Free Grocery Money


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A few weeks back I won a $25 Kroger Gift Card from Deborah of Taste and Tell’s Give Away.

Kroger Gift Card

Although there are no Kroger’s by me, Ralph’s is in the same family of grocery stores and the card is good at Ralph’s.  I live very close to a Ralph’s and that’s my go-to grocery store.   My second home. I tucked the gift card into my wallet and had no trouble using it.

Wallet open with Kroger Gift Card laying on top

I am always replenishing my produce stash.   I knew I’d have no trouble using my free grocery money.

Vine Ripened Tomatoes

Bag of grapes

You can barely see the little Kroger brand logo on this salad mix, but it’s there.  (Even though I got the salad mix at Ralph’s). See, I knew they were part of the same “family” of stores.

Cucumbers and Romaine Lettuce Blend


I put my grocery finds to immediate use…
Green salad with vegetables on white plate

Dressed with homemade vegan Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing

Ingredients for Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing in white bowl with spoonMixed up Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing

I made some Sweet ‘n Tangy Chicken-less Salad to go with the green salad.  <—That’s the green food I ate for St. Paddy’s Day.
Close up of Sweet 'n Tangy Chicken-less Salad

And there was also Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate for dessert.

Diced up Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate in white dish

From my last post about What you Stash, it was fun to hear what you stash and stockpile.  From produce to snack bars to chocolate.  You all are hoarders.  Kidding.

And thanks for the compliments on my Amazon Store.  I am excited, but as I said in the post, I don’t plan to really “promote” it all that much.  If someone wants to know what brand of spiralizer or tofupress or yoga mat I use, they can go to my Store and check it out.  If I happen to make 17 cents in the process, great.  If not, oh well. All info about my Amazon store is in my Shop Tab.


1. If you had $25 to spend at the regular grocery store, what would you buy?  Or what do you normally buy with your grocery budget?

Most of my grocery money goes toward fresh produce.  Around that I add plant-based protein like edamame, tofu, nuts, seeds.  Then I think condiments, sauces, dips.  And coffee.

I did two posts that you may find relevant:

Tips for Saving Money on your Grocery Budget (I covered things like I can buy twice the amount of food if I don’t buy organic, why I hardly ever step foot in WF’s, etc.)


My Pantry & Refrigerator Staples (common, easily sourced items I always have and can make pretty much anything from scratch that I want to eat, from what I have on hand)

2. Weekend Plans?

I am possibly getting together with a friend.

And I am most definitely working, doing housework, cooking, cleaning, and you know, sitting on the couch watching soaps and eating bon-bons. Or eating No-Bake White Chocolate Mango Cookie Dough Bites.

Overhead of No-Bake White Chocolate Mango Cookie Dough Bites

And enjoying some of this great weather we’re having in San Diego!

Pink flowering bush

Enjoy your weekend!


About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. I would spend the $25 dollars on cilantro. All of it. :-) Hehe. I love cilantro.

  2. My weekly grocery budget is around 25 dollars! … and I buy dried beans, whole grains, nuts/seeds and produce.. and canned tomatoes..

  3. Organic fruits and veggies do take up a big chunk of my grocery shopping! It can get pretty crazy, mostly because what I’m craving changes so often!

  4. i think the amazon thing is cool! and it’s great if you get a little dough for it too! speaking of dough…..i’m trying out some of your microwave oat bars soon!

  5. That homemade dressing looks awesome!!
    Also, I’m off to look up some of your raw cookie recipes =D

  6. You’re a far better woman than I! If I had free grocery money it would all be treats and snacks in my basket :P

  7. uhh a grocery gift card is SOOO ideal. it’s amazing how much I spend at the store! lucky duck you :)

  8. hmmm… $25 at a grocery store? vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheese, yogurt, the odd condiment. most of our grocery shopping is done outside of a grocery store. we hit up independent retailers: fruit store, organic butcher, health food store, bakery.

    woo hoo! friday! enjoy your weekend, averie. i’m super jealous of your weather!

  9. Weekend plans include the chocolate chip cookie dough mango white chocolate cookies! I wanted to say I used your 2minute peanut sauce as a guide for a dressing tonight for mango cucumber cilantro salad & it was a-MAZ-ing :) Thsnks for the inspiration. Plus our 18 month old gobbled up the salad: another plus

    1. enjoy the white choc mango bites

      and glad the peanut sauce was a hit, even for the 18 mo old. start em young :)

  10. My funds definitely go towards fresh produce, unless I’m at Trader Joes – then it just goes to random things that are new/I think are cool but don’t need/I need but don’t need 2 of. You know how that goes :)

    Weekend plans are cleaning, moving and painting – and tonight I met (Wannabe Chef) Evan! We had so much fun and he brought me brownies!

  11. Yummy. Raw Coconut Oil Cacao!! You are one busy girl. I will be inside, studying, reading, and maybe taking a few runs outside this weekend.

  12. Have a great w/e! My internet is super-slow today, and the only pic of yours that came through was that beautiful outdoors pic–I’m sure you’ll make the most of it.

    $25 for produce–what a score! I’d spend it on fruits, greens, yams, carrots (which are current staples) and if any was left, I’d get some fennel and jicama (=treats to me)!

    1. fennel and jicama AND all the rest of the stuff you mentioned and you’d still have 5 bucks left i bet :)

      1. Ahh, that’s where you’re lucky being in CA! I wouldn’t be at all sure that I could even cover it, let alone have $$ left over, up here in AK–produce is so pricy, and not always good even!

  13. If I had “free” $25, I would prolly splurge on the things I normally don’t buy.. Expensive cheese, wine, or some type of exotic fruit. Normally I make sure to pick up – red onion, spinach, tomatoes, avocadoes, berries (straw/blue/black – whatever is on sale!). Typically I’ll buy romaine, sprouts, carrots, and cucumber. As well as bananas, TONS of bananas :)

  14. Ah, the weather looks so lovely there! It’s actually nice here in Maine, too!

    If I got free grocery money, I’d probably splurge on something like chickpea miso, which is so good for my belly but oh-so-pricey, and then treat myself to fresh produce. There’s some spring-like asparagus at my awesome cornerstore/market that I’ve been eying.

  15. If I had a gift card I’d probably get stuff I don’t normally get — maybe some “new to me” flours from Bob’s Red Mill or some pricey dates :) Or I’d just use it for a normal trip to the grocery store and enjoy having a smaller total!

    This weekend: staying over at my sister in law’s house tomorrow night and spending the entire weekend with her and my niece. Jason’s brother is abroad for work and she’s kind of lonesome!

    1. TJ’s for dates. The cheapest and best. I mean, yes, you could order exotic dates that are im sure “amazing” for for $3.99, the TJs ones are perfect!

      That’s sweet you’re spending time with your SIL. You are the best friend to so many people, Holly :)


  16. Sweet score on the gift card. Great looking eats, especially the chocolate.

    1. Probably produce, tahini, and whatever looks good in the “health” food section. I hate that mainstream grocery stores separate vegan meat & dairy alternatives, organic produce, veggies chips and bulk foods in a health food section from the rest of the store and Raley’s even separates those items on the receipt like that justifies them charging double compared to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. :-P
    2. Not much and that’s nice after such a busy weekend last weekend and it’s supposed to rain all weekend. Good opportunity to catch up on housework I guess. :-)

    1. i hate that too b/c i never know where to look for things…like they have coconut oil next to the other mainstream baking oils but they have organic cocoa powder off in the “organic” section. I say do away with the sections and just incorporate into the regular shelving!

  17. If I had $25 to blow in a grocery store right now, I’d probably buy $25 worth of mangoes. I’ve been craving them like crazy! My favorite thing this week has been to sit outside in the springy weather with a mango and a knife and enjoy the bliss. Mmmm…

  18. I am so ready to be outside this weekend. We are working on the yard and washing the car! It sounds weird, but I am excited to just be out in the sunshine!

  19. Yes, I spend a small fortune every week on fresh produce. I want a garden so badly!

    I’d spend $25 on a tub of spinach and cheese! Hehe

    1. move to So Cal!! You can grow anything pretty much year round on your front porch. The groc store is selling potted avocado trees for $19.99 I kinda wanna buy one….so cute! Even if it only gives off 1 avocado all season, I kinda want it anyway!

  20. Yum! I just bookmarked that “chicken-less” salad! It looks great!! Awesome score on the free grocery money! I’d most likely spend mine on produce, almond milk, and coffee…all must haves in my kitchen! It’s actually tearing me up right now that I’m all out of almond milk…coconut milk just isn’t the same! :(

    My weekend=packing, cleaning, and I’m currently taking a break from replacing the faucets in the bathroom…double vanities…one down, one to go! Bleh!

  21. I’m with you on the groceries – most of my bill goes to fresh organic produce! I large chunk is also spent on yogurt, cereals, nuts, and almond milk for me as well. The staples in my life!

    Gorgeous San Diego photo… enjoy that lovely weather! :)