## Thursday, October 18, 2012

### How much to spend on groceries a month

Equation on how to figure out how much you should be spending a month on groceries.

I read a financial report were it gave some info on how much you should spend a month on groceries according to your annual income.

Take your average paycheck after taxes times it by an average of 28 paydays in a year times that by 11%-14% |( I chose to do 11% ) , you will than have your percentage of your annual.

take the annual percent and divide it by 12 and you should get your monthly total, you than take that monthly total and divide it by 4 and you than get your weekly amount.

Example: single minimum wage individual who makes \$10/hr ( bc canada )

\$704 x 28 paydays = \$19712
\$19712 x .11 =  \$2168.32
\$2168.32 / 12m = \$180.69 a month in groceries / 4 weeks in a month = \$45.17 a week to  live ( not including toiletries and hygiene )

This was just a fun equation to help out with cutting down on the cost of groceries.

## A little bit of history that leads up to my tips

I am going to start off by talking about being a consumer and how we and our parents have been brainwashed into thinking that buying packaged and pre-frozen goods is the only way to go and how the Microwave oven has changed our eating habits.

The World War II ended in 1945, which is when our grandparents and parents were born. I don't blame them for buying the stuff because the companies did such a great job marketing their goods. According to my research on wikipedia.org, the modern convenience goods of today such as canned and dried goods began after the World War II ended. The surplus companies had over stock so sold it to homes for commercial use, than began stuffing whatever they could into cans such as ham sticks and cheeseburgers which were not a big success. 72 years later we are unhealthy, over weight and busier than ever. It's time to slow down and take a look around and realize your life and children's lives are worth living. We as the consumer have been designed to cook faster and easier forgetting how to bake bread and cut our vegetables. We as the consumer have the power to change our habits and live a healthier life style. It actually costs more to live off of packaged and junk food than it does on fresh fruits and veggies. Then there was the invention of the microwave oven, the first microwave entered the home in 1967 as a counter top appliance. This has also handicapped us in the way of fresh homemade cooking. The microwave alters the way food tastes and its texture.

Enough about microwave ovens, World War II and the affects it has had on our generation. It’s time to be honest with yourself and how your addicted to Kraft Dinner and forget how delicious home baked macaroni and cheese is with a bread crumb topping is. Today people go to restaurants now to try and get their old home cooked meals re-created. Why not do it at home?

In order to start cutting back on your groceries, you need to understand that a grocery store is scientifically laid out to feed off of human weaknesses. A grocery store is laid out so that when you enter, you WILL go to the right and follow your natural path. Meanwhile going up and down the aisles until you have a cart full when all you came in for was milk.

Now that you know these few tad bits of information, I hope you will have your eyes a little wider now and not be taken advantage of the big companies. Don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy your treats; by all means buy what you want. This is just my personal opinion and how I now live my life for my family. I don’t judge and I won’t come into your home and lecture you on health etc. etc. I hope you enjoy my post and Take the following 15 tips into consideration.

## Tips on how to cut down on your grocery costs

Tips #1 – When you enter a grocery store only shop the perimeter for dairy, meat, vegetables, fruit, and Bread. These should be your basic staples. Only go up and down the aisles unless you need rice or pasta noodles (you can even make your own pasta noodles if you so desire)

Tip #2 – Use coupons if you so desire. You don’t often find coupons on things on the perimeter of the store because they want you to go up and down the aisles to buy all those random things you don’t need.

Tip#3 – Don’t impulse buy, that’s what they want you to do at the checkout, I know those gummies and razors weren’t on your list of things to buy…

Tip #4 – If your within walking distance of the store or a bus, take those routes there and I dare you to try and pack home \$200 worth of stuff…. You will start to put yourself in a different mindset… of what you need vs. what you and your family want.

Tip #5 – Pull out your dusty cook books or search the internet for more creative ideas to feed your family for meals and snacks and treats instead of boxed cookies, packaged donuts and boxed pastas with artificial sauces. (I don’t judge as KD is like crack)

Tip #6 – DON’T BE ASHAMED to check out the clearance rack or bin as they sometimes have some amazing deals and things you might have been too scared to try before. EX, corn pasta…. 50% off, who would have thought it was the best pasta noodles we had ever bought. You can also find shampoos, soaps, pads, kid’s things list goes on and on.

Tip #7 – Try having 1 or 2 meatless nights were you incorporate a complete protein in a different way, such as tofu, beans and there are other options. Grow out of your old habits and try something different. If you are too worried about trying something new… hide it in what you’re eating... Tofu can be broken down and takes on whatever flavor you have put it in.

Tip #8 – Research your meals or try to plan ahead and you don’t have to buy your meat in bulk. Try your local butcher (it may cost more than buying Costco, but you will get to have your meat portioned for you and wrapped neatly and it won’t have hormone injections or be water logged)

Tip #9 – Do a eat your cupboards food challenge were every meal you use 1 item at least from your freezer or cupboard until it’s all just about gone. The point is to eat up all your old cans of spaghetti sauce and beans and tuna that have been hiding at the back for a good year.

What this accomplishes

1)     No more unnecessary buying things that don’t have a near future plan ( so stop buying cause it’s on sale )

2)     No more packaged products or frozen dinners.

What you have left

1)     Stocks for making soups and sauces and flavoring your cous cous, rice, barley, quinoa and flour and sugars for baking

2)     Frozen portioned and marinated meats if you did happen to buy more than needed, baked goods such as cookies, muffins and or scones.

Tip #10 – Always make sure you eat something before you go grocery shopping, not only for the energy, but it helps you from buying unnecessary things. When you’re hungry it over powers your thought process and you start to buy what you want at that moment instead of what you need. Cause you seek instant gratification, that bag of chips looks appetizing instead of a granola bar or apple.

Tip #11 -  Only take cash and don’t be embarrassed if you have to put something back, you’ll realize  that, that thing you have to put back you never really needed in the first place or it could wait until next week.

Tip #12 – If you have kids in tow, take advantage of the free cookie at the bakery to  keep your kids entertained long enough to think about shopping J

Tip #13 – Pretend someone is waiting for you to help you get in and out of the grocery store. You don’t really need to be in there any longer than you have to. Like really, it’s not that cool to hang out in or pick up a lover.

Tip #14 – Learn how to say NO to YOU.

Tip #15 – Try new things, this is the time to have fun. Grab seasonal fruits and vegetables at a farmers market to avoid a grocery store
Tip #16 - Set a reasonable amount per week and try to stick to it.

These are just my personal thoughts and opinions with some internet research.