Category Archives: self-interest

Why All the Links? & a Link — to an Article About Grocery Shopping, Safely

To read this regularly, you’d think I spend much of my time doing internet research, right? Wrong!

The motivation behind the advice links is that I know I should read them all and make informed choices. I should have a routine for dealing with groceries and mail coming in the house. I should be disinfecting every square inch of the house, the cars, the mailbox, etc.

But, like most SHOULDs, only some of it gets done. The piece which does happen usually doesn’t happen immediately.

The links and links lists are my bookmarks. It’s useful for me to have them all in one place. If others find them useful too? All the better!

One thing I learned after decades of dealing with amorphous, traumatic distress? Concrete and practical advice is almost always more helpful than platitudes and motivational speeches. An unempoloyed, depressed person will usually respond more positively to a revision of their resume than an hour’s worth of sympathy, although do give both.

The two most popular posts here are how to cook pink Madagascar rice and how to estimate linear feet of needed book shelving. I don’t think that’s an accident.

The post about cooking pink rice was written because I went looking for exactly that and couldn’t find it. I used a cookbook I own, guessed based on data there and it worked. That’s what’s in the post.

The how to estimate needed book shelving post was part of a series of bookselling “how to” posts I made on the late, lamented site 43things.com.

It helps that I used to write instructions for a living, yes. But that isn’t the only reason that those posts are my most popular. Both are simple, concrete and practical advice.

I found this article about how to shop for your groceries safely. Unfortunately for me, I found it after I got back from this week’s marketing. Next week!  link

 

Finding the Cheat

See the previous post if you’re not sure what I’m talking about!

Here’s how I found all those “cheats” to use fewer supplies, whether they be lightbulbs, potting soil, toothpaste or frozen food.

What do you do automatically? If you become more aware of those choices, then you can try and change them. My frugal strategies apply:

  • Find a cheaper substitute.
  • Spend less for the same product.
  • Do without.

Figure out what you do automatically: How much oil or fat do you put in a pan — can you use less? Can you use a cheaper oil and have it work as well? Substituting margarine for butter in baked goods doesn’t work in my opinion. For me, it seems to be how much the fat determines the taste of the dish. YMMV!  How do you decide how much TP to use at once? Try delaminating 2-ply and see if it won’t cause you to use less? Worked for me! Pizza toppings: If you love a certain frozen pizza, but hate one topping (or your kid does) and automatically toss it? Can you find a way to use the tossed food? I’m not talking about allergies, of course you shouldn’t keep foods you or yours are allergic to, but preferences. You could use frozen bits of onion or peppers in soups or meatloaf, for example. Sausage pieces could be used in scrambled eggs.

Pay attention to your automatic behavior and the waste it causes. Then try to use what you’ve wasted before.

Use the internet or other resources to help: Try different routes on googlemaps is there a shorter route? Use gasbuddy to find the cheapest gas locally. Find new ways to use up leftovers. Try to make your own foods: bake bread, grow herbs, make gravy.

“If I was broke, what would I do differently?” Many times this shows me what I’m wasting or suggests ideas. I made sauted greens last night for dinner. I took the stems off because DH hates “stringy” greens. Instead of tossing them, I put them in the freezer for smoothies or to be added to soup.

Ask a pro! People who do things for work quickly find the easiest and fastest way to do things. They frequently know the cheapest way too. I found out about the shampoo concentrates at beauty supply shops by asking a hair stylist where the salon bought their shampoo? Another example: my dad, when looking for a new home refrigerator went to the biology department at the college where he worked and asked which refrigerator they’d recommend?

If this works with one thing in 5, it still counts! The idea that it has to save dollars right away or it doesn’t count is EXPENSIVE!

Every little cost-savings idea you use counts.

Each dollar is

100 pennies after all!