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Frugal Friday Pt 4

One thing that may stand out for you as you continue to track expenses is how much you spend at the supermarket. In a 2005 survey, the third quintile (those whose incomes were higher than the lower 40%, but below the top 60%) had a net income of $41,557. Of this number, $5295 was spent on food, $548 on household supplies, and $472 on personal care products, totaling $6315. This is just over 15% of net income, quite a chunk. Your numbers may reflect a similar percentage or vary a bit. Here’s the exercise for this week: Start to list the price you are paying for all grocery type items. You can do this in a notebook or on a spreadsheet. This exercise taught me a major lesson, the cost of items can vary by more than a factor of 2, more so when combining a doubled coupon with a sale. As you pay attention to this it won’t take long to find that most supermarkets are on about a 6 week cycle running sales on most items. I’ve read PF (personal finance) bloggers who feel their large freezers were an investment that paid for itself overtime, and I feel the same. Whether you are single or feeding a family of six, when chicken breasts go on sale for $1.79 vs the usual $2.99, it’s time to put 6 (or more) pounds in the freezer, and the $7 savings in your pocket. One hint, make sure you mark the date on the freezer bag, and be sure to use it in a reasonable time. Back next week with more on this idea.
Joe

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