Epic Fail

Halfway through our pay period, I’m calling the $250 Grocery Challenge an epic FAIL. Mainly because halfway through, I’m already at $255 and I need to buy more.

But it’s not all bad news. I’ve learned a lot and thought a lot about our grocery budget and have decided that I have to make this budget work another way. Monthly shopping works well for our meals but snacking is killing the budget. I’m reviewing everything I do with grocery shopping, meal planning, etc. Instead of thinking of $250 a month, I’m going to start thinking of $62.50 a week. I think this might work better for several reasons:

  • Shopping the weekly sales. I can get all the good deals and do my meal planning using what’s on sale. I’ve been resistent to this in the past because I cannot stand waiting until the last minute to make my meal plan. But really, it’s FOOD. I’m not outlining the D-Day invasions. I can learn to cope with the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants meal plan. Really, I can. Breathe.
  • Weekly snacks. Knowing that our snacky foods have to last a week, not a month, is more manageable. And if we eat them all in gluttonous binge, well, we just have to wait until next week to restock.
  • Appropriate meals. This week, for example, is going to be unbelievably hot and humid. Having salad on the menu rather than stews is easier to plan week by week.
  • Free food. Being a clergy family has its perks. Such as everyone knowing well that you are broke. Whenever there is a church function with leftover food, the lovely people in the kitchen think of us and send Thomas home with containers. It could be butter tarts, it could be potato salad. Today it was roast beef and 48 dinner rolls. When free food comes our way, I can work it into the weekly meal plan and free up some of the budget.

I’m hoping an overall of my whole system will make this budget more manageable because I need to make this work. Onwards and upwards!

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4 Comments

Filed under Food & Meal Planning, Frugal Living

4 responses to “Epic Fail

  1. Sonia

    I love that you are doing this challenge. We are a family of five and are trying a budget of $380 a month. It is all trial and error and finding what works for you as a family. This is my third month trying and the first one that I have been sucessful. I have found that budgeting and buying the basics like milk, eggs, bread, etc on a two week cycle works best for us. While snacks and fruits, vegetables are bought weekly. Meat, cleaners, toiletries are bought monthly.

  2. Weekly is a good idea. It makes shopping for produce easier (altho with your garden you probably don’t need to buy much produce), and it gives you some more flexibility.

    I used to work for a church, and the free food thing is a wonderful added bonus! I loved when we had potluck dinners… I always got goodies to bring home!

  3. I’ve adopted the same system – planning weekly and shopping for whatever is on sale. It’s tough and a bit time consuming as everything is kind of last minute but is working quite well for us.

    We’ve been eating many salads as well. I’m sad that I don’t have any gardening abilities – I’d love to grow my own produce and reduce the grocery bill a bit. Unfortunately I can’t even keep my 2 foot garden alive 😦 I keep forgetting to water it!

    48 dinner rolls? LOL!

  4. Canadian Home

    Thank you for the encouragement! I’m hoping this change will be a good thing for us. It’s worth a try and I’m happy to here that it works for other families, too!

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