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Grocery Spending/Menu Plan | I should probably stop stocking up now.

On Saturdays, I share my menu plan for the upcoming week along with a photo of my groceries and a tally of my spending. My goal is to spend $100/week for our food, toiletries, and cleaning products. I’m currently in the midst of trying to buy more local, sustainably-produced food while sticking to my budget. Can it be done? I don’t know, but I’m going to try, and I’ll share what I learn as I go along.

I’m super over budget this week. WAY WAY WAY over budget.

It’s for two good reasons, though.

Last week, I got a call from a local farm letting me know that a quarter of a cow (150 pounds hung weight) was available for purchase. I didn’t want an entire quarter, so I found a friend to split it with me. So, I now have a freezer full of local beef (and I do mean local…the farm is 30 minutes from my house), and I spent $218. Normally I’d have planned ahead for an expenditure like this, but the quarter of beef was a surprise to the farmer and to me, and I just decided to go for it.

I’ve never bought beef like this before so I haven’t the faintest idea how long it will last us, but I feel like I got a very good price on very local beef, and I’m happy. And I’m thrilled to give my money to a little family farm that’s been around for several generations.

Then midweek I got a sale flier (flyer?) from a local grocery store, noticed that Gold Medal unbleached flour was on sale for $1.50/5 lbs, and I jumped for joy. My Easter sale flour stock was just about depleted (I had 2 bags left), so this was excellent timing.

I bought all 13 of the unbleached bags they had (I’m sure there were more in the back but I didn’t bother to ask) and gleefully brought them home. Yay! Gold Medal unbleached rocks my world when I need white flour (I grind wheat for my whole wheat flour needs).

So, the flour took another $19.50 of grocery money.

I then proceeded to spend $49.79 at Aldi and $38.12 at Weis.

That means I spent $325.41 on groceries this week instead of $100. Dear me. That’s almost a whole month’s worth of grocery money! But it was for the cause of local food, and I don’t feel at all bad about it.

I’m over by $225.41, which is about two week’s worth of grocery money. We have the money to cover this (the overage is basically the beef), but I think it would be lovely if I could manage to make this work with just our grocery money. So, I think I’ll take $100 out of November and December’s budgets which will give me $75 to work with each week until the end of the year. I’m pretty sure I can make that work, especially since I have a decent supply of meat in my freezer, and I absolutely, positively will not need to buy any beef for a long time.

For breakfast this week, we’ll be eating oatmeal, muffins, Cream of Wheat, cereal, toast, yogurt, and fruit (not all on one day!).

Lunches will be homemade bread, homemade yogurt, nuts, fruit, cheese, and leftovers as necessary.

And dinners are as follows.


  • Since my nephews were here on Friday night, we thought it wouldn’t be the best time to have our weekly at-home date night (the odds of them all playing quietly in Joshua’s room while we ate were, uh, not good.). So, we’re doing that tonight and our kids will be eating various leftovers (my nephews are going home late this afternoon).



  • Grilled hamburgers (with local beef, naturally)
  • homemade buns
  • fruit salad


  • Beef and Chicken Fajitas (with grilled onions and peppers)
  • chips and salsa


  • Parmesan Crusted Chicken
  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • green salad



  • Takeout night for Mr. FG and me, leftovers or something easy for the kids

Today’s 365 post: The face of discontent

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Monday 18th of October 2010

If you do not have an alarm on your freezer please order one for yourself today! We've been buying a quarter of a cow for 5 years, and this year, less than one month after we received our quarter we lost both our beef and our freezer. Our freezer shut off during a relatively mild storm and we both forgot to check it. By the time we went to get beef, well it was an awful mess and the freezer could not be salvaged. The alarms are 10-15 dollars on amazon. I would have saved us about $800!


Monday 18th of October 2010

Once you have the beef in your freezer you will never be without it again! It is such a great way to buy in bulk and it really does reduce your grocery bill.


Sunday 17th of October 2010

We buy a 1/2 a stear and 1 whole hog at a time. The total cost for both together runs about $900-$1000. Not sure what cuts you get with your beef, but we get rib eye, T-bone, Sirlion Tip, and sirlion steaks. We get several roast varieties, tons of ground beef, and stew meat. Our hog contains sausage, bacon, jowl, ham, ham hocks, pork roast, pork ribs, and super thick pork chops. This usually lasts us a year for a family of five. We Purchase our meat and dairy from mennonite families. It is costly in one lump sum. But it works it way out quickly, due to high meat prices in a grocery store. Funny how retailers expect us to pay so much more for for the unwanted extras they put in our meats!HA!!!


Sunday 17th of October 2010

I think stocking up on deals like that is very frugal indeed. Not to mention that you'll be eating good beef for dinner!


Saturday 16th of October 2010

Some things are just worth it and local beef is one of them. Just can't pass up opportunities like that when they come along. I love having a freezer full of beef; you will too!

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