Day 2: Irresistible bargains

Note: if you want to see who else has joined the $75 Grocery Spending Challenge, click on the green words that say “Mr Linky” in the previous post. So far 30 other bloggers have joined!

We started school again this week, which is leaving me with about one brain cell’s worth of energy at the end of each school day. I’ve got a list of meal ideas on the side of the fridge, all of which I have the fixings for in my fridge and freezer. But energy– it all takes energy. Or, you know….remembering to thaw things out ahead of time. Still today we managed to eat OK.


Breakfast: Oatmeal/grits combo made in the rice cooker and flavored with diced fresh peaches, butter and brown sugar. Super yummy!

Leftover egg noodles into which I tossed the last cup of cottage cheese, a bit of salsa and some diced pepperoni. Surprisingly excellent and barely recognizable as a leftover. I also made crab salad with a head of home grown cabbage, grated carrot, diced tomatoes, $2 worth of imitation crab, and Italian dressing. Also a cantaloupe from the garden. The cantaloupe has been very prolific this year– we’ve harvested at least a dozen!

Really Big Biscuits (Family Feasts p. 224) and homestyle hamburger gravy, plus cucumber spears and the first ripe watermelon out of the garden.

Snacks: Peanut butter cookies, almonds


The other day I happened across some hamburger with a close sell-by date that was marked down to .99/lb. I brought it home, cooked it quickly, and froze it, very happy to have found that deal.

Most of the time lately I have not been able to find hamburger for cheaper than $1.99/lb. So today when I saw it on sale for $1.69/lb, I had to run to the store for some, even tho it forced me to spend $18 of my precious September money. Ack. $117 already this month and it is only the 2nd!

Will we really be able to get by for $300 this month? I’m not sure. I could be in trouble. But here’s the thing: I am not willing to pass up truly excellent prices this month, and be stuck buying at higher prices next month after the challenge is over. I am going to try really hard not to go over. But if I do, it will probably be stocking up on some essential on an unbeatable sale.

I think.

Unless I run out of chocolate or coffee creamer. Then all bets are off.

Stay tuned.


  1. Oh wow, you sound like me here!! I’m a little panicked myself, BUT I got your book yesterday and I’m planning to sit down and get serious with my grocery list today. But like you, if the M&M’s run out, I’m out. 🙂

  2. Hi Mary,
    I am planning on doing the $75 chalange however we are leaving on vacation for a week so I will not start till we get back 🙂
    Love reading your blog.

  3. Maybe I’m looking at things differently but what about “consuming” only 75 dollars worth of groceries a week. Let’s be honest, spending more but for a future purpose isn’t really consuming them in the month their purchased. Do you know what I mean? I think you’re doing great so far! A good deal when you’re watching the bottom line shouldn’t count towards the current budget unless it’s consumed this month. Just a thought.

  4. I’ve run into the same price issue for ground beef here in CA. Don’t know if you’ve tried it, but ground up London Broil steaks are a great substitute for regular ground beef and its leaner. It goes on sale here every once in a while for $1.69/-1.79/pound and when it does I stock up for the freezer. If you are using it on the grill for burger patties, leave the fat on (or mix it w/a little regular/lean ground beef), but if its for other type recipes that call for ground meat then have them trim the fat off before grinding and you won’t even have any grease to drain.
    I wonder if in future challenges you shouldn’t perhaps set aside some money for stocking up on bargains as they appear throughout the month…since most of it will be used in a different month, it seems perfectly fair & still in the spirit of spending less.

  5. I got lucky. My dad had an old cow that was misbehaving. I ended up getting 25 lbs of hamburger out of the deal. We’ve also been using elk burger, elk steaks & salmon to fill in our protein needs. Thank goodness our family likes to hunt.

    I’ve also found that when I make a soup, stew or casserole type dish I can really save in the meat department. A pot of chili doesn’t need 1 lb of ground beef. 1/2 lb is plenty. I just add extra beans instead. Same w/ a homemade hamburger helper dish. 1/2 lb is plenty for our family of 5!

    I’ve spent 45.69 for the week. And I even bought a few extras since we’re having a football party tonight.

  6. yep, chocolate and coffee creamer… oh, and ice cream. lol 😉

    my goal is $100 for the month. i realize that seems quite low, but it’s just the 2 of us, and i want to see if i can do it.

  7. I’ve been reading (and lurking!) your blog for quite awhile now, and just went out today and bought your Feasts book. My husband and I have been feeling very convicted lately to be better stewards of the resources God has given us, so I’m hopeful that your book will help us do that. Thanks!

  8. Aww, the coffee creamer. A DEFINITE MUST HAVE ITEM!!

    I agree with you, buy it on sale. That was a great price.

  9. So is this where I say “count me in”?

    I don’t see the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post. I will look around and see if I need to join in somewhere else. Either way we are excited about saving money and are hoping to incorporate some of these money saving ways in the months to come!!

  10. Went shopping tonight and stayed just below the $75 limit for the week. Tomorrow I plan to cook all morning…I have my weekly meal plan including snacks on

    Hang in there, everyone! We’re just getting warmed up!


  11. I’m enjoying reading about the challenge. I’m not going to participate this time around, but I feel like I”m living my own challenge. We moved in July and pared the grocery budget down to $60/week (there’s only 2 of us, but we didn’t have ANYTHING, including essentials like sugar, oil, etc). We both recently became employed so the budget jumped to $70/week… a luxury! I’m still slowly building up the staples, and very much enjoying reading how you make your budget work!

  12. I agree with continually stocking up on bargains that you know you will use. Getting the hamburger at half price is a deal because you know you will use it and you also know that you do use it. So if you go over, just slightly, then I would not worry because you know where you went over and on what.