I was thinking this morning about how my meal planning/grocery budget shows the kind of season it is for us right now. It won't be like this forever. When I talk with people about meal planning, our grocery budget, meals, I don't think this is how it should be for everyone at this moment. It is for us and I'm sure that many others are in a similar season but, hopefully, in the end it is just a season. One day we'll spend more on groceries :).
I do think it's always a good rule to save as much as you can and not let stuff go to waste. I think finding good deals and using money wisely is a great thing. But, at some point that will look more like a $250 or $300 budget for the month... Some day it may not matter how expensive our coffee is or how to get our fruit in on as cheap as possible. Some day we will go back to having salmon once a week and steak every so often.
The last time we were in a "hard core saving" season like this, it definitely paid off. That's what we are going for again in this season. Before Evee was born - while I was pregnant and maybe a bit before I was pregnant - we were on a super strict budget like we are now. We were able to pay off my undergrad student loans during that time. Once Evee came, it was a payment each month we didn't have to pay and better yet, something that wasn't hanging over our heads. We were able to make a choice of I would work or not.
When I get to my next post about the 3 Big Questions (the book we read around Christmas time), I'll share what our goals are right now through the end of May and then you'll see even more the season that we've chosen to be in. It's good to know what is best and doable for you and your family at this time. I'm sure setting a budget, sticking to it, and meal planning will look unique to each family.