How Comparison Shopping Can Lead to Big Savings

 

Yesterday, I did something I've wanted to do for a long time. I took my Aldi receipt from Saturday morning and compared it to our local grocery store's prices via the online ordering set up. I used "apples to apples" - organic to organic, sizes to sizes and used all generic items from the grocery store to keep it the fairest. 

Now, Aldi is just one of many low-cost grocery stores. They keep their costs low in a variety of ways, but namely being energy and body efficient, carrying private label items, ordering in bulk, keeping employees at a minimum, and having customers partake in the work, like taking your own bags and packing them, and renting your cart for the shopping trip, to ensure it gets back to it's home spot. Other stores you might have in your area are WinCo, Sprouts, Fareway, and Save A Lot to name a few. 

But I digress -- so what were the results? The grand total of my SAVINGS was $50.05 on my Aldi order from what I would have spent at my local chain store. That's right. My bill was $65.67 at Aldi and it would have been $115.72 elsewhere. Now, you might be able to combat some of that with coupons and sales and Ibotta savings at your local grocer, but sometimes you just need to get in and out. The ONLY thing I didn't save on was milk... and here in PA, I think milk is a set price pretty much everywhere, so no surprise there. But I bought 37 items and 36 were a savings. Those little bits add up!! 

I'm not saying your local store doesn't have perks, and honestly, I prefer to shop local when I can (and I did after Aldi - I normally get about 75% at Aldi, then go to my local store for the rest that I can't get there and my meats). But when you're living on a budget, a 43% savings on groceries is a BIG ticket every month. It can literally be hundreds of dollars that you're eating! 

More tips on grocery savings to come, but in the meantime, what's your best grocery saving tip you can share? 

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What Do Fitness and Finances Have in Common?

 
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Most women, and some men, have at some point in their life counted calories, points on weight watchers or counted macros.  What the heck does this have to do with money?  They’re the exact same thing as a budget.  Seriously.  Think about it.   

With calorie counting, you have to budget your food.  You get a certain number of calories (higher if you workout) and you have to make it last all day.  You don’t have to eat only healthy, but the healthier you eat, the more “bang for your buck” you get.  When you eat nutritiously dense, you’re satisfied longer and on less. 

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With a budget, or spending plan as I like to call it, you get a certain amount of money (more if you work harder or extra jobs) and you have to make it last all month.  You don’t have to be super frugal and not go out for coffee.  But the more lattes you make at home, the more money you have for clothes.  Or bills.  Or retirement.  If you make wise, pre-calculated choices, your money will go further.  Impulse spending only leaves you with the same feeling of regret as impulse eating a whole bag of Oreos.  Been there and done both. 

What about the quick fix??  The latest fad diet.  Have you heard of the raw food diet?  5 bite diet?  Cabbage soup diet?  Master cleanse diet?  Grapefruit diet? The list goes on, but there are TONS of fad diets out there.  They’re pretty extreme and sure, they’ll get you results quick.  But will they last? NO.  And neither will you on the diet.  The best way to lose weight is through healthy exercise and a balanced diet of food in moderation with reasonable portions and control.  It’s about changing your behavior for long term success. Money is the same thing.  You can do all the balance transfers you want.  But at the end of the day the debt is still there.  You can wipe out your retirement to clear your debt.  But if you don’t change your behavior, it won’t last.  You’ll be back in debt in no time.  Got those t-shirts also. 

So money and fitness, health and wealth.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s no big secret that once you get one area of your life in check, the other seems to magically fall into place for a lot of people.  It’s about learning balance, patience and how to focus on a goal.  Remember, a season of discipline doesn’t mean you’ll never enjoy your favorite things again.  As Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else, so that later you can live and give like no one else.”