Budget fail + Meal Plan + Lollie Bean Recipe

I blew it. Our grocery budget for January. I'm not talking $20. More like $200. This happens sometimes.

It started with me having the flu. We went to Chick fil a and Five Guys. Fine, fine. But even before getting sick, I was pretty burned out in the grocery store going - cooking department.

And then there is George, my one year old who eats more than I do.

Also, I made dinner for a few friends that had babies and we entertained a several times, all of which we were glad to do! Beyond these things, I was just plain ol disorganized, and I probably under funded the grocery category.

So there's my excuse(s). I try not to beat myself up, but use it as a learning experience.

What happened in January stays in January. All I can do is get back on that horse in February.

I don't have a game plan yet, but I'm working on one. Maybe I should chronicle it on the blog and see what public accountability does for my budgeting skills?!

I'm still loving my new system of meal planning on Sunday night (or sometimes Saturdays) and shopping on Monday morning. It's a job that has to be done and having a "set" day prepares me mentally for the task.


Here's my menu plan for this week. Thankfully, I had most of the ingredients and I didn't have to buy too much yesterday to make our dinners this week.

Monday: loaded baked potato soup
Tuesday: pot roast
Wednesday: chicken quesadillas
Thursday: leftovers
Saturday: turkey burgers
Sunday: eggs, toast, grits or leftovers 


On my menu last week, we enjoyed a family favorite, Lollie bean. It's an oldie, but a goldie. I like this meal because it is chili-like, but has some different flavors

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup diced celery
1 large onion diced
3 cans Campbell's Minestrone soup
2 cans Ranch beans, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

white rice
shredded cheddar cheese
Fritos or tortilla chips

In a large pot, cook celery and onion in vegetable oil until tender. Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly. Drain. Return to stove and add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes until nice and warm. Serve over white rice. Top with cheddar cheese and Frito scoops.

 Bon appetit!


  1. The Lollie chili looks wonderful, and you are so wise to "let January go." There will be many months like this one... and many others where things go according to (or even better than) plan. Love to all the Spooners!

  2. Hi Sarah,
    We have months like that too! I think January is an especially tricky one as we settle back into routines. I'm planning on February being the month that I get back on track.
    Love your blog!

  3. I am NOT the best person at keeping my budget in line, but one thing that helps is that when I am making dinner for someone who is sick or has had a baby I use money from my "gift" envelope. Because that's what it is. I found myself almost resentful when I had to use a good portion of my weekly grocery money (because I wanted to take a good hearty meal) and it was sucking the joy out of giving. Once I let myself off of the hook a little and remembered that my family's need to eat doesn't change just because we want to do something for someone else, it made it much less stressful to cook for others.


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