Somehow I always end up going over budget...sometimes WAY over. Even when I would make a list, it wasn't really planned out. So for today, I planned out the meals for the next 2 weeks, and as I decided on each meal, I would write down the ingredients I needed for it. That was my shopping list. Then I added the extra things (snacks for the kids, condiments we needed, etc). When I got to the store, I stuck strictly to the list. If it wasn't on there, I didn't buy it! And I carried my calculator with me so that I knew exactly how my total was progressing...no surprises. I had a budget of $200 MAX. I got groceries for 7 people (4 adults and 3 kids) for 2 weeks for $190!!! Super pleased with myself.
We are also starting to stockpile the incidental stuff (toilet paper, laundry soap, dish soap, shampoos, toothpaste, deodorant, etc) because that stuff gets very expensive and we want to make sure we have plenty when we are ready to move, just in case we get in a bind at any point. So I got 2 big bottles of Tide, a big package of Charmin, 2 pouches of Cascade and 2 big bottles of Pantene for only $60! Combining Stater Bros coupons with manufacturer coupons, I saved over $20 on just those items! Going back Tuesday before the store coupons expire to get more!