grocery budgeting
Week Three $25 Grocery Budget

How do you make it for a week of spending only $25 for groceries? It’s not easy, but it can be done. In this post, I’ll be showing you how I did on the third week of a grocery budget challenge.

Results of the Third Week’s Grocery Budget

The first two weeks were manageable. Actually, the first week was exciting. I was very curious if it was possible for me to spend no more than $25. That week was a success. The second week was a little more difficult – at least I thought it was until I bought groceries this third week. Tallying up the receipts, I came up with $70.12! WOW! I went way over my limit. However, there is a little more to the story.

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Uh-Oh Over-the-Limit Grocery Spending

For weeks, I had been watching the price of a ten-pound package of 93% lean hamburger. This week it was only $34.80. I couldn’t pass it up. The one-pound package of 93% lean ground beef was $4.88 which means I saved $1.40 per pound. If I deducted the $34.80 from the total of $70.12, the balance would be $35.32. That’s still $10.32 over the $25 per week budget. So, the third week was, so far, the most challenging yet.

Dividing the large package of hamburger into multiple meals will provide at least thirty meals. I will save on future groceries by not having to buy meat. That’s unless I want something different than hamburger.

Meatballs and Meatloaf

If you read my blog about Meatball Chili, you saw my ideas for recipes from the hamburger meat. Also mentioned in the post was that my husband drives a semi. He cooks slow cooker meals in the truck. He has been enjoying meatball soup, meatloaf, and meatloaf sandwiches from the pre-cooked meals I made from that ten-pound ground beef. 

The meatballs and meatloaf are so easy to make in my Farberware pressure cooker. I placed the meatballs on the bottom, inserted my pressure cooker rack, and put two mini foil pans of my meatloaf recipe on top of the rack and cooked all of it at the same time.

Paying Attention to the Grocery List Helps

There are some items that last for weeks. Others I have to purchase weekly like cottage cheese, my most favorite Dubliner block cheese, and flavored water. One item that has lasted since the first week of this challenge is artisan lettuce. It still looks as good as it did the first week, and I have plenty to last another week or more. I’ve been making a half sandwich of pimento cheese, artisan lettuce, and sliced tomato for several lunches.

Besides the ground beef, cottage cheese, Dubliner cheese, and water, I purchased plums, red potatoes, Chayote squash, brown onions, bell pepper, tomatoes – and grapes. Those grapes!! Green grapes. Not just green, but green SOUR grapes! They tasted awful. Talking about pucker up. WHEW! To top it off, not only did I buy one bunch of green grapes. I bought two!! I thought I had picked up one bunch of green grapes and one bunch of red grapes. Not so. TWO bunches of green sour grapes. If I have to eat them all, I’m afraid we’re in big trouble. I even brought my grocery list with me to the store and still failed to notice my mistake until I was back home.

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Fruit is one item that can make my grocery bill add up quickly because the 21-Day Fix plan I try to stick to for weight management includes several helpings of fruit per day. I tend to forget to eat enough fruit. Weekly planning helps to manage grocery spending in addition to eating nutritious meals.

Often, I make eggs for breakfast. Since making the meatloaf and meatballs, I’ve had a few early meals of fried eggs and meatballs or meatball omelets. My breakfasts either consists of eggs with a vegetable and sometimes, like this week, a meat or a nutritious shake (after working out) that I may have for a snack or lunch. The shake I drink is filling, tastes wonderful (especially the cafe latte flavor – my fav), and helps me keep extra pounds off that I lost (more about that on The Fitness Grummy page). Then for dinner, I eat my leftovers or one of the recipes I come up with for the week.

How the Challenge Began

Perhaps you read my previous $25-per-week grocery budget posts and recall how I got started on this weekly challenge. It all began when my food blogger friend, Patty Cake, asked if I wanted to join her in a $25 weekly food budgeting plan. At first, I thought there was no way. But I thought it was worth a try and accepted the challenge.

Go take a look at to see what Ms. Patty Cake did on her $25 Menu Plan of the third week of the challenge. She is a good cook, and we try out our new recipes on each other. She also started out keeping under her $25 per week allotment. However, I noticed her third week was quite the challenge. For instance, you have to read Patty Cake’s post about how thirsty she was and how that affected her overall grocery bill for the week. Patty Cake mentions Amanda at The Fundamentalist Home who spends $100 or less every month also for a family of five.

I’ve determined at this point that it is not possible for me to spend less than $25 per week on groceries. There are only two of us compared to Patty Cake’s five and Amanda’s five, and one of us is on the road a lot. Hmmm. This poses a question:

  1. Can two people eat cheaper than five people?

The next blog post will show my fourth week’s grocery budget. See you then!

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