How to recover after you blow your grocery budget

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Groceries. They are the one thing that can blow my grocery budget every single month. Well, groceries and dining out, but last week, it was groceries.

Let me tell you how it went down at the grocery store.

I had my list, I knew what we needed and I knew how much to spend. We have it set that I have $125/week. Some weeks I spend more some I spend way less but that’s the grocery budget.

Last week I went to the grocery store, I had the list, I had everything on the list in the cart and then a couple extra items and a few items I doubled because we eat them so much. As i was checking out, the total came to $210!

I was shocked.

I was calculating in my head where I spent the extra $75.

I was freaking out about how I would explain this mishap to my husband.

I was justifying the purchases saying this will last 2 weeks.

But the produce wouldn’t last more than 4 days!

I was freaking out.

I knew we didn’t have extra this pay period. I knew I needed to stay on budget.

But I blew the budget out of the water.

I had totally f-ed up.

Have you been there? Been in my shoes? Walked into the house with groceries knowing you had just spent basically this week and next weeks grocery budget?

Or maybe you are just figuring out how to budget for groceries. It took me a long time to figure it out. Check out this post about my Top 8 Grocery Items to cut from your budget.

Related: This is what happened when my husband lost his job

Related: How we easily saved $2200 By being a One Car Family

After I did my freak out, I calculated how much I saved. I got out my phone and opened Ibotta and found I had save roughly $4 on food plus another $4 with paper coupons. So, there’s that.



If you haven’t heard of Ibotta is a FREE (my fav 4 letter F word) app that has coupons on it. Ibotta has saved me hundreds in the last 3 years since I started using it. It has saved me so much that I was able to Pay Cash for my Apple Watch! Click this link for my referral code. When you sign up you will get $10 for free!

Now I had to figure out what to do. I did a quick assessment. I had enough food to make meals for about 10 meals’s. That would get us through to the next pay period.

But I didn’t have milk, enough bread, or produce to make it. I had $50 left.

How to get $50 to last anouther 10 days before the budget gets replenished needs strategy.

This was my strategy

  • Buy milk at Walgreens. It’s always cheap there and I can get in and out without buying extra.
  • Write a list of produce we need and buy only that.
  • Bread. Buy 1 extra loaf to keep in the freezer.

This is a quick recap of how I blew the grocery budget

Bought double on some items
Bought some extras not on the list
Bought prepackaged food (ex: frozen dinners)

No one wants to blow their budget on food. But it happens. Every single week in thousands of homes across America.

I created this FREE Menu Planning Printable to help you get back on track! You can get instant access and download it for free by filling out this form!

As I sit and think about my mishap last week, I realized even though I had my list, I didn’t have a plan for the groceries. I didn’t have a menu plan for the week and in my weakness I bought extra.

Meal Plan

Thankfully I have some food plans from the $5 meal plan saved on my computer so I looked them up and organized dinners for the next week. These plans have helped me organize my shopping and my dinner plan and have helped me save money. $5 Meal Plan is one of the best meal planning tools I have come across.

Why I didn’t look up the plan before I left for the store is beyond me (face palm emoji).

I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to have a meal plan. It keeps you on track, it saves you money and it gives you peace of mind.I have found that the grocery budget fluctuates.

One week I can be under by $50 and the next week I am over. I have learned because of this, my budgeted money rolls over to the next week.

Fortunately with budgetting, if you find yourself killing your budget this week, allow yourself a little grace and get back on track. It’s okay if you blow it once in a while, just don’t do it every week. Budgetting is hard work.

Oh and my last trick that I usually do before I enter the grocery store is I pray. I ask God to help me to stay in our grocery budget and not to get distracted. This works and I always stay on target. Obviously, I didn’t pray when I blew the budget.

I created this FREE Menu Planning Printable to help you get back on track! You can get instant access and download it for free by filling out this form!



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