After spending some time looking at the household budget and the household waistline, I decided it was time to cut the fat. Ok, well, it wasn’t the household waistline, it was my waistline, but either way the fat had to go.
One way to trim the fat was to take a long hard look at the grocery budget. I am guilty of being less than frugal when it comes to grocery shopping.
Blaming the Other Guy
Years ago, when I was ignorant to the fact that trans fats were bad and processed foods contained too much high fructose corn syrup and that hydrogenated oils were really a long name for trans fat, I used to LOVE grocery shopping. I would get up early in the morning, brew a cup of coffee, pour it in my traveling coffee cup and go to the grocery store in the wee hours of the morning when I had the store to myself. It was my little piece of heaven.
Now that I know better, grocery shopping is a chore. It disgusts me having to read the ingredients and place items back on the shelf because of the chemicals and less than healthy ingredients products contain. It’s the product manufacturer’s fault that I started hating my trips to the grocery store.
In a state of rebellion, I stopped enjoying food shopping. It became a chore just like washing clothes and preparing daily meals. I blamed the other guy for my lax shopping habits.
Taking Grocery Control
Enough of my child-like tantrum. It’s time to take control of my grocery shopping budget (and my waistline). No longer do I perform a drive by shopping trip (you know those quick trips to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for tonight’s dinner). This month I decided to plan my trips to the grocery store. I started using coupons and strategic shopping.
This new way of shopping takes a little more planning, but two weeks into it I’ve managed to save a bundle. I’m sort of anxious to see how much I can save by the end of the month. In two short weeks, I’ve not only spent a fraction of what I usually spend on groceries, but I am managing to stock up on sale items for the future (my daughter thinks we’ll never run out of spaghetti sauce now).
At the rate that I’m going, I’m on track for cutting this month’s grocery bill by over 50%! How’s that for trimming the fat? I’m still getting the hang of this coupon, strategic grocery shopping, sale item thing. As time goes on, I’ll get into a rhythm and my pre-planning may take less time. But for right now, it’s time well spent.
Paying Down the Debt
Part of the new-found money gained from trimming fat from the grocery budget can go towards getting rid of debt. I always believed it’s not that we don’t make enough money (although more money would be great); it’s that we have to re-arrange how we spend it.
(This is another post transferred from the soon to be defunct “The Dollar Fights Back.” Check out this post for more info on the transfer)