There are times when you basically run out of everything in your fridge and pantry and have to do a total grocery haul and restock trip. Maybe it's after vacation. Could be after you're recovering from the plague. Or sometimes the stars just align and everything runs out at once. (Whyyyyyy???)
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Regardless of the reason, it is possible to get everything that you need to restock your kitchen essentials while also staying within budget. Come follow along with me and see how I did it! Plus, you'll get a little BTS of my thought process when it comes to planning your meals for a busy week.
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Click HERE to watch the video online, or keep scrolling to watch my grocery haul for the week:
Whew, what a grocery haul, am I right?! Are you tired just thinking about putting all of those groceries away? If not, then keep on scrolling to get a quick recap! :)
HOW TO DO YOUR WEEKLY GROCERY HAUL
They key to staying within your budget is to know your prices and only go to one store per week. Some stores are better for different items. For me, Walmart is better for stocking up on fresh and pantry items. Whereas Costco is better for stocking up on prepackaged lunch items, bulk items and cleaning supplies.
Since I'll only go to one store per week, then I'll rotate between the two. One week, I'll go to Walmart and stock up on those items. Then the next week, I'll go to Costco to restock on those items. I'll continually rotate each week and I don't usually have to worry about running out of anything that way!
Also, Walmart Grocery Pickup is life! Having them do your shopping for you makes it so convenient and really helps to keep those impulse buys at bay. You place your order on your phone, set a pick up time, then they load your groceries for you. Get $10 off your first purchase of $50 and be amazed at how life-changing it is for you! (And if you can't get out of the house, then let InstaCart do your shopping for you and deliver it right to your door!)
THIS WEEK'S GROCERY HAUL
I rarely will cook a recipe that I have to go out and buy specific things for. I cook using what I have on hand (hello, shelf cooking!) so that I never have one random ingredient just sitting around that won't ever get used again. Then, I make big grocery haul trips like this where I stock up on my essential food items and replenish my stores.
Your goal should be to buy ingredients that you can make many meals out of! Here are the typical food items that I always try to keep on hand…
- We get “adult” grain bread (that's a little more expensive) and “kid” bread. I also make my own bread when I have the time.
- Bagels for breakfast and lunch.
- Tortillas to make breakfast burritos, tacos, and to have on hand.
- French bread is a really cheap and versatile option. It freezes well wrapped in foil. I like to keep it on hand to make baked Italian sandwiches, pizza, or to go with pasta. I also make my own!
- Potatoes are a super inexpensive, hearty side that store really well.
- Sweet potatoes are always good for a quick and healthy side. I poke them with a fork and cook them in the Instant Pot on manual high for 15 minutes.
- Asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, spinach/arugula mix, lettuce, mushrooms, green beans, cilantro, and butternut squash are all good for quick snacks or healthy sides.
- Buy more than you need (as long as it's within budget) so that you have extra for additional meals.
- As I've mentioned before, don't buy pre-diced fruit and veggies. It's so much cheaper to chop them yourself.
- Almond milk for my baby who is lactose intolerant. (Usually I would've stocked up on milk as well, but we still had a few gallons left.)
- Box of 60 eggs for make-ahead breakfasts for the week.
- Cream cheese for breakfast. I always buy the double pack because it freezes well.
- Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil for caprese salad or pizza. Usually, I'll buy a herb window plant for inexpensive fresh herbs that will grow back. Unfortunately, the store was out of them.
- Fruit salad ingredients – frozen raspberries, whipped cream, cottage cheese, and sugar-free jello.
- Canned fruit makes a quick and easy side. We always keep mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks on hand in the pantry.
- I always, always keeps my pantry stocked with canned goods. During this week's grocery haul, I got refried beans, kidney beans, peas, green beans, corn, black beans, and green chilies.
- Cornmeal makes the best and cheapest cornbread, which is a quick and easy side for various meals.
- Lunch snacks and treats. I usually buy these at Costco, but I was completely out of them. Our rule of thumb is if it's in a package, you can't eat it at home. We'll also buy snacks in bulk, and then put them in our own individual containers and baggies.
- Rice is a great thing to buy in bulk. I keep a small container handy and refill as it gets low.
- Grape energy sticks are liiiiife! I'm not a big soda drinker, but I drink these with water when I need a pick me up. I mix it with some collagen peptides and call it good.
Since it's Cadbury Mini Eggs season, I buy multiple bags and freeze them. I'll stock up even more if there's any left after Easter and they get marked down. They're my absolute favorite candy, plus they make the best chocolate chip cookies!
Are you wondering why you don't see any meat sitting on my counter? I buy my meat in bulk, so I rarely have to buy any on my normal shopping trips. I stock up when meat is on sale and freeze it. This really helps you to save so much money! You can go see how I keep it all organized in my freezer tour. I have multiple that I go through and you can see all the different things that I freeze to make them last longer there.
TOTAL GROCERY HAUL AMOUNT
My total this week was $258! That's really good considering all of the fresh produce, restock items and prepackaged lunch items that I got. Our normal weekly budget for our family of 8 is $200. I hardly ever go over budget, I'm actually usually under every week because I only buy the necessities. So I'm okay with going over a little bit for a major grocery haul trip like this!
HOW I'M MEAL PLANNING WITH THIS GROCERY HAUL
I use my Productivity Planner to plan my meals for the week. I look over what all we have going on, then figure out our meals based off of our schedule.
This week, we're having:
- Taco soup, pico salsa, and my favorite cornbread that's ready to eat in 20 minutes!
- Spaghetti, meat sauce, meatballs (I plan on doubling and freezing some for later!), salad, and homemade french bread.
- Something using chicken, I'm not sure what that will be yet. It's totally okay to say what protein you're going to use and then figure out what you need to use up that day.
- One or two leftovers nights. Leftovers make dinner so much easier on those busy nights and they're great for when you need a break from cooking, too!
- Pizza is always a Friday thing for us! We usually keep frozen pizzas on hand for this.
- We are having friends over one night this week. I'm waiting until I get closer to them coming before I figure out what I have left from the week that needs to get used up.
And that's that! Now that you've seen my grocery haul, how would YOU make meals for the week? Let me know in the comments and let's all share our different ideas!
Looking for more?
- Only have $25 to spend for the week on groceries? Come see how I can feed my family of 8 on the cheap!
- Get some great tips on how to save on your groceries without clipping coupons!
- Come dive in to some common budgeting dilemmas and how meal planning will save your sanity in the kitchen!
Happy hauling, Freebs!