This is a picture of Saturday’s grocery shopping trip. My weekly budget is $140. But before you congratulate me for being so right-on-the-money, let me assure you that it should have been about half this much.
I needed very few groceries. I went through my freezer, pantry, and fridge leftovers. We went to Costco a week ago. We had plenty of food around the house and this was a perfect opportunity to be way, way under budget for the week and start replenishing our Costco account for the next big shopping trip.
But instead, I was in a hurry. I made a menu and a list, but didn’t put it in my grocery-bill-tracking app. I went to the store and picked up the things I needed…along with plenty of other things I didn’t.
- Oh, it’s November 1st, look at all this Halloween candy on sale! I bet Rusty would love some Kit-Kats.
- Maybe I’ll paint my nails tonight…I’ll just pick up a new color.
- Oh, look! A sale! That’s a good price…a couple of these.
- Kids, you want strawberries? Well, sure. Throw them in the cart.
- Since I’ve got so much wiggle room in my budget this week I’ll just pick up this…and this…and this…
Normally I follow my grocery list to the letter and track every expense to the penny, knowing my grocery total before I even get to the checkout. But since I knew I wasn’t even close to hitting my maximum this week, I got lazy and sloppy and let myself throw whatever I wanted into the cart. Which is why even though I was right on budget I’m not celebrating.
But I did learn my lesson. Always have a plan, always have a list, and stick to it.
At least my nails look good, though!