Thank you for Pamela of Still Dating My Spouse for taking on the $64 Grocery Budget Challenge. Check out her experience doing grocery shopping at Kroger with a very tight budget, and no coupons!
So my friend Amiyrah over at 4 Hats and Frugal has a $64 Grocery Shopping Challenge on her blog. She loves Aldi and I love Kroger.
I knew I had to take her up on her challenge to show everyone how you can do your grocery shopping at Kroger with a $64 budget, and get the necessitates for a weeks’ worth of food.
Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Most folks dread grocery shopping and I am in the minority of folks who loves grocery shopping. I can spend hours in the grocery store.
If you have been following me for just one week, you know how much I love Kroger. I share Kroger weekly deals on my personal page every Friday. I love Kroger so much that the hubby and I had a date night at Kroger.
When Amiyrah started talking about her $64 grocery shopping challenge, no one thought you could shop at Kroger and get the essentials for $64.
I had to take take on the $64 grocery challenge. Today, I will show you how to stay within a $64 grocery budget, plus create and follow a meal plan focused grocery list.
Tips on how to maximize your grocery shopping at Kroger
- Download Kroger’s app. The app allows you to view all the products the store sells.
- Sign up for a Kroger shopping card. This can be done online. You just need an email address.
- View the weekly ad via the app or online. Make your grocery list right on the app.
- Clip the digital coupons.
- Learn Kroger sales cycles to take advantage of the Kroger weekly specials.
- Shop the Woo items. This is Kroger’s version of clearance items.
I am a little biased when it comes to Kroger; however, I do not purchase my fruit from Kroger. For some reason, the fruit never lasts past a day. Sometimes, grapes will do fine but other than that, I get my fruit from the farmer’s market.
When I go grocery shopping, I make my list based on what we are out of, and what meals I have planned for the week.
Must purchase grocery items from Kroger
As within any household, there are some staples you get every Kroger grocery trip, or at least once a month.
My family would go crazy if we didn’t keep certain food items on our shelves at home. These items help to make complete meals, and are perfect for snacks.
Our grocery staples are:
- Peanut Butter
- Ground beef/Turkey
- Spaghetti sauce and pasta
The thing is, we don’t have to purchase these items every grocery shopping trip; however, I will stock up on our staple items when they are on sale for a good price.
Kroger Meat Department
I truly believe Kroger has the best meat department. I purchase all of our meats from Kroger. To me, Kroger has a good quality and price on meat.
I like that I can get fresh quality meat and seafood in the quantity I need for my recipes and meal planning.
The fact that I can get the butcher to cut pre-packaged meat to the thickness that my family likes is a win-win for me.
On my most recent trip, I purchased:
- 5lb roll of ground beef for $9.95. I was able to cut this up to be used for 5 meals.
- Pack of lemon peppered chicken breast for $6.81.
- Roast $9.12. I will get two meals from this package of meat.
- Bag of chicken breast $6.99. I like purchasing the chicken breasts like this because it’s easy to get out what we need and cook for one person or the family without unthawing a full pack of chicken.
Grocery Shopping for Meal Planning
The one thing I hate is getting my mind prepared to cook something and I don’t have all the ingredients on hand. I now plan all my grocery shopping around what we will cook for the week based on the meal planning I do every Sunday.
What is Meal Planning?
Meal planning is when you make a conscious decision on what you will feed your family during the week. Depending on your family’s goal (to eat healthy, decrease carbs, decrease sugar intake, etc), you will plan your meals around the goals.
Meal planning shouldn’t be a stressful task for you. Make sure your meal planning fits your family lifestyle and eating habits. Don’t overthink this.
How to Meal Plan
Amiyrah has lots of posts sharing how to create a meal plan, how to meal plan in 5 minutes, and even how to meal plan for the whole month. This is how I meal plan for my family:
- Decide how many meals you will cook for the family.
- Make sure you include breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day of the week.
- Review any recipes you would like to try.
- Plan your meals based on the foods your family likes and will eat.
- Check your refrigerator, cabinets, and pantry for items you have on hand.
- Make your list of items that are NEEDED for the current week’s meals.
- ALWAYS cross reference your needs with the Kroger sales paper. If you are trying to adhere to a budget, you may have to adjust your meals to fit what is on sale.
Our meal plan for this week is pretty simple. We have a busy week ahead, but it’s also the kid’s spring break.
I have to account for the extra eating he will do while he is home all day. This is why I added milk and eggs to my list this week. I didn’t need to purchase any breakfast meat because I stocked up the last time Kroger had them on sale.
Our Meal Plan for this week:
Lunch: Smoke Sausage Sandwich
Dinner: Roast, potatoes, green beans and corn
Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
Dinner: Leftover Roast and potatoes
Lunch: hamburgers and chips
Breakfast: Toast & Eggs
Lunch: Grilled chicken salad
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti
Dinner: Rotel Dip
Breakfast: Bacon, Pancakes, Eggs
Lunch: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches from the roast beef
Dinner: Spinach, Cheese & Chicken Alfredo Ravioli
Lunch: Smoked Sausages
Dinner: Broccoli and Cheese, Baked Carrots, Fried Chicken Wings
I like to purchase items that can be used in several meals. This helps keep the grocery cost down + it keeps us from throwing food away due to the food expiring.
What I Learned From The $64 Grocery Budget Challenge
Listen, I knew I loved Kroger but after this challenge I love them even more. What this challenge taught me is that I add fluff items to our basket.
I had to remove all the bags of chips (4 bags. Why do we need 4 bags of chips? Just WHYYYYY) and all the juices (5 jugs of juice. Again WHYYYYYY).
I knew I overbought things, but having to stick to a certain budget made me only shop for what we need at the moment and not add “extra” stuff to my basket.
This truly was fun. I went over by .01 but I blame that on the extremely high sales tax we are charged here in Tennessee.
I want to challenge you to meal plan and create a grocery list just for the meals your family will eat for that week. Let me know what store you’ll use (hopefully it’s Kroger), and tell me if you were able to stay within the $64 budget.