This post is another in a long line of "stop spending on the things you don't need" posts. And there will be plenty more of them. Because, as we all know, the key to spending on the things you WANT is to be insanely frugal about the things you don't use/need/want/care about. So here are a few more recommendations.
Groceries: Shop more often (and plan ahead) to decrease waste
I used to go grocery shopping once a month or once every couple weeks. And, inevitably, I'd end up throwing away a ton of shit I never used that then went bad. Now, I shop once a week (sometimes twice if I can make it to the store during a lunch break) so I never spend more than what I need to spend and I never end up wasting anything.
Its important to get a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in your diet, but shopping for just one or two people can be difficult as you don't want anything to go to waste. So I typically buy only what I know I'll use in the next week or even just the next few days (and then I'll make another trip if I need to mid-week).
I also plan ahead and typically make one huge meal or two either Sunday or Monday night that I can divide into multiple meals for lunches and dinners throughout the week. This way I am able to purchase only what I need for the week (without being swayed by all the packaged snacks and other stupid, unhealthy shit) and wind up paying somewhere between $30 and $50 per week for food. I'm a pretty small, single woman, so of course buying for a large man or a big family will likely require spending more (as they will require more calories than I do). Either way, though, you have to plan ahead and ONLY buy what you need. If there are no snacks in the house, that's a double whammy: 1. you won't be tempted to eat them and 2. you won't be wasting money on unhealthy food you don't really need.
Group-coupon sites (Groupon, Living Social, whatever the rest of them are called...)
Stop spending money on these sites. Just stop.
Or, if you can't stop, then at least make a list of the things you want to do, things you want to buy, places you want to try so that you are ONLY buying these things. For instance, I might go on a search for a group deal for a manicure when Mother's Day rolls around. Or I might look for a massage group deal once every few months. Or a group deal for a restaurant I've had on my list of places to go for the past year.
And I always, always, ALWAYS check the Yelp reviews of group deal locations before buying. Because a lot of the time the places they feature are brand new or really shitty -- a.k.a. the kinds of places that need those group deals to drum up business -- and you aren't going to get your money's worth, even with the steep discount. I recommend group deal sites for restaurants you already want to try, vacations you are already planning, experiences (such as rafting, ziplining, etc.) that you already have on your list, events that would be too pricey otherwise (Gilt City is awesome for this), and anything else that is already on your radar.
Don't be like my mother who just spends frivolously on Groupons for restaurants she's never heard of but that "sounded good" to her...and then they all expire (money WASTED) because she doesn't have time to eat out between work, chores and kids. This is the BEST way to end up with stupid, unnecessary debt. Groupon is NOT saving you any money unless its something you were otherwise going to buy at full price.
My advice is to get off the email lists for all these deal sites (except the ones that offer the best examples of the things you typically purchase: I am on Gilt City and Bloomspot because I tend to buy deals for upscale events and nice restaurants) and just do a google search for deals when there's something you are looking to buy. That way you are actually saving money instead of it just seeming like you are.
So that is my advice for today on what not to spend on. Hope you're having a great beginning of October, everyone!
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