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Category: From My Kitchen

$68 Grocery Budget: What we bought & ate

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.).

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 .

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • 2 dozen Simple Truth eggs — marked down $1.19 each
  • Kroger butter — marked down to $1.49
  • Kerrygold butter — marked down to $1.59
  • 3 cartons cage-free eggs — marked down $1.19 each
  • 4 boxes Ronzoni Veggie pasta — $1 each, used $2/4 = $0.50 each after coupon
  • 4 boxes Ronzoni SmartTaste pasta — $1 each, used $2/4 = $0.50 each after coupon
  • 4 boxes Creamette pasta — $1 each, used $2/4 = $0.50 each after coupon — You can get $1 back from iBotta for buying two — which makes 2 boxes completely free!
  • Whole Wheat Pitettes — marked down to $1.29
  • 3 bags of grapefruit — marked down to $0.99 each
  • Chopped spinach — $1.59
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray — $2.99
  • 5 boxes Kroger Instant Oatmeal — $1.49 each, used $0.50/1 = $0.99 each
  • Sweet Tarts Ropes — free with Free Friday coupon
  • Total with tax: $30.62

Kroger Shopping Trip #2

  • Dannon Oikos Triple Zero — marked down to $1.89
  • 1 bag of oranges — marked down to $0.99
  • 2 Carmex Lip Balm — marked down to $0.29
  • Organic Romaine Lettuce — $1.79
  • Kroger Powdered Sugar — $1.49
  • 1 bag of potatoes — marked down to $1.50
  • Total with tax: $8.78

I also because I saw that there was a great coupon available (I don’t think it’s still available? I can’t see for sure since I already used it!)

I used a gift card earned for free from Swagbucks to pay for this, but I still deducted the amount spent from my grocery budget to keep it fair for you all who are following along with our $70 budget.

I got some great freebies in the mail this week! Kroger sent me an envelope of coupons, including coupons for a free box of Cheerios and a free box of Quaker Granola Bars! (If you have a Kroger store, make sure your address is correct in your account. They send these out quite often!)

I also got my free Deer Park water coupon and my free Natural Calm sample. What did YOU get in the mail this week?

I complete forgot to take a photo of my last Kroger shopping trip… but I did do a video on Facebook that I shared above (you can click on it to watch it). Here’s what I bought:

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

  • 1 box of Cheerios — free with coupon mailed to me (see above)
  • 2 packages of Jimmy Dean sausage —
  • 5 packages of Oreos —
  • Jimmy Dean turkey sausage — — you can get $0.80 back from Ibotta, which made this just $1.19
  • Vitamin D milk — $2.49
  • 1 bags of oranges — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 box of Quaker granola bars — free with coupon mailed to me (see above)
  • Total with tax: $17.96

This was one of the salads I ate almost every day this week because it was so good: spinach, avocado, Swiss cheese, and dried cranberries.

I am LOVING those of you who are posting your salads on and sharing your pictures of salads with me. I thought the above message was really impressive and inspiring!

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. ?

Breakfasts:

  • Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Hard Boiled Eggs, Peanut Butter/Banana Toast, Bacon

Lunches:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Yogurt, Grapefruit, Avocados, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Oranges, Cookies

Snacks:

  • Yogurt, Oranges, Cookies, Grapefruit, Chocolate Cookies, Chips/Guac

Taco Casserole, Chicken Tetrazinni/Grapefruit, Fend for Yourself, Chicken Tetrazinni/Grapefruit/Salad, Chicken/Roasted Potatoes/oranges, scalloped potatoes, turkey sausage, oranges.

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Taco Casserole, Salad
  • Monday — Chicken Tetrazinni/Grapefruit
  • Tuesday — Fend for Yourself
  • Wednesday —Chicken Tetrazinni/Grapefruit/Salad
  • Thursday — Italian Chicken/Roasted Potatoes/oranges
  • Friday — Scalloped potatoes, turkey sausage, oranges
  • Saturday — Frozen pizza (for the kids), Dinner out with two other couples (Jesse & I)

Total spent on groceries: $68.41

Psst! Need some help with cutting your grocery budget? Check out my series: 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget.

Cashback earned this week: 125 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards$1.80 back from iBotta for buying Creamette Pasta, Jimmy Dean sausage, and scanning a receipt.

We spent $66 on groceries for our family of 5!

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.).

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 .

This $66 weekly menu plan for a family of 5 is really inspiring and full of all kinds of practical ideas to plan a menu on a budget!

A lot of you have been asking how I come up with meal ideas based upon what we have on hand/what is on sale and marked down at the store.

I don’t have some sophisticated system; it’s honestly just the result of lots of practice!

For instance, when I was at the grocery store last Sunday, I found a loaf of homemade bread + Sargento cheese was just $1.49 each. I instantly made a mental note to put Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on the menu for one of our busy nights of the week.

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

I also saw that Beef Smokies were on sale for $1.88 and I found crescent rolls marked down to $0.79. So guess what I made for our family Super Bowl party? Yep, Pigs in a Blanket!

We also had gotten all those bags of chips for $0.99 at Kroger and I had gotten a great deal on Refried Beans, I had gotten Guacamole for free last week, I had some sour cream I had found marked down, and we had some salsa and cheese. So I made another re-invented Layered Dip for our Super Bowl party, too.

Questions I Ask Before I Buy Something

This is how we roll around here. When I find items marked down or a great deal on something, I think about whether it’s something we will use or something we could use. I ask myself whether we have the items needed to make something with it, if it’s something my family would like, if we have the money in the budget for it, and if we can store it (if we won’t eat it right away).

If so, then I think about how much I should buy based upon how much I know we’ll use, what the price is, and how much money we have left in the grocery budget that week.

One of the companies I work with sent our family a fancy s’more kit for Christmas and I had stuck it in the freezer. We pulled it out on Monday and had a little fire pit and roasted s’mores. It felt all fun and fancy — and something you usually wouldn’t do on a Monday. It was a memorable way to kick off the week!

We were almost completely out of fruit, so I was so thrilled to find all these produce markdowns!

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • 4 packages of Brats — marked down to $1.79 each
  • 2 packages of avocados — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 bag of cuties — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of grapefruit — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of oranges and grapefruit — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of apples — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of red peppers — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 box of organic arugula — $2.40
  • Total with tax: $17.52

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

I saw a Taco Casserole recipe on Facebook this week and it inspired me to make my own twist on it. I layered ground turkey with taco seasonings and canned tomatoes, then cheese, then cornbread. I baked it and then we topped it with more cheese. It was a HUGE hit!

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. ?

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese/Crackers, Grapefruit, Avocados, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Oranges, Cookies

Snacks:

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Pigs in a Blanket, Layered Nacho Dip (Super Bowl Party)
  • Monday — Pizza on the Grill, Oranges, S’mores
  • Tuesday — Sausage/Onion/Peppers in the Crockpot, Oranges
  • Wednesday — Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Oranges
  • Thursday — Zaxby’s after Kathrynne’s basketball game
  • Friday — Pancakes, Apples
  • Saturday — Taco Casserole, Salad, Apples

Total spent on groceries: $66.48

Psst! Need some help with cutting your grocery budget? Check out my series: 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget.

Cashback earned this week: 100 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards$1.60 back from iBotta for buying bread, Red Baron pizza, sliced cheese, and scanning a receipt.

10 Days of Salads

Want to eat more salads, even on a budget? These are GREAT ideas!

Want to eat more fresh vegetables? I shared earlier this week how I eat 2 salads each day. (If you missed that post, read it here.)

Since I’m a visual person, I thought it would be fun to take pictures of my salads every day for two weeks to show you examples of what my daily salads look like. I hope this inspires you to maybe eat more salads — or to see that it doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to eat healthfully.

Spinach, leftover $0.99 pineapple from dinner the night before, and some Swiss Cheese from last week’s Sargento cheese deal

Arugula, marked down apple, marked down avocado, and a hard-boiled egg.

Marked down mixed organic greens, roasted broccoli from dinner the night before, hard boiled egg, and a marked down apple

Marked down mixed organic greens, leftover Sweet Potato Fries from the night before, and a hard boiled egg

Leftover refried beans and cheese from dinner the night before, marked down romaine, marked down tomatoes, a side of chips

Marked down mixed organic greens, wonton strips, hard boiled egg, and a drizzle of dressing

Marked down romaine, toast cut up for “croutons”, dried cranberries

Marked down romaine, marked down pork loin roast leftover from dinner the night before, hard boiled egg

Marked down romaine, marked down tomatoes, marked down sour cream, marked down turkey that we made into taco meat, sprinkled with cheese

Marked down romaine, hard boiled egg, leftover kielbasa from dinner the night before

What are YOUR favorite toppings for salads? I’d love to hear!

We spent $66 on groceries this 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.).

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 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

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 = $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 — 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 = $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. ?

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese Quesadillas, Cheese/Crackers, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Clementines, Cookies

Snacks:

Dinners:

  • 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.

Cashback earned this week: 125 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $1 back from iBotta for buying bread, milk. water, and scanning a receipt.

We Spent $70 at Walgreens, Publix, and Kroger last 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.).

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 .

A number of you have been asking if I can go to stores other than Kroger… and so I’m going to try to make that happen, if it works out in our schedule and there’s a good enough deal warrant going to Publix or Walgreens or CVS or Sprouts or Aldi. We’ll see!

(As most of you know, I drive by multiple Kroger stores on an almost-daily basis. So it makes it SO easy to pop in there. Most of the other stores require going out of my way a little to shop at them, so that’s why you don’t see me shop at them as often. Plus, I’m just so familiar with Kroger and usually find such great deals there, that it’s hard for me to sometimes want to go to other stores!)

This week, Jesse and I were right by Publix and Walgreens one of the days and I had a few minutes, so I ran in to get a few deals. Plus, I went to Kroger three different times.

Here’s what I bought:

Kroger Shopping Trip #1 (pictured above):

  • Back to Nature Cookies — $2.99 — used  + $2/2 coupon that had printed for me at Kroger recently = $0.99 each + submitted for 3 
  • Bai Bubbles — free with Free Friday coupon
  • 3 bags of Simple Truth organic tortilla chips — $1.49, used $0.50/1  (can be used 5 times per transaction) = $0.99 each
  • Lemon Juice — $2.49
  • 1 bag Simple Truth frozen veggies — $1.29, used $0.50/1  (can be used 5 times per transaction) = $0.79
  • 1 bag of apples — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of peppers + radishes — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 bag of sweet potatoes — marked down to $0.99
  • Total with tax = $12.56

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • Colgate MaxFresh — $1.99 when you buy 6 participating items, used $2/1 = Free after coupon
  • 5 packages of Cheese — $2.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • Kroger half & half — $1.79
  • Natural Bliss Pumpkin Spice Creamer — marked down to $0.29 (I don’t think I’ve ever tried this before and I am loving it in my tea, especially at this crazy price!)
  • Kroger Unbleached Flour — $1.49
  • Kroger Whole Wheat Flour — $1.99
  • 5 cans of Simple Truth Organic Refried Beans — $1.19 each, used $0.40/1 (can be used up to 5 times per transaction) = $0.79 each
  • 4 pounds of ground turkey — marked down to $1.99 per pound
  • Romaine Lettuce — marked down to $0.50
  • Dole Salad Kit — marked down to $0.89
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Hot Sauce — free after 
  • 1 bag of tomatoes — marked down to $0.99
  • Total with tax: $37.28

Pineapple and blackberries are just $0.99 at Kroger right now!

I was super excited to find these tomatoes just $0.39 per can when you buy 5 participating items at Kroger!

Publix Shopping Trip:

Hershey Gold & Pretzel Candy (10-ounce bag) – $4.19
Buy One, Get One Free Sale
Used 2 
$0.10 each after sale and coupons

*Note: If you don’t live in the land of true BOGO, you can buy just one bag at $2.10 and get it for $0.10. If your store is true BOGO, you’ll have to buy two bags and use two coupons to get the price of $0.10 per bag!

Publix Shopping Trip Total with tax: $0.60

Walgreens Shopping Trip:

3 Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent – $1.99
Used 3 
$0.99 each after coup

Walgreens Shopping Trip Total with tax: $3.55

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

  • 2 bags of clementines — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios — $1.79 each when you buy 6 participating items, used $1/2 , $1.29 each after coupon
  • 4 cans of Red Gold tomatoes — $0.39 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 1 can Bumble Bee tuna — $0.79 when you buy 6 participating items
  • 1 carton of sour cream — marked down to $0.49
  • 1 pineapple — $0.99
  • 3 boxes of Creamette pasta — $0.49 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • 2 bags of Goldfish crackers — $0.99 each when you buy 6 participating items
  • Kroger sandwich bags — $1.49
  • Kroger gallon bags — $1.99
  • Total with tax: $16.36

Kathrynne signed up for birthday freebies since it’s her birthday week and when she signed up for Krispy Kreme she got a coupon for a completely free DOZEN doughnuts!! Needless to say, we’ve all been enjoying those! I may or may not have had one for breakfast! 😉

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. ?

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese Quesadillas, Cheese/Crackers, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Clementines, Cookies

Snacks:

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Frozen Pizza, salad
  • Monday — Leftovers, apples, chips & salsa
  • Tuesday — Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes, Roasted Broccoli
  • Wednesday — Brats, Sweet Potato Fries, salad
  • Thursday — Refried beans with cheese, chips, lettuce (sort of a meatless build-your-own taco salad)
  • Friday — Dinner at Chipotle for Kathrynne’s birthday (we had some of her friends over), brownies
  • Saturday — Snack-y dinner (fend for yourself)

Total spent on groceries: $70.35

Psst! Need some help with cutting your grocery budget? Check out my series: 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget.

Cashback earned this week: $3 from Ibotta for buying Back to Nature and 150 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards.