A Letter to Our Food Budget

 

 

Dear Food Budget,

Get behind me, Satan.

Thanks,

Melissa

 

But really. This is all I have to say to our food budget. It’s the biggest source of financial temptation for me. I don’t go shopping and buy new clothes very often. I probably only splurge when I have gift cards, when I’m pregnant and don’t fit my clothes any more, or when my kids need new clothes. I do love a new pair of shoes from Target, though.

My food budget, however, is a weekly source of contention for my soul.

I so desire to buy fresh, wholesome food for our family. Really, I just want to walk through the produce section and throw everything that looks tasty and organic into our cart without a second thought. I want to get the big steaks (this sentence may actually be an exaggeration). I want to plan meals based on what I feel like eating in the moment, even if that means double the ingredients and grocery items. I don’t want to be an extensive meal planner, and I want to drink the best coffee money can buy.

What I don’t want is to be limited by our financial goals.

Let’s be honest, the grocery budget is a flexible space. After you sign those papers, you can’t help how much you pay for your rent or mortgage. You can only finagle the heat and air costs until your toes are numb or you sleep in a sweat puddle, neither of which are encouraged nor create harmony in your living space. You can’t help how much you pay for water or internet. But going out to eat, entertainment, and the grocery bill are the places where you can save.

Realistically for our family, going out to eat and entertainment aren’t very convenient at this point of life, unless it’s date night, which is a budget category of its own. The grocery budget is where it’s at.

A brief history of our grocery budget: Start budget too low, go over month after month, readjust the budget for a more “realistic” range, stay within range for a few months, start going over the budget month after month, readjust for a more “realistic” range, etc.

It’s so easy to let it get out of control. And while I just love good, quality food and drink, it’s not a good enough excuse.

The grocery budget is where I can help our family save money each month or where I can prevent us from meeting our financial goals.

Ouch. The heaviness of this responsibility has officially set in for the umpteenth time.

So I’m attacking the grocery budget head on. I’m determined to stay within healthy financial realms while still purchasing and cooking nutrient-dense foods for my family. This is the balance of being a good steward with my money and treating my body as a temple.

Get behind me, Satan, indeed.