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Super Savings Saturday: So much for my good intentions

I have a confession to make: we blew the grocery budget this week.

We were doing so well at sticking to our budget in the middle of moving. We’d only gone out to eat once each week, like usual. We’d only gone a little over our usual grocery budget because we had bought a lot of quick foods. And I was feeling pretty good with how it was all going.

Then, right after we moved, I came down with a 102-degree fever (very likely due from living on little sleep for two weeks while burning the midnight oil doing everything involved with pulling off a move). And instead of going to the store and re-stocking our cupboards like I was planning, I spent a lot of time in bed.

And well, we blew the budget. So much for my good intentions. In fact, to be very truthful, we subsisted on peanut butter and jelly, cold cereal and takeout for almost an entire week.

I’m not even going to add up how much we spent on takeout this week because I know I’d be discouraged. But sometimes, you just gotta do, what you gotta do.

However, I’m finally feeling better and am headed to the store and hoping to get us back on track this coming week. Because I think we’re all a little tired of takeout. 🙂

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65 Comments

  • Myra says:

    Crystal, I totally understand your plight. This past week was full of rest and recoup for me. I had a horrible leg infection that landed me in the ER twice and then Ridley came down with ear infections and roseola. I didn’t cook ONCE the entire week. 🙁

    Today, I’m just thankful to be feeling better and that Ridley is doing better too.

    Thank you for being real and inspiring. 🙂

  • I think it sounds like takeout was JUST the thing for you this week. I wouldn’t feel remotely guilty about that because it’s not like you do this all the time.

    I had hyperemesis that got worse with each of my 4 pregnancies, and let me tell you, our food spending was NOT the best during those times. I just wasn’t up to grocery shopping or cooking….all I could do was lay on the couch and feel like death warmed over.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better now!

    • Stephanie says:

      You were hyperemetic too? And it got worse each time with you too? I am so sorry- I hear you on the food budget, ours has been wrecked since everything except usually blueberries, watermelon and Crispix doesn’t stay put so we have spent a lot on those three foods. At least there is only one more month to go and I am now back to my prepregnancy weight which means we won’t have to keep spending money on the anti-nausea drugs. I am so glad that we have the wiggle room in the budget to pay for the food that looks good when I am able to eat. Most importantly, the baby is healthy even though I feel horrible.
      When someone is not feeling 100% you do what you have to do to get through and pick up the slack later and not feel guilty about it.
      I hope everyone is feeling better now!

      • @Stephanie, Yup, it got worse and worse every time. After 4, we decided I’d ingested enough Zofran and felt like complete garbage enough times and called it quits. A hypothetical #5 would probably have me living in the hospital, as I’d maxed out the Zofran dosage.

        Glad you’re almost done!

  • angie says:

    Crystal- I think it’s perfectly understandable! A move plus a severe cold would put anyone in the same place I think. I am sure this week will be better!

  • Janie says:

    Been there! After I had my wisdom teeth taken out, we blew our food budget pretty badly. When you don’t feel good and are sick, it’s nearly impossible to stick to a grocery budget that includes cooking at home. It happens, oh well! I’m very glad you’re feeling better! 🙂

  • Cheryl says:

    Glad you are back up and about.

  • Laura says:

    Glad you’re feeling better!

  • Tammy says:

    Moving can and stress does make one sick but I think blowing the budget once isn’t going to break you.Dave Ramsey isn’t going to be showing up on your door-thankfully and say look who blew her budget!

    I look forward to your first big shopping trip in the new house and see how little you spend and gets lots.

    • Marie says:

      @Tammy, So true. In fact, I’m sure Dave Ramsey would be congratulating Crystal and her hubby with balloons and a cake after seeing that they paid cash for a home!

  • Melissa says:

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better! Thanks for being authentic and honest- that’s encouraging, too, b/c there are definitely times I’ve blown it when we have things like that going on….hearing that someone who is definitely better at this budgeting thing than me does the same thing once in a while actually encourages me to get back on the wagon when I fall off rather than give up discouraged. (if that makes sense). 😉 I’m so excited for you in your new house!!

  • Crystal,
    Thanks for being real, hope you are on the mend and feeling better!

  • Courtney says:

    Glad you are back to normal ! I’m sure you will recover from going over your budget. You still set a wonderful example for everyone. Its nice to know you are not that ‘perfect’ all the time. haha

  • I am SO GLAD to read this post!!! I tend to put crazy pressure on myself…and then feel guilty if I can’t live up to my own expectations! LIFE HAPPENS!! My mom is a dietician….she always tells us that consistent, daily healthy eating is important…and if you do consistently eat healty….don’t feel bad about that annual funnel cake at the fair…enjoy it! Consistency makes the unusual ok! Enjoy that takeout this week!

  • Rough week for you! 🙁 Glad you’re feeling better! I haven’t REALLY started blogging yet so, I thought I’d just post my haul hear in the comments!
    Safeway:
    5 boxes of cheerios
    15 boxes of cinnamon toast crunch (hubbies favorite)
    5 boxes of nature valley granola bars
    12 32oz bottles of gatorade
    2 gallons of milk
    36 eggs
    for a grand total of $53
    The cereal was buy 4/save $4 plus I had printed coupons AND there were blinkies in the aisle PLUS for every 4 boxes of cereal, you got a FREE box of granola bars.
    Gatorade was .79/32oz PLUS there were peelies for buy3/save$1
    Eggs were BOGO for 18
    and the milk (since I buy organic for the children in my care) blew my average out of the water! 🙁 lol

  • Jennifer says:

    It’s discouraging when we don’t measure up to our own expectations, but the fact that you have done so well with your budget 98% of the time gives you some room to breathe now and again. My mom always tells me that the more you exert yourself while you are sick, the longer you stay sick. So the takeout is actually helping you get better, because you can rest and recuperate. Also remember that in regular circumstances, you probably could have gotten through on your freezer meal stash, but you don’t have one right now. So next time you’ll be prepared! Feel better!

  • Molly Green says:

    Congrats on the house purchase. How exciting!

  • Thank you so much for being honest. My husband and I are starting Dave Ramsey…not because we are in a lot of debt but because we want one less fight over the monthly budget. Anyways, I am glad to hear that sometimes people slip up. Life happens and it is ok. It doesn’t mean we do not beat ourselves up about it but it still does happen every so often. You are still an inspiration to me. My goal is to pay off our mortgage. I may be 50 when it happens but I really want to do…because you inspired me. Thank you.

  • Amy Lauren says:

    To me, if you’re sick… everything else should go out the window until you’re better, including budgeting. I was diagnosed with severe anemia in May (had iron level of 7.3. Surprised they didn’t transfuse). So for awhile there, it didn’t so much matter what I got on sale or what deals I could get… it was basically that I had to eat certain foods regardless of price, take iron supplements, drink protein shakes (and *good* protein powder is NOT cheap) and do whatever it took to get better. If you stay with your budget 90% of the time… or even 75% of the time, really, you’re doing an awesome job… and you’re doing a really awesome job!

    als

  • Sara says:

    Sorry I added my blog twice cause the first time I did it wrong- glad you are feeling better and can’t wait to hear about all the saving you will be doing!! I just stocked my freezer with meat for a year and frozen pizzas…

  • Kimberlee says:

    Glad you’re feeling better. I have been unmotivated myself lately. Thankfully the freezer and pantry were stocked!

  • Knowing how you think, I’m sure it was hard to blow your budget on food this week, but if I had been in your shoes, I would have thought “Food budget – overboard, but hey, we just moved into a house we paid for in cash.” Not that it would give me an excuse to do that every week, but I would definitely think that something as unexpected as a 102 fever with three little children would qualify as a reason to do takeout.

    Hope you’re feeling better!

  • Sharon says:

    Unfortunately we blow our grocery budget nearly every week. My husband just loves to go out. It’s hard to argue with him. So, I don’t.

    • Kassandra Wood says:

      @Sharon, My husband LOVES to eat out, too! So, instead of “blowing” our budget, I just incorporate those costs into our budget. You work hard, if you love going out to eat and you can afford to… why not? Everyone has their ways of treating themselves. Just add the expense to your budget… Dave Ramsey once said that if you know you’re going to blow money, then make an area of your budget called ‘blow money’. In my opinion it’s about being realistic and being accountable. If it fits in your new budget, kudos. If not, then perhaps you can find a happy median… Maybe less expensive outings… or less often… 🙂

  • Abby says:

    Glad you are feeling better! Your blogs are always so inspiring and you’ve given us so many good ideas along the way. This week was the first week I didn’t coupon shop in so long, it felt weird!! We went to Disney World for our belated honeymoon, and I felt so silly. We bought so many souvenirs that Mickey Mouse would probably blush 😉 It’s a good feeling to go back to the drawing board and get things back in order! It makes you realize how all the saving makes it so much easier on the wallet to splurge once in a blue moon.

  • k and b's mom says:

    So when you blow your budget where do you get the extra money from?

  • Kassandra Wood says:

    Being the optimist I am, all I can say is Thank God you are feeling better… and if this had to happen to you, now is the better of the times. Debt free, in a house you own 100% with the resources to do afford taking a much-needed break. I can’t imagine what life would have been like last week if you’d no choice but to cook when you were so very ill… Yay for living debt free and being great stewards of your resources!

  • Dona says:

    You deserve the break and I hope you are feeling much better! On a side note, I really hope you show some more pics of your new home. It is so inspiring to watch your dream come true. I have been following your blog for nearly 3 years and I am on pins and needles waiting to see more! Congrats again!

  • So happy to know you are feeling better! It is always a blessing to be able to have grace on yourself in the midst of sickness!

  • Glad you’re feeling better! I’m sure that the mega-savings you do throughout the rest of the year will more than make up for one week of budget blowing. 🙂

  • Hope you are feeling better. The best thing about living within your means is that you can afford the “emergencies” that life sends our way. My daughter contracted lice (eww) a couple of weeks ago (and my other children have gotten it from her). We have spent about $75 on lice shampoos, special combs, spray cleaner, etc. not to mention all of the extra wash we have been doing. I don’t want to see what our water bill will be this month. I can think of better ways to spend $75 but at least we had the money for it. Living within your budget most of the time will allow you to blow it when you have too.

  • Jaclyn says:

    You just paid CASH for a house-something some people never do, don’t worry about one week of take out! 🙂

  • Jill says:

    You poor thing! I am sorry that you are feeling sick! Try to focus more on you getting better instead of being worried about the grocery budget for one week. (((HUGS)))

  • Tracy says:

    Glad you’re feeling better Crystal! I think a bug is going around because it has visited everyone I know in the last 2 weeks.

  • Denise C. says:

    Ooooh I have been there many times. When we moved from our rental townhouse to our purchased one last year, the fridge in the rental DIED. We were not set to move for another 1.5 weeks. All the food we had in the fridge and freezer had to be-GASP-thrown out. 🙁 Yes, I was not to pleased about that. The landlord was not going to replace the fridge, so for 1.5 weeks, we lived on take out. After the 3rd day, it got old real quick.

  • Ryan says:

    Everybody has weeks (or months) like that! It’s a great reason to keep your budget tight and save money the rest of the time, so that when these things come up, you are able to do what you need to do without breaking the bank. We’ve had seasons like that (pregnancy, other illness), where we had more important things to take care of like our families health, than worrying too much about every penny (although we still kept track of all our spending). Having money saved from the easier times, you can then do what you need to do without having to worry about finances in addition to whatever circumstance you’re dealing with.

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself! You have a lot on your plate! And you were sick! So, you blew the grocery budget one week. Lots of grace to you girl! So proud of you for what you do!

  • This post was inspiring, and made me feel a little less guilty! Our food budget has at least doubled in the past couple of weeks since I have been on bedrest, and unable to cook or coupon. I am planning on giving myself a couple of weeks after our little one comes, and then I will get back on schedule. My eldest daughter has been learning how to cook though with my supervision, and she has loved it. So, we aren’t spending as much as we would otherwise, but still much more than we usually do, and we are definitely getting more take out than we ever get. It will be great for life to get back to normal, but in the meantime I am just planning to relax until baby comes. Fortunately, I also have tons of homemade canned foods that I had made since I knew I would probably end up on bedrest at the end of this pregnancy like I have with the last 3. That is the one thing that has still helped our budget some.

  • Diana says:

    I bet you are ready for home-cooked meals again! Takeout is a blessing when you need it (like you did!), but I know you’ll appreciate having that genuine home-cooked taste again 🙂 Glad you are feeling better!!

  • LN says:

    Totally unrelated to everything you’ve posted lately…and I understand how VERY busy you’ve been (not to mention sick!), but when things settle down, do you think you will get back to the work at home mom series? Pretty please! I was thoroughly enjoying that!!

  • Rachel says:

    So sorry you got sick! Don’t be discouraged by blowing your budget. You are human and have limits. You have accomplished wonderful things with your discipline and obedience. Crystal, I really admire you in so many ways. I look up to you and have been blessed by how diligently you serve Christ and your family! What a blessing you are to all of us readers. I am grateful.

    I haven’t gotten a chance to say this previously, but congrats on your new home! And I wasn’t offended by your post– I was awed. God didn’t call every Israelite to bring their people out of Egypt, just Moses. He calls us each to our own ministries. I believe one of your family’s ministries is financial. Though I myself am not called to pay for a home in cash, I am called to be a good steward and that looks different for me. I believe that and recognize God’s work in your life just I recognize His work in mine.

    Blessings to you!
    Rachel

    • Crystal says:

      Thank you for your kind encouragement, Rachel! And yes, I definitely agree that God calls different people to different things and how we walk out obedience and faithfulness to Him is going to look different for each of us.

  • Susan J says:

    Glad you are feeling better…and that you’re normal like the rest of us and blow the budget occasionally. =) Keep pressing on, Crystal! I appreciate what you are doing here, and that you don’t run this blog at the expense of your precious family.

  • I, for one, am glad to hear you blew it. Not to sound mean, but I was getting discouraged hearing how little your grocery budget is. No matter how I try to work the sales & coupons, I never can seem to get it anywhere as low as many of you ladies do and this week it was causing me to wonder why I even try. I do hope you’re feeling better, though. And I really do enjoy the blog and the bargain finds you pass along to us.

  • Hope you are feeling better….we are moving in a month! I know how stressful it is and what stress does to us! 🙂 Thanks for the link up!

    ~michelle

  • Mandi says:

    Glad you are feeling better. Thanks for your continued honesty and inspiration! I aspire to be a the best Money Saving Mom I can, but life happens sometimes. The thing I love best about your blog is you sharing your ups and downs and continued growth as you aspire to do things better too! It makes it seem that much more attainable for me too. Thanks. =)

  • RACHEL says:

    Rest is great medicine- don’t feel bad about take out!!

    If I just moved into my paid for house and had a fever~ you bet I’d have gone with the take out option for my family… you are an amazing frugalista the rest of the time, savor the fact that you could do take out and still eat it in a paid for home! 🙂

    Two questions though~
    1. Will your budget allotments change now that you’re not saving for “the home” or will you stick to a stringent amount?
    2. Our family is very health minded- I use the Skin Deep database, when purchasing health and beauty aid items. We are also vegan/vegetarian and try to buy lots of produce, beans, grains, etc and not very many processed foods. This is all wonderful for us- except in our grocery buget… I can’t really do the drug store game anymore- as most of this stuff ranks poorly on Skin Deep… and most coupons items are not for items that we eat (maybe there are a couple, that I scrounge for) I am a frugalista- but in our journey towards better health- we are not as productive with saving money… despite my efforts. What do you suggest?

    • Elizabeth says:

      @RACHEL, I’m with you– I’m not willing to compromise on my family’s health to save a couple of bucks. I look at it this way: A) I do the coupon/drugstore game for what I can (contact solution is contact solution and band aids are band aids) and do the best I can in the grocery with the organic stuff. And I try to be frugal in other parts of my life to pay for what is important to me– healthy, nourishing food and products for my family. We’ve started buying a lot of our meat “off the hoof” from local farmers who raise animals in ways I am comfortable with. We also do a CSA for our summer veggies, and I freeze anything I can that we can’t eat. Both of those things save me money– we pay about $3/lb for beef and $18/week for our produce in the summer (like I said, some of it gets frozen until winter). We also buy and freeze locally-grown strawberries and peaches, and I grow apples, blueberries, and raspberries that are enjoyed fresh and frozen for winter (if you don’t happen to have a farm, you can buy those things locally too). All of that saves money and time (well, during the rest of the year) and so then I don’t feel bad about paying extra for organic milk and cheese and hormone/antibiotic-free meat at the store (we don’t have organic meat at my local store, and I don’t have time to go to Whole Foods too.) In short, I think being frugal is about having enough money to buy the things that are important to you– if expensive food is what’s important to you, then buy it (spend as little on it as you can) and ENJOY!

      • RACHEL says:

        @Elizabeth, Hello Elizabeth~ yes we too have belonged to a CSA in our area… but unfortunately, the prices are skyrocketing each year..and couldn’t afford to join this year (bummer)~ we’ve been growing some produce as a result. I also can, freeze and try to eat seasonally. Being Vegan however, we don’t buy meats or cheeses- what milk we drink- is almond. But you’re right- it is not horrible spending money on great quality food- as long as you can cut corners on other areas. (We don’t have cable, cell phones or car payments)
        Thanks for your input and tips- I guess doing the grocery game for band-aids, contact solution and cvs almonds isn’t terrible 🙂

  • Catherine R. says:

    Oh, Crystal – I am probably not the only one who enjoys reminders that you are not perfect : D

    I am usually in a state of shock and disbelief at how you can pull off the grocery budget that you do and sometimes it can be hard not feel bad about my extreme lack of achievement in this area, for various reasons. But I do love these types of posts!

  • Laura says:

    I was sick a few weeks ago, and didn’t feel guilty at all. Its always nice when you let the ones you love that, Hey, I’m not all here, but i’ll do whatever I can. And the best thing is that they understand. It makes getting better so much easier. Definately no worries. Plus its always nice to take a little break from everything, it makes you go at it with passion.

  • Laura says:

    I’m glad to read you’re feeling better. I do appreciate that you are “real” and share all the good and bad of budgeting. I agree, though, with what so many already posted said: it’s okay! I, too, tend to feel guilty when I’ve made a purchase(s) that later regret. Your site, though, has clearly reminded others and me that we don’t have to chase down every deal. So, please “cut yourself some slack” focusing on all the positive. Enjoy your good health and those beautiful darlings in your new home!

  • wendy says:

    I saved $25 this week because my hairdresser didn’t charge me for a haircut since I keep her supplied with contact lens solution. Got an $11.99 car wash free by signing up for emails.

  • cherie says:

    Crystal in those circumstances I don’t see any way you could have done better! I’m glad you’re feeling on the mend and ready to tackle the future.

  • Being sick tends to do that…..although for me sadly, it means we all “save” money on the food budget because they eat whatever they can find and that is about all…..aren’t crackers and cereal good food? = )
    moving on top of that is a great time to spend money on take-out. Buying take-out to me always sounds like something from a movie though as I am not sure even how to do it properly.
    Oh well, saves me money!

  • It says “please leave a comment after posting link” so here’s my comment. I’m supposing, related to my link post. Well, I needed to see how well the Dr. Scholl’s deal would turn out and planned to do it 3 times through (had enough coupons to do that) but my store didn’t have enough stock to pull it off 🙁 I’d planned on getting my super-cheap-weekly-diapers with it, but instead ran across the awesome clearance find on the swim vest with swimsuit!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Crystal,
    The reason you work so hard is to have the money to do things like this when you need to. Remember, “perfect is the enemy of good.” The important this is that you are feeling better, your family didn’t starve, and you have had a little break to get re-energized. Don’t even think of feeling bad about it– you are a fantastic steward of your resources, and EVERYONE deserves a break now and again! (I’m just sorry you had to spend yours feeling so crummy.)

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m so glad you are feeling better! Enjoy your new house and thanks for all your encouraging posts!

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