Can you imagine spending $685 on groceries each and every week? Those of you with teenage boys certainly can. Yes, as scary as it sounds, that can be reality for big-boy big-families. Throw in a few packets of cereal, multiple litres of milk, a trolley of veges, half a trolley of meat and frozen dinners, topped up by lunchbox snacks and you’re well on the way.
Ok some of you may be thinking “That’s crazy money to spend each week”, others thinking “I wish it was only that.” Whatever you’re weekly grocery spend is, imagine if you could reduce it by 20%. In 5 weeks that’s a saving of 100% or 1 free shop every 6 weeks.
So what is the trick to this saving, and there is a trick? If we put this out to poll, and we will ask the question at the end, there would be many dollar saving ways to shop at your favourite supermarket. You could clip coupons from the local paper, although a lot of the shops have the actual catalogue on display before you walk in. How about creating a menu for the week so you are only buying essential ingredients? Or even create a standardised menu so you know what to eat and buy every week and not buying what you really don’t need. Too much time and effort? Yeah maybe, but good ideas to keep up your sleeve.
What is the trick then, the simple trick that can possibly save you up to 20% per week? Scale back the trolley size. That’s it! If you always grab the monstrous “just fit side by side down the aisle” size trolley, then grab the smaller “I may need to stack it a little higher” size trolley. Or if you can, just grab the hand held basket for the essentials. If you have a helper with you, it’s ok to carry one each or even two each. You may have to distribute the weights evenly throughout the baskets but it is possible to do. Those of you with the big-boy big-families could try one trolley and a basket, instead of two trolleys.
Don’t brush this valuable grocery money saving tip off lightly, think about it, as it is practical and will save you money. Shopping using the ‘smaller bucket load’ method will take a little planning once you’re in the shop but it encourages you to only get what you need, not all those “I have room for that and the shelf position and marketing is good so I’ll get it” items. Try it a couple of times and see how it works for you.
For more tips on saving money and budgeting please download our Free eBook: 6 Steps to Financial Security.
Anxiety is a serious issue with about 12% of the population suffering from this debilitating condition. That in itself is alarming. Anxiety sufferers struggle to learn how to cope with the many day-to-day triggers in their lives. It’s a great challenge for many of them. These triggers can come from anywhere, but one big trigger for independent adults is money. “Do I have enough, should I buy that, I’ve just spent too much, which bill shouldn’t I pay this month, have I actually saved any money this month?” Even for those that do not ‘technically’ suffer from anxiety, these questions can still raise their ugly head.
So how can you learn to cope with your money? To do so you need to organise your money and realise that putting a system in place will clearly show you what’s happening to your money. Is it coming in or is it going out? To simplify it, your money is pretty much a bunch of numbers, some positive and some negative. So to exist, you need to have a positive number at the end of the month.
OK, so how do you get to this positive number at the end of the month? Having a system of recording with regular checking will show you the flow of your money. It’s called a cash-flow. If you’ve got $100 coming in and $110 going out, then you are $10 cash-flow negative. To turn this around you need to stop spending at $100, or even better, at $90 so you’re now $10 cash-flow positive. How does one stop spending? By tracking where your money is going; watching your cash-flow. If you note and track your cash-flow each month you will soon see a trend of what’s happening and only then be in a position to work out how to change that.
Simplistically put: Record your money-in and money-out, review what’s happening to your cash-flow, and spend less than you make. That really is the mountain top view but it’s a good start to becoming more comfortable with, and less fearful of your money.
By managing the flow of your money you are in control and to an anxiety sufferer, control is a godsend.