October 24, 2017

Fail to Plan = $$: My Menu Plan Fail


I’ve been focusing on grocery budgets all month long. From an honest discussion talking about Monthly Food Costs, to admitting, at least a little, that we need to track our food expenses (with a free printable monthly food tracker). I reveled in the wisdom of your #1 piece of advice for someone new to the world of cutting food costs without coupons and then last week, I talked the necessary evil of the grocery price list.

I gave you a simple grocery list comparison printable for you to start eying your purchases and asked how many of you have done this before. It was amazing to hear how this was the key factor in many of you turning your grocery budget around, but it isn’t for the faint of heart.

I promised a follow up, and  it will come. Going into detail about determining rock bottom prices does necessitate a bit of a tutorial that I didn’t have time to address this week, but at least start tracking your main purchases.

So in my hectic week of company, soccer tournaments, deadlines, and plain ‘ole life what grocery budgeting revelation occurred?

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Cutting the budget doesn’t just happen, it comes with a plan. In the world of grocery budgeting, it’s even more important because we all eat, every day, many times a day, and if the food isn’t accessible, we splurge.

I can’t remember the last time that I had to dash to the grocery store for an item that I ran out of at the last minute, but it happened this week, hours before company arrived for the weekend.

Life had gotten in the way of my planning. In fact, this month has been a whirl wind of failing to plan, and dinner items I assumed I had stockpiled were gone. GONE! I stood in the grocery aisles staring at the prices and had to take a deep breath.

I payed full price for multiple boxes of lasagna noodles, along with a few other items, and while that isn’t earth shattering, it gave me a moment to pause and realize how important it is that I prioritize my meal planning. I spent nearly $2 more for those noodles than my rock bottom price.

Some of you may role your eyes at $2, but for me, I know the power of “compound interest.” $2 x many products x 52 weeks = a whole lot of spending money. The little things here and there ADD UP!

But this is what I also realized – Just Do the Best You Can!

It’s easy to beat ourselves up, get flustered or feel inadequate that we aren’t saving what others are on this journey of balancing our budget. Realize that we glean from others who may have more knowledge on the subject, but then just do what you can.

We are all in different seasons of our lives, and sometimes, just getting to the grocery store is a major accomplishment. Celebrate the small steps you are taking to reduce your family budget and go from there.

For me, it meant printing out my Printable Weekly Menu Planner and brainstorming my favorite meal ideas. My goal is to have one month worth of ideas on paper. That doesn’t mean I would ever stick to a month plan at a time, it’s not feasible for my family, but I want a mixture of ten minute dinner ideas, along with those that I can take my time with (usually, those are only one a week during sports season.) Use my Free Printable Monthly Menu Planner to start jotting those ideas down.

I’m using Tasty Tuesday for some meal inspiration, and always feel some instant success.

31days beauty budget wide Wicked, Wicked Wealth

As always, thank you for linking up to your direct recipe post for Tasty Tuesday, and not your general url, as well as including a link back here in your post, so that everyone can join in on the fun. Please limit your links to newer posts.


  1. I know how it is with paying extra due to not planning – so easy, and yet so hard!

    Thanks for hosting! I linked up with some really fun and easy Egg Clouds


  2. I hear you! I have had, upon occasion, to run to the store and pay full price for something I normally would not – and while I don’t like to do that often (and we don’t), knowing that we stick to a budget in our grocery shopping made that purchase easier to swallow. Planning out the meals in advance based on what we have in our pantry/fridge/freezer and what’s on sale at the grocery stores helps so much! In fact, that’s what I talked about this week as part of my 31 days to cooking from scratch series. Thanks so much for all your hard work in compiling these posts, for hosting Tasty Tuesday and for all the encouragement to keep going!


  3. My problem lately is that I’m getting bored with my meal list and that has made meal planning difficult for me. I need to shake things up a bit and find some new easy recipes. I’m sure Tasty Tuesday will be a treasure trove of ideas.



  4. I hate when my limited time equals me rushed at the store and then equals me spending way more money in the end. It’s life. We have good weeks and bad weeks! On the bad weeks we just eat a lot of beans. 🙂


  5. Been there – done that. I think it’s the time of life. Since my kids hit high school, I’ve struggled with keeping track of what I have and keeping things stocked. It must be a combination of teenage appetites, hormonal momma-brain, and too many activities.


  6. This is great! I’m definitely going to be adding some of these recipes to my ziplist recipe box!!


  7. Thank you for the encouragement, Jen. I always have the best intentions to plan our menu, learn to coupon, etc….and then I let other stuff get in the way. It was nice to hear that all I need to do is dust myself off and start over!

    Thank you for hosting! I linked up my Easy Chicken Enchiladas. 🙂 Very tasty!


  8. I agree with the don’t beat yourself up; sometimes we just do the best we can. Life has lots of times when we’re just in “survival” mode. As long as everybody is fed and taken care of, we are doing well!


  9. Once again, I’m just so glad I “happened” to pick your site as one of my 31-day reads!!! It felt like a totally random “oh, i’m interested in this stuff and maybe i’ll get some good tips.” Instead, I feel like God has really answered some of the things I’ve been struggling with.
    A huge “thank you!” for all that you continue to share.


  10. I’ve been menu planning weekly for about a month and half now and it has helped cut the grocery budget substantially! Planning for a month sounds like a lot, but I like the idea of having 10 dishes as an idea for the month and then keeping these in mind while designing my shopping. Thanks so much!


  11. I need to be better at menu planning and watching my grocery budget. Thanks for all of the inspiration! And for hosting the link party each week!!


  12. Oh I’ve definitely been there… some days (or even weeks!) it just doesn’t come together. I have found that my emergency preparedness helps out a bit here… a list of recipes that are super easy and fast to make.

    Thanks for the great post and great tools!


  13. Thanks for hosting every week — because this is a great source of meal inspiration!



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