So instead, I went back to the drawing board for dinner. "I can cook this meal instead and use up a couple of half cans of pasta sauce." I also extremely lowered my expectations for my lunch the next day: "I can just take this overbaked two-day old slice of pizza along with an apple and some cheese sticks for my lunch." And that is what I did. Did it taste great? No, it did not. Did I feel like a slob next to my colleagues who were talking about eating healthy and eating nut bars and four kinds of fruits and vegetables. Yes, yes I did. And I was okay with it. Why? Because I am a little bit in survival mode. And because sometimes a delicious and nutritious lunch will just have to wait until tomorrow.
This morning, I took my very complete list for groceries to the store and picked up everything we need for the entire week including healthy lunch options. More importantly, I didn't feel stressed out because I was mentally prepared, and Target is quite empty on a Saturday morning at 8:00. In addition, because I had not run to the store in a frenzy on Thursday night, I actually had enough money to get all the basics we need for the week. I figure that by putting off the panic run in the middle of the week, we have easily saved $15.
So, my advice to others is that when you think you NEED groceries, you probably can easily go another day or two. It might even help you use up some of those random half-used jars in the fridge.
How do you save money on groceries?