Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
There wasn’t anything interesting on tv last night so I was wandering around the internet getting inspired. I came across a blogger (and the commentors) who were saying their grocery budgets were being strained by increasing high grocery prices. Out of curiosity I stopped to read awhile.
The blogger wanted to buy only organic foods to keep her family healthy. I can’t find fault in that if you can afford it. She wanted to do this without clipping coupons, keeping track of prices, or going from store to store on shopping day. Hmm… interesting idea. The saving of money on groceries without any of the work involved.
Well, maybe I can offer one suggestion that might help a little. Wanna know what it is? Ok.
Make yourself two separate grocery lists and two separate grocery budgets. One for anything edible and one for everything else. If you really want to know exactly how much you are spending on food then don’t count non-edible items as a part of your food budget. Food means food. Such things as lotion, body wash, batteries, deodorant, or dog treats are not food.
If you absolutely must cut grocery expenses then maybe you can do that with the non-edible fluff and not the things going inside your body. Yeah, I called it fluff. Fluff makes you look, smell, or feel good but does not keep you alive.
You will gain whole new insights into the real cost of your groceries if you pay separately for just the food. Its probably a lot less than you thought. You may start seeing more of the high cost of fluff than you had noticed before.
If going to more than one store on shopping day bothers you then shop different stores on different days. Split your paydays. Do the food shopping on one payday then do the non-food shopping another trip on a different payday. Choose the best store for food prices and another store for the best prices on other stuff.
If you choose only one store for food then think about these things. The days you shop during the month can make a big difference in your grocery costs. Food stamps are usually available and spent the first two weeks of the month so there are not many food bargains. Junk food goes on sale around the time of food stamps. Shop for the non-edibles those weeks. The last two weeks of the month food stamps are usually gone and the stores will have lower prices on better food. The fourth week of the month is when grocery stores have the most mark down or discount items. Stores want to clear shelves to make room for new stock arriving before food stamps come out again.
Lower your expectations. Organic and all natural does not always mean healthy. Snake venom is organic and all natural but I don’t think you want to eat it do you? Eating grass fed t-bone steak may be your choice but your wallet may be telling you to eat antibiotic free chicken instead.
Lastly, unless you are super wealthy with your own personal chef, then feeding yourself “only the best” can’t be done without at least some effort on your part. If costs are rising higher, and your budget is struggling more, its up to you to either put some work effort into paying less for what you want or do without.