Jul 16, 2012

$90 Grocery Budget Challenge - Week 3

Today is week 3 of my grocery challenge. I brought home bags of groceries and, without thinking, put them away before I took a picture! I went to ALDI and Target Saturday evening (when I forgot to photograph my purchases) and then visited Hyvee on Sunday afternoon. I was able to remember to pull out my camera before I put the groceries away but not before opening the bag of cheese to put some on the kids' dinner.

Here are my purchases:


  • 28 oz bottle Hunts ketchup 1.79
  • 24 oz container Quaker Quick Grits 1.79
  • 1/2 gal whole milk 1.99
  • 1 gal whole milk 3.59
  • 1 lb unsalted butter 2.69 (I am going to attempt to make Ghee with this!!)
  • 3 b-day cards @ .99 ea = 2.97
  • 3 pk mini notebooks 1.97 (I just wanted one for my grocery price-book.)
  • 6 oz box Hot Tamales candy 1.00
  • 6 oz box Sweetarts candy 1.00

Total of purchase (after 10% team member discount, and 5% Redcard discount + taxes) = $17.18.


  • 2 lb bag brown sugar 1.49
  • Size 5 pack diapers 4.99
  • 8 oz chunk mozzarella cheese 1.79
  • 2 - 8 oz chunks cheddar cheese @ 1.79 ea = 3.58
  • pack of wipes .99
  • 3 -  13 oz bags tortilla chips @ 1.19 ea = 3.57
  • 2 peaches @ .25 ea = .50
  • 4 - 8 oz cans tomato sauce @ .29 ea = 1.16
  • can Lg pitted olives .99
  • 9 oz tub ham lunch meat 2.49
  • 24 oz jar salsa 1.69
  • 1 lb baby carrots .99
  • 3 lb roll ground beef 6.99 (that's 2.33/lb which is a great price!)
  • 2 - 5 oz cans chunk tuna in water @ .58 ea = 1.16
  • 2 - 1/2 gal cartons almond milk @ 2.49 ea = 4.98
  • 3 doz large eggs @ 1.29 ea = 3.87
  • 16 oz carton strawberries .99

Total of purchase (+ tax) = $44.60. (Interestingly, I spent only one cent more [$44.61] last week here.)

  • 2.5 oz bottle store brand garlic powder 1.49
  • 8 oz bag Daiya mozzarella shreds 4.99 (dairy free "cheese")
  • 8 oz bag Daiya cheddar shreds 4.99
  • 2 - 1 lb packages beef stew meat @ 2.99/lb = 5.98 (Each package was reduced to 2.99/lb from 3.99/lb.) (Oh, and I'll be saving this meat for next week, probably Sunday dinner next week.)
  • 2 - 12 oz boxes DeBoles corn pasta @ 3.62 ea = 7.24

Total of purchase (+ tax) = $26.83.

This week's total spending is: $88.61. I did forget one item I had intended to purchase which is a bundle of cilantro but I do have the money if I decide to go pick it up but we'll survive without it. Its because I didn't take my list into the store with me! My brain never fails to fail me! ☺

My menu for the week using what I have on hand and what I purchased:

  • Grits
  • Oatmeal
  • Muffins
  • Bacon
  • Muffins
  • Popcorn
  • Apples with peanut butter
  • Chips and salsa
  • 2 days of nachos
  • 2 days of omelets with ham, cheese, and onions (I have leftover ham from last week.)
  • 1 day of hamburgers and oven fries
  • 1 day of chicken fried rice (Using a package of chicken I have in my freezer which I will stretch for the taco soup and the chicken tacos too.)
  • 1 day of leftover taco soup, chips
  • 1 night of spaghetti, cornbread, veggie
  • 1 night of loaded Spanish rice, refried beans, veggie
  • 1 night of taco soup, chips
  • 1 night of tuna casserole, breadsticks, veggie
  • 1 night of bbq chicken, oven fries, veggie
  • 1 night of pancakes, bacon
  • 1 night of chicken tacos, Spanish rice
  • Brownies
  • Peanut butter cookies

Linked up at:

Frugally Sustainable

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm especially excited because all the mozzarella cheese is for pizza NEXT week and the stew meat is for next week too! :D

  2. My family already has a really tight budget,but I always like to see people working to be better stewards with their finances :) Kudos to you for tightening up your grocery budget :)

  3. Hi Crystal. We're sure learning a lot about which foods stretch to make the most and what items we can do without. I enjoyed checking out your blog and reading your posts on budgeting!

  4. Wow this is incredible! Especially for a family of 5. I'm so inspired. My husband and I can certainly trim down our budget. Do you find it easy or difficult to still get in all your needed veggies, fruits, proteins, grains etc? How do you balance all of that?

    1. Thank you! Our budget dropped considerably because of necessity but it truly has been a great learning experience which I think will shape how I buy groceries even in the future should our budget increase again. We still buy some pop and "un-necessary" stuff but we're doing without several treat items we used to buy. I'd say meat and milk are some of the bigger money hogs. We get some protein from cheese and peanut butter which we eat on a daily basis (peanut butter on apple slices for snack, etc..). Meat I purchase on sale mostly. I have found that the rolls of ground beef are cheaper than the packages and I've never noticed a quality difference. We don't eat much other than chicken (whatever is cheapest - usually chicken leg quarters) and ground beef. If I have money leftover (like this week for example) I buy more meat for the freezer and I happened to find beef stew meat for cheaper than a beef roast for next Sunday's dinner. For now, I am buying frozen veggies (I have several bags on hand this week) and fresh fruit. My fresh fruit this week came from ALDI and these were sale items but I usually just buy a 3 lb bag of apples and that is all we get for the week (its not so bad when you dress them up by one day adding them to your oatmeal, the next eating them with peanut butter, and the next making apple crisp - all are ways to get your fruit in for the day!). We eat gluten free mainly and the hardest part of our budget has been trimming in this area. We haven't been buying the ($6/loaf!) gluten free bread or pre-made mixes for desserts. I've even been making homemade corn tortillas instead of buying those. For grains, we do eat oatmeal, grits, muffins, corn tortillas, and some pasta. GF pasta isn't cheap either so I try to limit it to 1-2 meals a week. I feel we still eat fairly decently (I hope anyway!!) and we are not stressing over not being able to buy fresh from the farm, GMO-free, or organic before we can afford to because stress is 1) a lack of faith (which I too often struggle with!) and 2) bad for our health as much as bad food! :D Hope all that helps! LOL!

    2. Wow, sorry that was so long! But, I forgot a big way we get protein in is through eggs. They are pretty cheap and filling. We often add extra eggs to fried rice or make big omelets for a meal.

  5. Looks like a great week! I had to shop today (we are expecting some pretty bad storms in the next 3 days so I wanted to do it today, since I tend to drown anyway, with kids in tow) and I spent $88.55. Unfortunately, $20 of that was for chlorine tablets for our pool :( My heart sank yesterday when I realized we needed chlorine (I always use my grocery budget for that), I was hoping to stock up a little on cheese and maybe some chicken but that's the way it goes. I wish my Aldi's was close, I am desperately needing a trip for some stocking up but maybe next week (ours is a couple towns away). I did very well at Kroger, coming in under $20 and I went to Dollar Tree and was pleasantly surprised that they have shredded cheese for $1, same size bag as Kroger or Walmart. They also had eggs! Yay! For $1! I have found I have to be very, very careful with places like dollar stores because you THINK you are doing very well but they get you with smaller packages or not as many servings in the packages, etc. Anyway, we have plenty of good food and with the storms coming, I plan to make some muffins and other goodies in the next few days to go with all the nutritious food (gotta have a few indulgences ;)

    1. Way to go! I had no idea the Dollar store would carry a dozen eggs for $1 or cheese. We just got a Dollar General down the road so maybe I'll check it out. I usually try to avoid stores that will more than likely make me want to spend on things I don't need but its worth checking out the food items! We LOVE muffins in our house for snacks. I like to make pumpkin muffins year-round and use whole grain flours to make them more wholesome. Also, the kids like to eat them with peanut butter to add some protein. Thanks for sharing your success!


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