Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wait Just One More Day to go Shopping

I’ve been amazed recently by just how much food I have in my pantry that I never seem to get around to eating. Instead, I just serve my family the same old favorites, over and over, and the rest of the non-perishables meet the same fate as the “other 90%” of my closet: they gather dust and take up space.

So I’m trying a new trick to stretch my budget that seems to really be working. When I absolutely have to go to the store, I wait one more day.

This practice has turned out to have multiple benefits. First, the obvious. Spending $150 at the grocery store every 8 days instead of 7 will result in an annual savings of $978. But what I’m also finding is that I’m getting more creative in my cooking, eating a greater variety of foods, forcing my kids to try new things, and throwing away less.

So how would this practice translate to other purchases? Would waiting one extra day to buy everything result in significant savings?

Definitely. First, there’s the elimination of the “impulse buy.” By waiting that one extra day, you may forget about the purchase altogether. In that case, you obviously didn’t need it to begin with.

But what if it is something you really need, and now? The extra 24 hours may force you to find an adequate substitute already in your possession. In fact, I’ve often found that I already owned the very thing I thought I needed to go buy when forced to look within my own house. Embarassing. Other times, by simply mentioning to a friend “tomorrow, I’m going to go buy (fill in the blank)”, I’ve suddenly found myself the new owner of exactly what they were getting rid of. The Universe is funny that way- if you ask, you’ll often receive.

And if after 24 hours you do find that you still need to go shopping, you will have possibly had time to research a better price, pare down your list, or couple the shopping trip with another errand- all resulting in saving time, money, and gas.

So, don’t feel like you can never get what you need. Just wait one more day for it.

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