July 18, 2012

Sharing the wealth: Give yourself some grace

Thanks to my recent announcement, you hopefully are aware now why I have been mostly MIA for the past several weeks. If it isn't clear to you- let me break it down for you:

I have had some pretty awful "morning" sickness. I use quotes around "morning" because it was rarely just a morning thing. I pretty much had food aversions all day with my most nauseous time varying between mid morning to evening. Because of this, our menu planning/grocery shopping/actually cooking at home thing has suffered pretty miserably. Shaun has been amazing with housework and such and has been willing to do whatever he can to make things easier for me, but he is unfortunately not the world's best cook, which means that we have been doing a lot of eating out and eating processed foods.

With my morning sickness starting to resolve, I am really looking forward to getting back into the menu planning and bargain shopping that is not only a smart financial move for my family, but has us eating so much healthier and is a fun hobby for me as well!

This past several weeks we have rarely stuck completely to our food budget (luckily my nausea and exhaustion have left us staying at home most days so we were able to pull from our gas budget to cover the difference). We have eaten out more times than I want to think about. My constantly changing food aversions have left us almost always waiting until the last minute to decide what we were going to throw together (or go pick up) for just about every meal. A (big) part of me is not thrilled with how these weeks went. Knowing that it would be hard for me I really tried to prepare well- I had about 20 meals made in the freezer for those nights that I just couldn't cook. What I didn't factor in was that I would have a spaghetti sauce aversion that made 4 lasagna casseroles useless. I also had forgotten how serious my poultry aversion is, so the chicken and noodles and cooked shredded chicken have also been pointless. 

I was really trying to continue with my menu planning utilizing my freezer meals and planning meals that Shaun could at least do part of the cooking for. That worked until I was about 8 weeks along (my morning sickness started at 6 weeks). This is when I realized that my kids were having peanut butter sandwiches for just about every meal because I didn't have the energy or food tolerance to make them anything else. I decided that it was time to buck up and accept that we were going to have to add chicken nuggets and similar items back into our meal planning, and just sucking it up and eating out when nothing we had here sounded good.

Now that I am starting to feel a LITTLE better, I am so excited to get back to normalcy, but during this time, I have actually learned a lot! Ever since I started really watching our food budget, we have had it pretty easy. We haven't had a lot of super crazy things happen and haven't experienced the burn out many do since it is a hobby for me. I really had to grasp something important to sticking to a budget- give yourself some grace!!!

Have I overspent blown my grocery budget this last few weeks, yes. Is this a fact that I love? Of course not. But I still had the money to make up for this when the most important thing has not been my budget lines working out perfectly, but a pregnant momma getting calories into her body that she could hold down (I actually lost about 7 pounds over the course of about 2 weeks). Normally I would not keep spending once my food money was gone- that is the point to the budget. But that was just not the priority.

I think we all have times when out budget isn't a priority- a family emergency, illness, or we are just burnt out and need a break from toting coupons. When you are doing everything you can 99% of time it leaves wiggle room for that 1%. I did what I could to save money, like primarily shopping at Aldi. We also ate from our pantry whenever possible.

Sticking to a budget and making smart grocery choices is super important. But from time to time, life will happen. If you beat yourself up about it and focus on how you went off track, you will begin to resent your budget and it will make it much harder to get your goals back in focus. Instead, focus on what you did right and how your 99% of the time commitment got you through. If you totally bombed, figure out how to get back on track and what you need to do to be better prepared in the future (because it WILL happen again!)

Now, I need to plan a mega shopping trip- my cupboards are BARE!!!

An exciting little bit of news...

For those of you who didn't catch this on Facebook...

Yup! Around the end of January 2013 we will be welcoming a new little blessing into our lives! We are so excited! This first several weeks has been super rough which is why I have been a blogger slacker. Plus, my nausea mixed with no energy mixed with a constantly changing appetite has meant that we have eaten out a LOT and my shopping trips have been really nothing to brag about (I am working on a post about all this drama to post soon!)