Groceries

This is the one that gets us and most people. Where do you currently shop for food?  At restaurants?  Don’t do that. When we do that we spend a ton of money.  You probably do too. 

Look at a few months worth of food spending and see where you’re at.  I don’t know where that number should be, but I’ve seen some say that their meals work out to be about $2 each, so that sounds like a nice goal. 

I know that we aren’t there right now but we are trying something new soon. Maybe next week, and I’ll post back on what that new approach is if it works well. 

For now, try going to farmers markets and discount stores. My local favorite is Aldi.  You can fill a cart with food for the same price as a hand basket at the other places. Yes, the food is edible and in many cases is better than the alternatives. They also have come a long way when it comes to dietary needs by stocking a lot of gluten free and “healthy” alternative items. 

If you are on a fad diet or something that claims that it’s not a diet but tells you what to eat, along with the purchase of a $200/month equivalent of a carnation instant breakfast, then you can just stop that right now. 

I’m not nutrition expert but I do know that common sense goes a long way here and sticking to the services sizes does too. You know when you’re eating like an idiot and don’t need to pay someone to tell you to eat better, less, and to get exercise. 

No, eating like a caveman will not cure autoimmune disease. Jesus, they had a life expectancy of like 20 years, so what sense does that make?

Stop looking for an easy answer. You already know what the answers are. 

You Don’t Have to Pay To Play

I had a great win on the ol’ eBay the other night.  I meantioned at one point that I downsized all of my photography gear a few years ago and have been using the Canon G15 for a while now. I really love‚Äč that camera but don’t like that it is missing an external mic port and a real viewfinder. 

I didn’t want to buy another camera with detachable lenses so I did a little research and found that the Nikon P7800 had a usable view finder and a mic port. This was the one to have, so I fired up my thinking mill and planned what it would take to own that camera. 

Step one, find out how much it is new and used to get an idea of what is considered a deal. Done. 

New, it was over $600 and we already know I’m not looking for a new one.  Used price was $400, consistently.  So I wanted to find one for under that. But I couldn’t. 

I went to Amazon and paid the $390 to be done with it. Then, just for the hell of it I went back on eBay and happened to see an auction ending soon near $300. I though that if I could win this one for anything less than $400, I’d be saving, so I threw down $316.90 and was immediately outbid. Like a squirrel trying to get out of a garbage can I tried to flip in another bid. I was too slow and lost the auction, at a final price of like $320. I was pissed that I missed that chance to save $80, but just for the hell of it, I looked to see if there were any other auctions going on. I happened to look at the right time, because a guy had just posted his camera for $200,  buy-it-now style, which man’s no auction, you just get it. I thoufht, it must have been for parts or something? That was half the price of what they had been going for. 

Fast forward three seconds and I bought it.  It is home now and doing just fine. We actually recorded a video on it this morning for mother’s day. 

Now my G15 is listed on eBay and has 10 bids on it and two days left at $158. I’m expecting that one to go for around $200, which would mean that I was able to slip right into the camera I wanted, for nothing but a little time and research. I got lucky on this one though. 

I ended up cancelling the amazon order of course. 

The point is to make sure you shop around thoroughly before making a purchase. 

Victim of a Sale, Almost

A few days ago, somebody told my wife that Gander Mountain was going out of business and everything was on sale.  My wife went and scored a few great deals on raincoats for the kids that have been hard to come across, and she picked up a coat for herself. One of those two-in-one coats so she can get rid of a few other jackets. 

I decided I would go check out what they had to see if I could find a deal for myself. I have been wanting to find a coat to replace several for a while now anyway. 

I got there and pretty much everything was at least 20% off. There did appear to be some good deals after all. I went straight to the clearance section and didn’t like the selection they had in my size. I looked at every jacket they had in the place and ended up walking around with two, trying to decide which one to get. I was caught up in the sale-price-moment and was blinded to the point where I forgot that I didn’t have to buy anything at all that day. 

That’s what sales do. They make you feel a sense of urgency. Buy it now or you’ll regret it. 

I wasn’t particularly fond of either of the jackets I was walking around with and realized that I can probably find exactly what I want if I do some more shopping. 

I beat the hell out of the 20% off deal that day by saving 100%. 

Starting to Declutter

Being surrounded can be stressful, even when what is surrounding you is your own stuff.  What a mess.  You feel like you’re always cleaning up and organizing.  The problem is that there is too much to begin with.  You can keep reorganizing as much as you want but that stuff will not stay where you want it.

If you think it feels good to organize, I can say that it feels better to get rid of that crap you keep on having to mess with.

A great place to start is your junk drawer.  Have you used anything in there in the past six months?  What is that stuff?  Bring the trash can right over to it and start getting rid of things from inside.

Next, move to your night stand or where ever you put things before bed.  That stand might also have drawers on it full of junk you haven’t used in  years.

That’s honestly a good start.  Forcing yourself to really decide if you need to hang on to those chincy trinkets you’ve kept “just in case.”

You might even find something that you get to list on craigslist or eBay and make a few bucks out of it.

Start with the small and easier decisions.  It will feel pretty good.