they mark down meat. I was super excited to find some great prices on our favorite brands! This will keep us stocked up on meat for the next several weeks. 

3 lbs Laura’s Lean Beef – Marked down to $1.99 each

1.7 lbs Simple Truth Organic Chicken Drumsticks – Marked down to $3.80

Total with tax: $10.48


Transaction #1

I did 2 transactions at Dillons. On the first one I only bought items that were part of the General Mills catalina sale (Buy 5 participating items, Get a $5 catalina). I used the catalinas from the first transaction to buy groceries we needed on my second transaction.

6 Totino’s Pizza – $1.33 each, used 2 $1/3 printable – $1 each after coupons

4 Green Giant Sweet Potato Chips – $2 each, used 2 $0.50/1 coupons from the 6/9 SmartSource insert AND 2 $0.60/1 printable (coupons doubled to $1) – $1 each after coupons

2 Chex Mix Muddy Buddy – $2, used 2 $0.50/1 printable (doubled to $1) – $1 each after coupons

2 Mott’s Fruit Snacks – $2, used 2 $0.75/1 printable (no longer available; doubled to $1) – $1 each after coupons

2 Cocoa Puffs – $2.50 each, used $1/2 printable – $2 each after coupon

2 Original Cheerios – $2.50 each, used 2 $0.50/1 printable (doubled to $1) – $1.50 each after coupons

1 Multigrain Cheerios – $2.50, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled to $1) – $1.50 after coupon

1 Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch – $2.50, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled to $1) – $1.50 after coupon

Paid $28.64 out of pocket (total with tax), Received 4 $5 catalinas ($20 total)

Transaction #2

1 Surf Detergent (40 loads) – $2.99, used $1/1 coupon from the 6/2 RedPlum insert – $1.99 after coupon (This is normally $6.25!)

2 Suave Shampoo/Conditioner – $0.99, used 2 $1/1 printable – Free after coupons

1 Annie’s Mac & Cheese – $1, used $0.35/1 printable (doubled) – $0.30 after coupon

1 Hunts Spaghetti Sauce – $1

1 Kroger Glass Cleaner – $1.79 (We haven’t had glass cleaner in months now and I’ve been trying to make do with other cleaner but I decided last week it was time to buy actual glass cleaner since my windows are full of toddler fingerprints these days. 🙂 )

1.88 lbs Bananas @ $0.35/lb – $0.66

1 Kroger Ice Cream – $2.50

1 Cucumber – $0.59

1 Romaine Lettuce – $0.99

1.24 lbs Tomatoes @ $1.99/lb – $2.47

1 Kroger Cheese – $1.50

1 Dillons Bread – $1

6 Oranges – $0.49 each ($2.94 total)

1 Garnier Fructis Hairspray – Marked down to $0.99, used $1/1 coupon from the 6/2 RedPlum insert – Free after coupon (I just used up my hairspray this morning so I was excited to find this deal!)

1 Dillons Gallon Milk – $2.98

2 Dove Soap – $1 each, used $1/1 printable – Free after coupon

Used 4 $5 catalinas from Transaction #1

Total with tax: $2.57


Total for both transactions before coupons and sales: $88.48

Total for both transactions after coupons: $31.21

Total for all grocery items: $45.26

Menu Plan for this Week


Oatmeal, Cereal, Toast, Bananas, Juice, Oranges


Mac & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Turkey Sandwiches, Baked Potatoes, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


Leftovers, Steamed Broccoli, Fruit (We’re using up stuff in our refrigerator from last week.)

Salad Bar, 30 Minute Rolls

Italian Chicken Drumsticks (I just pour Italian dressing on them and bake.), Green Beans, Tossed Salad, Homemade Bread

Spaghetti, Peaches, Tossed Salad

Steak (gift from Crystal), Biscuits, Sliced Oranges

Date Night (yay!)

Dinner with extended family for Father’s Day

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  • august says:

    About the glass cleaner -water and a microfiber cloth work better than any glass cleaner I’ve ever used!

  • Emily says:

    WOW! Awesome deal on the meat. I have never seen Laura’s marked down that low.

  • Jenni/Life from the Roof says:

    Very impressive – thanks for posting these trips – our Dillon’s is within walking distance and I’m starting to pay more attention to Gretchen’s lists to see what I can find too when I’m there.

  • C. Holmes says:

    Awesome meat deals! How did you find out what day your store does mark downs? I think your Dillions is like our Kroger.

  • Martha Artyomenko says:

    Good job! I love shopping at our Kroger store too….I have been working hard the last few months to stick to $200-250 a month food budget for our family of 6 and it is going much better than I thought it would! However, we don’t usually eat out much….

  • The Prudent Homemaker says:


    It costs us just a few pennies to wash windows, and it’s faster than using a spray bottle, too. Here is how my husband washes the windows:

    We have lots of little fingerprints both high and low and they go so fast this way.

    I like your idea for the chicken drumsticks! I make homemade Italian dressing and that would be lovely over drumsticks! I love dipping fried chicken into Italian dressing. I have heard of cooking chicken that way before but I have never done it. It sounds wonderful!

  • laurie olivieri says:

    great job…I love seeing the pics and the breakdown…I also get the discounted meats…just cant pass up cheaper organic meats!

  • Jenn says:


    I was wondering what your weekly or monthly budget is and how many are in your family.

  • lyss says:

    I know you already bought window cleaner, but just wondering if you’ve tried homemade cleaners? There’s, of course, books of recipes out there, but I like to keep it simple. A spray bottle filled with half vinegar/half water is great for windows, mirrors, sinks…just about anything! I spray and wipe with a dry microfiber cleaning rag. A few drops of an essential oil is nice to tone down the vinegar smell, but without is fine. Burn a candle after cleaning if your house smells vinegary! Vinegar is so cheap, and while it does certainly smell, at least it’s not a toxic chemical. : )
    I know what works for me might not work for everyone, but I hope this helps you, or maybe someone else!

    • Swaps says:

      I agree. We use water- vinegar mixture too for most of our cleaning these days. What I do is save lemon/ lime wedges (after juice has been squeezed out and used) and put those in vinegar. It does help upto certain extent with smell.

  • ClareC. says:

    Thanks for listing your shopping trip and menu details. I like reading your posts!

  • Christine says:

    Man, I wanna live where you do. Some of those prices are crazy, crazy cheap. As in even the regular prices. Beats my Aldi prices!!!

  • Chelsea says:

    I clean homes for extra income and I always use hot water (as hot as I can stand) followed up by a microfiber cloth to dry on all glass and mirror surfaces. It works wonders! 🙂

  • Sarah H says:

    I was disappointed at my Ralphs in Southern California, that several items of the catalina deal were much more expensive than I saw on deal sites. Fruit snacks, Chex Mix, Green Giant chips, etc. were all about $1 more than these scenerios list (starting at $3 on sale before catalinas and coupons). Oh, well, I still got several other items for a good deal – including cereal and paid overage for pizza (that was actually less than advertised!).

  • Bethany says:

    Thanks for your posts! My husband and I live on a similar budget for groceries and I always love reading about what you have found. 🙂

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