A few notes before I begin:
Any meals I eat out are purchased with my allowance. When I babysit I usually get fed or can at least find a bowl of cereal. My goal to limit myself to $35/week is not a competition or by any means a way to brag. It is essential on my tiny income with the amount of debt I have. I always encourage others that it's doable but everyone has numbers that work best for them.
So how did I do it this week?
I went to three different stores over two days to get the best deals. I was able to come away with not only plenty of food for the week but a small stockpile for future weeks AND I treated myself to some Halloween cupcakes. The chicken alone will make 4 different meals with plenty of leftovers for each meal.
I made tortellini with meat sauce using ground turkey. The milk helped make Pasta Roni meals with frozen broccoli and shrimp purchased previously. The jelly helped me make PB&J with leftover sandwich bread from last week. I dressed up as a pumpkin to get $3 tacos from Chipotle on Halloween and got a $6 Papa John's pizza on a lazy Saturday. I also went to dinner with my mom one night (her treat - thanks, mom!) and babysat a few nights. I alternated scrambled eggs (from the previous week) with apples & peanut butter for breakfast.
In total, I spent $32.75 and felt more than comfortable. I think if I spent more than $35 regularly I would be wasteful. It feels great to live within my means and focus on the financial goals that really matter to me!