In the third trimester of my pregnancy, I routinely went over budget. I made my peace with this when I realized that the objective was so stay fed, which was hard to do with weird pregnancy aversions and also constant hunger. It is just a season, I told myself. When I am no longer pregnant, everything will go back to the way it was, tightly budgeted.
My first grocery trip as a non-pregnant, mother of three, I was a smidge over budget. But I didn’t stress out too much. After all, the primary objective of that trip was to keep all children alive while buying food. If I managed to get us all out of there in one piece while only being three dollars beyond where I wanted to be, I could live with that.
But last week, that smidge turned into a bit. And you know what a bit turns into? A lot. And a lot is much harder to ignore. Before I had to account for the a lot, I needed to address the bit. I could no longer ignore the fact that I was routinely going over budget. So I sat down with my partner in budgeting, Mr. B. I laid out the facts. The girls are eating more. I was eating a ton of fruit (thanks, breastfeeding!), and I would not give up my reward cheeses. (This week’s variety: a Parrano Gouda. More on how this gouda measures up next post.) I was doing my best, but winter and especially the holidays are low on coupons and high on price increases.
Turkey Tangent: This time of year, we are usually feasting on a variety of Turkey dishes for cheap. But I missed out on all the clearance turkeys the day after Thanksgiving because I was still in the hospital with my then four day old. I pointed out to Mr. B this was not my fault but the Teacup’s. I could not be blamed for her poor timing.
Mr. B did not demand I give up my reward cheeses or get annoyed that there was no turkey. Instead, he made a suggestion that reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas. He said he completely understood, and maybe the time had come to up our grocery budget again. With an extra mouth to feed, and the mouths we already had continuing to need more sustenance, it seems like a better plan to allocate more money than for me to stress out every week.
With the last days of 2018 passing in a red and green blur, it’s time to plan for the 2019 budget. Every year around this time, we sit down with our budget to evaluate areas that need trimming and redistribute from areas where we underspent. This year, Mr. B is going to play Santa and do that all by himself. Which means when I wake up on January 1st, I will magically have an extra $10 in my grocery budget. All I need to do is get us through these last weeks of the year on the right track.
- Annie’s Mac & Cheese-$1.59. Box Mac and cheese, friend to busy mothers everywhere.
- Bananas, 2.17 lb-$1.28.
- Blackberries (2)-$3. In store sale, 2 for $3.
- Blueberries (2)-$4. In store sale, 2 for $4.
- Boar’s Head Maple Glaze Turkey, 1 lb-$9.69.
- Boar’s Head Sandwich Pepperoni, .75 lb-$3.89.
- Clementines, 5 lbs-$4.88.
- Cranberries-$3.99. Sugar cranberries are a Christmas treat I cannot live without!
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 4.96 lbs-$9.89.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Thighs, 4.72 lbs-$4.68. In store sale for .99 a pound.
- Kroger Cream Cheese, 2 ct-$1.79.
- Kroger Raspberry Preserves-$2.19.
- Parrano Gouda, .5 lb-$7.55.
- Private Selection Brioche Rolls-$1.99.
- Private Selection Whole Wheat Bread-$1.99.
- Private Selection Ice Cream (3)-$5. In store sale, 3 for $5.
- Red Leaf Lettuce, 1.28 lbs-$2.16. I still don’t know what went down with the romaine?
- Red Gold Tomatoes (2)-$1.78.
- Roma Tomatoes, 1.27 lbs-$1.89.
- Simple Truth Organic Ketchup-$1.69.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta ($.25 off Any Item)
Total Budget: $63.60
Total Spent: $74.92
Total Saved: $19.93
Deducted from Next Trip: $11.32
Still trying to make up for going over budget last week. Man, I cannot wait until that new 2019 grocery budget is here! Marry a man who supports your use of cheese as a reward and offers to fix the budget while you snuggle a baby.
When do you evaluate your budget? How often do you increase your grocery budget? What are you cooking for Christmas? Tell me all about it in the comments.
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!