Do you see that near the top? I bought a box of Duncan Hines chewy fudge brownies (they were on a great sale at Winco Foods this week). I really only buy what I need each week unless it is a staple I am out of or almost out of, then I buy what I can afford, sometimes it is the 5 pound bag of flour instead of the 10 pound bag that is a better “deal” in the long run. But that better deal could kill my budget for the week and prevent me from getting the nice to have but not necessary things like sour cream for Taco Tuesday, or a box of brownies to keep me from thinking this is an actual diet and breaking down and crying from lack of chocolate.
Keeping within my budget is easy by making use of the things that our grocery store of choice has to offer, the bulk section. I only needed half a teaspoon of crushed red peppers for my “Meatless Monday” meal of Slow-cooker Vegetable Curry. If I had to buy a whole container of crushed red peppers it would surely last me years and years (unless I eat a lot of homemade pizza because I love spicy on my pizza), but it would have been a budget killer this week. Instead I bought such a tiny amount at the bottom of the small bag that it didn’t even register on the scale at the checkout. The checker told me she had to input the default amount of $0.04. OK, 4 cents isn’t bad and it will add just the right zing of flavor that will make the meal.
Today I will bake the brownies and cut them up into small squares, package them in an airtight container, and we will enjoy our little treats this week. Smart budgeting allows you to not only get the healthy food you need, it also allows you to get treats once in a while so you don’t feel punished. It is easier to stick to a budget in the long run if you don’t feel like you are missing the things that make life enjoyable. And brownies make life enjoyable.