August, 2017, $100 Grocery Challenge and Menu Plan


August is a month of plenty for me.  My garden is growing rapidly, fruit is available everywhere, and my freezers are getting fuller and fuller each week.  I’ve decided to see if I can be more purposeful in utilizing the food I have on hand, rather than buying more.  So, I’ve decided to do a $100/month grocery challenge.  It should be quite easy to do, with the abundance of food on hand, and because I was gone for 1/3 of the month.  We took quite a bit of food with us, not knowing if there would be things I could eat, and we used some of it, but there were foods I could have much of the time, so I brought a bunch of mine home with me.  For several days, I enjoyed authentic Mexican food, cooked by the ladies of the church where we were helping!  Yum!!!


My brother-in-law asked them all about the ingredients, etc., as he is fluent in Spanish, and I ate the foods that I could.  Much of it was corn-based, which is not a problem for me.   I did not get sick at all from those daily lunch meals.   Amazing.  Eating fast food on the way home—a different story.  It never seems to agree with me, even when I try to be careful.

After returning from my trip to Mexico, I went to the store and spent $47 on things like milk, etc.  So, that leaves me with $53 for the rest of the month.  I may not even need to spend it all–I’ll see.  I know I’m good for the rest of this week, for sure.

I will use the remaining grocery budget to buy apples and pears to process.  I’m completely out of applesauce, and have been for quite a while, so I want to can quite a few jars.  I don’t need very many pears, but want to do a few, and would like to make some fruit cocktail from peaches, pears, grapes and maraschino cherries.  Sometimes, I put pineapple in it as well, and usually buy a large can and add it in.  I hope to get some Elberta peaches from my sister to can, when they ripen.

Here’s what I’m planning to serve this week:

Sunday: Sandwiches:  We used up sandwich meat from our trip for our noon meal.  We wanted to finish the meat and cheese up rapidly so it wouldn’t spoil.  It was well-iced the entire time, but still….

Monday:  Spaghetti.  I pulled ground pork from the freezer and browned it with onions and celery.  I used 1/2 of it for spaghetti sauce.  There is a lot of sauce left over.  I served it with sautéed purple beans I picked from the garden.  They turn green when I cook them.  I added garlic to them at the last minute–yum!  I also put out cut up cucumbers from the garden.  There is enough sauce to freeze some for next week, plus eat leftovers for lunch.

Tuesday:  Chili.  Patsy is starving for chili, and asked me to make some.  I put pinto beans on to soak yesterday, and will use the rest of the pork I browned to make chili in the crock pot.  I see that there is lettuce in the garden, and I hope to cut some and have salad as well.  I could not get to everything yesterday and there is much to do in the garden!  However, we are gaining on the laundry:)  I will make a big batch and freeze some for next week.  I soaked a LOT of beans, so will cook up some plain as well to use later in the week, or next week.

Wednesday:  Chicken.  I plan to roast a whole chicken.  The weather is much cooler this week.  If Rob gets a bee in his bonnet, he may barbecue it, though, but I’m in the mood for roasted chicken, and then I can boil the carcass and get some broth.  I’ll do green beans again, as they are prolific in the garden, salad, and potatoes.  I think there are new potatoes ready out there, too, and I may start digging some up.  If not, I can buy a bag.  Potatoes are not a budget-buster:)

Thursday:  Chicken-rice soup.  I bought celery and carrots and have onions from the garden.  I can use the broth from Wednesday, and add rice from the pantry.  We like it simple.  I may make zucchini muffins if I get time, as there are SO many of those in the garden.

Friday:  Taco Salad.  I will pick lettuce and tomatoes from the garden, and use some hamburger from the freezer.

Saturday:  Leftovers.

Sunday:  Family Sunday Dinner–BBQ at our house this week.  I have both chicken drumsticks and steaks in the freezer, plus green beans, salad, potatoes–all from the garden.  If I think of anything else we could want, people usually bring things, and I can ask them to grab something.

Breakfasts:  I got some English muffins at the store, have a few yogurts, plus the usual cereal, oatmeal, toast, etc. people like to eat around here.  I have quite a few eggs in the fridge, and eat them frequently.  Sometimes I make breakfast burritos for the kids, and do have a few tortillas left that really need to be used.

Lunches:  Leftovers or sandwiches.  I bought a package of lunchmeat as part of the shopping I did and also have tuna in the pantry.  Peanut butter is Patsy’s favorite, so she can have that with our home-made jam.  Sometimes, I add a salad to the mix.


Snacks and drinks:  There is a lot of fruit right now.  I’ve been picking a few peaches from the tree in the back yard, plus I can get some more from my sister.  My strawberries gave me about a cup yesterday, and the raspberries look like they are going to produce soon.  Once I make applesauce I will save some out to eat fresh, and  that will go over well.  We had popcorn last night, and can have it again.  There are quite a few snacks left over from our trip, as well, which will be especially handy if we go on picnics.

I bought some milk on Sunday when I shopped, can make lemonade from the bottle of lemon juice, and have several drinks left over from the trip.  I’ve been drinking a lot of water lately, and there’s always plenty of that!  I have a few sodas, too, plus 3 2-litre bottles.


16 thoughts on “August, 2017, $100 Grocery Challenge and Menu Plan”

  1. It sounds like you have a wonderful plan and an abundance of fresh foods from the garden to use. 🙂 What a wonderful blessing! I’m sure you can meet your goal my friend. 🙂

    1. Today, when I visited my sister, she gave me 2 huge boxes of pears. Someone had given her 3 boxes and she only needed 1. So, the food keeps flowing in. What a perfect month for a challenge.

  2. Your menu sounds delicious, Becky!

    You can still used a grilled chicken carcass for broth, it just will have a slightly Smokey flavor. We do it all the time!

    Enjoy your peaches,

    1. Thanks for the idea. I really wanted the non-smokey flavor this time, because we’ve enjoyed so much barbecue this summer. It’s the easiest way to go for me and doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

      I did roast the chicken, boil the bones (I had them cut the meat off so I could have the bones) and got 2-1/2 quarts. I froze 1 quart and most of the remaining meat after dinner, and have the meat from the carcass and the rest of the broth for the soup I want to make.

  3. I agree with keeping a good stockpile but I think we have to constantly be eating away at the pile or it gets away from us. So, Good plan! Having all that wonderful produce is such a blessing.. Those lunches must have been so good!

    I had one last $5 off $30 Aldi coupon expiring yesterday so off we went to use it and get some stockpile items. I had a plan but the prices have continued to drop there because of the competition from Lidl so I had to add to my list. I am really benefiting from the chance to stock up on some things for so little not to mention how it has kept our over all expenditures lower. Eggs were 24 cents so brought home another haul and restocked the fridge, milk $1.18, one pound pkg lunch meat 2.55, 12 ounce shredded cheese 1.69, tortilla chips .99, 24 packs of water 1.69, etc.

    1. Those are crazy prices! I’m so glad you get to take advantage of a price war. It’s a great time to stock up. That’s great to have to add some things to your list just to make the minimum! I know I’ve got my eye on some of those expensive coffee pods for the Kuerig should I have excess money–and I think I will–great time for me to stock up a little on those since Rob loves them.

      It seems like it’s been a struggle this past year to not let the stockpile get away from me–with less people eating here than ever before, and everyone getting older and not growing as much, we just aren’t going through the food the same way–unless it’s ice cream or chips:) So, yup–time to keep it tamed! I buy a lot of produce in the winter, so it’s so nice to have it bursting out of my ears from the garden–for free!

    1. It has been a great week of meals, and so satisfying to use things up without spending money–although I sent Rob out for milk today. The troops seem to be in a milk-drinking mood:)

  4. Everything sounds delicious!

    I am not a huge fan of pears, but I do love applesauce. It is the one thing I definitely want to can this year that I haven’t.

    1. I was delighted that Rob and Jake picked me around 100 lbs of Gravensteins yesterday. I guess they are in short supply this year, and I love them for applesauce. Now, I’m waiting for them to ripen a bit and I’ll get to work!

  5. So far I am striking out on finding good deals on food this year from the Farmer’s Markets. Some of the counties around here have gotten too much rain, which is unreal for July and August. We also had a late frost which killed most of the peaches. We were able to get enough to eat fresh, but the prices were not good enough to bother canning.

    However, when one thing fails, something else will be abundant. This seems the be the year of the squash and lima bean. Last year it was pumpkins; I bought a wagon load of pumpkins for $.10 each (yes,a dime for some of the best tasting ugly pumpkins ever). No joke. I canned pumpkins all winter long. They are boxed up under one of the beds upstairs and I won’t can pumpkins again…FOREVER!!!!!

    Jeannie @

    1. That’s something I would do! It sounds like such a good bargain, I wouldn’t pass it by, either. I’ve never canned pumpkin before, we always freeze winter squash and use it instead. If I ever find such a bargain, I’ll know who to email!

  6. It was way too much to freeze so I had to put it in jars; but I had to buy the whole wagon load to get the good deal. The problem was getting them in my compact car. They were stacked to the ceiling, could not use the rearview mirror and even had one in my lap.

    Jeannie @

      1. Well, I pulled up as close as possible to the front porch and the boys heard me drive up. They knew something was wrong since no one parks in the front yard. They came walking out just as I was falling out of the driver’s seat and they started laughing. I said, “I got them in, now you boys have to get them out and stack them nice a pretty on the front porch.” The laughing stopped.

        Jeannie @

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