Grocery Geek Presents: Holding Out for Pay Day

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Two weeks and I haven’t done much grocery shopping at all. In fact, we ran out of milk and I didn’t get more for a couple days. We survived. But, my big stocking up and our weekend away basically used up my grocery budget. Bummer! I think there were a few “nickel and dime” stops in between to push me over my limit.

One of the leaks in said grocery budget is justifying that “quick trip to the store” when we run out of something. And since time is precious, that “quick trip” becomes “well, I might as well get x, y, and z while I’m here.” A $2 gallon of milk becomes a $20 bill. “Nickel and dime” becomes big bills.

So, I resisted. I let the grocery ads sit in the mailbox for a couple days instead of dashing to get them when they came on Monday. Why tempt myself when my budget is gone? (You knew I was a grocery geek, right? Yes, the grocery ads make me happy.) Instead of having my husband pick up stuff on the way home, I started a big list on the fridge. I made lunches based on what we had instead of shopping, or worse, getting fast food. We had some interesting “hodge podge” lunches, but no one starved.

I didn’t shop this week. But, I saved money because I didn’t shop. It works like that sometimes.

Thankfully, Payday came today.

How do you cope with “making do” at the end of the month?

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  1. I came over from MSM's blog and was laughing about what you wrote. I essentially wrote the same thing for my blog to be posted on Monday.

    My advice: BE STUBBORN!!! It's easy to fall into the spending trap instead of getting creative with what we have.

    Your blog is awesome!

  2. I budget for shopping once a week- my "week" is Thursday- Wednesday. That way I can take advantage of 2 sales cycles if needed. Otherwise I resist too- once the $ is gone for the week, its gone. We too live without milk or whatever for a few days once in a while. We always survive!

  3. With 4 kids, that's where we are heading, once a week trips. But the milk/bread trips are going to be hard to cut for us. My husband is better at keeping it to the list, though, so I send him. With the last few checks being good, I am squirreling away in the freezer for the slower weeks.

  4. I had to laugh that grocery ads make you happy. They make me happy too. I thought I was the only one that gets happy when the grocery ad comes in the paper. I have to snatch it out and look at it immediately. I'm glad there are others who get excited too.

  5. Nice job! We've been in the same boat too, although pay day isn't for another 10 days…..we can do it! Thanks for your inspiration :).

  6. Johnlyn, yes, "be stubborn" is good advice. Instead of running out this am, I made pancakes w/ canned evaporated milk. not the same, but fine.

    HeatherC, that's similar to our cycle — when I don't overspend. LOL.

    Myra, would you believe, we're going to try getting 2 weeks at a time now. It's just too hard to keep up otherwise.

    Linda, I'm a total geek!

    Hang on, Lauren, you can do it!

  7. I had one of those weeks. Luckily, I have a big stock pile so, no one starved here either:-)

  8. I have been thinking about the EXACT same things! It is so tempting to just go use the debit card when out of grocery cash for a few "great" sales that are hard to pass up. If I ignored the ads sometimes and just thought about what we TRULY NEEDED, I, too, would save money because I wouldn't get sucked in by those advertised values. (And I think I can resist their marketing!!:)

  9. Powdered milk can also take you through those times as well.

    We've had to go a lot longer than just the end of the month before. When you go months and months without income, it helps to stop looking at the ads. I felt bad that I couldn't get the good deals, because I couldn't buy ANYTHING for a very long time. I started throwing the ads out when they came in the mail because they made me want to cry.

    Once I focused on what we DID have in our pantry (instead of what I couldn't buy), I found myself happier as I learned to be grateful for all that we DID have. Instead of murmuring, I was able to give thanks to God for providing for our needs. We had food in our pantry that lasted us a very, very long time. I learned to be a better gardener, and plan my meals around what was fresh in my garden. I learned to garden year-round so that we could always have something fresh to eat. I became more grateful that we had something to eat and that we were not hungry.

  10. I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets excited about grocery ads:)

    I do the same thing – I have one big grocery shopping trip a week and whatever we don't have, we just have to live without until the next week. And the next week is never very far away. Unless you're out of multiple things, it's easy to substitute what you don't have until you can get it again.

  11. Prudent Homemaker, thanks for sharing your experiences. The lean times can be hard. Thank you for that reminder. This past week was more about self-control than lack of money. But, there have been many seasons when it was the latter. Thanks for reminding me…

  12. Wow – just stumbled across your blog. Love it. Your advice is great. I've been practicing (and sometimes teaching) OAMC for years (I'm old compared to most of you moms – I'm a mom of teenagers), and I am very creative with my pantry-diving. 🙂 Way to go…this community of moms is a breath of fresh air…you all should be proud of yourselves. Honestly.