$75 Grocery Budget for 2 Weeks of Groceries
Adjusting a Grocery Budget
The great thing about a grocery budget is that it can be adjusted pretty easily. I recently looked over our grocery budget and realized that I was spending a lot of money on extra items and items that weren’t the best deal.
My old grocery budget was $150 for 2 weeks or longer. I recently cut that budget in half. That means that I’m now striving to spend $150 for an entire month!
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Why Review/Adjust a Budget?
One reason that it is important to review/adjust a budget is to make sure that you are not throwing money away. By reviewing my grocery budget I realized that I was spending more on chicken breasts just because they were frozen. Really?! Grocery stores constantly change their deals and specials. Make sure to review and adjust your grocery budget properly.
Meal Plan…Say It Again…Meal Plan
I used to spend so much money for food that would go to waste or that didn’t go together to create a meal. I like to plan my meals out for two weeks in advance. By having a plan, I am able to purchase only the food that I NEED. Grab a copy of my meal planner and grocery list to help in this area!
Plan for Cheaper Meals
Once I reviewed my budget, I decided to see what I was spending the most money on. Of course, it was meat products. My husband and I are big meat eaters so I had to get creative without cutting out meat completely from our meals.
I decided to start buying larger packs of meat that can be split into several meals. I also made the choice to cook my chicken in a slow-cooker, shred it, divide it, and use it for 2-3 separate meals (and maybe a lunch or two). My husband hunts so we have meat in the freezer for most of the year. I also use deer meat (venison) in place of a lot of beef. Here is an example of two weeks of meals on the new grocery budget.
Ideas for Budget-Friendly Meals:
Breakfast in my house is quick and filled with protein. Some of my favorite budget-friendly breakfast items include:
yogurt with granola
oatmeal with fruit
bananas and peanut butter
scrambled eggs/breakfast burrito
These items are filled with protein and fiber but don’t cost a lot of money. They also have a longer shelf life. On the weekends I like to splurge with some bacon. 😉
Since we are teachers, lunch has to be easy to eat. It also needs to hold us over until dinner without weighing us down and making us sluggish. Here are some budget-friendly lunch ideas:
leftovers (casseroles, stir-fry, etc.)
Leftovers are great for lunch. We use these lunch crock-pots to heat our lunches to the perfect temperature. 🙂
Dinner is my favorite meal to plan for because it’s the meal that I get to enjoy preparing. I love having time to prep and see my husband’s face light up when he tries a new recipe. 🙂 Here are some awesome budget-friendly dinner ideas:
dried beans (pintos are our favorite) with some meat added (bacon, ham, etc.)
chili or homemade soup with crackers
chicken tacos using shredded chicken with rice and queso
chicken Caesar sandwiches using shredded chicken and pasta salad
stir-fry with chicken or beef and rice
spaghetti (or other pasta noodles) with meat sauce and frozen green beans
brats and kraut (one of my favorites!)
Any meat grilled-fish, pork, chicken, with in-season vegetables=cheap
beef roast (cut in half and used for two meals)
Follow me on Pinterest for more meal inspiration!
I’m not an expert at coupon-ing, but I use enough to save at least $20 each time I buy groceries. I mostly shop at Kroger so I use the custom coupons that are delivered to me through the mail. I also use two online coupon options.
Checkout 51 and CouponSurfer both offer printable coupons to use at numerous stores. Sign up and start saving money today!
Ibotta is another great resource to use to save money. I only use Ibotta to get money back on items that I had already planned on purchasing. If you start buying “extra” things just to save 50 cents then it kind of defeats the purpose. 😉
If you need a variety of spices, but you don’t want to purchase a spice rack full then you can susbcribe to RawSpiceBar. This company sends FRESH ground spices in small amounts to your house each month. I can’t tell you how many spices that I have thrown away half full. They don’t last forever!
RawSpiceBar: Buy the monthly spice box as low as $6
Don’t Neglect the Sale Ads
Grocery stores usually send out their weekly sale ads. They can also be found online. Pay attention to the sale ads because sometimes you can save money on unexpected items. Recently, Kroger had a gallon of milk for $3.50 or a half gallons two for $3…I bought two half gallons and saved 50 cents.
Take Your Time Planning and Shopping
Meal planning can be fun because I can do it while I watch television. I try to give myself an hour or so to plan the meals and make my grocery list. Making a rough draft helps because I always end up changing some items before I go shopping.
I do not enjoy grocery shopping, but I always make sure that I have 45 minutes to an hour to shop so that I can pay attention to the money that I am spending. Some people see me walking the aisles with my grocery list and roll their eyes as they zoom past me, but I like to take my time. Shopping efficiently is the key. My next tip helps me avoid any surprises at the register.
Use Kroger Clicklist to Determine Subtotal BEFORE You Shop
The Kroger Clicklist is an online resource to use when purchasing groceries online and picking them up at the store. I have tried it a few times and have mixed emotions about it. Nevertheless, it’s a GREAT resource to use to figure out how much money your groceries will cost before coupons and tax.
Kroger’s website is very user-friendly so it doesn’t take long to search for your items and determine your estimated cost. This is my favorite new trick. 🙂
Tips and Tricks with Vegetables
Some people have told me that they would love to shop for two weeks at a time, but their vegetables would go bad. I used to think the same thing! Now I know (from trial and error) that some vegetables have a longer shelf life than others. Here are some of the vegetables that I buy fresh that will last for 2 weeks.
avocados (refrigerated once ripe)
Lettuce is the WORST about spoiling before I can eat it all. I like to wash it, chop it up, and store inside a large glass jar. That usually makes it last a week. Normally, I just plan to eat all of our salads the first week. ha!
I also like supplementing fresh vegetables with frozen vegetables. Some of my favorite frozen vegetables are:
bell pepper and onion mix
Keep Beverages Simple
A huge money saver is to drink water with meals or to make a gallon of iced tea. Water is free, and tea is cheap. I don’t buy sodas or fruit drinks to have at the house. This saves a lot of money. If you don’t like plain water then try diffusing it with your favorite fruit.
Never Shop When Hungry
Shopping while hungry is a big no-no. You will usually buy items that you typically wouldn’t because everything looks and sounds delicious. At least eat a small snack before heading into the grocery store.