Convenience Could be the Largest Villain to My Grocery Bill
Thursday, January 12th, 2012
The last few weeks have been a lottery for what our family will eat for dinner. Foods have been fished from the depths of the freezer. Rice and macaroni that has set on our shelves untouched for six months have been boiled and eaten. Crackers that remained unopened during the holidays have been reduced to crumbs.
What happened? This was not an attempt to save money on our grocery bill, though I am always looking for new ways to do so. Nor is it a way to eat what is there before buying new items.
No, shopping simply became inconvenient. Our car is in the shop and I have been sick. No car plus a sick momma = no grocery shopping and no spending money.
I have to say, it’s kind of working well for us – and for our grocery budget.
I haven’t purchased new foods in a while, since I haven’t been to the store in over a week. My husband dropped in once for a few small things – some fresh veggies, a pack of meat, some milk – but, otherwise, we are living on what we had already acquired.
Our grocery bill will be way below the budget this month.
While I profess to do my best to save money, this lesson in not getting to the store has taught me what I really hope to remember: If I don’t go shopping, I won’t spend money. If I use what I have, I won’t spend money.
Sometimes, convenience comes at a really high price.
We can drop by the store when we want to pick up potatoes or macaroni or chicken, and then we end up with 15 other items – which aren’t on sale – in our cart.
We can rush out to get XYZ, which we think needs to be served at the dinner table, only to wind up with A-W as well.
And what about the other things I have been unable to buy during my exile to the house? You know, those things I think I really need from Target? It seems I haven’t really needed them at all.
This isn’t to say I want to give up convenience altogether. It’s nice to know if I’m out of horseradish and I want to make spicy pot roast I can go to the store and pick up a bottle. However, I think after being at home and not being able to do this, I’ve realized sometimes you just have to stop the car and change the plans. Look for other items in the pantry and the fridge that will work.
For me, inconvenience has played a great role in keeping my budget down this month. If you are out of something, do you have a tendency to pack up the kiddos and head to the store for the item, or are you able to take a deep breath, put the car keys down and figure out a Plan B to keep you from spending extra money?