Fun hobbies can include grocery shopping

I just got back from a trip to my local grocery store where I saved 74% off my total bill. This is a new personal high for me and one that I thoroughly savored. Some people might be quick to dismiss such financial acrobatics but I really had a good time. My six-year-old was with me and she helped with the coupons and did all the bagging which made it fun for both of us. After 17 years of following the “Your Money or Your Life” program, I’ve observed that the activities I really enjoy doing often save me money too. I like cutting my family’s hair, gardening, refinishing furniture, cooking — and yes, even grocery shopping. I have added an element of fun to each of these household tasks by mentally calculating how much I’m saving. For example, I like to eat well but often think of how much money I’ve saved by preparing a meal at home instead of taking my family of four out to eat. This is why I can truthfully tell journalists that I never feel a sense of deprivation by choosing this lifestyle. Instead, I feel smart, self-reliant and free.


2 thoughts on “Fun hobbies can include grocery shopping

  1. Wow – funny you should say that!

    Last weekend, instead of my “usual” walking up and down the aisles at the supermarket and basically buying “whatever”, I brought along a calculator and started with the sum of money I wanted to spend on groceries and substracted from the total each time I put an item in my cart. Talk about a heightened awareness! I felt so empowered and capable and really enjoyed the challenge of getting enough food for my family while staying within my pre-set boundary. It really helped me evaluate the “enoughness” of each choice and I found myself getting really creative and smart about my purchases.

    I didn’t reach the point where it was fun, but it was definately a moment of focus and awareness.

    Thanks for your post!

  2. I do this game a bit in grocery stores where sales are offered to those who have store cards. I know my prices well by now and when I recognize a bargain I’ll get the item. Often I only buy what’s on sale. At the register, if you swipe your store card, they give you the discounts and a total at the end not only of what you spent, but of what you saved!
    The caution is that some “sale” items are the regular price at other stores. That’s why Monique’s emphasis on developing a “price book” is an important part of the game.
    My other saving game (here’s an admission!) is that when I get a recognizable brand for a pittance at the thrift store I’ll go online to see what it costs new. Whew! I got near new cowboy boots for $3.00 that were $200 new. Another time I was buying a jacket that the woman behind me recognized as a signature of a fashion designer. “I paid $500 for one of those” she said. I paid $4. That’s one of the many pleasures of smart shopping.

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