Rich in Spirits

Net worth in the six figures!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Saving Money on Food

This is a big challenge for me. We both love to eat good food! Who doesn't? However, there are a lot of things that you can do to keep spending in check. Here are some of my recent tactics:

--Beware of coupons. Sure, if you have a Sunday paper, check out the offerings, but the vast majority of coupons are for brand-name items which are already more expensive! It's not worth it, even with the savings, unless you go to a place that offers double or triple coupons.
--Make lists! They'll help to keep you on track and avoid impluse buys. Whatever works for you. Perhaps it would be more helpful to you to keep a piece of paper on the fridge, that you mark as you run out of things. Put this list in your wallet so that when you go to the store, you can get in there for what you need and be less susceptible to impulse buys.
--Go to different stores. I hate to admit that this is necessary, but if you plan your trips, you can accomplish your shopping needs without wasting too much gas or time running around. For example, I love going to Costco. For many things, it is great, however, some things are better bought at the regular supermarket, like produce - if I bought limes in Costco volumes, for example, I'd get a good price per unit but I wouldn't be getting a good deal if half of them went bad before I could use them. Which has happened. Additionally, there is an Aldi between Costco and the grocery store. So I will also stop there to pick up things that the grocery store might be selling for more money, like cooking oil, or produce sometimes.
--Learn how to wing it! Couscous is one of our favorite things to have on hand. You can mix them with so many things! We have an improvised dish that we make that goes a little like this: Saute some onions and green peppers, mushrooms, whatever vegetables you may have on hand. Make couscous separately. When the vegetables are done, mix everything together. You can also add other things to this like cheese, is you have it - we love feta - and some stir-fried tofu. Tasty!
--Brush your teeth! Ok, this may sound crazy, but I find that if I brush my teeth right after eating dinner I am not as likely to want to pick on foods and snack all night. I am really bad about this. Give it a try if you are too!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 07 Totals

0 - Credit cards
5233 - Car
32623 - Student loans

37856 - Total Debt

500 - Emergency Fund

Well, unexpected expenses continue to pop up.....I had a minor car accident in the show, and have to pay the $500 deductible as well as rent a car during the time of the repairs. Also, we just went to visit my ailing grandmother, and the last-minute airplane ticket was not inexpensive, though certainly justified. Luckily, my tax refund just about covers these things, without me having to use credit cards for any of them.

I also applied for the Southwest card after seeing a really great intro offer that would allow me to earn half a free flight just for signing up! We will see if i get the card. I hope so - I love Southwest!

Additionally, I was shorted an entire week's pay on my last paycheck from work. Just another example of why it's important to keep your own records and know how much to expect in your check!!