This one’s got something for you non-horsey people. I never realized what it was like to pay for groceries until I was buying groceries for me and my boyfriend. Somehow in college it was not difficult to buy groceries for $25-30 per week. But when I moved out, groceries were costing more than my Xfinity bill, which is saying a lot because they love to rip you off. I’m going to give you a few tips to saving those dolla dolla bills so you can spend them on the good stuff, like horses or traveling. I think traveling is what normal people spend their money on. Right?
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Find an Aldi
This has been my biggest money saver. I can easily save $100 by shopping at Aldi instead of Jewel. I’ll admit I was skeptical about Aldi. My mom took me on my first Aldi outing and she didn’t even skip a beat as she was paying for her shopping cart; so I immediately tried to clear the preconceived notions I had about this place out of my head. And I did, until I saw everything still in boxes on the shelves? Like what is this place? But with time I realized this place is a blessing. It has legit prices and is a paradise if you have trouble making choices. Since shopping at Aldi, I have cut down the amount of time that I spend looking at canned beans by half, because they only carry like four kinds of beans. Now this can be bad because you can’t get honey nut twice roasted baked beans. But if you need basic beans this is your place. In all seriousness, they have all the basics and they have organics, if that’s your jam. They carry fun seasonal finds (like laminators during back to school season!) and a fair amount of healthy options like flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut milk, almond milk, etc. Find an Aldi, bring a quarter, save some money.
Side note: You should get a quarter keeper like the one pictured below. I bought mine through someone on Facebook eons ago and I can’t find her page. But there is a similar one here. I have even seen some (not as cute ones) at Aldi.
Make a Budget
I know. It seems like a no brainer but it wasn’t for me. Some people have these magical minds that tabulate and compute numbers at high speeds. It’s miraculous, and if it’s not yet obvious, I do not have a mind like this. I need something that says you have X amount of money to spend in this category for the week. It’s been life changing. I made a simple sheet for like this one on word and used it to guide my monthly spending. Again, those that have magical minds might prefer an excel spread sheet or there are really great apps that can break down your spending for you. Whatever works for you is what you should do, but for me a piece of paper with numbers on it is what made the difference. A contract if you will.
I did a lot of research and what kept coming up was essentially a money-saving system from Dave Ramsey. If you’re unfamiliar with Dave Ramsey’s financial planning, it’s pretty straight forward and after reading it some of it I was like duh, why am I not doing this already? He has developed steps to help people gain financial freedom through saving, paying off debt, investing, etc. Anyway, I adopted his cash envelope system. I bought cute scrapbook paper and made hella cute cash envelopes to carry around with the amount of cash that is outlined in the budget you hopefully created earlier. And when the money is gone, it’s gone. This means you either have to borrow from another envelope or forego getting Starbucks. Yikes. It’s hard but totally worth it. I fell off the train with this but quickly realized I needed to come back to it. Since coming back to it I have started using the Bella Taylor wallet (pictured below). It essentially is a wallet with dividers so you can divide your cash by category, just like the envelopes. Totally worth it. You can get the envelope tutorial, made by me, by clicking here. And you can check out the Bella Taylor wallet by clicking here.
These 3 things have been how I have achieved healthier spending and saving habits. My hope is that by sharing these simple steps you too can find your way to saving money and living better! Make sure you subscribe on the right so you can get updates when I make more posts like this one.