What You Can Eat on an $80 Grocery Budget, and What I Bought This Week with That $80 Budget

A perennial question I get about bargain shopping is, "What do you EAT on an $80-a-week grocery budget?" I think I'm lucky that although I am technically feeding four people, my kids are too little to hold much sway in what I buy (and also too little to consume much) and my husband is pretty flexible and willing to try new things. When we don't buy any alcohol, $80 isn't even much of a challenge.

One thing to keep in mind is that I have a large grocery stockpile and much of my weekly budget goes to feeding the pantry and the (new) freezer. So when you see our weekly menu, I didn't likely buy most of that during the current week.

First I'll run through what we ate this week, then what I spent:

Wednesday: breakfast = strawberry banana smoothies, lunch = Goldfish crackers and cheese sticks and pb&j sandwiches, dinner = salad topped with sauteed green beans and quesedillas


Thursday: breakfast = banana zucchini bread, lunch = my parents' leftover takeout, snack = strawberries, cookies, dinner = sandwiches at Potbelly and Blogapalooza snacks

Friday: breakfast = banana zucchini bread, lunch = cheese and tomato sandwiches, snack = strawberries, cookies, dinner = kale and hamburger casserole

Saturday: lunch = ate at Parenthesis sale, snack = hummus and crackers, dinner = BLTs and cucumber salad

Sunday: breakfast = cereal, lunch = french toast w/ strawberries and Morningstar Farms patties, snack = hummus and crackers, dinner = spaghetti and meatballs, cucumber salad, ice cream dessert

Monday: breakfast = cereal, lunch = macaroni and cheese and leftovers, snack - hummus and crackers, dinner = stuffed green peppers

Tuesday: breakfast = oatmeal w/ raisins, lunch = leftovers and Pop-Tarts, dinner = pork medallions (from Dinners by Design) with mixed vegetables and banana zucchini muffins, salad

What I spent:

This week I spent about $15 at a local grocery called Pan's Foods on bacon, lettuce, wine, hummus and a few other things. I also spent about $30 at Jewel doing the Campbell's Catalina deal and picking up a few items such as bread and on-sale strawberries. Then I spent $35 on buying a ton (six jugs totaling 96 ounces!) of real maple syrup on sale. There were also a few grocery items included in my haul of free stuff from Kmart.

So I spent $80 exactly. That means I didn't put any money toward the bulk meat purchase we just made. But I did make the bulk syrup purchase -- I imagine that was a year's worth of maple syrup at least -- so all in all it was a pretty good week.

This week the budget was supplemented with one gallon of milk bought with ExtraBucks at CVS, as well as produce from my dad's garden (tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, kale and onions).

After several weeks of light shopping (well a lot of pantry-stocking but not much buying fresh and everyday staples), we are out of a lot of things and I'll probably have to do a Trader Joe's run this week.



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