I am absolutely dumbfounded every Sunday when I am at the checkout counter at the grocery store. I go into the store with a list, I DO NOT stray from the list! I do not buy silly, frivolous items. Most of the time I buy store brand items and on-sale products. HOW do I over-spend every week??
My weekly goal is to spend one hundred dollars on food. Not a lofty goal for a family of four (and two of those people barely come up to my waist). And every week I spend about one hundred and fifty dollars. No matter what changes I make, I am always within five dollars of that dreaded $150.00. That’s an extra two hundred dollars a month that I simply do not have. I have a serious tear in my money boat and we are taking in water, fast.
So this week, I went in with a plan. I knew I needed to buy food for breakfast, lunch and snacks for the week, as well as five nights of dinners. I set the goal of $50 for dinner ($10 per night) and $50 for the rest. I then kept a running tally on my grocery list. I rounded up or down using my elementary school logic to have whole numbers. For example, carrots cost 99 cents, so I wrote a “1” next to the word carrots. I then added as I placed items in my cart. When I hit $50 for my breakfast, lunch, and snack total, I knew I needed to make some changes. I put back the applesauce because I knew we had enough at home to last us most of the week, and it would become a priority on next week’s list. I could live without the two dollar can of chicken salad; my lunch bag would be just fine with the deli meat that I knew everyone else would eat as well.
There were no surprises when I arrived at the checkout cashier, except for the fact that I actually spent LESS than what my fancy math had told me! I bought all of the necessities that we needed for the week, I had five, healthy, economical dinners planned out, and I even managed to buy the materials for my daughter’s mermaid birthday cake, complete with blue crystalized sugar for the ocean. Wonder if she’ll mind if I place a little money boat in her cake? Floating. Not sinking, of course. Score one for the Frugal Family! Tally Ho!