Monday, April 28, 2014

Waste Not, Want Not

I do not like to waste money. I could fairly easily spend much more on items than I do, but I like the challenge of not paying retail prices for anything and buying as few things as possible. The primary reason why I enjoy growing my own food and having chickens is not for the health benefits of good quality food and exercise but for how much money is saved and the joy of not participating in the typical consumerist economy. When I ate primarily from food grown by me I did not have to take medications for heartburn and saved around $30 per month by not buying medication. For the past couple of months, I have strayed from my frugal past and down the road of eating more frequently at restaurants and buying food from grocery stores. The results have been devastating because I have been forced to resume my medications that I did not have to use for two years and physically I have gained weight. I’ve also caught three colds from eating out so frequently. From a psychological standpoint, I have become unhappier because I’m not experiencing the pride from eating food I have grown. Saving money is part of my identity, and I do not waste my own money or other people’s money because life is more enjoyable when I simplify wants. There is a concept of pleasure versus happiness in Buddhism or for a more “American” perspective consumerism versus happiness. I’m happier when I feel more self-reliant by not relying on large corporations to dictate what I should or should not want.

Below is a chart which includes two trips to grocery stores one is to a “normal grocery store” and one to a discount grocery store. The discount store has food that may be close to expiring or foods that have been mislabeled. My boyfriend is moving into a new house and needed food for his move so I bought him food I thought he would like. He typically doesn’t eat meat or dairy products.

Discount Grocery Store
Normal Grocery Store
Item
Individual
Quantity
Multiple
Individual
Quantity
Multiple
Tortilla (80)
3.89
1
3.89
4.18
1
4.18
Hashbrowns (lg bag)
1.99
1
1.99
2.98
1
2.98
Vegetarian Beans
0.69
4
2.76
1.28
4
5.12
Corn (cans)
0.50
10
5.00
1.00
10
10.00
Tomato Paste
0.25
4
1.00
0.78
4
3.12
Rice a Roni
1.00
3
3.00
1.38
3
4.14
Salsa
1.59
1
1.59
1.98
1
1.98
Pickles
1.19
1
1.19
1.98
1
1.98
Oatmeal
1.99
2
3.98
3.98
2
7.96
Juice
0.50
4
2.00
0.58
4
2.32
Artichokes
1.00
1
1.00
1.88
1
1.88
Crackers
1.79
1
1.79
2.88
1
2.88
Caramel Creamer
1.39
1
1.39
2.18
1
2.18
Mushrooms
0.69
2
1.38
0.96
2
1.92
Grits
2.89
1
2.89
3.48
1
3.48
Humus
1.99
1
1.99
1.99
1
1.99
Potatoes (8lbs)
2.99
1
2.99
4.77
1
4.77
Cucumbers
0.59
3
1.77
0.88
3
2.64
Newtons
2.59
2
5.18
2.50
2
5.00
Cheetos
1.25
1
1.25
1.98
1
1.98
Orange Pops
1.00
1
1.00
3.50
1
3.50
Babyruth
0.50
1
0.50
0.67
1
0.67
M&M's
0.50
1
0.50
0.88
1
0.88
Rice Seasoning
0.69
2
1.38
0.69
2
1.38
Total

$51.41

$78.93
Total Savings
$27.52
Hypothetical Year
$3,000.00
Normal Grocery Store
$4,605.91
Hypothetical Savings
$1,605.91
Extrapolate 10 years
$16,059.10


There were products that I couldn’t find at a normal grocery store so the prices were kept the same. It’s amazing that such a small change of location to buy food can make such a huge difference in prices. Of course, every item cannot be found at a discount grocery store but there are enough items choose from to make the trip worthwhile. ( I enjoyed making this chart J )  

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