Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Working on one of my financial goals for 2016
I never did share what my goals for this new year are. Something about saying it out loud, or putting it in writing, makes me think that my goals will be jinxed!
Anyway, one of my goals is to take as many areas of our spending as possible, and investigate ways to save and still enjoy the same quality of our life. That doesn't mean that I will actually cut spending for every line item, but that I will look into cutting the cost and see if there are ways to do so, but keep our life enjoyable. Some areas of our budget may actually see an increase in spending, as I balance spending with enjoyment.
This past week, I found another item to spend "better". If you've been reading my grocery journals closely, you know that I've been buying onion powder, from the bulk spice section of Fred Meyer, since last winter. Onion powder (at the least the stuff that I buy) is only made of onions, no additives. I like the flavor boost that it gives to dressings, dips, sauces, soups and gravies. Add to other spices and seasonings, it's part of a delicious seasoning sprinkle for oven-roasted potatoes or otherwise plain meat, similar to Lawry's Seasoning salt, just considerably less salt.
I went back through my grocery journals and found that since March 2015, I had bought about 8 oz of bulk onion powder, and spent about $3.75, in small amounts each time, at a price of $7.19 per pound. I told myself that I would check Cash & Carry's price on canisters of onion powder, as it was clear that I could go through a full canister in a little over a year. And last week, onion powder did go on sale at Cash & Carry, for $3.25 for a 12-oz canister, that's $4.33 per pound. That's a savings of about 40% per pound, by buying onion powder in a canister at Cash & Carry, over buying in the bulk spices section of Fred Meyer. And I've proven to myself that I will go through this larger amount in a reasonable time.
Just another item in my budget where I've found a way to cut our spending, but keep the same quality of enjoyment. Maintaining our satisfaction with life is an important aspect to us, within our frugal living choices.
This isn't anything newsworthy, buying something in a large package, to save on unit cost. But revisiting all of our spending, has paid off for us, time and time again.
Other items that I've found a less expensive venue for purchase this month include: full spectrum light tubes for our grow light operation (bought through Amazon instead of the place where I had bought the entire set-up, saving $9 per tube, when bought in a 5-pack, as opposed to buying 2 tubes at a time -- I have 3 spares, now, and 2 will last me about 3-4 years), buying a specific book as a gift for a friend, again through Amazon, instead of the shop where I originally saw the book (saving $8 on the book), buying a large bottle of lavender essential oil, instead of the 10 mL that I usually buy at a time, (saving so much per ounce that I kept thinking I must be doing the math incorrectly, it's literally a fraction of the cost per ounce to buy in a larger size). In addition, I'm doing things differently, not just shopping differently, to save a bit of money. I recently went into the city to visit with a friend. I chose to take the commuter bus, instead of drive and park downtown. Parking downtown is very pricey in Seattle. My bus ticket, round trip was $7. If I had driven, I would have spent a minimum of about $4 in gas, and $8 in curb parking for 2 hours, or $12 total.
In one instance, I got exactly what I wanted, just with a bit of a time delay. In two other instances, I got a surplus, to keep on hand for future use. And in the fourth instance, I got a more favorable experience -- I didn't have to drive in traffic, actually find street parking, or watch the time to make sure I didn't go over my paid limit of time. So, I'd say, it's been a win!