At the Table

The $20 Challenge: Week 3

We survived week 2 of the $20 challenge!  Shopping for week 3 was definitely more challenging since we are pretty much out of anything we had stored from last month (I’m especially missing the frozen meat we had from a Sam’s club trip in October).  Almost everything we plan to eat this week, we had to purchase. That said, our grocery list this week:

$20 Challenge Week 3

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries ($1.50)
  • 1 dozen eggs ($0.00)
  • Bakery crisps ($0.00)
  • Ground turkey ($2.49)
  • Acorn squash ($0.50)
  • 1 bunch kale ($0.70)
  • Maple sausage ($2.98)
  • Onions ($1.69)
  • 1 bag great northern beans ($1.39)
  • 1 bag pinto beans ($1.39)
  • 1 large can tomatoes ($1.24)
  • 1 can Rotel ($0.98)
  • 1 pound butter ($1.98)
  • 1 pound margarine ($0.74)
  • 1 package crescent roll dough ($1.50)
  • 16 oz sour cream ($0.85)
  • 1 orange ($0.58)

That means that this week’s total came to $20.51.  Not too bad, considering that we did a little stocking up on things that won’t need to be repurchased for another couple of weeks, like butter, onions, and dry beans. Of course, we also got lucky with a coupon for free eggs.* Another coupon for a free snack let us get something fun that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to purchase.  I have frozen milk, black beans, brown rice, and shredded chicken in broth from the last two weeks that we’re incorporating into this week’s meals. Plus, a friend gave us a bag of bell peppers from their family’s garden, which we’re excited to use in a meal!

This week’s dinners:

  • Monday: Sausage, apple, and wild-rice stuffed acorn squash
  • Tuesday: Turkey chili
  • Wednesday: Stuffed bell peppers
  • Thursday: Leftover turkey chili
  • Friday: Tuna noodle casserole
  • Saturday: White chicken chili, with stock from week 1’s roasting chicken
  • Sunday: Waffles and chipped beef gravy, with leftover chipped beef we bought a while ago

We spent money on some stuff for special breakfasts, like cranberry-orange cinnamon rolls and Jeth’s famous sausage breakfast casserole.  Saving coupons and going to the store only on Fridays (for the meat markdowns) really feels worth it when it means we can have more than just oatmeal and fried eggs for breakfast!

*For those of you who live near a Kroger and have a Plus card, it’s really worth it to create an online account and provide them with your address.  We get coupons every month, and 4 times a year they send customized coupons based on what we typically buy.  There are normally a couple coupons for free store-brand items like eggs and frozen fruit.  Also, I just found out that on Fridays, they make a digital coupon available that allows you to get a particular item for free, no strings attached.  As long as you download it on Friday, you’ve got two weeks to use it before it expires.  I wish someone had told me about Free Fridays sooner!

My sister Rachel is doing this challenge too, on $15 a week for just her.  Check out her meal plan and shopping list for this week here!

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