September grocery challenge, week 3

I spent $129 shopping this week, bringing our total for the month to $231. Given the fact that it’s Sept 19th, I think we’re doing great. I still have $70 to spend! This week I bought milk, eggs, oil, vinegar, cheese, butter, potatoes, oatmeal, raisins, yogurt, day-old bread, corn tortillas, onions, avocados (a splurge), and about 15 pounds of chicken thighs marked down to an amazingly low $.80/lb. We did eat at Panda Express one day this week, but a meal out every week or two is pretty normal for us.  In a less busy time I might have made my own yogurt and bread.  But– this happened instead.Canning

This week was a crazy whirl of canning and more canning.  As far as school, we did get math done most days and reading done some days, and our college kids kept up with their work.  But the rest of homeschool went by the wayside in the great apple onslaught. I think our applesauce total ended up around 78 quarts, and we still have 3 bushels of nice apples to save and/or give away. Not only was the apple harvest HUGE this year, but also the apples were good quality, with a good percentage of them being worm-free, and most of the rest only lightly damaged

This weekend we’re starting in on grape juice which is much less labor-intensive than applesauce– hooray! I also did 13 pints of sweet relish, and another 10 or so of apple pie filling. If we do any more apples, I think I’ll do them as apple pie filling because it is a yummy easy way to have dessert in the winter time and also is more interesting-looking in the pantry.

Speaking of the pantry, I’m seriously running out of space.  I already moved all my less-used small appliances out the the garage shelves, and the pantry is still packed.  I may need to put some jars on laundry room shelves this year.

Potato Pancakes


Breakfast: Eggs and toast
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: ?? I forgot to write it down and that was AGES ago

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Chicken fajitas with homemade flour tortillas (yum!)
Dinner: Pizza

Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: Leftover pizza
Dinner: Vegetable pancakes, cucumbers, tomatoes, applesauce

Breakfast: Eggs and toast
Lunch: Takeout tacos and burritos (thanks, Eldest!)
Dinner: Sandwiches and applesauce

Breakfast: Eggs, toast, apples
Lunch: tomato melts
Dinner: Panda Express (a splurge after a long day canning
Breakfast: Eggs and toast, apples, pears
Lunch: Tacos with ground beef, sauteed veggies and guacamole
Dinner: Chicken and veggie stir-fry

Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: Costco pizza
Dinner: Cheesy enchilada rice



  1. did not spend a dime on groceries this week!! YAY!

    Canned 68 quarts of tomatoes. 8 pints of apple butter. Froze my roasted pimientos for making cashew cheese. And also froze a bunch of hot peppers – not sure how else to preserve them. We made 16 pints of salsa. ALL from the garden.

    Oh. Maybe my first statement is not true. I bought a box of peaches from a friend fresh off her tree but I haven’t paid her yet.

    I found some more dinner plates at the second hand store that match mine. We always run out when we have company. I love them because they are RED and yellow and blue.

    The kid grew. Had to buy him some jeans. Couldn’t justify waiting considering the fact that he suddenly had to suck in his belly to do up the button and the hem only made it to his ankles. 🙂

  2. Wow! I love to look at people’s jars of home-canned food! I’ve just started water-bath canning, and have much to learn, but I definitely have a growing appreciation for canning!

    As far as the grocery challenge, we went over in eating out already. 🙁

    I have about $40-$50 left in the grocery food. I’m trying to plan next week’s meals mostly around things I have and sales. Looks like it might be quite a vegetarian meals coming up! LOL But thankfully my family doesn’t mind beans, lentils and dairy!

  3. Wow! That canning is impressive. Good for you. Well this week was not too bad. We did some eating out this weekend, but I managed to get dinner on the table Saturday through Thursday. I also kept track of what we spent on groceries for the last four weeks. I always fizzle out trying to keep track, but this time I just tossed every receipt in a jar and added it up. Before I share our total I want to preface it with the fact that we grow nothing. Also we are all at school/work from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are a family of four. Our total is $580 for a month. I can’t compete with those of you who grow and can, although it is so impressive, but considering we buy all our produce etc we did really well. My plan is to keep track of the spending for the next four weeks and see if I can beat this total.

    • $580 for a family of 4 isn’t bad at all, especially considering everyone is away from home all day. That makes it harder to find time to cook. Lots of families that size spend $800.

      I’d love to hear more about how your next 4 weeks goes.

  4. Anyone have any ideas for food kids can take to dances, helping with high school projects, sitting waiting for audtion time, etc. There are no concessions during these times. Daughter has been bringing cookies, granola bars, string cheese, and the like but would like to bring something more substantial but doesn’t want something that is ‘noticeable’.
    As for the challenge, we are doing great – only buying milk, bread, flour, oatmeal, onions, cottage cheese (large container for $1 bought 5!) and large shells (to stuff with the cottage cheese and top with spiced tomatoes) this week. Friend gave us a yellow watermelon for our fruit and a neighbor gave us a few squash to use to make soups and to have with the fish son caught this week.

    • Wraps are pretty quick and filling. Even a whole wheat one with pbj can fill you up. And not very noticeable. I have a senior in hs who takes these a lot.

    • laurah- we sometimes do peanut butter rolled up in flour tortillas for busy on-the-go times.

    • My kids and grandkids took thin sliced meat (like lunch meat) with lettuce leaves wrapped in tortilla wraps. Or a banana wrapped in a tortilla that they had spread peanut butter.Sometimes they did it on bread but more of the tortilla wraps.Small wraps for when they were young and large ones for those that were older. They also take apples, small containers of Peanut butter (from home not the prepackaged ones) and crackers. Slices of cheese (any kind they had at home), slices of pepperoni and crackers also. They either drank water(usually) G2 Gatorade or 100% juice.

  5. So we spent about $20 this week. All produce and dairy. 3 of the 5 of us are on antibiotics so yogurt was highly suggested. I was able to get 5 4-packs of activia for .99 each. Oldest really enjoyed the ones her brother didnt get to first!

  6. We just picked & froze raspberries. I want to do some peaches, but not sure if I can find any at a great price. Let me know if you know of any. (I am in Meridian) Then I will do applesauce. Let me know if you still have extras toward the end of this week:).

  7. I have a feeling we will go over the set budget 🙁 but at least it’s not as high as it has been running. Yesterday Hubby picked up porkchops that was on sale for $1.99/lb. due to sale by date so we are down to $15.51

    I posted on my blog except for his buy from yesterday.

    I plan to take the money we haven’t spent at the grocery store and buy produce at the Amish Produce Auction on Friday. I hope to get lots of winter squash and winter onions.

    Blessed Be Juls


  1. […] think I link to this every year, but Mary at Owlhaven always inspires me with her September Grocery Challenge. She has way more kids than I do and pinches pennies to see if she can get through the month […]