Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Amazing Half-Price Grocery Bill

Shopping the produce section does wonders for the grocery bill.
Photo by kratuanoiy

Last night we hit the grocery store to get our supplies for the week.  On Thursday, I set up our meal plan for the week, with a focus on whole foods with lean proteins, whole grains and lots of veggies.  I was expecting our bill to be kind of high.  My jaw practically hit the floor when the total came up.  It was easily half of most of our grocery bills. 

How was this possible?

  1. We didn’t have to buy many proteins because our freezer was well-stocked.  As I pointed out to Gavin, though, even if we had needed to buy a bag of frozen chicken breasts, we still would have come in under $100. 
  2. We used a lot of items that were already in our cupboards.  However, we saw a good sale on the whole grain pasta we liked and bought a few boxes to keep.
  3. Bagged salad was on sale for super cheap this week.  We decided that once it goes off sale, we’ll just buy whole heads of lettuce instead -- the good stuff, not iceberg.
  4. Most of our purchases came from the produce and condiment aisles.  We barely touched the rest of the store.  

What meals are we having this week?  Are we going to be eating meager rabbit-food meals?  Nope.  Check out our meal plan:

Friday (last night):  Golden Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives, brown rice, tossed salad (this was AWESOME by the way, and we had enough leftover – yay, portion control!—that Gavin could take some to work for his lunch today).

Saturday :  Greek-Inspired Pasta Salad (this has tomatoes and artichoke hearts in it, so it’s pretty much a full meal)

Sunday:  Chicken Caesar Salad (we’re going to marinate the chicken breasts and cook them up earlier in the day)

Monday:  Spaghetti pomodoro, with tossed salad (we are making a few modifications to the recipe based on what we have on hand)

Tuesday:  Steak salad, French bread (we have a loaf of French bread in the freezer from Christmas, and we are using the last of a London broil – this will stretch the meat so it goes farther)

Wednesday:  Crockpot split pea soup (split peas are CHEAP, and the ham is more Christmas leftovers out of the freezer)

Thursday:  Chicken and rice, salad (not very creative this time, but it’s a simple meal that everyone likes)

Lots of variety, lots of flavor, nobody is suffering here.  And I can use the leftover from the grocery budget to put toward a bill!  Everyone wins! 


  1. You could consider starting a second blogspot blog to put the recipes in! :)

  2. Another blog to maintain? Eeep!! I need to get better about posting the recipes here! I'll post the Greek-Inspired Pasta Salad recipe here tonight, hopefully with a photo :D

  3. what a great meal plan for the entire week! I wish I was that organized.

  4. It actually doesn't take very long. I go through the pantry and freezer to see what I have to work with, then the ad for the week to see what's on sale. I usually take notes in a notebook as I go. Than I look for recipes online or in my cookbooks to see what sounds good! I try to keep meats separated so I'm not having chicken two days in a row, not having two pasta dishes, not having two Mexican dishes... and so on. Maybe about half-hour to 45 minutes. It's worth it since it saves so much hassle later in the week, and it saves a ton of money!