Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LOOKING at the Future of Thrift

garden goodies we preserved~
I just HAVE TO ADMIT IT~I hate coupons! I really do.  I think they are no more than a marketing tool to increase volume and to lure us into spending on things we *might* not even EVER want...OR at least this IS a possibility...HOW many times have we purchased something that when we got it home the reaction was, "wha? WHY did I get this?" OR "YUCK! THIS IS awful"?  Of course there are some pleasant surprises along the way of trying out new things and REALLY liking them! I'm ALL for that~but on a budget~or seriously managing our money, can we *AFFORD* all this trial and error? I don't think so. 

I propose that instead of working to save little, that we find other ways to gain access to financial savings without having to print or clip or organize such little slips of paper with all our time.  That's WHAT Thriving is proposing, and HOW I do it. How we live on less than many but live well...Living well isn't about who has the MOST stuff either, BTW...LOL...guess I'll save this for another day ;-)) but the whole idea is that thrifty living that is living well is all about management and strategy.  I don't say that we should NEVER use a coupon~but these dear sisters who are purchasing and then storing items b/c they have coupons~well, I don't have access to all kinds of coupons and most of us don't either~we'd have to hunt them down to be able to use them at the check out...I say, just hunt the best prices to begin with and get just what WE NEED and WANT. 

It's as simple, but really not all that simple as the GAME OF CHASE! I'm always chasing a good bargain! When I hear of an item that WE USE or need (and we can define *need* another day) I go and get it.  But sometimes I just have to say that we can't afford it right now, and wait...no matter the "best" price...

I know that delaying gratification is NOT a popular concept in our WANT IT NOW culture! I get that. Promise. But in this economy and in life in general~waiting is a worthwhile activity.  The cliche' of "if you snooze~you lose!" is not a best practice b/c then we are often times plainly stuck with our impulsive RESULTS...

Consider a plan for shopping and then sticking to this plan.  Do you make a list? Do you plan that list in advance so that you know just how you are going to utilize those items? Where are the best values in your town for your money? Are there some solid products that aren't fancy-schmancy that are just as useable for less than items that are faves but more spency?? Where ca n we trim and snip our sales ticket at the register? 

pickles and mustard
In my town, I have a few options that really make sense for us. Of course, we have a Sams Club, and frankly the 10 cents I often save over the bulk of goods I can get there is rarely the draw for me to shop there.  I only go when it's an item that only they carry at the best price I can find...this is rare...so beware of places that promise best prices...you do your own calculations and make SURE your money is returning in a way you'd like!  But where I live, there's what I call a 'dent can' store and a grocery warehouse.  Both offer me huge savings on the dollar and b/c the dented can store (not it's real name) is about 15 minutes further than any other shopping I do, I go only about once a month with my plan in hand and purchase just what we will use and often in bulk.  I have a large food storage area and chest freezer so this makes sense when gas is like it is right now...no savings if it all goes in the tank!  The grocery warehouse offers all kinds of fresh produce for about 2/3 of grocery store savings~well, I'd like to think it was less, but it's not...and so this summer we're been fresh-preserving all kinds of foods for canned use when our garden is gone.

To get started, I suggest figuring out just what you all consume.  Make a list and track this over several weeks.  List your prices too.  SisterT is a notebook advocate! LOL...a handy-dandy notebook to write down all the prices on all the items you purchase and also list the place where you get it...SEE just where your money goes and on what you are getting.

Now let's begin listing where to get these items on the cheap.  Makes no sense to drive across town for ONE item, but can you lump items together? I shop by sale paper ads sometimes.  When an item is listed for a great price I will go  and get as much as they will sell to me and we WILL USE and that will keep or store well...

Got that notebook? Head on into your pantry area and begin making lists.  Organize this area according to like items too.  I know, it's work~but in the end, we're going to be able to purchase something we will enjoy or tuck it away for a long term or short term goal...

Let me know how you are tracking your purchases and HOW it's going. I'd love to hear how you are making thrifty living making sense!

1 comment:

Briana said...

Great tips. I don't like coupons either! We don't buy much processed stuff so there aren't many I can use.