Week 2 Recap

Hi there,

Hope the first week back to the routine went well and you’re still resolved to change your relationship with money. Here’s a recap of week two.

Act 08

Bundle Up!
A reminder to keep an eye on your heating bill. And it wouldn’t kill ya to keep a blanket or extra sweater handy around the house. Home heating is a big expense. Especially this winter. You can stay warm and not burn your budget while you’re at it. Turn the heat down when you’re away from home or overnight when you’re cozy in your blankets.

Act 09

Take a nap
This is more about staying rested. If a nap work for you, then go for it They say napping can reduce stress levels and improve decision making. I’m a fan.

Act 10

Don’t panic.
I get those moments too. It’s perfectly normal. But get over it because it certainly doesn’t help. Breathe. You can get through this.

Act 11

Say no.
This is a tough one. But it gets easier to say no. And sometimes, the truth is, no just needs saying.


Act 12

Share well with others.
We don’t all need a lawnmower and a snow blower. As neighbours and communities we can share and we should.


Act 13

Shop small.
This is as much about where you shop as how much you shop for. I’m a fan of the quick shop. A few things only. And nothing that wasn’t on the list. I have cut my grocery budget in half. Really, I have.


Act 14

Put it in writing.
If you’re dealing with formal “stuff” make sure you put it in writing either as a written note in a file or a follow up e-mail or a formal letter. The written word still matters.

Act 210

Costco Caution

Went for a visit to Costco today. Keep hearing my friends rave about the savings and the choices so I thought I’d best check it out. Hadn’t been for many years and I’m glad I did.

But some things are just too big to buy no matter how big your household or your business. Take this bottle of hazelnut spread for example. It’s the size of a small child. Unless you’re in the business of re-packaging hazelnut spread and selling it in smaller jars for a mark up, I don’t see how it can be value for your dollar. But it looks impressive.

costco

Other items seem well worth the price but only if you can use it all and have space to store it (which I don’t).

What struck me was the sheer size of everything. Like a giant super sized market. We seem to attach value to size. The carts are bigger, the ceilings are higher, the shelves are taller – interesting to know what the psychology of that retail experience is – regardless, it must work. There always seems to be a giant traffic jam in the parking lot.

Act 146

Buy only inconvenient food

You know, like flour and butter and eggs and oil and veg and fruit and milk and cheese – the ingredients you need to make your own meal.

Just for fun, I took a few pics of some convenience foods whose price points defy logic – except for their convenience factor.

Naan bread. 2 pieces. $3.09. I could make you a dozen pieces for less than $3.09.
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Shake and bake. Like two pieces of old dried bread zapped into crumbs with a bit of spice. $2.99 – would you pay $2.99 for two pieces of old bread?

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I hope not.

Most of what sells at grocery stores is convenience, not ingredients. To get the best value for your food budget, buy what’s inconvenient and keep the money spent on packaging, marketing, shipping and display instead.

I have cut my grocery bill in half. And my pantry is better stocked than it’s ever been. And that’s money I can use to pay down my existing debt while being sure not to accumulate any more by spending more than I need on food that’s convenient, not cost effective.

Debt’s not convenient either – but convenience foods makes it worse. So go for inconvenience whenever you can.