Feeding Your Family for $50 – Final Week of the Grocery Challenge

This is the final week of our February Grocery Challenge. In case you’ve not joined us this month, let me quickly catch you up to speed.

I’ve been hearing from so many readers and viewers (from our YouTube channel) that they are incredibly frustrated with the rising cost of groceries. They know they need to keep a well-stocked emergency pantry, but feel that would mean doubling their grocery budget to stockpile enough food.

They are torn between feeding their family this week and setting shelf-stable food aside for the future.

If that’s you, then stick with me. This series was designed with you in mind. What if you didn’t have to make a choice? What if you could feed your family every week and stock your pantry – without adding a dime to your budget?

All month long, I’ve been feeding my family of four for $50 a week and showing viewers and readers how they can shop for healthy food, while spending less money.

After that, you can take the money you save and buy non-perishable items to stock or re-stock your home pantry.

To see me show this week’s grocery haul, discuss the menu plan, and answer viewer questions about saving on groceries, watch this video.

This week’s menu plan begins with a grocery haul from Aldi and the Mediterranean Mart, our favorite local ethnic food store.

We began our shopping trip at Aldi, where we re-stocked some staples, like: salsa, saltine crackers, pickles, and barbecue sauce. The four-pound bags of apples and oranges were the Super Saver items of the week and were priced at $3.98 per bag. The cucumbers were on sale for 59¢ each, while the carrots and celery were full price.

Heading to the Mediterranean Mart, we bought one avocado for 50¢ and three beautiful, big, red peppers for 99¢ each.

The total for this shopping trip was $23.40.

Unexpected Blessings

After church on Sunday, our food bank director announced that the food bank had a lot of perishable items, which were left over after her regularly scheduled distribution day.

Rather than throw them out, she set the items at the back of the sanctuary and asked each of the parishioners to take something on their way out the door. She handed us a loaf of bread, two quarts of strawberries, and four bags of potatoes!

This would explain why potatoes are definitely featured on this week’s menu.

The Menu Plan

I used the items from the grocery haul along with items from my pantry and freezer to create this week’s menu. Our grown kids are coming over twice this week, along with their girlfriends. So, that will mean making a few more burgers and side dishes to feed a crowd.

Planning the menus, and staying within my $50 spending limit, has become easier as the month has progressed. This week, I’m able to add perishable items left over from the first three weeks of the challenge to this week’s grocery haul, significantly lowering my overall cost.

Here’s what the finished menu plan looks like.

Ingredients from the Pantry and Freezer

As always, I like to let you know what items I used from my pantry and freezer this week. I added the average price I paid for each item to the total cost of this week’s menu plan.


Check out those beautiful berries on our oatmeal this week! As always, for our breakfasts we rotated between oatmeal, cream of wheat, and corn cereal.

Boxed cereal is reserved for Sunday night dinner, since I don’t cook on that day. The treat of a bowl (or two) of prepared cereal once a week makes for easy eating, serving, and clean up.

Main Dishes

Salads and Sides


Total Cost of This Week’s Menu

What’s on Your Menu?

Let me know what’s cookin’ in your kitchen this week. Tell me in the comments.

10 thoughts on “Feeding Your Family for $50 – Final Week of the Grocery Challenge”

  1. I wanted to let you know that this monthly series has been so helpful to me! I have been using a lot of the recipes as I am a vegan as well. Back in December was when we noticed our grocery budget had gotten out of control with the rising prices and items being difficult to find. We have managed to reduce our budget from $540 to $350 and now for February to $250 despite shopping at regular grocery stores. I’m sure if I can find a place to get bulk pantry items I can save quite a bit more. Thanks for all your ideas!

  2. Hi Hope, I really love your and Larry’s YouTube channel and find it has reignited the enthusiasm I have for always working on this category of our budget. It can be so wearing! I am just wondering, I did hear you all say you sometimes have cold cereal on Sundays. Do you buy it in bulk or is it factored into your weekly budget somewhere else? I am asking because my kids are snacking me out of my budget each week and cold cereal is one of the culprits! Peace and Love, Tina

    • We usually buy the cereal once a month at Aldi. We get the cheapest thing we can find. Sometimes we score a really good price on cereal at Kroger – especially if we have a manufacturer coupon to lower the price even more.

  3. I find this particular week very interesting because you not only kept in budget but you did so with company celebrating with you, as well. The recipe for beet burgers is one that we would like to try (Larry has raved about them before) My question is, did you include the red grapes in your mixture as the recipe states? It seems like a rather strange addition to me but if you think they are necessary, we will buy some. Thank you for your wonderful series!

  4. Hope & Larry, Thanks so much for this series. The $50 meal plans are my favorite posts of yours. They are so helpful in my own meal planning and grocery budgeting.

  5. Hi Hope,
    do you all keep track of each item’s prices in book when you shop? I’m assuming so as you have such an accurate price breakdown when shopping from your pantry and such. Would you mind clarifying this.

    • I don’t track everything I buy. Since for the most part, I buy primarily what is on sale, clearance, or markdown, the most important things to me are items that I regularly buy and are willing to pay full price. All of our bulk food items are tracked, so I know how much the price has increased since the last time I bought them. I also periodically track flour, sugar, plant-based milk, canned goods, and a few other items.


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