TIPS ON HOW NOT TO STAY WITHIN YOUR GROCERY BUDGET
March 18th, 2015
TIPS ON HOW NOT TO STAY WITHIN YOUR GROCERY BUDGET
With the present economy of ever rising utility bills, gasoline prices (remember when we could fill our tanks for less than $20?), groceries, just the general cost of living and stagnant wages, everybody has had to cut back and trim their budgets. I know I have had to adjust and re-adjust my budget several times throughout the past three years and do without a lot of pleasurable pursuits and, sadly, a few necessities that I once took for granted. For those of us who pay a portion or all of our health insurance premiums, we have seen that figure increase astronomically yearly since 2006. And although the initial hope and promise of The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) signed into law on March 23, 2010, was to make things better for all of us and ease the burden, the debates over the pros and cons have been loaded with so many downright lies and misinformation it has created so much confusion over what the new law will actually do to our healthcare and insurance premiums. Many of us who pushed for its passage in the beginning are now filled with dread and uncertainty that our health insurance premiums are going to sky rocket even more and our healthcare is going to deteriorate. There are many blogs out there to give you some tips on how to save and stretch those precious earned dollars throughout the month replete with pie charts, graphs and spreadsheets. However, this is not one of them! I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t done this, at least once. It begins by you needing a particular item or two at the store. Maybe a loaf of bread and a pound of lunchmeat for the bag lunch you have decided to take to work to help save money. After work, before going home to eat supper, you decide to drive to one of the have-everything-department stores at the Highlands to get the lunchmeat instead of stopping at the local convenient store because the lunchmeat at the Highlands store is on sale. As you walk through the door and point yourself in the direction of the lunchmeat and bread, a display catches your eye. The body wash that you use is on sale, two for the price of one. That sounds economical so you pick it up. A penny saved is a penny earned! Then you remember your toothpaste is getting low and you go back to check out the prices on your brand. Not on sale, but you decide you better get it while you’re there. A new mouthwash happens to catch your eye in that aisle, proclaiming that it will not only stop that nasty plaque, but it will whiten your teeth in just two weeks! This might save you some expensive trips to the dentist! You grab a bottle of that to try. By this time, you realize that your arms are full so you go back and get a cart. You walk back to the front of the store where the carts are lined up, place your items in one, turn back into the store and absently begin walking in the opposite direction of the items that you originally came into the store for! As you try to remember just what you came into the store for in the first place, you nonchalantly browse the shelves. After walking up and down four aisles grabbing this and that, you notice that your nearly empty cart of moments before is now a third full and you still haven’t gotten the items that you came in for, whatever they were. You gaze around trying to remember. Oh, yes, bread and lunchmeat! You turn the cart back into that direction which, of course, places you right smack in the middle of the deli section! The scent of freshly baked pastries caresses your senses. It seems to whisper your name seductively as you steer over to the lunchmeat case. Some yummy caramel sticky buns stop you dead in your tracks. Freshly made at the store that morning. As your willpower begins a battle with your cravings, you pick a package up and make a silent pledge to your willpower that you will allow yourself only “half of one a day” until the six are gone. Guiltily, you place the package in your cart looking at them longingly. Well, maybe a whole one a day. You are finally in front of the lunchmeats and before the clerk waits on you, you notice that the Baby Swiss cheese you like is on sale. The clerk arrives. Yes, give me a pound of that. Your eyes move from item to item trying to decide whether to get the turkey breast that is on sale or the more expensive kind that you really prefer…the clerk hands you the cheese…Oh, what the heck. You work hard for your money, you deserve to splurge a bit on the lunchmeat. After all, you are not going out to lunch anymore. Yes, a pound of that smoked turkey breast. More waiting, more gazing at other items…wonder what that olive loaf taste like...the clerk hands you your turkey breast…Anything else?...should you try that olive loaf? Willpower finally wins!!! Reluctantly you move away from the counter. No thanks, that’s all. Now you need to get the bread. You walk past more display cases to get to the bread section and by the time you make it to the bread section you note that your cart is now three-fourths full. Oh, there’s whole wheat bagels…grab a package of those…grab a loaf of whole wheat bread, then notice it is on sale two for $5 so you grab another loaf…moving on you realize you must be getting hungry because those potato chips look really good…so you grab a bag of those; then you remember you need something to wash them down with. Not even being fazed by the irony of the choice, you place a 12 pack of diet soda in the cart. You suddenly realize that you are tired, hungry and want to get home so you head for the cash registers. As you move out of the food section you have to pass the women’s clothing section and notice a nice top that’s on sale! Find your size and color, grab one and throw it in the cart deciding to try it on at home. Finally, you make it to the cash register section and try to find one without a long line but typically, three out of 10 registers are open. You take your place at the end of a line with six other people with overstuffed carts. You sigh, look down at your own exploding cart and gaze longingly at the 12 items or less register with only one person in line. If you had only gotten the two items that you originally came into the store for you would have been on your way home now instead of standing in line to check out. The upside to this story is that you won’t have to go grocery shopping again for a whole month. The downside is you won’t be able to afford to go grocery shopping for a whole month. You’ve just blown your whole grocery budget buying a loaf of bread and a pound of lunch meat!