Key Foods Haul $60 2-week Budget


This morning my husband and I trekked to Key Foods, about a mile away from our apartment. I’ve only been here a few times and already I can tell this is going to be  new favorite neighborhood grocery store! (I also just found out they deliver to Brooklyn!)

They have an awesome selection of generic, as well as premium foods. In terms of bargains, the best was hormone free/organic chicken thighs for less than $1/lb this week. They also had some nice cuts of chopped steaks and pork chops for less than $2/lb.  Key Foods offers many mark downs and manager’s specials on both meat and produce. As you can see in my photos, I scored both mark down veggies as well as meats.

If it wasn’t so far away (and it wasn’t soooo damn hot outside!), I’d definitely be heading down there more often. I can’t seem to locate my receipt, so here is a list of what we purchased:

  1. Gal. of Milk
  2. Pure Leaf Sweet Tea
  3. Jelly Rolls
  4. Peach Pie
  5. Prelude Popcorn Chicken
  6. 5.5lb Hormone-Free Chicken Thighs
  7. 3lb Pork Loin
  8. 1lb Cubed Steaks (4 total)
  9. Jennie-O Turkey Kielbasa
  10. Oscar Myer All-Beef Hot Dogs
  11. lb Lemons
  12. Earthbound Farm romaine lettuce
  13. Carton of White Button Mushrooms
  14. Veggie Medley – Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli (fresh)
  15. Jumbo Yellow Onion
  16. 12 Pack Poptarts
  17. Bag of Berry Colossal Crunch – Generic Cereal (Captain Crunch)
  18. Town House Butter Crackers
  19. Best Yet Angel Hair Pasta – Whole Wheat
  20. Italian Village Cheese Ravioli – Frozen
  21. Friendship Sour Cream
  22. Key Foods Paprika

Meal Plan:

  1. Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
  2. Chicken Noodle Casserole
  3. Creamy Mushroom Chicken
  4. Raviolis
  5. Meat Jun
  6. Teriyaki Steak
  7. Smothered Pork Chops
  8. Breaded Pork Chops
  9. Kielbasa Stir-fry
  10. Homemade Corn-dogs

Lunches – Sandwiches/Salads, leftovers

Breakfasts – Cereal, Pop-tarts

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Reminder: Check A-L-L Grocery Catalogs!



When I load up my Flipp app, there are literally hundreds of catalogs that pop up. On a regular day (or week), I usually don’t bother looking at any of the catalogs for stores that I don’t frequent. To be honest, I am probably missing out on deals I’m not even aware of. In truth, it is kind of a pain to skim through tons of catalogs, but in the long run, you do save money. Effort always pays off.


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Minimalist in Manhattan Update


Hey gang,

Summer is officially here! What does that mean? Seasonal fruits popping up at your grocery stores, BBQ-ing, and outings with family and friends to local parks and beaches, among many other things. I’ve noticed some very obvious changes in sales at our local grocery store that has somewhat made budgeting difficult over the last few weeks. Aside from eggs and cold cuts (such as hotdogs), everything has been insanely over priced!

Before I meal plan for the week, I’m going to check out all the catalogs for nearby grocery stores that I don’t usually shop at to see if prices are any better.

Anyone else experiencing a spike in prices?



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basket-918416_960_720Several months ago, when I first launched this blog, I briefly mentioned how much I love grocery delivery in NYC – especially Peapod. Oh man, I love Peapod so much, guys! They’re quick, affordable, and have amazingly fresh produce.

I was hoping to see that Peapod could/would accept EBT – unfortunately they do not. It could be because it’s difficult to implement that online. Inner-city families who buy food with food stamps can stretch their allowance so much further if they could buy in bulk. They would save more money and be able to buy from a larger variety of fresh and nutritious food. So, this is my request @Peapod, get on that! I mean common, if the bodega across the street can swipe the card, ON HIS CELLPHONE OF ALL PLACES, why can’t y’all?

A few nights ago I decided to revisit Stop & Shop’s delivery service Peapod. You’d think – it’s got to be more expensive than just going into the store, right? Not necessarily! In fact, I was caught off-guard by how good the prices were. They run specials just like any other grocery store, and for many, if not all the items I purchased, I would pay less through Peapod than I would in my neighborhood supermarkets. If you are looking to buy in bulk, which is what I was after, this is where you should go. Since it is virtually impossible for a city-dweller with no car to buy in bulk…I thought – shoot, here is my chance to buy more than I can carry in one trip! Hah!


I, of course, meal-planned beforehand as I would in any other situation. For less than $60, you could have a full 12-14 day meal plan!

This time around, I created an a 2-week meal plan and focused on building around huge meals: large 8-12 serving soups, stews, and casseroles for both saving time and money. This meal plan includes tons of leftovers to reheat and/or freeze for later! For the full details on the meal plan, click here!

Curious about what exactly I purchased? Here is my invoice below:

Screenshot (637)Screenshot (638)

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How do I grocery shop efficiently?

Hubby and I went back to Bravo today to stock up on some meats and buy ingredients to make chili for dinner. We didn’t use coupons or the Flipp app, and we still did really well. I simply wrote down exactly everything I needed before hand.  You don’t always need to use coupons or tirelessly look for sales to be an efficient shopper. In fact, most of the money saving comes from pre-planning meals and bringing a shopping list. Most of the money we can save comes from not buying anything you didn’t go to the grocery store for. So, yeah, it’s pretty much about self control. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy anything at all (that isn’t on your list), because it would be smart to take advantage of a sale or a deal, even if you didn’t intend on it, but it’s important to set a limit so you don’t lose track of your spending. Keep in mind that, you can buy everything on sale, and it still not materialize into a wholesome meal.

The key to being a smart shopper is not letting sales blind you into purchasing something 1. you don’t need. 2. is unhealthy, is not “real” food 3. you can’t turn into a meal without spending a lot more money. 

This is what we spent today. $26 bucks and we got all of this.



With less than $50, I can pretty much feed myself and my husband for an entire week. We usually do oatmeal, pancakes, or cereal for breakfast (all generic, usually with coupons), and sandwiches or jazzed-up leftovers for lunch. Sometimes we skip lunch because we’ve had a big breakfast, or we plan to have a big dinner!

How do I make this happen every week? 

I plan everything out and write every meal in my calendar. I never go to the grocery store without a list (if I don’t make a list, forget it, it’s a disaster and I’ll overspend.)

This week’s dinners: Chili, cottage pie, a classic roast chicken, and stew (I haven’t worked out the details on that yet.) We will probably do some kind of pasta this weekend and go out for pasta sauce and noodles over the weekend ($2-5) For snacks, I stick to apples, bananas, and yogurt. I like to buy fruit that is easy to portion and easy to grab and go.

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