One more quick tip: budgeting your grocery bills

One more quick tip: budgeting your grocery bills

A very handy strategy for not overspending in the grocery store that saves time, money, and needing to buy calculator batteries. Requires: last 3 grocery receipts (at least one should be for a 'full' grocery run, where you restock your day-to-day foodstuffs) If the grocery ticket includes 'number of items' at the bottom, you can skip the hard step, which is to count the number of items you bought. 1. Count the number of items on the list. This includes 'buy one get one' items. 2. Divide the final total by this number. You'll get the average cost per item in your bill. Fer me, an Albertson's run is costing $2.25 / item, and a Costco run is $9 an item. 3. The next time you go to the grocery store with a fixed amount of cash in your wallet, subtract $10 from that amount, and then divide that cash number by your per-item score. 4. Do not go over that number of items in your cart. Edited to add: If any unusual item you pick up costs more than 2x your average number, count it as multiple items (e.g. I buy laundry detergent once every other month for $10: that counts as 10/2.25=~4.) Why it works: It's the principle of dollar-cost averaging in action. Your grocery habits tend not to change very widely, and your big ticket items are balanced somewhat by those $3/1 ramen packets. You will also ordinarily be on the lookout for buy-one-get-one sales, and the infamous Albertson's $10/10 sale, but remember that at the end of the run, spending $100 to get 100 items is still $100 you gotta pay out. And odds on you're not just going to buy those items. Price Costco tends to package stuff in bulk, ranging from $4.00 to $17 for the things I get, but half my cart tends to be the $4.00 items. Same idea, only with slightly larger numbers. When it doesn't work: If you're the kind of person who goes grocery shopping for 2 or 3 things, this system won't work as well, because the items you get could well all cost over your target value number. It works best for the kind of grocery run that I do, which is once every 9 days to 2 weeks, and where I get about 50-70 items in my cart when I'm done. (Obsessive math folks will see that I spend $112-$156 in groceries on a shopping trip, yes, and I do it about twice a month to feed two people, one of whom has a healthy appetite. My last grocery bill, 61 items in the cart: $138. I've had this system in place for the past two years and it almost never lets me down.) The bottom line: You can actually set a fixed budget for groceries this way. This is critical, because unlike eating out, where the ticket price is dictated by where you go and what you get while you're there, groceries are a necessity that you can plan ahead for. And you will be more likely to stay on that budget if you can say 'no, I have too many things in my cart' instead of painfully trying to add up 1.99,.49, 2.39,.99.... and then wondering if you already counted the butter. Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes. -Traveller
Identify Flower

Identify Flower

Butterflies

Butterflies

a heavy rain.

a heavy rain.

Somethin’ outa nothin’

Somethin’ outa nothin’

So this is my room

So this is my room

a Goodwill find and some inspiration…

a Goodwill find and some inspiration…