While I don’t use a hard-and-fast budget for our expenses, I do follow a mental budget when it comes to food shopping. Groceries can easily take a chunk out of your funds, especially if you go to the store hungry (I’ve made this mistake before and paid dearly for it, literally).
In the past two months, I’ve beaten the budget by 33%. For the two of us, I “brain budgeted” $300 monthly, and I’ve only been spending $200. Part of the reason is that I’ve limited myself to only going grocery shopping every two weeks instead of weekly — there’s less temptation this way. Plus, I’ve really been working the coupons as much as I can lately and sometimes buying in bulk. For example, we love the Quaker chewy granola bars. Since they’re a staple, I’ll buy a few boxes at a time. That paid off this week when in the ShopRite circular was a $3 off coupon for buying 5 Quaker products. Combined with the boxes on sale for $1.99 each (from $2.79 regularly), it saved us a bunch.
I did break down and spend money on lunch on Monday — $9 for Chinese food, but there was enough for two lunches. I suppose spending money on lunch once a month is better than doing it every day!