$20 grocery bill

The $20-a-week grocery experiment starts today. I know, it was going to start Monday, but my day off turned into a work day and today became a day off. So off to Aldi I went with a $20 limit and got:

  • 3-lbs. hamburger: $5.49
  • Tomato juice: 99 cents
  • 3 cans of chili beans: 49 cents each
  • Chili powder: 33 cents
  • Macaroni: $1.69
  • Saltine crackers: 79 cents
  • Cheese slices: $1.99
  • Butter: 67 cents
  • 10-lbs. Russet potatoes: $1.99 (I know, the Duchess will laugh about that one.)
  • Tomato soup: 49 cents
  • Cream of mushroom soup: 49 cents
  • Loaf of split-top wheat bread: 99 cents
  • Bag of baby carrots: $1.29

With tax, the total was $19.51.

(Kind of related: Is there a shortage of peas? I wanted frozen peas, but the were not to be found.)

So the plan for tonight is chili! Which I’d been wanting to make anyway (there’s something about the start of fall that requires chili), and leaves plenty of leftovers. And with a some macaroni or a potato, it can be reinvented into something else. I’ll use half of the hamburger for chili, then the other half for a casserole later in the week. Next week (in theory) I need to buy milk so I can make potato soup. (Did you notice no milk or eggs? I rarely keep them on hand.)

Mom’s chili recipe

  • 2-lbs. of hamburger
  • 1 can tomato juice
  • 3 cans kidney beans (I like chili beans better)
  • Chili powder

Brown hamburger, drain. Dump everything together and simmer on low heat until it starts to boil. Mom’s recipe also called for a can or bottle of beer — which I just happen to have. (Don’t worry, the alcohol boils out. Mom wasn’t getting us drunk off of chili.) Grab a bowl, add some saltine crackers and melt a slice of cheese on top.


  1. I am not laughing. You wanna know why? Because you had the day off and you did not call me… You could have put this silliness of eating for a week on only $20 off for at least one more day and went to lunch or dinner with me.

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