Archive for the ‘grocery shopping’ Category

I hate gimmicky diets!  Low-Carb, no carb, low fat, high fat, grapefruits only, whatever, they all serve one purpose- to make some schmuck who wrote a book rich.  Eventually, I hope to be that book writing schmuck.  But for now I have no book.  What I do have is a wife with relatives that swear by the “South Beach Diet”- isn’t the pretentious name alone enough to make you gag?

So, as an act of marital love (akin to watching a boring chick flick times 1000) I’ve agreed to do South Beach with her for at least one month.  So what is South Beach?  Think Atkins but more veggies and a bit less steak.  I get two weeks of pretty much just veggies and protein, then I am “allowed” to reintroduce whole wheat and such.  You aren’t even allowed to eat fruit during the first two weeks.  Does that sound healthy to you?  I thought so.  But oh well, I will try it and report back to you.

This is day one of South Beach for me.  For breakfast I had one of those brand name South Beach breakfast bars and about five strips of turkey bacon.  I was able to make it through my time in the gym with a fairly decent workout and some pretty intense leg exercises.  My meals for the rest of the day include turkey breast on greens and whatever my wife makes for dinner tonight.  Wish me luck and pray for me.  HA!

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Well I wanted to post on money saving investments today, and all I could come up with was one idea.  So I will share my one idea and in return I hope you guys share some ideas on investments that will save money in the long term.

Buy a Freezer:  Who hasn’t been frustrated by the inability of their freezer to adequately contain the fruits of a trip to the grocery store?  And when meat goes on sale, a rare occurrence, it is a great idea to scoop up as much as possible (and reasonable).    For example, our local grocery store occasionally puts 3 lb bags of chicken breast on sale for $3.50 each.  The usual price is 7.99-8.99 per bag.

Now, if you owned an individual freezer unit you would have somewhere to put that discount meat- not to mention pastries, frozen veggies, and frozen fruits.

How much can you save with this idea?  Well let’s just take the chicken example.   My family goes through three bags a month (sometimes four).  At $8.50 per bag the cost over the year is $306, while the the cost at $3.50 per bag is less than $130 per year.  A savings of  $176 dollars over the year.  And that is JUST the chicken.

Now I know there are some costs associated with this.  For example electricity to run the unit.   But, to the best of my knowledge, once the unit is full it is relatively inexpensive to run- as the frozen goods in a packed refrigerator allow the unit to use less electricity than an empty freezer.

So what are your ideas?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know I am big on promoting transformation and growth in ALL aspects of life. You should be concerned with transforming your body, but don’t forget about you mind, soul, and finances.

In some ways reigning in your spending can be harder than controlling your diet. As tasty as cookies and cupcakes can be, what about the thought of a new home entertainment system? But it isn’t only the big ticket items, what about that Starbucks coffee you buy each morning?

Try the “latte factor” calculator available at this link. I ran through the calculator the $3 dollars I spent almost daily while in college for the two slices and a drink special at the local pizza place. If I had put that money in an IRA account at 7.5% interest here is what could have happened:

2 years = $2,092

5 years = $5,855

10 years = $14,260

15 years = $26,327

20 years = $43,651

Wow. That pizza was good, but it wasn’t that good. Do you see how simple it is to save for retirement (or about anything else).

So now that you see how easy it can be to save, maybe it is time you take some control over your finances. My wife and I are starting this process August 1 (the day we become a two income family).

Below I have provided LOTS of links on getting your finances in order as well as tips on saving money. But for now (before the page break) I want to offer what has been the BIGGEST savings for our family thus far.

PAY ATTENTION! We used to use our debit/credit card to buy groceries at Kroger and Wal-mart. We had no food budget to speak of. So when I went into our on-line bank account and tallied all our trips to Wal-mart and Kroger together I found out that some months we spent as much as $750 bucks at those two stores (the average was about $600). That was insane!

So what did we do? We decided on a reasonable food budget ($250 bucks) and put $250 bucks cash in an envelope that we bring whenever we visit the grocery store. When that money runs out we stop buying groceries. As a result. We cut out about$350 to $450 dollars wasted each month on impulse items and other non-essentials.

Wanna go the extra mile? Make a list before you go and STICK TO IT! Between your list and the knowledge that you only have so much money to spend you will do wonders to cut back on that food budget.

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