The $350 Budget – 11/12

Last week, I spent more than I wanted from our family’s $350 grocery budget.  This week was a little better.  We did not need many staples.  Plus, I found several really good prices on beef, pasta, and name-brand toilet paper.

We have many pounds of green bananas waiting to turn ripe on our counter right now.  The bananas I bought last week at Costco still have not turned, so it seemed ridiculous to purchase more this week.  It is hard to pass up on free, though, which is what I paid for my first two pounds of bananas at our local grocery store chain today.

We had two really awkward food incidents this week.  I became impatient with the green bananas from Costco a couple days ago and threw one in a fruit salad.  No one could eat it.  Even the dogs made gagging noises when we tried giving them the leftovers.

I also mistook a ten pound, frozen brick of potato segments from our food buying club for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Please try not to judge me.  The potatoes were not labeled, and when frozen they really did look like chicken.  You can sort of see it in the picture (under the eggs) from that $350 budget post here.

The “chicken” defrosted in the refrigerator for two days before I attempted to poach it.  I began wondering if it was maybe fish by the end of the first day, but I was still hopeful it was just strange looking chicken.  No dice.  When I disassembled the brick into the poaching water it was glaringly obvious that I was poaching potatoes.

I boiled and mashed said potatoes.  Then I made three batches of mashed freezer potatoes.  And I had a really good laugh at my own expense while I drastically altered my menu plan for the week.


You will notice I made a random purchase of citric acid this week.  This weekend, I plan to try making homemade dishwasher detergent.  Food grade citric acid is a key ingredient.

Last time I tried making homemade dishwasher detergent, the results were not so great.  I am hopeful this recipe will have better results.  If all goes well, I will post the recipe another day.

This week, I shopped at Costco, the Dollar Tree, Mills’ Fleet Farm, and one local grocery chain.

At the end of today’s post, you’ll see our weekly menu plan.

Local Chain #1:

I had an operator error with my camera, so there is no picture for this one.

  • Toilet paper (24 double rolls), $7.16 after coupons and tax
  • Cookie mix (17.5 oz.), Spaghetti (2 lb.), Pasta sauce (7.5 lb.), Peanut butter (4 lb.), $11.41 after coupons
  • Apple juice (64 oz.), free after coupons
  • Tuna (50 oz.), Ground beef (6 lb.), $18.08
  • Bananas (2.22 lb.), Cabbage (2.09 lb.), Baby carrots (2 lb.), Cucumber, Romaine lettuce (2), $7.93 after coupons and Checkout 51 rebate on lettuce
  • Greek yogurt (5.3 oz.), $0.80
  • Total: $45.38


shopping at costco saving money

  • Lactose-free milk (1.5 gal.), Skim milk (1 gal.), $10.11
  • Peanuts (5 lb.), Craisins (64 oz.), $14.38
  • Cottage cheese (3 lb.), Eggs (3 doz.), $10.48
  • Total: $34.97

Mills’ Fleet Farm:

homemade dish detergent frugal living

  • Citric acid (5 oz.), $2.94
  • Total: $2.94

Dollar Tree:

dollar tree groceries on a budget

  • Pinto beans (4 lb.), Black beans (2 lb.), $4.00
  • Tortillas (3 lb.), $3.00
  • Total: $7.00

Grand Total: $86.29

Month Total: $197.32

I probably will not need to go to Costco next week.  We have $156.00 left to spend from the $350 budget for the month.  I will set aside $21.00 for our food buying club.  The remaining $135.00 will be divided between the last two weeks of the November.


Toast, Bacon & egg biscuits, Eggs & fried potatoes, Cottage cheese, Granola with fruit, Pancakes, Juice


Quesadillas, Tuna salad, Buttered noodles, Sandwiches, Yogurt, Fruit & veggies


Rice & beans, lettuce salad

Spaghetti with lentils, mixed fruit salad

Bratwurst, mashed potatoes, lettuce salad

Hamburgers, coleslaw, carrrots

Beefy rice, lettuce salad, cucumbers

Cheeseburger soup, crackers, lettuce salad

Chicken & broccoli lo mein, dried fruit

How do you keep your grocery budget in check?  What are you eating this week?