Grocery Shopping Week Four

$500 Grocery Budget
Grocery Shopping Week One
Grocery Shopping Week Two 
Grocery Shopping Week Three

Hello all!

I wrapped up my grocery shopping for the month of February and I'm thrilled to say I kept my $500 budget. Whoop whoop.

With one week to go in February, I had a remaining balance of $234.72. Truly, it was so liberating to have paced myself and to have that much surplus left at the end of the month. In the previous weeks, my goal was to spend only $100 per week until week 4. To help myself stick to this, I only took that amount with me in the store.

This practice allowed me to be conservative at the beginning of the month and gave me the ability to splurge in the end. We even went out to dinner once, Chipotle for the adults and Five Guys for kids! And on my last Costco trip, I indulged my love for organic milk, lots of fresh produce, and several convenience items since Stephen was going out of town for the weekend and I wanted easy things to feed the kids. Honestly, I did not have a meal plan for the last week. I just had a bunch of food in the house and knew I had plenty to come up with a meal.

Here's how my last round of spending went.

Chipotle 21.84

Five Guys 9.32

Publix - milk run 4.09

Costco - cherry tomatoes 6.49
              asparagus 3.99
              bananas 1.39
              lettuce 4.49
              strawberries 4.49
              bread 3.39
              hamburger buns 1.99
              cheerios 7.49
              contact solution 18.99
              balsamic vinegar 10.99
              rotissarie chicken 4.99
              frozen pre-made hamburger (beef) 18.59
              bag of frozen salmon 34.89
              honey 8.79
              eggs 2.99
              applesauce 9.99
              box of 3 frozen pizzas 9.99
              3 gallons organic milk 23.78
              total + tax  = 194.48

Total spent the last week in February $229.73     

Total spent for the month $495.01

I attribute my grocery budgeting success to....

1. Public accountability, this blog. Thanks, friends. It made me take my goal seriously.

2. Having some spending money for myself. In addition to having a strict grocery budget, we practiced a strict cash envelope system for multiple categories of spending this month. One category was blow money. I had $40 and my husband had $40. I spent at least half of mine on coffee and chocolate croissants from Starbucks - which are to die for by the way.

Having this spending money helped us (me) not feel deprived, making it much easier to have self control and not overspend in other areas. I was not tempted to dip into my grocery cash.

3. Pacing our spending, only $100 each week until the last week. I already discussed it above, but I emphasize it again because it was such a key to my success. Not pacing myself has majorly been my downfall in the past. I tend to spend the majority of my money on the front end because I'm feeling "rich." Then I don't have enough left to stretch the grocery cash till the end of the month. Because I have "failed," I have a throw my hands up in the air and forget it mentality. Why try when I've already blown it?!

Better to be conservative in the beginning and splurge later if there is enough.

4. Being flexible. Overall, we are not picky eaters. We eat leftovers happily and don't mind repeating meals.

5. Not getting desperate. I stayed one step ahead of the game, always whipping up a little food here and a little food there. I tried to anticipate our needs before I had 3 hungry, whiny kid at my ankles.

The reason I set about this whole challenge is because I had become so nonchalant in my grocery spending. I was going over budget every month. I was wasting food. I was burned out! Writing this blog series made staying in budget a fun challenge and helped me re-learn ways to save money have self control. 

I will definitely be putting into practice the things I learned this month in the future. Thanks for coming along beside me!

Questions and advice welcomed.


  1. I've been wondering how you came out with all of this. I am so impressed with your discipline here - hooray for you and Stephen and for the freedom of staying within budget on this. I know it won't always happen, but if it does most of the time, you've got wiggle room for the times when you have to spend a little more.


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