What if I told you I bought enough food for 10 dinners, fruit, breakfasts, some lunches, and more for just $118? And that I'm feeding a horde of five kids, who descend on food like locusts and regularly eat more than I do at any given meal?
Yep. I did it yesterday.
Even better, this $118 shopping trip (plus an extra $11 to stock up on frozen veggies at another store, but I'll explain that more below) was for recipes in the new Trim Healthy Table cookbook, AND (most exciting thing ever for me) one of my recipes is actually IN this cookbook! Printed! It's my “Brownie Batter in a Mug” on page 405, if you want to check it out!
Don't worry, I'm not letting it go to my head. I totally sound like I'm tooting my own horn, here, and I don't mean to, but I'm just so excited about the new book, and about my crazy grocery store savings! I'm not a couponer (I work 30+ hours per week and homeschool 4 kids + 1 toddler, which means I just don't have time – but I wish I did!), and I am not a good bargain shopper. My typical method to save money on groceries is just to put together frugal meals.
I cut my grocery budget in half earlier this year (yes, actually, literally in half), and I've been looking for more ways to save money. My goal is to spend $100 per person, per month, which comes out to $150 per week on groceries. I don't know if I've ever gotten that low before – I think this is the first time! And I'll be honest, I was so nervous that my overfull cart was going to be over my budget that I had some packages of meat set aside to put back if the total got too high. But when I got to the end of my groceries, I still had money left so I added the extra meat back in, and all was right in the world. OK, it had nothing to do with the world, but I had a personal win at the grocery store and that meant it was a good day for me, at least.
OK, now to the fun part – how did I do it? I show the entire haul and explain the details on this Facebook Live video, (or you can watch it here on YouTube) but I'll explain it in detail here, as well:
- I went through Trim Healthy Table and chose some recipes that looked great to us.
2. I shopped my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer first for ingredients I already had. I keep a very well stocked kitchen, so I already had almond milk, olives, carrots and most of the extracts and seasoning required. I did need to by Dill and Parsley because I was out, so that was included in the shopping trip. I also always keep THM Baking Blend and THM Super Sweet on hand, but those wouldn't have been included in my shopping trip, anyway, because they need to be purchased online. I also already had staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper. I forgot to buy Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, but I already have some in my freezer so that's OK.
3. I took a photo of my shopping list (I always recommend doing this as insurance against losing or forgetting your list), but instead of just saving the photo on my phone, I opened the Flipp app on my phone and took a photo there. Flipp took my list and magically showed me what's on sale at each store in my area. I was able to see in under a minute that Sprouts had the most deals for what I was buying, so that's where I went.
4. I looked through the flyer for Sprouts on Flipp to check out any other good deals, and on the app I circled fruit and some BOGO items that Sprouts has available. Circling those on the app added them right to my shopping list. I probably spent another two minutes on this step.
The Breakdown: What did I buy, and what will I make with it? (Note: I don't recommend using the following list – you may not have the staples I have, so I'd double check the ingredients in each recipe to see what you need before you go shopping. There are about four things listed below that I didn't buy because I already had them on hand, including tomato paste for meatballs, canned parmesan for a few recipes, a can of tuna, and some seasonings. But nothing really significant or expensive, and I'm pretty sure that if I had needed those things and left the off-plan extras for the kids off of my shopping trip I still would have come in under budget).
2 chuck roasts (about 3 lbs. each)
3 packages of grass-fed ground beef (about 2.5 lbs each)
2 boxes of butter
2 heads of garlic
9 zucchini (I'll spiralize some for lunch, use some for breakfast veggie scrambles, and use the rest for the THM recipes)
15 Gala apples
1 bunch of bananas (I only have one kid who's really into bananas right now, otherwise I would have bought 2-3 bunches)
2 lbs. pears
two dozen eggs
low-fat cottage cheese
0% Greek yogurt
Off-plan for the kids:
Crinkle-Cut Sprouts Brand Fries
Shoestring Sprouts Brand Fries
2 RX Bars (BOGO, I only bought two because my oldest wanted to try them)
2 boxes of Nut Thins (BOGO)
2 bags of Late July chips (BOGO)
Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt
I didn't need to do this, because I already had a lot of frozen veggies, but I did go to Target, as well, and got some bags of .99 Market Pantry frozen riced cauliflower, frozen whole cauliflower, frozen peas, frozen okra, and frozen corn. I spent $11 total at Target, but definitely got more frozen food than I need, which meant that my grand total was under $130 and STILL under budget!
Here is my meal plan for this week:
scrambled eggs (S)
scrambled eggs with veggies (mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic) (2x) (S)
Wonderful White Blender Bread French Toast (p. 360 in Trim Healthy Table) (S)
Milk Chocolate Truffle Secret Shakes (p.481 in Trim Healthy Table) (S)
fruit and cottage cheese (E)
0% Greek yogurt with stevia and fruit (E)
mostly leftovers or snacky lunches, but I did buy enough to double the Ten-Minute Chinese Chicken Salad (Trim Healthy Table p. 199) – I already have all of the salad dressing ingredients, so those are not included on the shopping list
Wonderful White Blender Bread (Trim Healthy Table p. 242) (S)
Cheesy Flower Biscuits (Trim Healthy Table p. 248) (S) with leftover meat from dinner
Snatch ‘Em Up Chicken Tenders (Trim Healthy Table p. 238) (S) – I already had canned parmesan and seasoning, so they're not included on the list
Spiralized Zucchini with Garlic sautéed in butter with collagen tea for protein (S)
Lemon Lime Burst Whip (Trim Healthy Table p. 442) (FP)
Cream and Crunch Apple Tuna Salad (Trim Healthy Table p.314) (E) – I already had a can of tuna, mayo, and ACV so those aren't included on the list
Dinners (I'll make salads or steamed veggies as sides depending on what we want that night):
Chicken Fried Double Rice (Trim Healthy Table p. 53) (E)
Addictive Greek Chicken (Trim Healthy Table p. 224) (S) w/ Tzaziki Cucumber Salad (Trim Healthy Table p. 266) (FP)
Lemon Cream Chicken (Trim Healthy Table p. 222) (S)
Marvelous Make-Ahead Meatballs (Trim Healthy Table p. 208) (FP or S) I already have tomato paste, so that's not included on the list. I'm excited about these because I'm making the FP version, and it makes 140 meatballs! According to the book, this will make four meals that serve 6-8.
Ten Minute Chinese Chicken Salad (Trim Healthy Table p. 199)
Succulent Barbacoa Beef (Trim Healthy Table p. 108) (S)
Stew of Love (Trim Healthy Table p. 101) (S) – I had a lot in my pantry that will work for this recipe, but I did buy the meat, frozen veggies, and mushrooms.
If you were keeping track, that's 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners, PLUS an extra three dinners of the versatile Marvelous Make-Ahead Meatballs! That's 10 dinners total!
If you keep a well-stocked kitchen, I would almost guarantee that you could get several more meals put together from your freezer and pantry from this cookbook. In fact, I counted six desserts I could make with what I already have. It's definitely worth taking a look!
You can check out Trim Healthy Table on Amazon. 🙂
P.S. My brand-new book, Perpetually Prepped Kitchen, can teach you how to keep your kitchen stocked and how to make meals in just minutes!
More Frugal Shopping Trips & Tips:
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock