Show me the Money (3/5/13)

Who doesn’t like having a wallet filled with bills? A bank account topped up? A credit card balance zero-ed out? Even if you’re not particularly materialistic, chances are you prefer to have some dough. If so, you came to the right place! In just six weeks, I’ve noticed significant savings by reducing my food waste.

Money
Cash Money

Since the middle of January I’ve started shopping out of my fridge, eating my way through my pantry, buying smaller quantities, and saving all of my leftovers to reduce food waste. Turns out this is actually good for the bank account too.

With all of these changes I’ve gone to the grocery store six times in six weeks. There have only been two visits when I spent more than $30 dollars (just the other day I spent $52 buying ice cream cake for 20 people for a friend’s birthday, and at the end of January I spent $32 at Trader Joe’s). Other than that, I’ve been spending less than $25 on my trips down the food aisles. And, if you don’t count my party purchases, I was averaging just $25 a week. Sure, I’ve eaten meals out. But, at three meals a day for seven days a week that means I’m spending less than $4 a meal on grocery store food (and, some of that includes items like toilet paper, paper towels, and dish liquid). Wow!!

Rittenhouse Market Receipt
Cash Money

I can tell by the size and weight of my basket that I’m buying a lot less, but I was curious how this compared to my pre-experiment shopping habits. Since I almost always pay for groceries with my credit card I decided to look back at my old statements for a comparison. I couldn’t easily pull-up statements for January and February so I compared my shopping in May of last year (when I was also in Philly for most of the month).

In that four week period I went to the grocery store six times and spent a total of $182.88. That’s an average of $45.72 per week, compared to my current average of $25 per week. At savings of around $20 a week, that would add up to over $1,000 a year. If you show me that kind of money, I can definitely find better ways to spend it! If I can keep this up, I could be enjoying leftovers on a different continent at this time next year.

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