Pantry Challenge & Shopping Update – Penzey’s Spices & Kroger

Shopping with the $5 Dinner Mom

So we were gone all of last week.  And spent all of our “out to dinner” budget while we were away in Colorado Springs at the Savvy Blogging Summit.  And all other snacky foods we consumed (read, bought at gas stations) during the week came from our vacation budget.

Also, we were blessed with a bunch of snack and breakfast food that was leftover from my Dad.  He was there in Colorado Springs at the Savvy Blogging Summit too.  He (unlike his thrifty daughter) has an tendancy to overbuy at the grocery store…and this week, we reaped the benefit.  Thanks Dad! :)

So while we’re still on a pantry challenge month, I’m so grateful for the extra food from family and for the opportunity to be away for the week and not have to cook much.  But it’s still going to be tough to come in under $150…even being gone a week.  Time to get creative!!!

Pantry is full, freezers are still full…so here’s what shopping this week looks like…


Another light week as we continue on with the Summertime Pantry Challenge!

  • Almond Milk
  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Corn
  • Sweet Potatoes
    Total – $16.87

Penzey’s Spices

Toni forced me into the store. She raved, and raved…and I couldn’t not stop in.  The prices were very reasonable, and I could tell by smelling the different spices that they are high quality!

  • Almond Extract
  • Bouquet Garni
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Fajita Seasoning
  • Cake Spice
  • Celery Seed
  • Sweet Curry (It smells amazing!)
  • Total – $27.19

Total spent this week: $27.19 + $16.87 = $44.06

Total for the month: $76.79 + $44.06 = $120.85

Leaving me with just $30 for the farmer’s market and next week’s milk and bananas! ACK!

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

Check out what’s happening in the rest of the Summertime Pantry Challenge Gang’s Kitchens!!!


  1. Miranda says

    I love Penzey’s and they are worth the money. Sign up for their mailing list and you will get coupons in the mail with the catalog for one free spice.

  2. says

    I went into a Penzey’s last month when I was visiting family in Oregon. I loved it! I could have bought so many things. I was good though and only left with a few items, but what I have tried we loved.

  3. Denise says

    Are they online? I live in Maine, and we just have nothing here…uuggg!! I usually buy my spices at the dollar store but what I can get is really limited, altho it’s so much fun when they get something new in :). Love your blog, it’s really encouraging to me as I try to keep our food budget under control!

  4. Emily says

    Erin, my fave cake spice application? Grease your banana bread pan, then “flour” it with a mix of cake spice and granulated sugar. Dust the leftovers on top of the bread. Ah-may-zing! And, like the other ppl said, sign up for their catalog online. Not only do you get coupons for free spices, but the catalog is stuffed with awesome recipes – it’s one of my favorite “cookbooks”. :)

  5. Jill R. says

    I love, love, love Penzeys! So glad you discovered it. Like the previous posters have said, if you sign up for the mailing list, you will receive a great catalog full of recipes and often there’s a coupon for $5 off or a free spice jar. Also, on my last trip, the cashier told me that they will accept expired coupons — so don’t throw out your old coupons, save them for a future trip!

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