Full disclosure! The usual trend for our grocery shopping habits is higher than I want. One month, I watched our general trend (in order to give myself a realistic and honest estimate of our grocery expense) and it estimated to $500-600! Way too high for my liking.
What happened for me and Kyler this September was that we spend $347 on groceries: $150 at grocery stores, $167 at Costco (mostly meat) and $30 doing fast food with the debit card. I’m actually proud of myself! This might have been the most frugal month.
I believe we went through 2-3 gallons of milk (Kyler has been enjoying chocolate milk a lot lately! though I drink almond milk when I don’t cook for us). We used cheaper and in-season produce to create creamed soups, 1 week I was bad at sticking to a meal plan, 1-2 weeks we were great, and the 4th week (this week that I’m writing about) was a mix of both. I made quite a bit of pasta, or we ate leftovers, or Kyler chose to use some cash to buy crap food (what I call fast food).
Monday September 28
Meatloaf & Fixings
- $2 1 lbs ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ cup dried oats
- ketchup, brown sugar
- 1 egg
- Garlic, minced
- Butter (for the mashed potatoes and green beans)
- 1 can of green beans $1
- $~1 cup of potatoes ~$1 (I bought a 1.5 lb bag for $3.77 and took a handful of potatoes)
- ¼ cup milk
Estimated Total Cost: $4-5
Tuesday September 29
A Chicken Pasta Blend
- $6 Chicken Strips
- $0.78 Frozen Bell Peppers (1/2 bag)
- $0.68 1 box of rotini pasta (FOUND ON SALE!)
- Cheese, butter, splash of milk, garlic, salt & pepper ~$1
Total Estimated Cost: $8.46, made dinner for us and lunch for Kyler next day.
Wednesday September 30
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pasta-Roni
- $1 Poin loin chunk
- ~$2 1 whole bottle of BBQ sauce (accidentally poured the whole thing into the Crockpot)
- $1 Broccoli & Cheddar Pasta-Roni
- $0.58 4 hamburger buns since a pack of buns was $1.18 at Target
Total Estimated Cost: $5
Thursday October 1
We went to Target for a small grocery stop, I got PF Chang’s orange chicken for $6.89. I mix it with 2 servings of rice and have a total of 3-4 meals from 1 bag- since Kyler doesn’t like Asian food. He ended up eating leftover meatloaf & fixings.
Friday and Saturday
Another leftovers day or something or other. Honestly, parts of this week were a blur but we did a great job of eating out leftovers! Very lazy weekend full of relaxing, computer games, and Gilmore Girls. Although we did do at least 1 productive thing per day (like the dishes and grocery shopping- more on our Sunday Grocery Haul later!) I think Kyler used cash to buy Chick-fil-A for us on Friday and then Saturday I ate leftover orange chicken…. 🤔
Sunday October 4
BBQ Pulled Pork Pasta
Okay! Seriously one of my greatest creations and tomorrow’s grand recipe of the week! I used leftover pork, fresh garlic and onion, and basically homemade mac n cheese. It totally has to be $5 or less and was incredibly delicious!
I’m amazed (and later discouraged) at how other posts read How I Feed My Family of 4 with $50/Week! 🙊🙊 Although this month, most homemade dinners were $5 or $10 for 2 days (ie Kyler’s lunch the next day). Excluding our Costco run to stock back up on our meat products and our trip for Crap Food , we spent roughly $35/week. I do give myself a pat on the back for how well we did this month- I believe it has been one of my most frugal months in a couple years. 🌟🌟🌟
All in all, I’m happy to have cracked down on myself and use this blogging series to make myself accountable and I will continue to try to record everything for myself and my readers. I suspect that recording it week by week is what kept our costs down. And it was very encouraging to realize that most of my dinners are in fact $5 dinners.
Things That STILL Don’t Make Sense to Me
I’m baited into reading the post, sometimes a hard-read, other times a skim-read, and I really don’t understand how $200/month can actually feed that family of 4? Even the articles that include all that they feed that family of 4 with 2 toddlers….And then I think to myself, I’m spending $300+ for groceries and sundries for 2 people…
1. It doesn’t make sense to me! Here are my challenges:
- Kyler essentially works a labor-job, and that makes him incredibly hungry for dinner
- I need to make sure I have protein in every meal I eat- and often times, I do need red meat to help with my migraines. To save money on that need, we eat red meat one to two times each week.
- The trend with these skimpy spending habits for that family of 4 show a lot of pasta, vegetables and very little meat. How is that filling? I understand that beans and rice can be filling and I do enjoy that dish- but Kyler does not. And we both enjoy a meat almost every night.
- I can’t find much of their grocery items for as cheap as they can! Remember my rant from the first week?
- When I go to the stores with Kyler….things that were not on the list end up in our grocery cart. And he says I’m bad at Target 😉
- Possible detail is that these aren’t included in their the base cost to create a full pantry or include sundries like:
- cleaning products
- toilet paper, paper towels
- shampoos/body wash
- monthly lady-products