This Week’s Shopping Trip

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on October 4, 2011

Shopping with the $5 Dinner Mom

I’m not quite sure why the shopping trips posts fell by the wayside in September, but they did. And now they’re back!

Also, I’m not sure if it’s the rising prices in food, the extra snacks that I have to send to school everyday, or the boys just growing up, but the grocery budget was getting pinched out these past few months…so we decided to up it to $80/week for now…to see if that’s a better number for our growing family!

The more expensive dairy free products like the almond milk, special cheese for grilled cheeses, and special dairy free/soy free margarine that I use for the boys sure puts a dent into the overall budget each month. But I’ll still be challenged to keep the weekly spending to $80 a week now!

Also, picked up the ingredients for the homemade dishwashing detergent. I mixed up a tiny portion before even unloading the groceries because we had a PILE in the sink and a full load waiting to be run. I wanted to get it going straight away so I could get things cleaned up in the kitchen after unloading groceries and fixing lunch!

In addition to what you see below, I picked up 2 bottles of $2.49 olive oil from CVS, using the $1.50 coupon from Red Plum Dash the other day. This is included in the total below.


Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

  • Borax – $3.09
  • Super washing soda – $3.89
  • Lemonade, sugar free, drink mix – $2.04
  • Lemi-Shine, rinse aid – $5.29
  • Epsom salts (I already had an almost full bag for soaking after long training runs. I didn’t buy a new one for this.)


We had quite a bit of produce leftover from last week, so I just got some bananas, strawberries, sweet potatoes and frozen veggie mixes.


This week was a big meat sale, so I stocked up…

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pkg ground round
  • 1 large pkg pork chops (3 meals worth for us!)

Manager’s Specials

  • Windex refill

Total spent at Kroger & CVS: $82.84

(Thankfully I had enough change left in my coin purse to not have to break into the other cash envelopes!)

Total for the month: $82.84

My grocery store’s ad scan and my “Shopping FAQ!”

Thanks to Andrea at Savings Lifestyle and Marcy at Stretching a Buck for posting the best deals and coupon matchups at my stores each week! Find the coupon match-ups for your grocery store at The Frugal Map!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise October 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

Nice! I’m still making do on $40-50 a wk w/7 of us, but we don’t have any special needs. (Thank goodness!!) I love reading your posts -so many good ideas, and healthy! Last night for supper we had a potato bar w/garlic bread. It was really good and really cheap. We’ll be doing that again, early and often. It was a hit with everyone :) I got the potatoes for $5/20lbs at a farm stand.


Michelle October 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Denise, That is awesome. We are going to be a family of 7 in the spring. I so wish I could spend $40-$50 a week for groceries.


Blanca October 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Yeah, you go Denise! Between my gluten,corn,soy,green beans, & almond allergy & my husband’s diabetes….it doesnt seem possible to spend $50 a week on 2 let alone 7. I am going to start reading this blog more, because I know it IS possible.


Lynn October 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Denise, I’m a family of 7 (8 when my college son is home for the weekend). What are you feeding your family and do you have any menus you can post?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

Good for you Denise! Great find on those potatoes! And love that you found a new favorite meal!


Amy October 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

Did the homemade dish detergent work? Curious. I have used homemade laundry soap in the past. I use it sometimes now but not all the time. With little kids the clothes are pretty filthy that I need a good detergent to get them clean. I am very interested in the dish detergent recipe.
Thanks for all that you do!


Amanda October 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

i use all my own homemade cleaning supplies, including laundrey and dish soap, the dish soap recipes are a good guide but the amounts need to be adjusted according to how hard or soft your water is, and how old your dishwasher is. i also use citric acid that i order from my soap supply company in replace of the coolaid and lemon shine, it is cheaper that way. i use my laundry soap on 4 very active kids. i pre treat them ith some homemade soap jelly.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

Thanks for that tip Amanda…I am starting to see how using the lemon shine will not make this much cheaper!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 5, 2011 at 9:41 am

So far so good…only had to rewash one thing…but it was “too caked on” before it went into the dishwasher.


Dana October 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I love those Garden of Eatin chips! I always have a bag of the multigrain tortilla chips at my desk at work :)


Becky, in GA October 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I too would love to hear about your feelings regarding the dishwasher detergent. I use homemade soap regularly and have for years now. I add a vinegar rinse and have recently added all-color bleach to boost (we have high mineral content so whites are tough to keep white). Since I have the most of the ingredients, the dishwasher detergent sounds great, as long as the dishes come CLEAN. I hate rewashing.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

So far, I’ve only had 1 thing that needed rerinsing…and that was likely because it was “too caked on” before it went into the dishwasher…otherwise, I’ve been happy with this combination!


Jennifer October 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm

How do you do 40 – 50 a week for a family of 7. I am a family of 5 an thats not happening here in Florida. Does your store double cp?


Kelly GA October 5, 2011 at 11:58 am

I feel for you. My family of 7 just returned from a trip to FL. I brought all of our food except the produce. I figured it would be cheaper in FL… Boy was I wrong! A small watermelon was 8.99 :(


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 6, 2011 at 8:11 am

oh wow…that’s over twice as much as here for the watermelon! And smart to bring your own food…I do that when we travel too!


nany October 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm

i am so trying to learn how to shop monthly and keep it to the less bottom and i have a house of 11 now so i wish i could do this plus i buy monthly do to Walmart being so far from me.


alexis October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

thanks for bringing this post back!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 5, 2011 at 9:37 am

you’re welcome :)


Kathie Townson October 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Just FYI…Food Lion has roast on sale for $2.69/lb which is almost 1/2 price. Going to make the slow cooker roast tomorrow from this week’s meal plan!


Shelly October 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

You can get the Lemi Shine a few dollars cheaper at Walmart. I use it in my dishwasher due to my hard water and just bought some at Walmart yesterday (in the Dayton, OH area) for $3.66. Also I have found that Borax and Washing Soda are a little cheaper at Walmart versus Kroger. I paid $2.98 for Borax and $3.24 for Washing Soda last time I bought them. I also use the Fels Naptha soap in my laundry detergent and it is $.97 at Walmart. So next time it may be worth it for you to stop in at Walmart to get these things. I may try the recipe for dish detergent you posted since I have all that stuff on had at home already.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

Thanks for the tip Shelly…I’ll have to stop in sometime! Great to know!


Chrissy October 6, 2011 at 8:02 am

I have a child that is lactose intolerant and it is so expensive for the lactose free products for her that I have to make sure I up my budget also a month. It is hard when you have a child or children that have to have lactose free things….

I get coupons from those products simply by writing the company and telling them we use their products and like them… they usually send coupons back as a thank you and that helps the budget a little….


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 6, 2011 at 8:08 am

Good for you Chrissy! I’ve done the same. But yes…it’s just more expensive! But worth every cent to keep our kids healthy!


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