Inspiration From Another Blogger

I was looking around on Pinterest Saturday afternoon.   Many of my friends and fellow bloggers pin blog posts they've found online that relate to saving money.  I admit  I'm older than most of these young moms who are learning anew what I've been doing for years.  I see many old tricks on these pages but I enjoy reading through them anyway.

So I wasn't expecting to find anything new but I did.  This girl wrote something that I read out loud and have said over and over again to myself because it just really set fire to my brain.

It isn't about saving more it's about spending less.

She's right.  She's so very right.

Now in context, the author/blogger was writing about using coupons to bring the grocery budget down.  I don't necessarily feel her article fit me at this stage in my game,  but the power statement for me was the one italicized above.

Here is an area where most frugalites get caught.  We buy MORE because it's on sale, we have a promo code, and/or a coupon and feel we've accomplished something because we're getting something extra for our money.  We go about excitedly telling every one we know about our great bargains.  And in the next breath we wail that we haven't got any money to spend, can't quite make the bills, etc.  But we have all this great STUFF...   In the end we aren't making those stretching ends meet at all, and we  haven't accomplished our goal, which was to decrease our spending.

At first glance the statement may even sound foolish to you.  Who doesn't want to save more?  Couldn't we all use more savings? And isn't it savings to get things for just pennies on the dollar?  But odds are you started bargain hunting, using coupons, looking for great clearance items,  to have a bit of wiggle room in your budget, or to pay extra on a bill that you want to pay off or to help fund a special part of your budget (holiday or vacation, say).  If you continue to spend as much as you ever have, even if you are getting more food/goods for your dollars, but NOT found that wiggle room, or extra payment amount you'd been seeking it's time to STOP and BEGIN AGAIN with an eye towards your real goal: spending less.

We reached this point a few years ago.  Inflation and lack of wage increases were our kryptonite where groceries were concerned. Sales combined with coupons, and picking up the odd reduced items did little to bring our budget into alignment with our need to decrease our spending. Then we went through our grocery list item by item and cut hard.  We still hung in at about the same spending level, simply because inflation increased prices more each time we cut out items.   Ultimately we made the choice to stop shopping in main stream grocery stores and  do perhaps 80% of our shopping at just one store.  For us, that store is Aldi.  We're finally spending less on the bulk of our groceries and that's what we set out to do.

Now we're looking at other areas of our budget that we'd like to bring down.  For us, spending less will generate more savings, but it's also training us for the day when we're going to live on less money.  I'm going to write this statement down and put on our bulletin board in the kitchen, right next to a quote from another blogger, my friend Rhonda's motto "If you do stuff, stuff gets done." and our own family motto "It's better to do something and fail than to do nothing and succeed."  "It isn't about saving more, it's about spending less." I need wisdom like that as a daily reminder.


lizvee said...

Years & years ago as a new bride.. a friend
of ours said.. "It's not how much
you make it's how you spend it"..

There are ads all around .. tempting us to buy & spend more..

This is an excellent word.. spending less..
adds up to more savings..

Thanks for sharing this..


jill said...

Hi Terri, I had written a couple of posts last year about this very thing...spending less. Some folks did not get it and informed me of better ways I can save. I stopped reading alot of money saving blogs for the simple fact that most, if not all, were going to the stores daily. They could not let that coupon expire!!! One blog I loved, but now it is nothing but sponsored stuff to buy. I pray they make lots of money from THEIR blog, but I find it a bit sad too. Take the drug store game. I have never been able to wrap my brain around that one. No store is giving you anything for is costing someone, somewhere. Maybe higher prescriptions? Stores would go out of business if they truly were giving products away. That is my vent.

We started shopping at one store or two stores (99 cents, Smart and Final or Super Wal-Mart). What I found is at SF and WM the temptation to buy more while I was there, far too great. Then of course I figured in gasoline cost. Here, we pay on average $4 per gallon...the regular stuff. So often it would cost an extra $16 in gas just to hit all the stores we use too.

Recently, a WM Neighborhood Market opened in Loma of healthy living;-) I love that big temptations, just enough of paper products etc. but I would say 80 to 90 percent of the store is groceries. Sadly, I do have to travel pass a fabric store. LOL. So, although it is a bit from home, it is still a straight shot with the 99 cent store and Smart and Final(mini Costco...without the words) are on the way home if need be.

Somedays, I even find going thrifting to be a turn-off. I find myself realizing I really do not need 'stuff'. If we could find a cheese slicer with cutting board attached..we would be happy. After much de-cluttering, bringing more in almost scares me. Old habits are hard to break.

blessings, jill
ps. I am so enjoying the magazines. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Yep, you nailed it! Spend less ... don't stress to earn more. When I quit my job just about 3 years ago, that became my motto. Spend less.

I started doing many of the things I'd done when my kids were young and still home like baking my own bread using my own ground wheat and hanging out my laundry. I learned these aren't have-to things but something I enjoy. And oh, the nice smell that comes with that laundry fresh off the line. I shut off the lights or have just one on at night - very romantic ; 0). I shut off the computer at night. I have time to garden, and that allows me to freeze and can very frugally in the summer and fall. It's a wonderful thing to see those shelves and the freezer fill up full of summer goodness. I mostly cook from scratch.

It's fun to me to figure out how to spend less rather than earn more. And, it's very freeing!!! I have time to indulge myself by reading and if I want to be lazy one day, I can.


Anonymous said...

I guess I have always realized this fact. We only ever had so much money to spend on anything so when the money was gone so was the spending. Yet the bills got paid first and any annual bills and such were banked so. And some banked if at all possible for emergency and savings. So when I only had say $25 for groceries a week I knew I better shop wisely and use all of it up! :-) If I could find bargains in the foods we ate within that budget all the better. If I could come to blogland or a good magazine article and learn another way to pinch another penny all the better!! :-) Somehow it worked through the years. It was not easy at times but it was gratifying to know we were making it. When prices rosy on basic grocery items we got less or cut them out when we could. Or grew them if that would be a cost cutting strategy. It got to be a mind game..and we intended to win! lol When utilities rose the grocery budget had to take a hit but somehow it worked out with a cut here and a cut there. We still eat very good!!! Instead of raising the grocery budget when we get any increase in salary we keep it the same and save the rest. That I think this IS a rule to try to always follow. Still keep the same living priorities and budgets and forget the raise was even there. Yes you might want to use a bit of that to save towards a specific goal. A set of pots and pans, or the one pan you need and sue the most if yours are going bad, or even a bigger goal of a house mending. These things are needed. Work on real needs not just things you want but could easily do without. If you buy the wants will you have any money left for the true needs and bills or emergency that might come up? Thanks for helping me keep in line with inflation with your hints and sound advice Teri ! If I knew how to go to Pinterest and find those type of posts I sure would! Sarah

Anonymous said...

I found an inspiring blog on food a while back. Her motto is very cute and says a lot...: Eat Well-Act Your Wage-Enjoy Life. Don't ya just love that Act Your Wage! Says it all! Sarah

Kathy said...

Good point!
Unfortunately, I have been spending more lately. I feel the need to stock up and deepen my pantry. So when I see a good sale, I buy more. This week canned tomatoes and kidney beans were on sale 2/$1 so I bought 10 cans since my family loves chili in the winter.
But I am spending more on groceries, so I am trying to balance my desire to stock up with my desire to save money.

doe853 said...

Sarah, just type in and search for money saving tips. Dale

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