The Five Minute Money Manager: Save Money on Groceries

by David Bakke

save money on groceriesOK, hopefully this five minute money manager thing may actually get some legs and start making some headway in your lives. I hope so, because it did mine. The beauty of these types of things is that most of them literally should take you no more than about five minutes out of your life, and you should be able to benefit from the savings forever after.

Let’s move on to groceries. And there are actually two different things that I will suggest. I am only doing that because I feel that there might be some resistance to the first one.

It is on a topic I know and love, and that is generics. I switched over to generics on most of the things I buy on a regular basis quite some time ago and never switched back. Let me give you my ten second spiel on generics. First, obviously, they are cheaper. Second, there is really not much of a taste difference. Third, believe it or not, a lot of them are processed and packed at the same place that the name brands are (get it? There is no difference).

Anyways, here is what I would like you to do. And you may have to do a little “tracking” if you want to get a real dollar amount of your savings. Without getting too deep into it, decide/track how much you spend on an average week at the grocery store. Then, on your next trip, I want you to buy generics for all of the things that don’t matter to you. If you have a favorite deodorant, then forget about that one. Some good examples though. Pasta-c’mon now, how can there be a significant difference in the taste of pasta? Plain rice, same thing. Oil, same thing. And so on. So, buy these generics and try to get an estimate of how much you saved by doing this for the week. For me, the first time around was $7-$9 when I had to buy just about everything that I buy. Multiply that times the 52 trips you make to the grocery store, and that’s an annual savings of $360-$470. All for about five minutes of your time.

If the thought of generics repulse you and you just can’t bring yourself to do it, I want you to try Plan B. On your next grocery trip, rather than going for the generics, just see if there is a cheaper brand than what you normally buy. Not generic, just cheaper. Track your weekly savings, multiply by 52, and tell me if this isn’t a great investment of about five minutes of your time.

To learn more about this topic and other ways to improve your personal economy, stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published book, “Don’ be A Mule: A Common-sense Guide to Saving More, Spending Less, and Generating Extra Income in Your Everyday Life.”

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