Grocery Shopping

Welcome back to the final post (for now) regarding resetting your finances.

Another tip to help you cut back on your finances, is to grocery shop strategically.

What I like to do is I…

  1. Take inventory of what I have, and what is about to go bad. I would include these foods for either the next day, or within two days or so.
  2. Check my local grocery store flyer, and see what is on sale. I add things I enjoy on my list. My favourite things to buy are colourful vegetables that I can add to my pastas, stir fries, etc.
  3. Have No Meat Mondays to help eliminate the cost of meat, since meat is the most expensive food group at the grocery store. I’m an omnivore so I enjoy meat and vegetables, but I try to cut back on meats.
  4. Buy family packs of meat, and freezer bags. I prefer to buy family packs of meat so I can separate my portions into two, or even three meals. I buy bulk sizes for a lot of things, as well. When I freeze my food, I write the contents and date, and expiry date. Then I just thaw it in the fridge when I need it.
  5. Stock up on all sale items. If you see something that you like on sale, and it won’t go bad fast, I tend to stock up on it. There would be good sales on pasta noodles, and pasta noodles so I like to stock up since it is a cheap sale, and noodles last a long time. I like to add noodles in my soups, pasta dishes, and other dishes, too.
  6. Figure out my meal plan using the ingredients. I like to make dishes with the same ingredients so I can roll those ingredients to other meals. For example when zucchinis are on sale, I can so many dishes with that. I can add to it my pastas, I can make into a ratatouille dish, and I can make zucchini boats. That is where you slice them long wise, and scoop out the remains, and you can stuff it with sausages, or with other vegetables.
  7. Stick to the list. If it isn’t on the list, you must discipline yourself to buy what’s only on your list. Nothing more.
  8. Keep it within my budget. Now everyone is going to have a different budget, depending on how many people you live with. If you can try to keep your expenses to half of your monthly income.

I really hope this helps everyone, in case you needed that extra motivation to save money.

Finances – Shopping Ban

In case, you are a big spender, perhaps this is a tip for you!

I suggest having a month where you don’t spend money on any non-essential items. Perhaps you can have three months throughout the year where you partake in your shopping bans. If you are a beginner, I would suggest that you spread them out by having throughout the year.

Whenever you see something like a new dress, or a perfume, or new makeup, or take out, or whatever sparks your eye. Write down the item and the price in a notebook, or in a document either on your phone or computer. At the end of your shopping ban, calculate how much money you would have spent. The point is you would see how much you would have spent, if it wasn’t for this shopping spree.

You should be proud of how much money you have saved. And this not only helps with getting ahead of your finances, but you are also bringing in less new items in your house, too. And that’s a good thing.

Budget 101

So, in case you missed out, I have been discussing finances, and thinking of ways to reset our relationship with money.

https://threeyellowdaisies.ca/category/finances/

So far, we have discussed, your statement of net worth, what you owe and your money goals.

Today, we are going to discuss budgets. This is going to show us how we are spending our money.

You can begin with how much money you make in a month. For some this may vary, but try your best to estimate as close as you can, or even compare the previous months to get more of an estimate.

Next, focus on your fixed costs, these are costs that don’t change (ex. rent, phone bill, subscriptions, etc.), then focus on your variable costs, which are things that vary from month to month like (gas, groceries, etc.).

Now, you can subtract your monthly bills from your monthly income. Whatever amount is left over is what you can use to pay down your debts, and into your saving account(s), and even your retirement fund.

If you are not happy with the number that is left over, you can use this time to really consider how important your non-essential bills are. Perhaps you have a monthly subscription to something you no longer use. It is time to cut ties with that expense.

Perhaps you still go out for your daily coffee before going to work. Try making one at home instead, and place it in a traveler mug, or just drink it at home until you can buy a traveler mug.

Eating out can be take a huge chunk of money out of your pay cheque, but it’s healthier for you and your wallet to eat at home. You know what exactly you are eating, and there isn’t any hidden salt, or other bad things for you. I know I was scared of going into the grocery store, but perhaps you have a family member or a friend that you can with or you can ask if they can pick up your share.

If you can grow a garden. Or perhaps you can grow one with your close family and friends and you can share what you grow. You can grow a lot of produce and vegetables.

Another suggestion is to engage in No Meat Mondays, because that would be one less meal that contains meat, which is the most expensive things at the grocery. I’m not suggesting you to give up meat entirely, but you might be surprise on the differences it can have your body, and your grocery bill.

And lose that, “But it only costs $5… I’m going to get it.” How many times have you said that in your lifetime? Every 20 times you say that, costs you $100.

Engage and challenge your friends in having one month of no shopping, where you only spend money the bare essentials (rent, hydro, food, transportation to and from work). No leisure shopping! Or you can start small and dedicate a week or two weeks without shopping.

Try going to the library, instead of buying new books. Engage in book swaps with close people. If you read a book of some kind and think, “Wow, I really think my cousin would appreciate this book.” Drop it off on her porch, or send her a recommendation. Perhaps your family and friends can buy an E-Book or an audiobook, depending on what they prefer. Audiobooks are amazing when you have a long commute to work.

You can also swap your clothes with one another, as well.

Feel free to share your ways of cutting down expenses and save money.

Remember your goal should be spending half of your monthly income towards your bills, and try to put 30% of your monthly income towards your debt, and save the remaining 20%.

Ideally everyone should have an emergency fund of $1,000, which takes time to save, but once you do, it is just a comforting feeling. This takes some discipline, so don’t beat yourself up, if you don’t achieve this as fast as you hope.

Although, it might be challenging during these times, but please try to set a bit of money aside, and it doesn’t have to be much right away. But seeing the amount of your savings increasing, it is an amazing feeling. Saving something is much better than saving nothing at all.

Financial Goals


So, first before we start thinking about our financial goals, it’s important to see where and how much debt we have. And I know it’s scary to actually see this number. Once, you get better picture, the easier things will be for us to make these changes in our lives.

In case you missed out on my blog post from two weeks ago, called Statement of Net Work, https://threeyellowdaisies.ca/2020/07/27/statement-of-net-worth/ I began asking you to write down in a journal or in a personal document what you owe and own. If you are stuck, here’s a list of ideas of what to include;

  • Credit cards
  • Overdraft (not the amount available, the amount you owe)
  • Students loans
  • Line of credit
  • Other loans
  • Money you owe family and friends
  • Mortgage(s)

Once you have an understanding of how much you owe, you can then begin working towards paying down your debts.

For some, they might choose to start paying down the one with the highest interest, others may decide on paying their lowest debt, to just get rid of it.

Personally, I feel like it’s best to make payments on the smallest debt first. Because when you start making payments on one debt, you’re building momentum to continue paying off the rest of your debt.

It’s important to continue making payments on your other debts, too. But try to begin setting aside extra money every month for your smaller debt, to help build your momentum.

Once you have decided on which debt you plan on focusing on, you can begin to make goals for yourself with how you are going to set aside your money.

Perhaps your goals, aside from being debt free, are…

  • Build an emergency fund
  • Save up money for a vacation (with family, or significant other)
  • Buy a car

Of course, many of these things are take time, but once you start thinking of these goals, use this as motivation to pay off your debts.

Statement of Net Worth

Hi there! As promised in my July Preview, I did say I would plan on discussing finances.

Finances can be complicated for some people, and that’s okay, because there is a lot of resources that can you further understand the terminology, and discover ways to save more money.

Finances is definitely the top three things that most couples argue about the majority of the time. But just know that everything has a solution.

To understand your net worth, you must do some calculations.

Step 1. Calculate what you own

This includes;

Cash in your bank account(s)
RRSPs, or a 401K
Value of your house
And or any other property you may own
Book value of your car

Add everything up to get a total of what you own

Step 2. Calculate what you own

This includes;

Credit cards
Line of credit
Student loans
Vechile loans
Any other loans
Overdraft accounts
Money you owe to family and friends
Mortgage(s)

Add everything up to get a total of what you owe.

3. Add the two categories up

So say for example you own $5,000, and what you owe $3,600, your net worth is $1400.

5000 – 3600 = 1,400

If you ended up with a positive number, that means you own more than you owe. If you ended up with a negative number, it means that you owe more than you own. And that’s okay, because there are ways to cut back on debt. And please know that things can always get better from here. Do not fret, instead start paying off your debt.