Friday, October 10, 2014


So. I have to give kudos and thanks to a blog I stumbled upon the other day, called And Then We Saved (blogger Anna Newell Jones).  She totally motivated me to want to make a significant change in my relationship with money (and the black cloud of student loans that hangs over my head). She paid off a ton of debt in one year by going on a Spending Fast; she also talks of a Spending Diet, which I'm thinking about starting once I have a chance to wrap my head around it.

Anyway, this week's money saving efforts:

Worked from home a few days this week, saved on mileage/gas

Brown bag lunched other days!

Recycled brown paper grocery bags for an art project I'm currently involved in

Borrowed ebook 'Your Money or Your Life' from the library, to get a little motivation/learnings under way

Saved/washed/dried Ziploc bag I brought one of my brown bag lunch sandwiches in to be used at another time

Had oatmeal for breakfast this morning in order to use browning bananas and not let them go to waste (though I do try to always freeze any bananas that are on the edge if I'm able to catch them at a reasonable time)

At the last minute, saved a plastic yogurt container from going in the garbage! Washed/put away

Turned unecessary lights off as I noticed them on/trying to make a more conscious effort to do this!

Ate leftovers instead of just pushing the Tupperware to the back of the fridge as I might do otherwise (therefore letting it go to waste).

Made/making food for a friends visit (that will last beyond her visit) instead of going out to eat at a pricey restaurant!

Kept to my list at the grocery store and shopped the lowest prices/sought out the store flyer.
My store-card missed getting swiped through at the right time, so it didn't get counted. I then waited at customer service to get $1.46 back. Ha! Normally I would have just said 'oh well, next time...and eaten the loss (literally). Hey, it's $1.46!

Confession: At the grocery store, I bought ice cream, which was not on my list, so here's me trying to rationalize:
A) I bought a quart instead of those little individual portions that I usually buy
B) I bought a flavor my boyfriend also likes so at least we'll both benefit from the purchase!
C) I bought store brand which was a lower price than the other name brands.

I'll learn.

Speaking of learning, the other night I did an exercise where I added up the money I spent on groceries in each of my last two billing periods. It was absolutely astounding. I don't have the details of each item I bought at this point, (but I have created a space for my receipts and will be reviewing these at the end of the month for better understanding of exactly where my money is going in the future). Anyway, while groceries are fine and necessary, obviously, I have a bad habit of going to the store multiple times in one week, perhaps for an item or two (and of course leaving with 7 or 8, see my ice-cream rationale above). I have another bad habit of going to a particularly expensive grocery store chain for a lunch-salad once in a while and then browsing around the store afterwards, always finding just a few more items for the week... This habit is a) unnecessary and financially wasteful and b) just an ineffective way to 'relax' - the browsing, looking at new items maybe, or just attractive packaging, etc. I AM that consumer who is suckered into something that 'looks good'. I do pay attention to prices (though at this store, this is a pointless endeavor, no matter what you do, as everything is overpriced anyway, even the 'cheaper' items) but have  definitely gotten a bit too casual when it comes to what I really can afford.
The point of my story is that I will seriously be able to cut my grocery bill in half by not engaging in the multiple trips/mindless browsing and spending/buying lunch at work 2-3 times per week. I'm sure I'll find even more ways to save if I just put a little effort in and try to stay aware. Sounds easy, though I'm sure I'll report back and let you know just how easy it really isn't.

I'm excited about trying to make a change, so I thought I'd just stick a little post up here. Not to mention, I will probably need a place to organize my thoughts as I learn, adapt, struggle, and succeed...