First Trip on Grocery Budget Challenge

Morning and happy hump day!!

I realize I haven’t given an update on my baby nephew Harper in a while and wanted to let you all know that he is doing great right now. He’s up to 2 pounds (still tiny, but he dipped under 1 pound after birth!) and he’s being fed solely breast milk at this point and is up to 15 mL per feeding, where a whole feed is considered 10 mL (he’s definitely a Klein!). My sister and her hubby seem to be in much better spirits, and its so nice to see pictures of them with genuine smiles on their faces – its been far too long. He’s not quite out of the woods yet, but yesterday was his 7 week birthday and he is really defying the odds! Please keep the positive thoughts and vibes coming his way!

On a completely different note, yesterday I went grocery shopping for the first time on my $50 weekly challenge. I thought it might be fun to share with you exactly how I spend the money to see if this is doable. The “rules” are that I can use any coupons I have, everything in my pantry/freezer, and that I get the $50 weekly replenished on Tuesday. (Also note: I mostly just cook for myself, so if you are looking at cooking for more than one, I am sure you’d have to spend more than $50 a week!) I had a pan backordered from Crate and Barrel and got a call yesterday that it was in, so I decided to go to Whole Foods since its right next door. Two birds, one stone.

While Whole Foods can definitely be a challenge to bargain shop at, I glanced on the website to see what was on sale and used that for part of my menu planning/creating a shopping list. I went in with a list and only bought a few things NOT on the list, and felt I did pretty well!


  • Organic Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • 2 Limes
  • 3 organic tomatoes
  • 4 organic honeycrisp apples (on sale!)
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Tofurky (have never tried this before)
  • Lowfat cottage cheese
  • Spring Mix
  • Organic Valley Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • FlaxPlus Pumpkin Granola (bulk bins)

Almost all organic, and I got everything for $23 – so I still have $27 left to spend!

Breakfast this morning was delicious. I made Heat n Eat steel cut oats last night and just a single serving this time which worked perfect. I put 1/4 cup steel cut oats with 1 cup of water, brought it to a boil for 1 minute, covered it, and left it out all night. This morning, I added 1/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese (8 grams of protein!) and 1/2 cup canned pumpkin.


I topped it with some of the FlaxPlus Pumpkin Granola from the bulk bins.


It was delicious! The bowl was actually enormous, and clocked in at just 4 points on Weight Watchers including the topping. Without the granola (1/4 cup), it was only 3 points for a massive bowl of oats packed with whole grains, protein, and fiber.

Do you have a weekly/monthly budget for groceries? How are you about sticking to it? If you don’t mind sharing, how much do you spend per week/month and how many people do you cook for with it?

0 comment on First Trip on Grocery Budget Challenge

  1. missmarymc
    November 3, 2010 at 10:06 am (10 years ago)

    I budget about $150 for the month for groceries. I also budget $50 for restaurants, so I guess I’m on about the same amount as you (also mainly cooking for one. Maybe cooking for two one or two times in the month). I use to track my budget so I know when I’m close.

    I rely mostly on Trader Joe’s. Their stuff is usually really decently priced compared to name brands. And their produce is super fresh!

    • Beth
      November 3, 2010 at 10:45 am (10 years ago)

      I loooove Trader Joe’s! That’s probably where I’ll do the bulk of my shopping but I do already have a lot of stuff in my freezer/pantry to work through…

  2. HappyWhenNotHungry
    November 3, 2010 at 10:24 am (10 years ago)

    I’m glad to hear Harper is doing well! That’s such good news for you and your family.

    Funny… my husband and I just talked a few days ago about how we’re spending too much on groceries each week. What happens with us is that we buy all this stuff (mostly fresh) and a lot of it ends up going back and has to be chucked. So I think keeping a tight budget might make us be more creative with our meals and actually use the stuff that we buy!

  3. Kerilyn
    November 3, 2010 at 10:40 am (10 years ago)

    Two things:

    1. I’m TOTALLY with you on eating solo. Only thing is Peter is always asking me what I ate for dinner and wants me to save some for him… (come on! he works in a restaurant!)

    2. It is my intention to put away more money in my savings account and I KNOW my food spending is out of control! SO… if it’s alright with you I’m going to join you in the challenge (I’m going to shift it to $75) Thank you for motivating me (whether you knew it or not) to do something that will make me feel even better about my goals!!!

    (Side note: We still have to coordinate a get together!)

    • Beth
      November 3, 2010 at 10:44 am (10 years ago)

      Ha! Wil does that too sometimes and comes home HUNGRY from work. I’m like where were you just? Oh right, a restaurant. 🙂

  4. couchpotatoathlete
    November 3, 2010 at 10:50 am (10 years ago)

    Way to go only spending $23 at WF! When I first read you went to WF I thought “oh god she blew her budget!” Ha! You did great!

    Jason and I plan for $500 for food — this includes going out to eat, liquor, toiletries, paper towels, etc. Plus Jason buys lunch each day at work ($5 per day). I’m happy with staying at or under $500 each month.

  5. Amy @ Second City Randomness
    November 3, 2010 at 10:54 am (10 years ago)

    I honestly think I spend less than $50 a week (when I’m not eating out) on groceries. But I also have pretty simple breakfasts and lunches every day. And I don’t eat meat at home very often… so that helps…

    You made out like a bandit at Whole Foods for less than $25! I’m impressed!

  6. Erin
    November 3, 2010 at 11:20 am (10 years ago)

    I tend to stick to a $60/week budget for groceries. That, along with my pantry items, gets me breakfast and lunch every day. Dinner for 5 out of the 7 days. Not too shabby!

    Looks like you did awesome at Whole Foods. That is a skill right there!

  7. Tina
    November 3, 2010 at 11:29 am (10 years ago)

    We try to keep groceries to $100/week…but we do include things like toiletries, paper products, etc in there besides just food.

    Great job! $23 for all of that at WF is awesome.

    And I’m so happy to hear your nephew is doing better. That has to be so hard to go through.

  8. Kayla
    November 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m trying to spend about $35-$45/week on groceries. I’ve been doing this meal plan program from It’s AMAZING. They have a WW Meal Plan for 2. Since it’s just me, and the 5 day plan usually makes 17 meals total, I have lunch & dinner covered for over a week. It already has the points figured out for each recipe, shopping list written, and price for the groceries. It’s SUCH a stress reliever

  9. rc1001
    November 3, 2010 at 1:09 pm (10 years ago)

    I try to budget $50 a week (if I don’t make a budget I can spend upwards of $100 if I skip a week or have alot to replenish)

    In October, I spent $224.57 so that was over budget. However, I can EASILY spend way more, so I think for the first month of trying, this was good.

    That is for two people. But sometimes my fiance goes to store and picks up random things, so our household probably spends around $300 a month. We cook at home ALOT, go out seldomly, and get creative with our meals.

  10. Lisa
    November 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm (10 years ago)

    No I don’t have a monthly budget but I really need to set one. It’s out of control!

  11. Anna S.
    November 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm (10 years ago)

    I try to only spend $140 a week on groceries/fun stuff. Sometimes it is more sometimes it is less!

  12. Monica
    November 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm (10 years ago)

    Smart move on looking at WF’s web site first for info on their deals – I have never thought about doing that before.

    We do have a grocery budget and last month was our first month on a budget. It is hard work, but we are slowly but surely learning.

    Ok, so this is disgusting to admit (CA groceries are outrageous!), but we pay $25 weekly for our CSA and between $130 and $150 at Trader Joe’s weekly. When we lived in Iowa we spent about $70 a week for two of us. Granted we eat a lot of organic meat and other items that add up quickly, but I look forward to the day when we don’t pay so much in food!

  13. potenzmittel deutschland
    November 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm (10 years ago)

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