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[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]
In This Episode / Listener Questions
- Some tips and apps to quickly and easily save on food.
- We just paid off our $18,000 kitchen remodel (Brian, Minnesota)
- Should my 23-year-old be investing (Paula)
- How to help my brother who is bad with finances get on a budget (Mason, Omaha, NE)
- Should I use extra money from my side gig for debt payments or to use on my car (Darcie)
- What do we do when we sit down to work on our budget (Sky, Houston, TX)
- How do you publish a book (Psy)
- What amount of money should we tithe now that we are out of debt (Carter)
- How do I rebalance my 401(k) (Arthur, Tuscon, AZ)
- Watch out for PayPal not sending you alerts.
- How much money can you save between a community college and state university
- Did you know you are in the 1%?
Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half. That’s right, a couple new hacks to save big money.
Its Memorial Day weekend coming up. My wife Katie and I were sitting down yesterday afternoon thinking about the upcoming four-day weekend. What do you want to eat? What are we going to bring to the lake? There is no food out there. It’s out in the country. Maybe we can take your shotgun and go shoot some French fries.
Listeners of the Scott Alan Turner show know, for most people, housing, transportation, and food are the big three expenses. If someone is a crazy cat lady with 18 cats, Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers might be in the top three instead. Who knew cats loved gravy, right?
But over the years I’ve been doing the show, thousands and thousands of people have written in asked for help with money.
The biggest thing you can do today to get more money in your life, is some food hacking. I’m not talking about turning into a skeleton by eating ramen. But there are tons of ways to save on food.
Average family of 4 in America, with 2.5 kids and 1.5 cats spends upwards of $4,000 on groceries and eating out each year. On the high end, lots of people are spending $1,000 a month. And it’s not the family with eight kids. It’s still just a family of four. But those convenience foods add up.
Listen though – 1/3 of them are living paycheck-to-paycheck too, often due to lifestyle creep. What happens is people earning less, spend $4,000 a year on food, then as they earn more, they end up spending $12,000 a year. That’s lifestyle creep.
It’s pretty easy to fix though. You start by paying attention.
Sitting down on Sunday night, for 15–20 minutes, can save you $200-$500 a month easy. If you’re already not a super shopper.
Think of it a different way – that’s $2,500-$6,000 a year in savings. That’s a vacation. That’s a car. That’s an emergency fund. You see, that’s 1–2 years of not working if that money were invested for a long time.
Imagine that, 20 minutes a week, cuts a year off your working lifetime. Consider what you would do with an extra year of no work. I know that sounds good, right?
One tip – get a 2nd fridge or a deep freeze. Stock up and freeze food for later when you find a deal.
Buy what you need, not what you think you’ll need. 1/4 of people have warehouse club memberships. Everyone knows nobody needs a 15-gallon jug of ketchup.
Here’s the deal – we aren’t extreme coupons around here. I haven’t clipped a coupon from a flyer or using an app in I don’t know how long. We shop at Walmart, Kroger, Costco. We buy store brands. We plan ahead and order groceries online a lot now. Go pick them up.
We built up a recipe book over being married ten years. Go-to meals that are often easy to make. You will learn where to buy stuff and get deals over time. Does that make sense?
Here are the top apps to quickly and easily save you money:
- Checkout 51
Coupons can save you more. Maybe it takes another 15–20 minutes. I find most coupons are for name brands, and we default to store brands.
If you are a meat person, research buying meat in bulk. Go to a butcher shop. We have a Mexican butcher shop near us. Go to the China town near you. The Asian supermarkets. They have some interesting stuff in there. If you want to branch out with your eating. You can blow up your Instagram account in there with all the pictures you could take.
If you are a vegetable person, research co-ops for fresh local produce.
If you want to spend money on more important things, like paying down debt, saving for a big purchase, blowing more money on eating out, cutting the grocery bill is a simple way to take money from one part of your life, and shift it to another.
You know we all have only so much money. You choose where it goes. You tell it what to do. You tell it where to go. You want Starbucks every day, do it. Do it! You want to lease a car and get something new every three years. Do it. You want to spend $1,000 a month eating out. Or $100. Do it.
Notice you give up something or gain something else with every decision. And those money decisions compound over a lifetime.
$1,000 a month on sushi probably means you will not be joining me on the starship Enterprise captained by Elon Musk when we head off to mars. But maybe you just want to pay $59.99 and watch the live stream in 2025. You choose.
This is one of those things, food, you have instant results because of the instant change you can make. It’s kind of like, getting a raise at work. Give yourself a raise today. Hey self, I’m awesome, gimme some more money. You’re right moneyac, you are awesome. Here’s an extra $250 a month for you.
One thing today – stay out of overwhelm. Just try to make a list and stick to that. Just one thing. If you can do that, and that’s it, you’re moving forward. You won’t fill up a cart or basket with a bunch of stuff you never knew you needed. Stuff like Oreo double stuff cookies. That’s the stuff of dreams. And the stuff of broken spending plans.
- If you have meat eating friends – ask them if they have ever considered buying a 1/4 cow.
- If you have veggie eating friends – ask them if Beyond Meat is selling a 1/4 beyond cow yet.
- And if you have Oreo eating friends – it’s almost the weekend, so you’ll want to ask them what they have planned for Memorial Day weekend how many bags of Oreos they will be eating.
Install one of those apps – link in the show notes. Can you then ask your friends to check them out too? Everyone loves money saving apps, right? That’s why the Wish app is so popular.
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