Monday, February 6, 2012

End of Week 6

Last week I spent $95.16 in the grocery store. I went over my budget by quite a bit, and that doesn't include some meals that we either ate out or brought in. I don't know what happened, other than that I kind of lost some of my momentum and diligence and good attitude. I think that will happen from time to time, and the only thing I can think to do about it is try to get right back on that horse this week.

Last week for dinner we had:
  • grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
  • tacos
  • stuffed shells
  • bieroc (cabbage, rice, and meat wrapped up in bread)
  • take-out pizza - paid for by the kids!
  • take-out chicken nuggets and fries
  • leftovers

In January I spent $375 and some change on groceries. In November 2011* I spent $800.06 in the grocery store. It's obvious to me from my comparison that it is easier to keep a handle on the grocery budget by using a menu plan with a grocery list and then paying cash at the register rather than my debit card. I plan to keep doing that. Even if I lose my grip on it a little bit like I did last week, the damage overall is minimal and the difference is huge.

One great thing I've also noticed in the last month about making a menu is that we don't tend to eat the same thing over and over. I don't like having the same 10 things for dinner. Sometimes I just get sick to death of eating the same thing for dinner that I had last week and the week before that and that week before that. The funny thing is that when I'm sitting down to make the week's menu I can't think of anything I know how to make - I end up looking online and in my recipe books for ideas and come up with something new. The stuffed shells we had last week are a good example - I had never made them before, and although it's basically noodles, cheese, and sauce it was in a new format, and therefore different than the regular old spaghetti I know how to make. (And that my Mr. Dub is not all that crazy about!) Planning ahead and making a menu is smart - it creates more choices for you instead of fewer choices. The question, "What's for dinner?" doesn't sound like the tolling of a death bell. It's like a miracle. Who knew?!?!?!

*The reason I picked November to compare to is because in December we have lots of family birthdays and Christmas when we have special foods and extra grocery expenses. I will plan to budget for those special occasions in the future. November and January are "normal" months for us.

1 comment:

  1. I am impressed. We constantly run over our 800 dollar a month budget for groceries. I am going to try to get down to 500 a month. So far so good. Not using my debit card is going to be key, I think.