$40 Weekly Grocery Budget Challenge - Healthy By Heather Brown

$40 Weekly Grocery Budget Challenge

$40 Weekly Grocery Budget Challenge by popular Alabama lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved

The hubs and I are house shopping. In case you are wondering what that has to do with the $40 weekly grocery budget challenge, let me fill you in. We had one of “those” budgeting discussions this week. The one you dread, but you know is good.

With that said, I took it upon myself to make our weekly grocery budget $40/week for a few weeks. Between my love for a good deal, the challenge of the competition with myself, Winn Dixie’s help, and the motivation to save for a home, furniture, and moving expenses, it was game on!

I have to put in a disclaimer here that Eric is very appreciative of my meal planning and weekly grocery budget shopping each week and knows our budget for groceries is abnormally small anyway. We usually spend $60-70/week on groceries by shopping the sales and I kept this principle in mind this week but also relied heavily on planning meals around what we had in our pantry.

Before we dive into my tips for this $40 grocery budget challenge, I have to share another resource with you! MoneyCrashers has a comprehensive guide with over 20+ tips for saving money on groceries! Many of these tips I talk about in my Meal Planning For The Busy Mom Ebooks but several were NEW to me! Click HERE to read their awesome ideas and start saving money today! 



Here’s how we spent under $40 on our weekly grocery budget this week:

1. We used up ingredients in our pantry and freezer.

2. We bought based on what was on sale ONLY.

3. We went without some things we’d normally buy.

4. My co-workers and I split groceries each week and contribute to salads and such throughout the week for lunch.

5. We bought a portion of a cow several months ago and ate off of that.

6. I used up meat I had frozen while it was on stock up, low price like frozen chicken tenderloins.

7. I always buy extra frozen vegetables, nut butters, and nuts when they are on stock up price!

8. I spent a large chunk of my allotted cash for deli meat that was on sale so the hubs would have something hearty for lunches. He also enjoys crunchy peanut butter and honey sandwiches for a frugal variation.

9. I planned out my meals for the week ahead of time based on what was on sale in the weekly flyer.

10. We’re not picky eaters and got creative with the options we had in our cupboard!

Here’s what we had for our meals for the week:

Breakfast each day: Banana & all-natural peanut butter or a protein shake

Lunch: Salads or Chicken and veggies for me and turkey sandwiches for the hubs

Snacks: Nuts, protein shakes, juices, fruit, popcorn, whole wheat toast, Hummus/Lentil/Quinoa Chips (some of this is at our offices)

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner: Scrambled eggs & Whole Wheat Waffles (already had on hand)

Monday: Steaks (from the freezer) and Mixed Baby Kale Salad

Tuesday: Frozen Pizza & Fresh Fruit (Splurge meal! It was on sale for around $4 and I couldn’t resist the deal.)

Wednesday: Chicken Salad with Green Beans and couscous (canned chicken was on sale and couscous was in our pantry)

Thursday: Whole Wheat Pasta with Olive Oil, Red Pepper Flakes, Sea Salt & Broccoli (Had everything on hand, broccoli from the freezer)

Friday: Dinner with family for brother-in-law’s birthday

Saturday: Zoe’s (Coupon for 1/2 of a sandwich from their mobile app)

Want to know how I did on the $40 Weekly Grocery Budget Challenge? $35.99!!!!! Yes, I even had room to spare!

I polled my FB followers for some more frugal meal ideas and here are some of their suggestions: American Chop Suey from Lysska B. (ground beef, spaghetti sauce, and elbow macaroni. You brown the ground beef, drain and add spaghetti sauce. Mix in cooked macaroni.), Ramen noodles with leftover beef and green onions from Alexa S., and wheat or gluten-free pasta with any roasted veggies and a touch of EVOO, sea salt and pepper topped with parmesan cheese from Tiffany B, One Pot Pasta from Lauren L., Egg scramble with LOTS of whatever veggies are in the fridge … served with fruit and bacon if we have any from Rachel E., Hot dog hash (Chop up turkey hot dogs and cook in a skillet. Throw in a can of diced tomatoes and cook on low for 10 min. Doesn’t sound good, but it is so yummy!!!) from Katie T., lots of Mexican and spaghetti variations, Chicken/Shrimp paella from Kate W.

$40 Weekly Grocery Budget Challenge by popular Alabama lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved

If you want more of my meal planning tips and ways to eat healthy on a budget, make sure you read my Meal Planning Series and make sure you sign up for my email newsletter in the sidebar or at the top of my site to get the Clean Eating Pantry Staples list!

What’s your favorite frugal meal? Bonus points if it’s healthy.

Check Out More Meal Planning Posts HERE

Heather Brown helps busy mamas of young littles who are caught in the hustle to find encouragement in their journey to true health, from the inside out, starting with the heart. Read her journey of learning to live a life well-loved HERE!


  1. May 20, 2015 / 8:52 am

    Great tips! I need to set up a challenge like this for myself. I feel like I spend way too much on groceries. My favorite frugal meal is probably taco salad. I usually use less ground beef (save a 1/2 pound for another meal) and add low-sodium black beans, which are filling and add fiber. My hubby likes the crunch of tortilla chips, but I try to use more lettuce, then you can add any veggies you want and a little Cheddar cheese (which I always have on hand for scrambled eggs, etc.). I tend to avoid sour cream (more calories/fat), but avocado is a healthy add-on that isn’t too expensive.

  2. May 20, 2015 / 10:14 am

    I have a family of 4 so $40 isn’t a lot for us, BUT we do have times when we eat what we have and there is no telling what kind of dinner we might have! I went to Sprout’s almost 2 weeks ago and spent $88 and we are still eating on it, plus what I had in the freezer and pantry, so I guess you could say we almost got down to $40 for a week!

  3. May 21, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    This was exactly what I needed to read, I just had a baby 4 months ago and have gone part time and now we are really sticking to a budget and trying to save our pennies. Babies are expensive.
    xx, Michelle

    • Heather
      May 25, 2015 / 6:34 pm

      Michelle, comments like that make my day! I truly hope it helps you save and that you can report back how you did. Let me know if you have any questions!

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