Why blowing your budget is a sometimes a good idea

I thought I’d be within my $700 budget this month. Until I found chicken tenders for $1.49 a pound at Albertson’s and boneless breasts for $1.25 at Wal-Mart.  $50 and nearly 40 pounds of chicken later I have enough chicken for 3 months.  Yeah, I’m $50 over budget for January, but every chicken meal for the next 3 months is going to cost us less money thanks to stocking up during a great sale.

Now I’m off to sautee chicken, and make 4 pans of chicken enchiladas, and several meals worth of teriyaki sauce.  And I think we’ll have rice and sriracha chicken for lunch.  Yum!


  1. I don’t blame you for going over. I would, too!

  2. I totally agree! Sales like that are hard to pass up. BUT, I have to then subtract a little bit from the next few month’s grocery budgets. Otherwise I’d fill our house and use up every penny available to me in the next few weeks oblivious to the fact that I should be way under due to my stocked freezer. If I got it, I usually spend it 🙂 LOL!

    (you, on the other hand, always seem to be underbudget which really impresses me. I’d love to have your discipline!)

  3. We are only spending $100 a month to feed for our family of four this year…

    $100 a month for food, take out, restaurants, and toiletries… so far so good! It’s amazing what you can do when you combine coupons and a good sale!

    • How are you able to do this? That equals $25 a week, $5 for sugar, $5 for flour, $5 for tampons, $5 for milk and $5 for oranges and haven’t bought any meet, spices, toiletries!!!!!!, etc.
      How is this possible?

      • I use coupons for practically everything I buy. I can usually get things like milk, eggs in the winter (we have chickens), 1/2& 1/2, whipping cream, cottage cheese and orange juice for free at Rite Aid with a little strategic couponing/planning. If you really take the time to sit down and figure it out it can be down.

      • There are some fantastic couponing websites to help you co-ordinate sales, coupons and stores! My budget for the four of us is a little higher than Mavis’ but still considerably less than most other folks!

  4. Awesome! I got your “Family feasts for $75 a week” book from the library this week and I’m loving it! I’m like a year or more behind in reading it, I know, but it’s still great!

  5. You stay within your budget and serve meals like that for lunch?

    I want to come live at your house.

    God bless you!

  6. happyathome says:

    Wow what amazing prices!!! Here in New Zealand the cheapest meat is $4 per lb ( mince/hamburger). It would be totally unheard of to buy meat for $3 per kg here in NZ. I buy whole chickens weighing 2-3 kg, cook them up and shred the meat. We eat chicken this way mostly as it’s the cheapest option. My aim is $700 per month also,( for a family of 8) but I’m pretty sure we pay more for many grocery items for example milk is $3 for 2 litres, dry beans $4-5 per lb, meat/beef $4-5 per lb on special. I LOVE your blog, it’s so inspiring! I think of you each day as I go out to my graden and pick all the goodies: zucchini, tomatoes, beans, silver beet ( swiss chard), beets etc.Spare produce is being frozen and my jars are all filled with preserved tomatoes.

  7. happyathome says:

    Oops a family of Eight should be where the smiley face is!

  8. I agree that sometimes you need to spend to save in the long term. In many respects a freezer can be as good as a bank account.

    My greatest challenge is making sure that food does not go to waste. As an Australian I am amazed at the US food prices.

  9. You have great prices for chicken where you live. I can never find it for less than $2 a pound here in Florida.

    • Allison, Those prices were unusual for here too. I almost never see boneless breasts for less that $2 a pound, and I often see tenders for $2.50 or more a pound. Tenders are so expensive they’re not even on my list of options– I’ve literally never bought them til now. I love them– perfect serving sizes for little kids! But they’re just too expensive usually. Thus my delight when I found them on such a good sale. The trick now is to not eat meat more often just because we have a lot of it!

  10. How many pounds of chicken do you typically use in a month? Just curious because we have gone through a 10-lb bag in just over a week, and I feel like that is a lot.

    I love tenders also, but can never afford them. They defrost so quick, plus the smaller pieces means more marinade / flavor on each bite.

    • Shana,
      I most typically use chicken a couple pounds at a time in stir fry or enchiladas or pot pie. In soup I may only use a pound of meat, and once or twice a month I will serve 4-5 pounds of whole chicken thighs in teriyaki sauce in one meal. But in general I’ll get 20 meals out of 40 pounds of chicken. Serving chicken twice a week, that should be at least a couple months of chicken.

  11. i just found your website and i think its a great. I cant believe that your budget is 700 a month for your family. it makes me relize that i really need to get my grocery budget in check. we usually spend 673 for a family of five. thanks for the inspiration! i know now that i should be able to cut it way down! thanks

  12. depending on sales, we spend a lot to a little on groceries each month. I’d have a hard time estimating how much we actually do spend. We’re very conscientious about following sales.

    Enjoy your chicken .

  13. I’ll understand if it’s frowned upon but for those of you looking for frugal grocery inspiration–my friend from high school has a blog, Brilliant Frugal Living, where she went day by day, meal by meal, and explained how she fed her family for under $300 in the month of January. Some of her tips wouldn’t work for me (my kids hate soup, for example) but it got me thinking!


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