$400 Budget Update – 6/15

It is our last week of relative calm before the summer activities begin.  Saxophone lessons started yesterday, and the kids have been to the pool a couple times.  But next week begins rounds of dance lessons, camp, youth group trips, and swimming lessons that will come and go until mid August.

I have really enjoyed the ability to relax and breathe a bit, but the return to some sort of schedule next week will be welcome, too.  Our family thrives on routine.

If you are new to my weekly budgeting posts, you can catch the original story here.  And if you have been reading our blog for a while, you know that our family lives pretty frugally.  A budget serves us well.  Groceries and household purchases are relatively easy to purchase at rock-bottom prices with a little practice and dedication.  That being said, even our family knows our limits.  Due to lifestyle changes (the kids are getting bigger and I am heading back to college this academic year) and dietary needs (gluten and dairy intolerances), the time has come to increase the monthly budget once again.

Two years ago, we operated on a $350 per month grocery and household budget.  Now we work with $400.  Beginning this July, we will shift to $450 a month instead.  Fifty dollars may seem like nothing (or a whole lot) depending on your individual circumstances.  For us, it will mean a little more time-saving convenience in the choices we make at the store.

This week, while we are still operating with a $400 budget, I shopped at a few stores: CVS, Walmart, Costco, and two local chains (one of them twice).  As always, our weekly menu is listed at the end of the post.

Local Chain #1 (first trip):

  • Salsa (32 oz.), Spaghettios (15.6 oz.), Applesauce (48 oz.), Bear cookies (12 oz.), $6.54 after coupon
  • Chicken kit (2.5 lb.), Eggs (2 doz.), Milk (1 gal.), Almond milk (0.5 gal.), $8.03 after coupon
  • Corn (1 doz.), Potatoes (5 lb.), Bananas (1.79 lb.), Asparagus (1.68 lb.), Apples (1.81 lb.), Mushrooms (8 oz.), Watermelon (1), Lettuce (1), Spinach (10 oz.), Tater tots (2 lb.), $19.89 after coupons and Checkout 51 rebates
  • Total: $34.46

Local Chain #1 (second trip):

  • Corn tortillas (25 oz.), $1.98
  • Total: $1.98

Local Chain #2:

  • Corn (24 oz.), Mixed veggies (12 oz.), Green beans (24 oz.), $2.45
  • Total: $2.45


  • Tortilla chips (40 oz.), Milk (1 gal.), Dish detergent (135 oz.), Almond milk (1.5 gal.), Popcorn (46 oz.), Hummus (2 lb.), $34.75 after tax and Ibotta rebate
  • Total: $34.75


  • Pasta (2 lb.), Gluten free pasta (2 lb.), Gluten free pretzels (8 oz.), $7.42
  • Total: $7.42


  • Toothpaste (11.6 oz.), Maxi pads (15 ct.), $7.08 after coupons, tax, and Checkout 51 rebate
  • Total: $7.08, plus I earned $4.00 in Extrabucks for my next shopping trip!

Grand Total: $88.04

Total for June: $283.44

We have $116.56 to get through the rest of the month.  It isn’t an awesome remaining balance, and it illustrates why we need an extra fifty bucks.  With careful sale shopping and extra attention to the food we already have on hand, we should be fine.


Cereal, toast, Homemade Granola, pancakes, fruit


Rice & beans, eggs & crackers, sandwiches, quiche, burritos, quesadillas, fruits & veggies


Homemade Mac & Cheese, peas, salad

Baked beans with beef, biscuits, melon

Chicken nuggets, Homemade Bread, apples, green beans

Egg burritos, tater tots, applesauce

Chicken gravy over potatoes, lettuce salad, bread

Hamburgers on Homemade Buns, potato salad, melon

Leftovers (x1)

What is on the menu at your house this week?  Let me know in an email or comment below!