1. I tend to buy a lot of produce. The CSA (not included in the budget) helps, but it's hard to figure out how much produce to buy around the CSA stuff.
2. Running out of things. I don't always remember to write stuff down. So, we ran out of popcorn. At the local grocery store: $4. At Trader Joe's? $2. Guess where we bought it last night, at the last minute?
3. Organics. These are expensive. Free range meat? Even moreso. You can get good deals at the local Whole Foods and other high end stores, on sale. But you have to track that. And fit it into your budget. And thus far, I haven't had the energy to track that - a good whole chicken can be had, on sale, for $2 a pound (so $10-12). You can get a good 3 or 4 meals out of that, particularly if you make your own stock. So I eat more stuff from the freezer and more dried beans, because they are universally cheap.
4. Special occasions. A certain boy is turning 9 next week. I am shopping for cake mixes.
5. Eating out. When I first set the budget, we ate out a LOT. Then a few weeks ago, I said "no eating out for 6 weeks". Well, there are a couple of exceptions (gift cards, the birthday party, and a pre-paid event.) And my spouse ate out yesterday for lunch because he was too tired to pack a lunch after a long business trip - he got stuck on the East Coast an extra day due to weather.
Anyway, here's the summary so far:
Note that this week (week 7), is still not over. And I'm sending my husband out for vanilla and yogurt for another batch of muffins, so it will go up by a few bucks.
I'm still "over" for the year because of the first 3 weeks before I set a budget. I'm hoping that a bunch of $70-75 weeks will let me catch up. It's easier to get a $70 week when my spouse is traveling.
What's on the menu this week?
Lunches Mom: salad (spinach, lettuce, arugula, leftover ham from Christmas from freezer)
Lunches Dad: turkey sandwiches
Saturday: Falafel (chickpeas were on sale for $1 for a pound dried), roast potatoes, kale chips
Sunday: Some sort of lentil thing, but I haven't figured out what
Monday: crockpot chicken (I'll be at a PTA meeting for 3 hours), broccoli
Tuesday: Leftover chicken, cole slaw
Wednesday: one-pot spaghetti, cole slaw
Thursday: Seriously unable to plan that far ahead. Depends on leftovers - spaghetti?
Friday: Someone's birthday, hm...pizza? Nachos?
Spinach balls (actually, chard, beet green, collards). We get a lot of greens. I have to be creative.
Orange lemon poppy seed muffins