grocery budgets and poblano pepper soup

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November 8, 2015 by Ellen V

I have been feeling so frustrated this fall with grocery shopping.

We’ve been using a budget and carefully tracking our spending for about seven months now. In many ways, it’s so freeing to know how much money you have, where it goes, and how to plan for what’s coming. In other ways, though, it’s so restrictive. Those few budget lines that have any wiggle room are the first to get the ax.

And the grocery line always suffers.

So I did an experiment this week, and I bought whatever I wanted.

I mean I didn’t do that, really. I didn’t buy any alcohol or spend time in the cereal or snack aisles. But I bought a few extra meals, I restocked some of our more expensive indulgences (almonds!), I filled the fruit drawer.

Anyway, it ended up that our bill was only about $20-$30 bigger than it usually is, which was both comforting and frustrating. On one hand, that’s $100 a month that I’m saving our family by being careful with menu planning and smart shopping! On the other hand… I love food.

The fruit of all this, really, was the poblano pepper soup we had for dinner tonight. It’s one of Eric’s best recipes, and he makes it flawlessly. It’s potatoes and carrots and poblanos and onion and jalapeños sautéed and boiled and pureed. So delicious. We haven’t had it in quite a while (maybe two years?), but the poblanos looked great at our store for the first time since we came here, and I couldn’t help it. It was so worth it, I promise.

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