Living Well on Less

What $120 of Groceries Looks Like IRL (WK. 3)

I ended up switching some of the meals around last week, so we didn’t eat black beans and cornbread till the weekend. I waited to get the diced green chilies when I was grocery shopping on Friday so they’re a part of this week’s total spent even though they are technically a part of last week’s menu.

Breakfast $12:

  • Froot Loops $3.50 (usually $3.78 but on sale for 2 boxes for $7)
  • Frosted Flakes $3.50
  • Milk $4.76 (2 @ $2.38 ea.)
  • Coffee creamer $4.36 (2 @ $2.18 ea.)
  • TOTAL $16.12


I’m so over breakfasts right now. I stood in the cereal isle for a solid 15 minutes on Friday trying to figure out what to buy. I don’t actually love the fact that we are eating sugary cereal for breakfast, but in our budget there are few options. Also, here’s why: I’m allergic to eggs and only RC likes oatmeal. I’ve tried to like it many, many times, but just can’t. The kids don’t really like it either. We already have lots of bread in our diets with our sandwiches for lunch so I don’t prefer having toast or bagels either. Do you guys have any ideas? What do you do for breakfast?  Even if the 2 for $7 is still going on next week, we’ll be doing something different. I’m determined.

Lunch $20:

  • Lunch meat $3.47
  • Bread $2.64 (3 @ $0.88 ea.)
  • Spinach $1.98
  • Eggs $1.04
  •  TOTAL $9.13


We still have plenty peanut butter, fruit spread, and sliced cheese. I’ve started buying spinach as well because the kids are loving it on their lunch meat and egg sandwiches. I’m sure not gonna tell them they can’t have spinach. =) Some of the sharp cheddar is for dinners, but it’s also because I’m going through a sharp cheddar and apple lunch craze right now. It’s my favorite. I just slice off some cheese and cut up an apple. So yummy.

Snack $12:

  • Granola bars $5.96 (2  @ $2.98 ea.)
  • apples $2.97
  • Bananas $2.26
  • TOTAL $11.19


We still have popcorn left over, and some apples, too, so even though there’s only enough granola bars for 6 days, we’ll still be covered.

Dinner $56:

  • Ground beef $3.29
  • Pasta $2.00 (2 @ $1.00 ea.)
  • Extra sharp cheddar $2.22
  • Butter $3.48
  • Sweet potatoes $2.57
  • Corn $0.98
  • Bell pepper $0.68
  • Lime juice $0.88
  • Sharp Cheddar $4.22
  • Parmesan $1.97
  • Chicken sausage $4.97
  • Ground turkey $2.97
  • Rice $1.00
  • Taco shells $1.29
  • Ketchup $2.19
  • Frozen pizzas $6.11 (four pack @ $4.76 plus single pizza @ $1.35 we already had one pizza at home making a total of 6 individual pizzas)
  • Sea salt $1.49
  • Diced green chiles $0.75 (these we used on Sat. with the black beans and cornbread from last week. I didn’t buy them till I did my shopping on Friday.)
  • TOTAL $43.06
I forgot to put the lime juice in the picture.

I forgot to put the lime juice in the picture.


  1. Sunday: Spaghetti. (In last week’s post, I had dinners covered through Saturday so I’m starting with Sunday this week.) I already had a box of spaghetti and a can of crushed tomatoes from three weeks ago. I didn’t use it when I bought it the week before birthday week, and then during birthday week we had pizza and lasagna both so I didn’t use it then. Then the week after birthday week, we ate more pizza and I was kinda over spaghetti sauce so I didn’t use it last week either. Finally getting around to it this week. $0.
  2. Monday: Hamburger Mac N Cheese. Lately I’ve been buying the noodles that are made with veggies in them. The kids like them and I feel like we are eating more veggies. =) I make my Mac N Cheese using a half stick of salted butter, 1/4 cup of milk, and 8oz of extra sharp cheddar cheese. I shred the cheese while the pasta is cooking and then while the pasta is draining I put the butter in the pan. When I pour the pasta back over the butter it melts even more. Then I add the milk and cheese and stir till all melted and combined. Then I salt it. Seriously, you must salt it. I don’t like doing the whole rue thing with milk and flour. This is my way of “homemade” Mac N Cheese, and we all really like it. You MUST use extra sharp cheese though. The other stuff isn’t strong enough to give it a good cheese flavor. Then I add the browned hamburger meat. Done. $7.95
  3. Tuesday: Honey Lime Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans. This recipe is my inspiration. I roast the sweet potatoes in the oven, and cook the onion, green pepper, corn, and black beans on the stove top in the honey and lime juice. (I’m using left over black beans from last week’s recipe) Then I add the sweet potatoes at the last. We eat this with sour cream and cheese on top. It’s so yummy. $6.17 (I’ll use 1/4 of the block of sharp cheddar)
  4. Wednesday: Parmesan Rice and Chicken Sausage. We have really started to enjoy chicken sausage. I bought Parmesan and artichoke flavored this week. We also love apple and cheddar. I simply cook some brown rice and then give it a little extra virgin olive oil, shredded parm cheese, and salt and pepper. Super easy. I slice the sausage and cook it in a skillet and then add it to the rice once everything’s done. Super yummy. I already have plenty of brown rice. $6.94
  5. Thursday: Ground Turkey Tacos. I don’t need to explain this one. We’ll use some of the spinach I bought for lunches, the mexican rice, and some of the sharp cheddar. I already have some salsa, sour cream, and taco seasoning. We each get three tacos, more than enough. $5.26
  6. Friday: Frozen Pizza. Last week, I bought these for lunches. However, some things have recently changed around here and RC and I won’t be having a Friday lunch date anymore. We’re gonna have to find a different day. *I’m gonna be busier than usual on Fridays now, so I decided to keep dinner as simple as possible. Can’t get much easier than frozen pizza. The kids can totally make it themselves. $6.11

Dessert/Extras $10:

  • Apple Cider $3.96 (2 @ $1.98 ea.)
  • Pumpkin puree $1.38
  • Candy $4.00 (4 @ $1.00 ea.)
  • Apricot preserves $2.08
  • TOTAL $11.42

We had already eaten the package of Butterfingers, but luckily there was one left over.

We finished up our Harry Potter week yesterday. I bought supplies to make Pumpkin juice. We tried one recipe that included honey and didn’t really like it. I went to the store the next day and bought some Apricot Preserves and we made it using this recipe yesterday and it was much better. (This is why the apricot preserves aren’t pictured) The candy in the picture lasted two days. Each person got one of each and we ate two pieces on Friday and two pieces on Saturday. On Sunday, everyone got to choose their favorite candy and we bought the king size for everyone. This was right around $12 (don’t remember exactly, but everyone’s was under $2), but comes out of our misc./fun stuff expenses. The kids are going trick or treating tonight, so we didn’t want to buy bags and bags of candy and then have a ridiculous amount of candy left around the house.

Toiletries $10:

  • Deoderant $3.97
  • Anti-dandruff Shampoo $2.97
  • TOTAL $6.94

I will be buying toothpaste and mop pads tomorrow when I run some errands, so the total will end up a little over $10.

I’m working on a free ebook that will have dinner recipes for bigger families that are under $10 each. I prefer to eat as much “real” food as possible so these recipes will reflect that, but not be crazy strict about it. I’ve decided that will be easier than individual blog posts for each recipe. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of November.

Also, if you’re wondering what’s got us so busy and why we are having to change our Friday lunch dates, you might want to sign up to receive my weekly email. It contains all the week’s blog posts as well as a personal update on what’s going on in our lives that week. Some things are happening here in Austin that we’re excited about and I fill those on the email list in first. Some of the info I share in the email never shows up on the blog, some shows up later. If you’re interested in receiving my weekly emails, just sign up below. You’ll receive an email that you must read and click through to actually subscribe to my email list. If you don’t, I can’t send you anything, so make sure to subscribe.



p.s. Seriously, any breakfast ideas out there?

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  • Amanda mcmullen
    October 31, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Hey Bridget! What about roasted potatoes for breakfast?! Potatoes are super cheap too. And have you ever seen the blog Don’t Waste the Crumbs??? Oh my gosh, check it out if you haven’t, she is a money-saving, real-food eating guru and has zillions of ideas for eating well on less! Also, have you tried black bean burgers?? Those are Russ’s and my go-to for a crazy cheap meal. Just mash up black beans with some pay flour, onions, and tons of spices and fry em up on the stove. Soooo delish!!

    • Bridget
      October 31, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Great ideas! I will definitely check out that blog. Sounds awesome! Thanks, sis!☺

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