#surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Hi Friends!

We’re in Day 2 of the #surviveon35 challenge.

survive21 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Today I thought I’d take some time to talk about all the preparation and planning that went into this challenge for me. But first I wanted to briefly address why I’m doing this challenge. I’ve seen lots of people do this challenge over the past couple of years. No matter who is doing it, or for what reason, there always seems to be someone that has a negative reaction to it. Someone who thinks that it trivializes the food stamp program, makes a mockery of people currently going hungry, etc. There are bloggers doing this challenge with me this week that are getting HAMMERED by people who view this challenge as a negative thing. I disagree. As a future Registered Dietitian, I obviously feel very strongly that everyone should strive to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. I realize that on a limited budget it is challenging, but I also believe it can be done. That’s why I’m doing this challenge. To show you guys that with a little planning, healthy meals can be created for very little money. 

sm graphic final1 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

I fully understand that doing this for one week doesn’t mean I know what people who live like this every day are going through.
I understand that there are a lot of factors that aren’t being addressed by this challenge . There are a lot of people that can only get to the grocery store using public transportation. There are a lot of people who live in areas that don’t have a grocery store nearby, so they do their shopping at smaller stores/drug stores/etc that may or may not have the amount of fresh produce, etc that I had access to. There are a lot of people that work two jobs and don’t have a ton of free time to spend menu planning and clipping coupons. And many more…

However, I also believe that this challenge can be a learning experience for a lot of people. By doing this challenge, I hope to share some of my knowledge with all of you. If me sharing this experience on the blog leads to even one person being able to successfully purchase more healthy food than they usually do with the same amount of money, or gives even one person an idea for a new, healthy meal they want to cook, it will be worth it.

I hope some of these meals will inspire you.
I hope this challenge will motivate you to make healthy choices.
I hope  this challenge will help you realize that you CAN feed your body healthy food on a budget.

 ——————————

 CLICK HERE to read a post by one of my fellow challengers Bess. She does a great job explaining how she feels, which is exactly the same way I do, about all of the negativity. Finally, I respect the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion about this challenge. I’ve shared my reasons for doing this challenge. Others have shared their opinions. Not everyone agrees, and that’s fine. Just because we feel differently doesn’t mean anyone should behave in a manner that is anything less than civilized and respectful towards one another.

————————–

So, here’s the approach I took for this challenge:

I started by making a list of things I might want to make, typing out whatever popped into my head:

m1 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Once I got the ball rolling, it was easy to come up with 6-7 things I wanted to make for dinner. Next I wrote down a few lunch ideas. Finally, I tackled breakfast. I am the type of person that eats cereal for breakfast every day of the week. And I am 100% fine with that. However, since this is a challenge, I decided to challenge myself this week and show you guys some non-cereal breakfasts!

Once I had my menu, I made a grocery list. Then I spent some time deciding where to shop. My approach to this aspect of the challenge may be different than some of the other contestants. After much debate, I chose to shop at just one store. Although I know I could have gotten more food by going to two, possibly even three stores, I decided that in reality, a lot of people may not be able to do that. They may be taking public transportation, or have limited gas money. I initially thought I would go to both Kroger and Meijer because both are within 0.5 miles of my house and within 0.2 miles of each other, but in the end my solution was to compare prices at the two stores and then choose the best one overall.

On Monday, I headed to both stores with my grocery list. I located all of the items I was planning to buy and wrote down the price. I don’t think this comparison is something you need to do every time you shop. But if you take a notepad with you and write down the prices of the thing you find yourself buying often, you’ll be come familiar with the prices. This will help you recognize when there are sales and it will help you have a more accurate idea of what you’re going to spend.

IMG 6800 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

After noting all of the prices,  I headed home to do some math. I quickly realized two things:
1) There was no way I could buy everything on my list for $70, even though I thought it was a pretty reasonable list.
2) I pretty much have no idea what constitutes a pound of potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, etc.

So I got to work. I had all these produce prices that were by the pound, and I had no idea whether a pound of tomatoes was one tomato or four. So I pulled out my kitchen scale and a few things from my pantry to help give me a better idea of what I would need to buy.

IMG 6805 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Then I started crossing things off my list. I had hopes of making some homemade granola using things from the bulk bins, but when I realized I would be over budget, those were the first items to get crossed off the list:

IMG 6804 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

The Kroger I went to also didn’t have quinoa in the bulk bins this week- they rotate through a lot of grains, so I knew it would be too expensive to buy a large package of it. Coffee was another expensive item. Even the cheapest can of ground coffee I saw was $4-$5. I spent a lot of time thinking about that one but eventually crossed it off.

I did some more calculating (please note that it drove the hubby crazy that I did this on paper and with a calculator instead of on the computer in an excel spreadsheet- what can i say, i’m old fashioned!) and got my list down to below $70.

We literally went grocery shopping 2 hours before I found out I got picked for this challenge last week so I’d been trying really hard to use up all the stuff we bought before the challenge started so it wouldn’t go bad. I ended up having to freeze some stuff, but I made it work and cleared out the bottom shelf of the fridge and one veggie drawer for my challenge groceries.

IMG 6837 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Then, on Tuesday, I headed to the store. It took me a little longer than normal because I was so nervous about going over budget that I kept checking and rechecking things. I had my list with the prices written next to it. As I added things to the cart, I checked them off on my list and made sure the price I had written down was correct.

IMG 6858 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Note the weird symbol system I had for the different phases of my trip. I decided to save the produce for last so I got everything else on the list and added that up to see where I was at. Then I spent some time in the produce department and added those prices to my previous total. I had to use the scale for almost every item to figure out what the exact price was going to be. That’s something I never do when I go grocery shopping. I usually just pick up 2 onions, 6 potatoes, or whatever I need, without worrying about exactly how much they weigh or exactly how much they’re going to cost.

IMG 6839 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

After I finished getting produce I was at about $52. I decided to add a couple more items to my cart, including an extra container of fruit and then I was ready to checkout.

IMG 6841 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

According to my calculations, my total was supposed to be $57.21. As I rang the food up (I used the self-checkout so I could take my time), I watched the items carefully to make sure the prices were correct. I’m glad I did because I caught a major error. I bought some fish  that was on sale for $3.49. When I scanned it, it rang up as $7.99 on sale for $6.99- in other words, double the price it should have been. Had this been a normal shopping trip, quite honestly, I may not have noticed. I probably would have seen that it rang up on sale and moved on, not noticing the fact that it wasn’t the correct sale price.

However, with this challenge, where every dollar counts, you better believe I was tracking down the attendant to get them to adjust the price for me. When all the groceries were scanned, I was pretty darn close to my estimated total!

photo 270 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

My strategy was to spend roughly $60 on this first trip. That would give me $10 leftover so that if I was out running errands over the weekend, I could stop and pick up a few more things to finish out the last few days of the challenge. Most likely it will be some more fresh fruit because we eat a lot of it during the summer and I didn’t get very much. I thought I did pretty well coming in at $56.87.

I came home and unloaded the groceries and here’s what it looked like all together:

IMG 6842 #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Pretty good, right?

Come back tomorrow for a detailed breakdown of everything I bought. I’ll also talk about some of the things I thought about when choosing items at the grocery store and show you all the prep work I got accomplished when I spent an hour or so in the kitchen when I got home!

Let’s chat:
Do you watch the register carefully when your groceries ring up? Have you ever caught a major error?
Do you use the scale in the produce department?

Enjoy!

–Lindsay–

pixel #surviveon35: Menu Planning & Grocery Shopping

Comments

  1. I love this challenge. Finding ways to eat healthy on a budget is tough, period. Any time you can provide ideas for simple, frugal meals is a win, IMHO.

    Major grocery errors? I watch for them all the time – where I live, if an item scans at the wrong price, the store gives you the first item free (or $10 off, whichever is less). I’ve gotten free cheese, milk, grilled chicken… feeding a family on a budget, anything free is good!
    Kris @ Trying to Tri recently posted..Racine Ironman 70.3 Race Recap – July 15, 2012

  2. I always try to catch errors, but it doesn’t always happen, especially if I have my kids with me. I’m not part of the challenge (am actually on vacation and doing the opposite of frugal shopping, ugh), but I think that there’s a lot to be learned from this challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing what meals you make.
    MCM Mama recently posted..Simply Bar Review and Giveaway

  3. Lindsay! I just got all up to speed on the challenge and first of all, I just want to say this is such a GREAT idea! Secondly, you have SUCH a way with words…I love the way you explained your point of view on everything from why you want to do this to disregarding (but also respecting) negative opinions from others.

    I have to admit, as I first started reading, I was thinking to myself, “Yeah, I could do this…it would be a little hard, but no big deal”…then I got to your list and price matching ordeal…WOW! My brain would have been complete mush by the time I made it to the register! And then to catch that pricing error? I’m impressed. I rarely ever pay attention to anything when I shop…there’s no telling how many times I’ve overpaid for items. The one thing I do try to watch is the Manager Specials at Kroger…my store is notorious for having the items either ring up at regular price or at a sale price that isn’t correct. Since most of the time I go hog wild when I see that little orange and yellow sticker, I like to make sure I didn’t just grab a dozen Greek yogurt containers for $1.something when they’re supposed to be $0.49! And I can’t even tell you the last time…or even if I’ve ever…used the scale in the produce section! I remember growing up we were always on a strict budget and my mom weighed produce and always put me in charge of the calculator (which I loved) but I am grateful to be in a financial situation now where I don’t have to watch every penny I spend…a good thing, since I really can’t say no to adventurous foodie finds which are usually not the cheapest purchases! ;)

    Ok, so now that I’ve written a small novel, I just want to say good luck and I can’t wait to follow you through the challenge! And who knows, after the boyfriend comes home and leaves again this weekend, I may take you up on the offer to challenge myself!
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted..Sexy Eggs and Molten Lava Java

  4. Honestly, when you mentioned this challenge earlier today I was so excited to hear more. I can see where some people are coming from in terms of the food stamps, but I think this is definitely about learning how to live healthier on a small budget. I think there’s going to be a takeaway here for everyone. I’m hoping to get a few fun tips on how to help save money on groceries so that I can put some extra money into savings. I’m not in the same place as some people and I’m not going to restrict myself to that point when I don’t need to, but I think it’s just proof that we all will or should have something we can take away from this challenge. I respect all of you for putting yourselves out there for this challenge. It definitely requires an openness from yourselves (and your readers).
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday

  5. I think we all have a lot lot lot to learn from this.
    Miz recently posted..PLAYouts: Doing the sprinkler.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to write this all out! I can’t imagine people getting up in arms over such an innocent project. I love all your spreedsheets, I’d do mine by paper and pen as well :)

    Can’t wait to see the recipes you’ll be using for your awesome grocery haul!
    Erica { EricaDHouse.com } recently posted..Brunch & Egg Rolls

  7. Loving your meal planning and preparation for this challenge. It’s making me reconsider my own methods of meal planning at the grocery store. It’s a lot of work upfront, but I’m sure it gets easier with time because you know what to expect. Thanks for documenting your journey.
    Katie @wishandwhimsy recently posted..Eat Mindfully. Food is an Experience.

  8. DANG!! You are beyond organized. I dig that. we need a lesson in this. The hubs and i do a $50 a week budget so thats $25 dollars a person, right? We try to do that from time to time and it is hard BUT so worth it!!
    lindsay recently posted..Nutrients are Key

  9. Wow I love how much thought you are putting into this challenge! It is amazing to see how much work went into just writing up your grocery list! I am majorly impressed! I think this is the best example that eating healthy is not expensive! Look at the huge grocery haul you got for under $60! Awesome!
    Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness recently posted..Confetti Mushroom Burgers

  10. My husband and I want to start budgeting our money just so we can be smarter about it. Food is one area I know we can improve up because I go to the store multiple times each week and get what I need… Planning for the week is a great idea and you proved it can be done! Can’t wait to continue reading this week!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..FitGear

  11. This is inspiring, Linds!!! Do you coupon in regular life? I could teach you!

    • i used to coupon a lot more than i do know. i like the idea of it…i guess i’m just lazy. and i feel like i never find very many food coupons for the food i buy..but i always forget them for non-food items! i do use them at costco though!

  12. That is impressive! How much time would you say you spent just researching? that’s one of my problems with spending so much at the store – too much time to plan to eat on the cheap! I’m blown away that you’re making it work!
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Tzatziki Chickpea Tuna Salad + Giveaway Winner

    • i actually didn’t spend a whole lot of time writing down the prices. in meijer, since that’s where i’ve been shopping regularly and i know where everything is it only took me about 10 minutes to zip through and record prices. Kroger took a bit longer since i’m still learning where things are…but i think once you get to know the store you shop at, it could be done fast. took longer to add stuff up and make the cuts :)

  13. Thanks so much for sharing! With this challenge, I was wondering about staples like oil, spices and other cooking staples. I keep certain things in my house at all times and I generally buy them in bulk. I may only purchase olive oil every 3 months, but when I do it is the most expensive thing in my cart. Are you factoring in the cost of these things? When I considered them, I viewed the challenge in a whole new light.
    Margot recently posted..Workout 120718: Too Early for Pleasantries

    • for this challenge we’re allowed to use oil and spices from home, along with flour and sugar- but we didn’t find out about those two until after we shopped so i don’t know if i’ll use them. so for this challenge no, it doesn’t factor in the cost of those items, which i agree can be a lot…especially olive oil!

  14. I love the idea of this challenge and do not understand why some people only think in the negative. What a sad way to live one’s life??!! As someone who grew up with a mother who could split her penny ten kinds of way to save money LOL I know how hard a challenge like this is. I try to budget myself well and eating healthy on top of that is hard but doable. Since I started my healthy lifestyle I have stayed in budget and only go over when I wanted something special or making a special recipe. You keep on trucking Lindsay! There are tons of families out there living below the poverty line who are having a hard time putting food on their tables and challenges like this will help them know even when its hard they can still feed their children well and nutritiously. I watched a special on the Food Network on this & it made me cry. Love this challenge… keep it up!!

  15. I love that you are doing this! Don’t worry about all the negative people – there’s always that group that will complain about everything. I don’t know if you have an Aldi’s in your area – it’s a great store with cheap food – including produce. The worst error I caught was a bulk item. The girl rang it up as loose tea instead of beans. $70 difference!! I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes. The hardest will be the fruit – it’s expensive and goes fast. Most people I know who really have to watch their budget use canned for a lot of it. Not as good but easier on the budget.
    Crystal @EatDrinkCleveland recently posted..Beat the Heat with Smoothies

  16. Wowww you’re impressively organized, and props for how much time you put into planning and estimating. In reality, we all should plan to some extent to get what we need and not end up with too much, too little, or duplicates.
    What strikes me the most is what you mention as those things you wouldn’t normally think about. “How many tomatoes are in a lb?” I’d have no idea either. I usually just buy 3 or 4 tomatoes and that’s that, forgetting about the scales that are at the supermarket. I might start raising my consciousness about these things to save some cash on my own.
    Thanks for the detailed description, Lindsay! I look forward to seeing how this food lasts you the week. Good luck
    Meredith @ DareYouTo recently posted..Stay Healthy through a Crisis

  17. I really like this challenge! Your strategy has opened my eyes – I never pay that close attention to things or measure anything while I’m there. I usually have a plan and just get what I need for that.
    Learning more about this challenge has made me want to give it a try on my own!
    Looking forward to reading tomorrows post!

  18. I think this is a GREAT challange. I hear that from people all the time, I can’t afford to eat healthy, I can’t afford not to run through the drive through. My fiance and I go to the store with a list and $70 all the time and have to get enough food to last us about a week and a half and we dont leave with anything unhealthy – except maybe for icecream. My sister is a nutritionist and she tells people it can be done as well. Haters gonna hate. This is a greeat challange girl!
    Jaren @ Kiwi Fit Blog recently posted..Marvelous in My Monday #6

  19. The only issue I have with these challenges are they’re done for a week. I don’t know about other states but where I’m from snap cards are loaded at the beginning of the month. And often times people do their bulk shopping for the month then. This leads to the possibility of large quantity items which are cheaper by the unit but are often over looked as ‘to expensive’ for the 1 week limit. To really understand the challenge it would have to be done for a month, with bulk items calculated in. That contain of oatmeal might be to much for the week but spread it’s use out over the month and it’s reasonable.

  20. I literally never use the scale in the grocery store. We did growing up, and I did in college when I was on a tighter budget, but I haven’t in years now. I guess it’s because if I want 3 tomatoes, I’m going to buy three tomatoes no matter how much they cost. Which is an insane luxury to have, and I know I’m lucky.

    I honestly have no idea how much I spend grocery shopping. I compare prices on the shelf, don’t buy a lot of “specialty” stuff, and rarely let anything go bad, so I just never sat down with a budget because it didn’t seem totally necessary. BUT that’s obviously also a luxury. I don’t *have* to let my diet be dictated by sales, so I usually don’t (if I want chicken I’ll buy chicken that’s on sale, but if I want chicken I probably won’t buy pork even if it’s cheaper). And because of that, I’m usually not 100% sure what the price is, and I never catch any mistakes at the register (like you said, I’ll check to make sure it rung up on sale or that it matches a sale sticker that’s on the package itself, but I wouldn’t catch unmarked fish that rung up on sale but at the wrong price).

    I’m going to bookmark this entry and compare it to my next shopping trip.
    Kelly Runs on Cake recently posted..Caramel Popcorn for Like, 15 Extra Calories or Something

  21. You did so much preparation for this–good for you! It’s fun following this challenge….I rarely pay attention to what my items ring up as, but I’ll definitely pay attention more now! It makes me wonder how many times their advertising and pricing at the register didn’t match up? :/
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..Wedding Pictures: Getting Ready

  22. I love this challenge. As someone who lives in a tight food budget (teacher pay in Oklahoma is terrible!), I have to watch what I buy carefully. For several months, I have been keeping a food price notebook so I can be more aware of how much food costs and I will know when it is really on sale. This has opened my eyes to the fact that I can afford more fresh produce than I thought I could though. I just have to budget a little better.
    Lisa @ experiencelifewithme recently posted..Recommitment

  23. I’m so impressed by how seriously and detailed you were about this. I actually somehow just heard what this challenge was last night. Until now, i thought it was fitness related! Ha…anyway, the grocery bill is a weekly cringe in our house. Usually between the two of us, we spend at least $150 every week. We justify it by saying we get really healthy stuff (which we do) but keep talking about hwo we need to learn how to use coupons (seems to be more a science to it to get the really good deals.) Anyway, this would be hard and I admire you for sticking with it. Lookin gofrward to follow ups!
    Ericka @ The Sweet Life recently posted..10 Daily Habits That Keep Me Healthy

  24. wow – you were so organized with this! nice work! haha, i can’t believe you did it all w/ pen & paper though. that’s crazy!

    i’m glad you addressed the negativity. it has been really frustrating to see what other bloggers have been going through with this challenge.

    the biggest mistake that i can think of that i caught was when someone rang up our zucchini as cilantro and it was over $15 for 3 zucchini. eep. that’s some expensive zucchini! haha.
    sarah @ sarah learns recently posted..week 6

  25. WOW… your dedication to this is amazing! I am very adamant in planning and making lists… but I think you beat me. ;) This is awesome! Congrats on doing this challenge and good for you for addressing the negativity. I think this takes a lot of courage and you are doing a great job. Can’t wait to see the creativity you incorporate into your meals! :D

  26. I always watch the register, especially on items that are marked down on the package.

    I don’t typically use the scale, since I now know how much my husband & I can eat in a week.

    While I’m not doing this challenge, I am following everyone who is. It has been a great reminder to me that I have been lazy in the past few months when it comes to grocery shopping on a budget. This week I am back on track though….time to put the extra money to paying off our truck! lol
    Maureen recently posted..{Almost} Back To Reality

  27. You did real good! Thanks for the tips…It’s a challenge to shop healthy on a budget but I’ll try!

  28. I love your take on this challenge and, honestly, never even thought about it in a negative light. I’m glad you brought up the point about people who live in so-called “food deserts,” though. Living where I live (suburbs now, and I’ve lived in a city with plenty of access to grocery stores), I sometimes forget the abundance of access to fresh food I have compared to people in other areas. There are more grocery stores and farmers’ markets than I can count within 15 minutes of me. But when all you have are convenience stores, produce especially is lacking.

    And I have noticed how much more expensive healthier foods can be. I’ve tried to maintain a pretty healthy diet since college, but lately I’ve been even more gung-ho about fresh produce, whole grains, preservative-free and natural products. And my grocery bills have been higher than ever before. But luckily I don’t (currently) have to watch each and every penny I spend.

    I think what you’re doing is great and an inspiration to anyone who wants to cut their food budget but still keep a clean, healthy diet. Keep it up and I look forward to following the rest of your progress!
    Alex @ Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Foodiness recently posted..WIAW: Snacking spree! And some catching up

  29. love this post! i just echo everything others have said… but kroger’s policy is to give you a refund for anything that does not ring up correctly. i do alot of my shopping at kroger, and i always do self check and watch like a hawk! at my kroger, the cashiers just tell you to go to customer service if there’s a problem. since produce often rings up incorrectly, i get free stuff all the time. it’s crazy to think about it this way, but if i let even a $3 overage go every week (say the peaches i bought were $1/lb on sale but regularly $2/lb…and i bought 3 lbs)… then that’s $156/year! don’t get me wrong, it’s not a grocery store conspiracy…just humans making human errors… but we aim to spend $50/wk on 2 of us with the occasional meal out or stock up trip, so every little bit counts!
    sarah k @ the pajama chef recently posted..Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Pineapple Black Bean Rice

  30. I think this is a very cool idea! Mario Batali recently did something similar (don’t know if you’ve already seen it) where he fed his family of four on a food stamp budget of $31 for a week. It was really eye opening! I definitely have to watch my grocery budget carefully since we live 100% on student loans, but it’s still nothing compared to the tiny budget that many across America deal with. Definitely reminds me to be thankful and mindful for being able to buy the food I want.
    Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife recently posted..WIAW: Anniversary Edition

  31. Um, you’re my idol. So much more organized than I was! ha ha. I was seriously stressing! So eye opening, but it is possible!
    Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile recently posted..A Peek Into My Grocery Haul

  32. I love this concept. I know that I have no idea how to grocery shop on that budget and I’m intrigued to see how others do it. It takes a lot more planning that even I do, and I am a big planner for grocery trips. Thanks for sharing your experiences and “how-to”s along the way. It’s a great way to step into someone else’s shoes, even just a little.
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..House in Progress

  33. I love this challenge, because, frankly, I feel like I spend way to much money on groceries. Over the last year or two the cost of things has definitely increased; I’ve kept track of the price of a gallon of milk (now between $5 and $6) and the bread we eat (from $2.50 2 years ago to $4.75 a loaf now).
    I’ll be watching to see how you (and the other bloggers) do it!
    Tamara recently posted..5 Easy Breakfast Ideas for the Time-Crunched

  34. Wow, you’re really taking the bull by the horns with this! I say kuddos to you, especially since you want to be a RD. It’s challenging enough to get people to change eating habits, but doing it on a budget is even more difficult.
    Jen @ ConcreteNCoffee recently posted..Concrete Workout – With Video!

  35. This is so eye opening!! I am not good about keeping up with my totals as i shop…but now…i’m totally going to plan a bit more after reading this!! Thank you for the tips!!

    Cheers
    ~ Jillian
    http://www.hersplitends.com

    * Check out the fab freebie going on at Her Split Ends!
    http://hersplitends.com/2012/07/18/giveaway-good-belly/
    Jillian {Her Split Ends} recently posted..{Giveaway!} – Good Belly

  36. I love the breakdown of how you did this. To be honest its not at all how I would have done it, and its awesome to see the different ways all you bloggers in this challenge tackled the shopping aspect!

    Glad you got picked. With all your recipe posts & going to school to become an RD as soon as I heard about it I was hoping you were selected!! :)
    Charlotte recently posted..Playlist Thursday: DANCE It Out

  37. love that you’re doing this and sharing so we can all learn something. :) anytime we can get a few tips on healthful meal or saving money is a plus for sure.

    I’ve tried to use the produce scales recently for cherries because I was trying to stick to my budget but really wanted Ranier cherries while they were available. Both times the scale said less than a pound, but when I got to the check out they weighed in at 1.5 lbs and the only thing the cashier would say was “oh those scales are never right, kids play with them.” I was so frustrated and ended up putting them back the first time. Why have 15 scales in the produce section if they’re not right?! Which reminds me I was going to email the store…

    anyway, THANK YOU for doing this. I look forward to reading more as you go along. :)
    susan in alaska recently posted..Spicy Black Bean and Corn Salad

  38. Way to be awesome Lindsay!
    Megan {Country Cleaver} recently posted..Summer Vegetable Pasta

  39. This is a pretty interesting challenge! I’m on a super tight budget and pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. My grocery budget for the month is 70$-80$ and it really isn’t that hard once you learn how to manage your expensive, buy what’s in season/ on sale and most importantly plan! Can’t wait to see what other meals you make! So far loving it :)

  40. Thanks for sharing your strategy, Lindsay! – This was clearly a lot of work and very well thought out. I do meal planning every week and find grocery shopping to be challenging enough without even worrying about the money. And there ALWAYS seems to be at least one error on the receipt – though I never seem to notice until I’m already at home :-(
    Diana @ VeggieNextDoor recently posted..Hidden Gems: Middle Eastern Bakery & Grocery

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  1. [...] read posts on two fellow bloggers (Lean Green Bean and Bess Be Fit)  sites about this challenge and I love the idea. I currently spend $150-$300 on [...]

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  2. [...] Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and Meghann at Meals and Miles are participating in the survive on $35 challenge – 10 [...]

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  3. [...] a breakdown of how I planned my meals for this challenge and recapped my trip to the grocery store. CLICK HERE to read that [...]

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