Grocery Budget Checkup Week 11: Plus What My 5 Year Old Taught Me About Money

Yesterday I got a phone call from my nine year old at school. It was 9:30 in the morning, and she was calling to let me know that her five year old sister just spent all their lunch money ($25 ~ yikes!) at the book fair. They rarely eat school lunches, however their account was getting low and my youngest was be-bopping around the house before school and oh-so-excited to have that money in her hand as she headed out the door.


Sure enough, she spent every last penny. At five years old, she didn't understand (or chose not to understand) that the $25 was allocated towards a certain place. To her, it was $25 that she had in her hand to spend, and whether or not she or her sister had lunch really didn't matter all that much.


It got me thinking that so often we as adults are tempted to do the same thing.  Need money for a cute outfit for the kids but no money in the “clothing” fund? Steal some out of the grocery budget. Really want to go out to dinner but there's no money left in the “eating out” budget this week? Just stick it on a credit card . . . the money will come from somewhere, right?

It's so easy to have Reagan's kindergarten mindset of what I “want” being more important than what I “need” when we approach our own finances, even as adults. Reagan reminded me that I need to be a grown up when I attack my own spending each week, and not act like a childish kindergartener who doesn't know any better. Maybe you've been struggling with this one too, and if so, I hope you'll be encouraged to focus on your long term goals rather than settling for second best.



‘Nuf said. On to the point of this post 😉


How's your grocery budget looking this week? We stuck to our grocery and dining out budget this week, and I'm so excited to start “week 2” of our budget on track! Here's where our moo-lah went this week . . .

  • Publix Trip #1: Spent $58.30, Saved $81.50
  • Publix Trip #2: Spent $3.05, Saved $14.28
  • Walmart Trip: Spent $3.16, Saved $1.98



How have you done this week on your budget? Are you sticking to it? Spending way too much? Way ahead of the game? I'd love to know how budgeting looks in your home too, and if you have any tips for staying on track please leave a comment to share.


If you're feeling discouraged, don't. give. up. There are many days and weeks when it's hard to stay on track, but reaching your long term goals is so worth it when you get there. (I promise!)


Share how you've done this week by clicking HERE ~ I love hearing from you!



Print Friendly and PDF


  1. Good for you Laurie. It sounds like you are teaching your kids sound money management skills.

    • Not sure we’re anywhere close with that littlest one …. hopefully she’ll get it one of these days! 🙂

  2. Thank you sooo much for posting this! For some reason it was a ‘ah ha moment’ for me. I plan our budget for paying bills for 3 months at a time and i know exactly what has to be paid each week. And, that’s where it has always stopped. I had no clue how to turn all these coupon savings into an actual savings i can touch and spend later. I save at the grocery store, etc but dont set aside the savings. I just know i did well and saved money. I have to start setting an amount for grocery, gas etc every week and save the rest. Not just leave it in checking to roll over and eventually get spent. Hope this makes sense, it may seem silly :/ A BIG thanks!!

  3. So glad it helped Amy! I wasn’t sure if it was even worth posting, but I had that same thought as I was thinking about it this morning. I’m excited to hear how it goes for you… I think it will help you see what you can do with your savings!

    (Btw, I’m super excited because next month I’ve got some awesome giveaways coming on Dave Ramsey books… I’m betting the tips will help out too, and will be posting those throughout April!)

  4. Awesome! Looking forward to it!

  5. Something VERY similar happened to me several years ago while my son was in first grade! The only difference was they allowed him to bring his books(book markers, rubber bands, balls, etc) home without paying for them yet, and sent a bill!! I was a little upset, to say the least. I wanted to return the books because they were rather expensive(he has his mother’s taste :/), but he threw a fit!! Lesson, I sent money with him each year that followed and he was not allowed to go over that amount!

    • I can’t believe they let him bring home books without having paid for them ~ eek! I was shocked that they didn’t check the check at our school before paying it, but after I talked to her teacher she returned the book (and learned a lesson too…) After 8 years of having kids in school, I’m ready to be done with book fair week!!! 🙂

  6. Love that picture of Reagan! Lol!

    • She’s a mess! It cracked me up because it was from the fall but that’s pretty much the face she had on whenever she got home from school after her mistake. Ha! 🙂

  7. Crystal Casteel Mcnabb says

    I stick as close as I can to our budget every week for groceries. If we have any extra then I decide if we can go out to eat or shopping. And really about once a month I do a grocery splurge which means I spend about $100 together something the family would like coupon or not. S that way they don't think I never buy what they want.

  8. My problem is starting our budget…I am taking FPU and have written a budget but not sure how to get started without having a bunch of envelopes sitting around. Should I just take all the money out that is for groceries, clothes, and eating out?

  9. Debbie Owen Taylor says

    Just started couponing the first of this year, so I'm still learning also just started the envelope system budgeting this past week. Went to do my grocery shopping at Bi-lo yesterday. Spent $157.37, saved $127.62 I'm sure I could have done better but was so excited with all the groceries I bought I took a picture.Was pleased that I stayed within my two week budget. Not regretting the time and effort it takes to coupon or budget.

    • Great job Debbie – that’s fantastic for just starting out! It feels so good to be able to save on something you have to purchase anyways… good luck and keep it up! 🙂

  10. We have been doing dave for years. Email or call and I can help you out. He website has great stuff too

  11. Jenifer Heidebrecht Gonzalez says

    That's what we did. And quit using our debit card. He was right cash hurts.

  12. Sounds like something I would have done.

Speak Your Mind