Grocery Spending/Menu Plan | We finally left the house!

The back-to-back snowstorms we’ve been experiencing kept the kids and me home for a solid week. I didn’t mind at all, as I like being home, and cabin fever and I have never even come close to making an acquaintance.

But, I was starting to need groceries after a whole week, so I cleaned off the enormous piles of snow that had accumulated on my van, and we headed out to the store.

Here’s what we bought at Weis and Aldi.

The kids wanted me to show you their newest acquisitions…some erasers from a friend.

Zoe’s is the fish, which she accurately identified as a mola-mola (I was completely unaware that this species of fish even existed until Zoe graced our house with her fish-loving presence!). The dolphin is Lisey’s, the penguin is Joshua’s, and the cake belongs to Sonia.

I bought a lot of meat this week…a chuck roast, two large packs of chicken leg quarters, and a whole roasting chicken, plus a package of pepperoni and a package of bratwurst that were marked down.

I spent:

$44.95 at Aldi

$58.17 at Weis

for a total of $103.12. That’s just a tiny bit over my $100/week budget, but it is $20 over my wishful $80 goal. That’s ok, though…given how much meat I bought this week, I shouldn’t have to buy a whole lot next week.

Oh, and last night while on an errand, I stopped and bought this stuff…

…for 48 cents. So, I’m actually $3.60 over budget.

Here’s what we’re eating this week for dinner:



  • French Toast
  • OJ


  • Macaroni and Cheese for the kids, and seafood takeout for the husband me (it’s our Valentine’s Day tradition, but we usually do it right before or after V-day, so as to avoid the rush).


  • Beef Au Jus sandwiches on homemade french bread
  • green salad


  • a whole chicken, cooked in a crock-pot (this is the first time I’ve tried it)
  • Braided Bread
  • fresh pineapple

Thursday (we’re celebrating The Husband’s birthday and Zoe’s with a dinner mostly devoid of nutrition. Because that’s how we roll on birthdays!)


  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • fruit salad


  1. Tiffani says

    I’m not sure how you got all 5 of those items for $.48 but congrats! I recently got those oreos and a bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips for free.

  2. says

    Glad you were able to dig out! We’ve seen the pictures on the news of all the snow you’ve had in your area. You did well for $103. And that .46 cent purchase – wow!
    I bet you’ll love the chicken in the crockpot. I used to do this regularly. I loved having leftover cooked chicken to put in the freezer or using the next night in another dish. It’s been ages since I’ve done a whole chicken in the crockpot. I’ve been on a kick of whole roasted chicken in the oven. Same concept, different method. Love it though.
    Happy Birthday to your husband and Zoe.

  3. Becky says

    I’m so impressed by what you can buy for $103! And your birthday meal plan sounds perfect to me — birthdays are a perfect excuse to eat a dinner devoid of nutrition!

    Quick question- I know your kids are still really little, so do you feel like having them with you on your weekly shopping trips is a distraction, or is it okay? At what age do you think you’ll feel comfortable leaving them home along for a little bit while you do errands? (I can’t remember how old your eldest is, nor can I remember how old I was when my parents would let my older sister babysit me for short periods of time).

    • Shana says

      I can’t speak for Kristen, but my parents allowed me to stay alone for short periods of time when I turned 12. My youngest is about to turn 12 and I have found that age works pretty well (she has a 19 year old brother and a 16 year old sister).

      My parents had me babysitting my 3 younger siblings when I was 13. I’ve never had my older kids take care of the younger ones, however. I resented it a LOT as a teenager and don’t particularly want mine to feel that way about me :P

    • Laurie says

      A whole chicken in the crockpot is yummy. Clean him up, put him in, add about an inch of water, sprinkle with seasonings of your choice, and turn it on low for the whole day. That’s it. The meat becomes quite soft. I like to do this and then shread the meat for tacos, BBQ sandwiches, and chicken salad. I put the first two variations in small containers in the freezer for my husband’d future lunches. Crockpot chicken is also good cut into cubes and put on top of a green salad.

      The left over liquid can be strained and used as broth (which I also freeze).

  4. says

    Ahhhhhhhhhh not meat :), I’m a vege so not had any (on purpose) in many many years, although I do miss chicken on occasion.

    I’m glad you made it out :)

  5. jen b says

    For the roasting the chicken in the crockpot, make sure you put some liquid in the bottom. I cracked a crockpot following directions I found online to place the chicken on top of aluminum foil balls.
    Now I add 1c of water and just sprinkle the chicken with poultry seasoning. Another option we like is to stuff the bird with 1/2 lemon, fresh rosemary and several crushed garlic cloves.
    (I use the leftover “juice” and carcass in the crock to make stock by adding 8c of water back to the crockpot and turn it to high for 2-4 hours. It takes a while to cool enough to put in the fridge, but I just skim the fat off in the morning and put into freezer bags in 2c portions and freeze. The frozen stock thaws quickly when you place the bag in a bowl of warm water.)

  6. says

    I’m in your area also, I just went out for the first time this morning ~ to restock groceries, the only milk left in our Food Lion was whole milk!

    I joked with my husband that I should be feeling cabin fever because I haven’t left our driveway since last Thursday ~ but I prefer to stay at home too. As a homeschooling mom of three kiddos ~ we get so much more done by staying at home :) Plus, it saves us money.

    Btw, I did a whole chicken in the crockpot for the first time this past week, I even made some homemade chicken stock with it ~ I will definitely be doing it again.

  7. Rebecca says

    After consuming the chicken, take the carcass, put it in the biggest stock pot you own, toss in a few carrots, celery, onion, potato, garlic, and herbs and fill with water, then bring to a boil and cook for a hour or two. Cool, strain and I freeze in two and four cup sizes for stock. I hate buying stock at the store, I refuse to pay for water. Plus home made tastes wayyyyyyyyy better. I also do this with leftover turkey bones from thanksgiving, super yummy.

      • Kristen says

        Let’s see…I had a coupon for a free box of Oreos, a coupon for a free bag of pita chips, a rebate for a free razor, a local store coupon for free beans and free frozen veggies, and I bought the store-brand pretzels to make a Valentine’s Day treat for my hubby.

        Normally I am not a big coupon person, but I have a hard time resisting FREE. lol

  8. Linda says

    When I’m pinched for time, I’ll put a whole chicken in the crockpot before I start working. I’ve never added water to the bottom, but I do typically elevate it, either with rolled aluminum balls or some wrapped potatoes. The Crockpot Lady did a version with tomatoes thrown in that I really like.

  9. says

    I am impressed with your lack of cabin fever. After 8.5 days of not leaving my house, and not seeing anyone by my dog, my husband, and my landlady…I was very very ready for a change of scenery. (Though I did get lots of fun things done around the house!)

  10. Franci says

    Another way of cooking lovely chicken in the crock-pot is to cover the bottom with quartered potatoes and chopped carrots and placing the whole chicken on top (having already rubbed the skin with chicken seasoning. About 6 hours does the trick. No oil, no water – seems to work for me! :-)

  11. says

    I got the coupon for the free Oreos too. I’m not a fan of Oreos but figured the kid will like them.

    Oh and the first time I went on a whale watching cruise, we saw a mola-mola. Not a very big one but definitely strange looking.

  12. Stacey says

    Kristin, Read your blog nearly daily. Enjoy it, but have a question. Wouldn’t the kids enjoy the seafood takeout as well, over mac and cheese. I know my 4 children would perfer the mac and cheese, but I know in an earlier post you had stated that your kids were not picky, and they were served whatever you made.

    • Kristen says

      Well, Joshua and Lisey would enjoy it, Sonia and Zoe wouldn’t so much. But, this dinner is in lieu of us going out for a date night on Valentine’s. So, we’re feeding the kids early, renting a movie for them to watch, and then we’re eating takeout all by ourselves. :D

  13. says

    My kids get that series of erasers when they go to the dentist as their treat. We have a couple of those penguins. But so far, no mola-molas.

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

  14. says

    Hi, Kristen,

    Thanks for sharing all you do on this blog! I’ve been following it for several months now, and it has encouraged me in some simple steps I can take to better stewardship in my own life–especially regarding food waste. :-)

    I notice you often buy Johnsonville brats–one of my favorites! I grew up on them, and it’s still the first food I ask for whenever I’m home visiting my parents. Did you know that you can sign up on their website ( and about once a month they’ll send you coupons and recipe ideas?

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