Foodie Friday: When the food budget doesn’t work out

I haven’t said anything so far about the financial journey my husband and I have been on. We are working our debt snowball (a la Dave Ramsey) and we are getting really close to being debt free except our house! In order to properly execute this plan, we have written out a budget each month and have converted our grocery money to the “envelope system.” In case you’ve been living under a rock and have never heard of the envelope system, it goes like this:

  • Decide how much money you are going to spend on x (in this case, groceries) for the month.
  • Get that much cash out of the bank and put it in x envelope.
  • When the money from the envelope is gone, you can not spend any more money on x in the current month.

We have done pretty well with this system since we started in January. BUT this month, something went wrong. Last Saturday- our grocery shopping day- we discovered we only had about one week’s worth of grocery money left in our envelope and two weeks of months left to eat. You know I do a monthly menu and try really hard to stick to it. When this happens in the budget, it’s really important to be flexible and come up with a Plan B.

Lucky for us, my parents planted a good sized garden, and I did a big freezer cooking day back in January-we have not eaten all of the food from our freezer, and we bought part of a steer that was butchered. I quickly made out a menu for the week using mostly what was in our freezer and what was ready to eat from my parents’ garden. We spent half of what we had left, so we’ll be doing this again next week.

Our new menu for the week looks like this:

Saturday- frozen lasagna, Caesar salad
Sunday- ribeye steak from the freezer, green beans that we didn’t eat last week, stuffed jalapenos from the garden, tomatoes from the garden
Monday- grilled chicken breast from the freezer, squash from the garden, tomatoes from the garden, bread made by Husbee
Tuesday- homemade pizza topped with leftover chicken, squash and onions from the garden
Wednesday- fish from the freezer in tacos, squash and jalapenos from the garden
Thursday- chicken tetrazzini from the freezer, squash from the garden
Friday- breakfast burritos from the freezer, fruit

As you can probably tell, squash is in abundance right now!

The point of this story is this: Sometimes the pretty month-long menu just doesn’t work, and that’s okay. Sometimes the budget gets messed up. BE FLEXIBLE. Stick to your budget before you stick to your menu. And eat well!

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