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.).

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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

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