Recap: October Grocery Challenge

kabocha avocado kale october challengeI don’t know why but this year the time change has really thrown me right off schedule.  Absolutely nothing, except my run, got done yesterday and Edith’s naps and our meals and everything were just way off. Anyways it has also thrown my mornings off when I normally work so I have been lagging on getting this (and many other) posts out. So anyways lets get down to it.

So last month I wrote about a food spending challenge that I had set out for our family.  We challenged ourselves to spend no more than $825 and it was broken down like this:

  • Groceries: 84 meals at $5 per meal +Coffee/Alcohol/Chocolate/Snacks + Oil/Spices = $550
  • 9 meals out + Coffee Out =  $275 (mini goal $200)

Now for some of you $825 may still have seemed like a lot but since we had been spending closer to $1000+ on everything. I know crazy. So now the question is did we succeed?


It feels so good to actually tell you that yes I actually successfully completed one of my challenges.

We even had a date night in which is why we didn’t meet our mini dining out goal but overall we did really well.

So how did we do it:

  • Menu Planning. I tried my best to create a menu for the week and a shopping list and buy only what was on my list and to stick to the plan as close as possible.
  • Shop Deals. I really shopped the sales and swapped out ingredients when I was able to for less expensive ones.
  • Dine out at Happy Hour. This nice thing about Portland is that most places have happy hour from 4-6 and sometimes later and since having a toddler means we turn into old people eating dinner at 5/5:30pm works for us. This means less expensive drinks and eats for the whole family!
  • Chinook Book (or any local discount book). In Vermont we used to buy deals on Localvore Today and yearly we bought a Buy Local Coupon book. Out here in Portland we buy the Chinook Book app that we can use right from our phone. Both have local deals at restaurants, coffee shops, stores and other local businesses. We are able to support local businesses while also saving money!


Dining out actually feels like a treat and more FUN! We have really cut back on meals out that are just out of laziness and are focusing on going out for a treat. Now when we do go out to eat we really enjoy the family time and get more out of the experience.

We have been going to the grocery store less.  Before when we were going out to eat so often we were also going to the market all the time. I mean like almost every day. CRAZY. Now we go on one big grocery trip and then mid/end of the week we might pick up a few things because I seem to always forget my list or forget to get everything on my list even when i do bring it.

I want to keep with it. Now I want to keep with eating the majority of our meals at home however the one change I will be making is I might spend a little more here and there on ingredients that are a little fresher. I found we ate a lot more frozen veggies, beans and grains and I would rather be eating more fresh vegetables.

How do you save money while still eating well?


  1. I totally agree with meals out being great as a treat rather than just for convenience. I save money, throw less food away, and appreciate meals out more.

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