I’m glad so many of you are excited about healthy on $75! The intro was a big hit and I’ll be sure to include some of the requests you left in the comments throughout the series. To get it started I wanted to share my first week’s grocery haul, the cost breakdown, my plan I went in with and how the week ended up going down.
I’ve been on my more strict $75/week food budget since the beginning of the year. I have weeks that aren’t so good, but I’d say about 90% of the time I can stick to my $75 goal. The meals I planned for the week also included foods I already had on hand from previous shopping trips/stock ups or things I always make sure to keep on hand, so not every ingredient for every meal had to be purchased. This is why you’ll see that we ate things that I didn’t purchase this week.
Here was my meal plan for dinners with any changes to what we actually ate in parenthesis, because I never seem to strictly stick to my plan:
Friday: grilled hot italian chicken sausage + millet + grilled carrots and onions
Saturday: BBQ hawaiian beef burgers + carrot slaw salad (but actually had grilled yellow squash) + baked beans
Sunday: teriyaki grilled chicken + grilled veggies + brown/white rice
Monday: black bean burgers + green salad
Tuesday: rice krispie chicken strips + cheesy broccoli mash pasta
Wednesday: black bean fajita quesadillas on homemade whole wheat tortillas along with avocado, sour cream and tomatoes
Thursday: breakfast for dinner French toast + eggs (but actually had kale, chorizo, potato and cheese frittata + fruit)
I stuck pretty close to my dinner plan with just a few changes based on what I was feeling like for dinner.
Breakfasts for Hunter and I included: banana custard oats with peanut butter, scrambled eggs + toast, blueberry yogurt pancakes and french toast with applesauce. Always tons of coffee with milk for me (which I stocked up on when there was a steal of a deal for Starbucks coffee at target once).
Breakfast for Jacob during the work week: pb + j sandwich and coffee with creamer
Lunches and snacks for Hunter and I: We mostly had leftovers (pictured below leftover mix includes rice, millet, black beans + fajita veggies, avocado and sour cream) plus random sandwiches (pb + j and tuna or chicken) paired with fresh fruit. Snacks include fresh fruit, raisins, yogurt with berries or jam, hard boiled eggs, peanut butter sandwiches and carrot sticks.
Lunches and snacks for Jacob during the work week: sandwiches with chicken or tuna + an apple, banana or carrot sticks and snacks include deviled eggs, cereal and leftovers when he’s home.
Now a detailed breakdown of my shopping trips. I went to more stores than I normally would go to, which you’ll see in the weeks to come.
In addition to the visual of what I purchased, I’ve included a picture of the receipt to show prices. There is also an explanation of what I picked up on sale and used a coupon with and any other notes.
- organic whole milk – submitted for a $0.50 ibotta credit
- 3x dozen eggs – on sale
- baked beans – on sale
- cheddar cheese
- canned pineapple
- lemon juice
- canning lids
- low-sugar pectin
- apples – discounted
- green bell peppers – discounted
- yellow squash – discounted
I saved a lot on the produce. Fred Meyer will have bagged fruit for $1. It may not be the pretties, but normally all I have to do is cut off a soft spot on maybe one piece of fruit and the rest is great.
Fred Meyer total: $35.38 – $0.50 ibotta credit for the milk = $34.88
- 4 loaves of bread – submitted for a checkout 51 $0.25 credit
- hamburger buns
Oroweat total: $5.50 – $0.25 checkout 51 credit = $5.25
- 4x black beans – on sale + coupon
- 2x peanut butter – on sale
Fred Meyer total: $8.64
- 2x canned tuna
- bulk rolled oats
- bulk whole wheat flour
- bulk white rice
- bulk brown rice
- bulk garlic granules
- bulk paprika
- bulk oregano
- bulk Italian seaoning
- bulk thyme
- apricots – on sale
- grape tomatoes – on sale
- chicken breasts
Chuck’s Produce total: $12.95
- kitty litter – returned
- 4x whole grain pasta – used coupons
- dove shampoo – used coupon
Walmart total: $11.83 – $7.97 for returned kitty litter = $3.86
The kitty litter was actually supposed to be free which is why I bought it, but I picked up the wrong box which is why I returned it. I’m planning to look for the right kind and get it for free (after mail in rebate) soon. Read more about the litter here if you want some for yourself.
GRAND TOTAL for 6 stores: $74.55
Right under my $75 goal!
How I made it work this week:
- I used mostly meat that I had previously picked up on sale that I stored up in the freezer – chucks didn’t have any great deals for meat going on which is why all I bought for the week was one package of chicken at a higher price than I like
- I couponed and saved well on shampoo and pasta – that alone saved me over 50% on items I always buy and try to keep on hand
- I made my own yogurt with the milk
- We eat lots of eggs – great source of protein and they are affordable
- Bulk bins allow me to buy the amount I need at a great price
- I stocked up on bread that only costs me $1.10 a loaf – the white bread may not be the healthiest, but it’s what the hubs likes and sometimes I’m just too lazy to bake my own bread
I tried to include as much detail as I could think of for this grocery haul and meal breakdown, but as I share them, please let me know if there are other items that would be helpful. Or a format that makes it easier to understand. I’m here to help YOU!