Over the years, I have developed some highly effective financial habits. I prioritize saving money and avoiding unnecessary expenses. For this month's finance blog on Peggy with Purpose, I believe it would be valuable to discuss a few of these habits. Remember, creating change takes time, so don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything at once. Instead, start by contemplating some of the ideas shared below.
When I was young and just starting out with my own family, I used to carefully study advertisements from three different grocery stores located within a mile or two of my house. While this meant spending a little extra on gas by visiting multiple stores, the savings I gained far outweighed that expense. At that time, I used to babysit six kids, providing them with breakfast and snacks every weekday, in addition to taking care of my own family's grocery needs. Consequently, saving money became of utmost importance to me at a young age.
Looking back, I don't believe my parents followed a budget. They have passed away, so I cannot confirm this for certain. However, I distinctly remember running out of food and money before the next paycheck arrived. Payday was a significant event, often accompanied by a special treat or a fun outing. As a young girl, I vowed that when I grew up and had children of my own, I wouldn't let that happen. The motivation behind this commitment could have been any number of things. One memory that particularly resonates with me is the promise I made to myself “I will always have enough good food for my kids.” While I must admit that at times, I tend to stock up on food excessively, I have never found myself running out.
Here are a couple of ways I save money on groceries:
Plan your meals ahead of time: By planning your meals in advance, you can save a substantial amount of money on food. As someone who enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes, I make everything from scratch. This practice significantly cuts down costs. Once you have stocked your pantry with essential items, you can create a variety of dishes. To make the most of your budget, purchase pantry staples when they are on sale. For instance, I always make sure to buy plenty of rice, beans, and pasta when they are discounted. I also take advantage of meat sales and buy more than I currently need if it's an excellent deal. This way, I can easily access these ingredients whenever I crave a particular meal.
You can find several easy and healthy recipes on my website, https://www.peggywithpurpose.com/blog/tags/recipes
I have a slight preference for specific brands, but I'm open to trying store brands, as they often meet my expectations. Sometimes, however, they may not match up to the original brand. Regardless, I believe it's worth giving them a chance at least once to see for yourself, as there are often significant savings to be had.
Another important money-saving tip is to make use of leftovers. If you don't want to eat the exact same meal again, you can easily jazz it up. Personally, I enjoy making a simple change. For instance, when I prepare beef stew, I intentionally make a larger batch to have leftovers. Instead of having stew again, I add a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and place it in a pie crust to make a beef pot pie. It transforms into a different dinner altogether, and it's absolutely delicious. I also make pot pies using leftover chicken.
Speaking of chicken, one of the best bargains I've found is purchasing rotisserie chicken from Costco or Sam's Club. At just $5, it's an amazing price, and a family of four can enjoy it at least twice.
I take pleasure in planting my own herb garden. As soon as I arrive in Arizona each fall, I promptly plant them in pots. I did the same thing a couple of weeks ago when I arrived in Iowa. I particularly love basil, thyme, and rosemary. Since I frequently use cilantro to make salsa, this year I'm trying my hand at cilantro as well. You don't need to be an expert gardener; all you require is sunlight, and water. I love to buy it once and enjoy it multiple times.
By implementing these practices, you can save money while enjoying delicious meals. We spend money on food every single day. Having good practices can really make a difference. Being mindful of your spending habits and making small changes can go a long way in improving your financial well-being.
Remember, developing healthy financial habits is a gradual process. Start by incorporating small changes into your routine and build upon them over time. By adopting these practices, you can enhance your financial well-being and achieve long-term stability.
Stay tuned for more financial tips and insights in next month's blog post.
I have a complementary budgeting tool called Pennies with Purpose. My gift to you.
Live every day on purpose,