My Grocery Budgeting Successes and Failures of the Week

Aug 31, 2020 | Food and Culture

Today is supposed to be about cooking and eating on a budget, but things didn’t go so well this week. The week started pretty good but then went off the rails because we had guests this weekend, and once again, our snack cravings got the best of us. Let’s take a look at my grocery budgeting successes and failures of the week.

Grocery Budgeting Successes

To start things off, let’s take a look at what I did right with my budget this week. At the beginning of the week, my wife and I sat down and planned our meals for the coming days. We made a comprehensive shopping list, did an inventory of our kitchen, looked over the flyers, and did one main shopping trip, which fell well within our budget. Our weekly budget is $149, and that initial shopping trip cost $114. That left a little wiggle room in case we needed to get milk, eggs, or bananas later in the week. As I said, the week started off on the right track. That was Monday, by Wednesday, things started to go downhill.

To make the meal plan, do the inventory, and create the shopping list, I used the templates which you can download for free in the member’s section here. There are three levels of membership, all with different benefits such as weekly updates, behind the scenes stories, and a free monthly cooking class. To get access to the templates, you only need to sign up for a free membership. There are new downloadables every week, so be sure to become a member here.

What went wrong?

On Wednesday evening, my wife went out to get an ice cream cone (or so I thought), she came back with two tubs of ice cream (one Ben and Jerry’s Tonight Dough, her favourite. And one gluten-free chocolate ice cream for me.), along with a few odds and ends. In total, she probably spent $30 to $40, which put us either right at or just over our budget. Not great, but not terrible either.

Things went downhill when we found out we had some friends coming over for the weekend. We were super excited to see them and spend some time with them as COVID-19, and having moved out of the city has kept us apart for months. But, we did end up buying more groceries, which put us way over our budget. In total, we spent another $90. That wasn’t entierly because we had guests, and they paid for half of the food (the $90 includes our half of the groceries). But, we still went over our budget by about $100 in total.

Will this week be better?

This week should go much better than last week. I’m going to be out of town for work on the weekend, so I won’t be eating at home, and my meals will be a work expense so they won’t count towards our budget. We also have some leftovers to use up, and we have a bunch of dried beans that I am going to break into to spread our budget a little further. As long as we can keep our mid-week snack cravings to a minimum, we should stay within our budget for the week. Wish me luck.

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  1. Linda Brodie

    Thank you for sharing your failure as well as successes…sometimes, we learn more that way. Our family of two has a budget of $75 a week, but company can be a game changer so I usually serve them “comfort food” that is often quite inexpensive. They enjoy the blast from the past and I don’t completely break my budget.

  2. Chef Ben Kelly

    Hello Linda, Thank you for your message.
    I am very impressed that you are able to keep your grocery spending at $75 a week. I am having such a hard time keeping it below $150.
    That’s a good idea to serve guests comfort food. I always find that because I am a chef I put pressure on my self to go above and beyond when I have guests over. That’s in my own head though and I love comfort food, so I don’t know what I don’t make it for my guests more often. I will from now on. Thank you again for your message Linda.

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