Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Price of the Economy

These days most people have been affected by the economy in one way or another. Maybe you’ve lost your job or know someone who has. Maybe you’ve had your hours reduced, were asked to take unpaid days off or maybe you didn’t receive that expected raise or bonus this year. Whatever the case, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I have severely adjusted the way I spend my money the past 12 months.

I have gone about cutting my spending in two ways:

Bye, bye new clothing
I stopped unnecessary clothing shopping. So much so that Bloomingdales knocked me down a level on my credit card. Goodbye free gift wrap. I will really miss you. I’ve had a (negative)$16.00 credit to the store on my card since January, I have a $25 gift card at the moment and a coupon for spend $100 get $25 off. Will power? Like you can’t believe!

I will say that I don’t think my style has gone down. I’ve gotten good at “shopping my closet”. Coming up with new ways to pair existing items

Smarter Food Shopping
I’ve also become extremely aware of my food shopping habits. I used to show up at the grocery story and buy whatever looked good, sounded good or I felt like throwing together at the moment. I probably stopped at the store 2 times per week and spent around $40 at each visit. Did you know that the average food stamp recipient has just $4 per day to spend on food?

Now-a-days, everything is planned out. I look forward to the supermarket ads that come in my mailbox every Tuesday. I plan my weekly meals based on what’s on sale and of course nutrition. I grocery shop once a week and keep the bill under $40 total. I look at the ads, starting with the protein then plan the sides to go with it all based on what’s on sale.

This week, I was able to put together a complete thanksgiving dinner and my total bill…….$15.79 and this included extras that didn’t go into the cost of the dinner (milk and a can of soup). So all in all, this meal probably cost $11.50 and will be enough for several days and several different turkey dinner, sandwich, casserole variations.

Just some food for thought.

The End Result