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22 Days of No Extra Spending


We made it 22 days into October before I had to break down and spend some money. I’m pretty proud of that number, it’s definitely the longest I’ve ever gone.

But the kids finally convinced me to hit up the grocery store. (I combined my shopping with my personal shopping client so it didn’t cost me anything in regards to extra gas or time away from work.) I spent just at $36.

With both twins taking their lunch to work and Sea Cadet taking a dinner to school two nights a week, our lunch meat ran out. Then we ran out of milk. And I ran out of bacon. We are out of fresh veggies and fruit as well, but have plenty of canned still so I decided not to restock those at this time.

Buying Meat on Sale

But I was in luck, I found 3 packs of sandwich meat (12 oz each) marked down to $2.49 each due to the use by date being within the week. Since I knew the boys would eat it quickly, I grabbed them. I put one in the freezer to extend it a few days and they should last us to the end of the month. Yeah!

Back in Virginia, I knew which days the grocery stores marked down in their meat department was able to get great deals on meat by buying it close to the expiration date. Since I freeze all our meat, the expiration date doesn’t matter much to me.

Unfortunately, bacon never seems to be on sale, but I determined I could make it through the remainder of the month with one pack. I just can’t stomach eggs without bacon, but cooking them in the bacon grease solves this. As I cook the bacon a couple of pieces at a time, I will save the grease. When I’m out of bacon, I can use the grease to satisfy the taste issue for me until I restock.

Meal Plan

We are still going strong following our meal plan and I haven’t deviated much. But I have a few times. With the cold weather setting in, I am cooking more soups that I planned on in the crockpot. Their favorites thusfar have been potato soup and chicken taco soup.

It’s great for two reasons: 1) I started it and forget it for the rest of the day. Voila, dinner is ready when the kids are hungry without me having to stop work. 2) I’m able to use more canned items in the crockpot than I normally would and am really working through cans of things we probably wouldn’t use otherwise.

As we eat meals, some newly created, I am making a list of the ones the kids love, and already started on the meal plan for November, along with a grocery list as we run out or low on things so I’m ready to grocery shop when its time.

I did splurge on one item, it was only $2.50 and I feel like I’ve already gotten that back. I purchased a box of 4 crockpot liners. I’ve never used them before but as much as I’m using the crockpot, cleaning it is a pain! I used one for the first time this week and I’m not sure I will ever go back!




  • Reply Cheryl |

    I am not sure what the cost of bacon is in your area but we have a Walgreens which has bacon on sale a lot for $3 50 to $4.00 for Oscar Mayer which I only use . I freeze it so it never goes bad

  • Reply Laura |

    With Thanksgiving coming up turkeys and sweet potatoes should be on sale in November. Probably canned pumpkin and maybe ham too. If you eat those things it might be a good time to stock up.
    I occasionally see bacon for $3 a pound. That’s usually in a store you don’t have in your area though.

  • Reply Sandra |

    Hope, since you are making more soup, thought I’d mention that Walgreen’s has their Swanson’s canned chicken broth on sale for $.59/can — great sale! We stocked up yesterday with twelve cans from two stores.

  • Reply Shanna |

    Another great cheap food is to get 2 Costco rotisserie chickens, you can use the meat for a meal and then slow cook the carcasses in a crock pot for 24 hours with some veggies and a bit of apple cider vinegar to draw out the minerals. It can be frozen and makes a delicious nutritious bone broth that can be sipped or used for soup.

  • Reply Cynthia |

    I don’t care for the texture or fat content of bacon but, I enjoy bacon bits. Maybe bacon bits or cubed ham could be an option for you?

  • Reply Homes |

    Hope, I too make a lot of crockpot meals and I love the liners. You are right, once you start using them, you’ll never go back! But they add up quickly buying them from the grocery store. At $2.50 for 4, that’s 62.5 cents a pop! If you can afford the bigger up-front outlay (which I know isn’t always possible) you can buy them in bulk online for almost half-off. I use these (currently $33 for 100 liners): PanSaver 100 Count EZ Clean Slow Cooker Liners, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y25854T/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_FdW0Bb8GE3DBZ)

  • Reply Lisa |

    Hey, 22 days is awesome! I buy the Kroger slow cooker liners on sale w/digital coupons. I don’t use them for everything, just the really messy stuff (pot roast, chili, bbq, anything with cheese…). I love a great unexpected meat sale blessing! Just this week I was lamenting we were out of boneless skinless chx breast. I was pleasantly surprised when Fresh Thyme put the bl/sl breasts on sale for .99/# this week! He provides. Oh, yes, I stocked up! That’s 1/3 less than what Zaycon used to charge, I was able to get smaller ones, and in more manageable quantity. Three words: freezer, freezer, freezer! I have two packages of marked down bacon in my freezer for DH right now.

  • Reply LJ Lyon |

    We have a chest freezer and only buy when things are on sale. All we have to buy now is milk, cheese, fruits and veggies

So, what do you think ?