One of the two most common pieces of advice to keeping your grocery bill within budget is to make a list and stick to it. The other is to shop alone, leaving kids and spouses at home. The last trip to the store I broke all the rules. Danger is my middle name.
I won't pretend I wasn't afraid. But I went bravely into battle with my sword (the monthly circular) and shield (extra room in this month's budget). At the end of the trip, I emerged victorious! The grand total came to $71.07, under my weekly budget of $75. Without a list or a plan!
I think the trick to doing well without my usual half hour of planning is simply knowing the good prices. I bought a lot of meat on sale, including chicken breast for $1.99/lb and pot roast for $1.99/lb. I didn't buy any items that we don't buy on a regular basis. Even better, I have almost enough food to last me for the rest of September, so I will be plenty under the grocery budget. Woo! After the credit card and car setbacks, I am psyched to have some good news.