Personal Finance

Fess Up: The neverending grocery cycle

It’s time for a confession.

I am the queen of deciding what I want to eat and shopping for ingredients with no thought whatsoever about cost and little to no consideration for what’s already in the pantry or the fridge. This has led to an annoying syndrome in our house: pantry bloat.

Pantry Bloat = a pantry full of food with nothing to eat. Right now, our pantry shelves are stuffed to the gills, the fridge crowded with bits of things, and I can’t think of a thing for dinner. It’s a vicious cycle and one I am determined to halt in its tracks.

What ends up happening is that we have plenty of groceries at home from which we could procure excellent and tasty meals for ourselves. It’s just that we’re fickle. We love to eat, and I LOVE to cook. And I like to cook what sounds good at the moment. So, if stuffed peppers are on the menu but chili sounds better because it’s remotely cool outside, I’ll go to the store (thereby making a separate, unplanned trip!) just to buy stuff to make one single solitary meal! The meal will be eaten and enjoyed by all, but it means other things will go to waste!

Today is basically the end of October. We have leftovers in the fridge for dinner tonight and meals tomorrow. I don’t think I have another trip to the store in the immediate forecast (which is good since there’s a 90 percent chance of more rain the rest of today and all night tonight). I set our grocery spending budget in Mint this month at $500. Sadly, I blew past it without much thought or notice. We spent $582 on groceries in October, but thinking about the currently well-stocked pantry and the above mentioned pantry bloat and the syndrome of needlessly running to the store on a whim has me convinced that I should try again to stay under the $500 budget in November. This weekend, I’ll meal plan by taking into account what we currently have that needs to get used up first. From there, I’ll shop for what’s truly needed, and the goal will be to get through what we have first. Ultimately, I think it’s reasonable that two people should be able to eat for far less than $500 per month, but we’re taking baby steps here. Stay tuned!

1 thought on “Fess Up: The neverending grocery cycle”

  1. This is something I’m constantly fighting because food is one area of the budget that I feel we have a lot of control over. November is our first month doing a strict budget and I set our food at $500 also ($100 of that for eating out). I think we are pretty close to that right now, but we have a couple weeks left so I know we’re going to go over!

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