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.).
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 disclosure policy here.
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
- 4 packages Hillshire Farms Beef Sausage — $1.88 each as part of the 4-day deals
- 1 package Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies — $1.88 each as part of the 4-day deals
- 2 tubes Crescent Rolls — marked down to $0.79 each
- Juice — marked down to $0.99
- Bread — marked down to $1.29 + get $0.25 back from iBotta
- Bananas — marked down = $0.59
- 5 boxes of Red Baron pizza — $1.99 each as part of the 4-day deals + get $1 back from iBotta for buying 2
- 5 packages of Sargento cheese — $1.49 each as part of the 4-day deals + get $0.25 back from iBotta for buying 1
- Total with tax: $33.20
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:
- 1 gallon whole milk — $2.39
- Lemon juice — $2.49
- 5 lb. butter — $1.99 each with Kroger Digital Coupon deal
- Total with tax: $15.76
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. 🙂
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Hard Boiled Eggs, Peanut Butter/Banana Toast, Bacon, Leftover Pancakes.
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese/Crackers, Grapefruit, Avocados, Hard Boiled Eggs, Salad, Leftovers, Oranges, Cookies
- Cheese/Crackers, Yogurt, Popcorn, Apples, Oranges, Cookies, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Chocolate Cookies, Chips/Salsa, Goldfish
- 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.
Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!