It seems like there is always a good handful of days at the end of the month where the grocery money has been spent and the cupboard is bare and I still have mouths to feed. When this happens it discourages me because it is evidence that I didn't do a good job at managing my resources for that month.
I have discovered a game changer that is working like a charm for me.
In the old plan (the one that failed me occasionally...like, as in most months except February) I would divide my month and grocery money into four weeks and make four trips to the grocery store. It was overwhelming to think of that many meals for me, and inevitably, there would be that pesky half-week at the end of the month I hadn't planned well for.
So you know what I did?
I started dividing my month into 5 day segments. That means 6 trips to the store. And I divided my grocery budget by 6. Now I am taking 6 trips to the store and it is helping me really pick and choose wisely what we need for the week.
So for instance, if your budget is $600 for the month and you decide to divide up into 5 day segments, you'd have $100 for each trip!
We have discovered the Kids Eat Free places in town where we can all eat for under $20 and I am sure to include that in my 5 day rotations.
I'm not sure why it has been so much more freeing and less overwhelming to shorten my shopping trips to every 5 days but it really has worked wonders for me.
Last month I even had a spare $20 at the end and guess what? I used it to buy some plants for my front flower bed! Now that was a great feeling!!!
If menu planning/grocery shopping/and being a good steward of your resources is challenging for you, I highly recommend trying to rethink your current system. It is crazy to me that I still am working with the same budget and the same days in each month, but by re-working how I plan for it, it has given me freedom. (it's also easier to keep the fresh produce and meats handy)