Feeding my Family on $60 a Week

With all this talk about couponing, meal planning, and freezer cooking some asked to see an actual grocery shopping trip. This was a pretty “normal” week for me–shopping at CVS and Kroger with a few good coupon deals to stockpile, but mostly just stuff we needed.

Out of the ordinary was that I shopped at a local farm for produce this week and spent $21, which took me over the weekly budget. BUT, I bought a bushel of apples, lots of fresh corn on the cob, and peaches to freeze. I’ll plan to spend less on groceries next week to “balance” it out.

CVS Total: $1.43 The Carefree and the Milky Way were FREE after coupons. The Soft Scrub was $1 after coupon, and the ice cream was BOGO. I used ECB (extra care bucks) that I had earned last week to bring my out of pocket cost to $1.43.

Kroger Total: $48.52 Best Deals:

  • Powerade: FREE
  • Taco Seasoning: FREE
  • Dial Handsoap: $0.18 each
  • Gillette Shaving cream $0.26 each (donated to Ryan’s classroom for shaving cream spelling)
  • Gillette Fusion Shave Gel: $0.58 each
  • Pillsbury Biscuits $0.13 each
  • Toaster Strudels (total splurge): $1 each (and earned 25 Box Tops to donate to school)
  • Apples (farmer’s market) $0.30/lb (bought 40 pounds to make applesauce)
  • Corn (farmer’s market): $0.20 an ear
  • Watermelon (farmer’s market): $1
  • Tomatoes: FREE (from our garden)
Total for the week: $70.65
**Side note: This isn’t ALL we’ll be eating this week as the freezer is full of meat, and the pantry is stocked. Here is this week’s meal plan.**

Comments

  1. I am loving your blog, I just found it yesterday. I began couponing about three months ago and I am hooked. I have a question and please do not take this in a mean or bad way, I am just trying to understand so I can do the same thing. Even though I feel I am saving about 60% more with couponing and shopping sells, my grocierys are still coming to over 100.00 a week. From what you purchased I can tell it would really feed a family for a week alone, I would still need to buy other things like meats, more sides, breakfast items and bread and milk. Is it that this is what you are adding to what you already have stocked up? Do you just plan your meals on what you have on hand? :)

    Thank you!
    Angela

    [Reply]

    pameladonnis Reply:

    Hi Angela!
    Thanks for the comment.
    I can TOTALLY see what you are saying and it confused me when I first started couponing as well so I’ll try to explain…

    At the moment my freezer is really full. For example, last week chicken and ham were on sale so I “stocked” up and froze them. It will be enough to last us several meals. The week before it was pork chops, so right now I have plenty of meat to choose from and because there weren’t any great meat sales this week, I planned my meal plan around what was in the freezer.

    I also have bread and tortillas in my freezer that I bought when they were a good price a few weeks ago. I have a breadmaker too, so sometimes I make my own.

    I bought 4 dozen eggs last week when they were on sale for $0.88/doz. Now they are back to $1.69/doz so I saved quite a bit by buying extra last week.

    Our family usually drinks water at mealtimes, but we usually go through 1-2 gallons of milk a week. I just bought one this week because we already had about a half gallon left from last week.

    Because I’ve been couponing for a while now my pantry is pretty full….rice, beans, instant potatoes, cereal, oatmeal, pasta, canned fruit and veggies, condiments, baking mixes, snacks, etc. When I find a really great deal, I “stockpile” these items so that I don’t have to buy them at regular price later on…I just “shop” my pantry. For example, about a month ago, brownie mix was on sale and when combined with a coupon I was able to get it for 20 cents a box. I bought 20 boxes, so that will last us several months, if not longer.

    This post might help too: http://keepinglifecreative.com/saving-money/how-i-coupon/.

    I’d say if you are saving 60% you are well on your way. Your grocery bill will probably not drop significantly until you’ve been doing this for a few months because you are still buying what you NEED as well as the coupon deals. As your stockpile starts to grow, I bet you’ll notice how much less you can get away with spending each week.

    Hope that helps!!! Feel free to ask more questions if you have them!

    [Reply]

  2. I am sorry I meant to say it would *not feed a family for a week….

    [Reply]

  3. That is great info. Thank you so much! I cant wait until I can get to the place you are. This week I found some deals that were not great but decent but I notice if I buy a lot of those things this week it is going to leave us with not much to eat as I have no meats stocked up. I really need a deep freeze. We only have a side by side fridge/freezer. I had a nice stockpile starting but it has gone done a lot other than toothpaste ;).
    I will just keep going though. I am loving this blog and will check it often. :) By the way, what state are you in? I am in Ohio.

    [Reply]

    pameladonnis Reply:

    @Angela, I’m in Kentucky, so our cost of living expenses are probably similar to yours…
    I only have a side fridge/freezer too. I’m wishing for a deep freeze this Christmas, but for now it’s working okay.

    One thing that has helped me a lot with meat is to buy “manager’s specials.” Since they are close to the sell-by date they do need to be cooked or frozen right away, but they are often good deals. Ask the butcher if there is a certain time of day they mark-down. Meat prices are tricky, especially because they seem to have gone up a lot lately, but I’ll tell you my general rule, and hopefully you can apply it to your area, keeping in mind prices may vary.

    Beef, Ground — less than $2/lb for 70-80% fat, less than $3/lb for leaner
    Chicken, Boneless Skinless Breast — $1.99/lb (I stock up at this price)
    Beef (roast, steak) — $3/lb or less
    Pork — $2/lb or less
    Sausage — $1/lb or less (we don’t buy very often though)

    [Reply]

  4. Also, I think my issue with meats is I dont know how to tell when something is a good deal.

    [Reply]

  5. Thank you for all of this! I am going to write down your general guidelines for the meats and put it in my coupon binder. :)

    [Reply]

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