Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Options and How to Grocery Shop

First, I have to share this offer. I have the opportunity to use recently remodeled office space rent free. I can open my own business. Unfortunately, I do not know what to do (using that space). I did come up with other ideas . . .

After speaking with a very smart friend, I decided to share my method of grocery shopping. She hates to shop and I LOVE it. I love almost everything about cooking. She was shopping with coupons and had a hard time seeking brands to satisfy the coupons and was very frustrated with the entire process. Bells went off for me. I can share my tips with you (okay, with my future readers).

First Things First
What do you like to eat? Start with a list of foods you enjoy. Then, supplement that with foods you always want to enjoy at home but, never have the ingredients on hand. I know that list making is tedious but, if you just make a mental list, it helps.

Then, pull out your handy supermarket fliers to see what is on sale. When you look at the list, you will see items needed to make those foods you enjoy. Pick 2 or 3 (or more) of those foods and start your grocery list (this is better written). There are staples you should have on hand like bread, milk, butter, etc. A bowl of cereal or toast and jam makes a great breakfast or dinner. So, think of those things you always want in your fridge (I like milk, juice, butter, jam, eggs). If those items are in the fridge, I can make almost anything (if my pantry is stocked).

Once you have your written list, look at your coupons and check the expiration dates. If the items on your list (or something needed to complete a dish) is contained in those coupons and you will use the item paperclip the coupon to the list and add the item (I add a C beside items for which I have coupons) to the list.

By the simple act of making a list, you will remember most of the items when you get to the store. I forget my lists from time to time but, there is something about writing that list that keeps it in your head.

This is the most important thing to remember, eat first. Do not go to the grocery store hungry. This is when I spend more than $50. Everything looks good and you pick up something to eat in the car . . . by the time you make it home, you can't make a meal. But you can certainly eat all the food while driving!

Here are a list of general items to stock the fridge and pantry:

Peanut Butter
Salt and Pepper
Flour (B)
Baking Soda (B)
Baking Powder (B)
Cereal or Oatmeal

With these items you can feed yourself for a week. Think about it--cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, apple and peanut butter for snacks, meat and veggies for dinner. If you want to get fancy, you can even make pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. The items with a (B) after them are intended for those that bake. Notice that I did not add vanilla or other extracts (that is advanced). I did not list a pre-made baking mix because of the additives. It is easy enough to blend the dry ingredients.

Next time, I will tackle my way of using coupons.

Happy Shopping,
Frugal JD

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, it is the new year and I still am not working. I am okay with the unemployment.

Bored as heck, but financially sound. I made some moves which removed over $2k from my monthly budget. I was awarded unemployment so, my bills are paid with a bit extra left over each month.

I am still plotting new ways to squeeze the heck out of a dime or make a dollar out of fifteen cents. Right now my F*!& you fund is only down $1000. That was the money spent on unexpected car repairs. For Christmas, I did really well. The kid was happy and spent 2 days in his bedroom playing with his gifts! I think I selected well for him.

I have a few opportunities that look promising but, do not want to settle just for a job. Yes, I really need health insurance but, more importantly, I need mental stimulation. I cannot write as if I am writing to a below average intelligence infant. Nor will I be threatened at every turn. Yes, the California workplace can be brutal. One day I will post a picture of the view that I wake to each day. It is amazing when sunny or cloudy.

Looking for paid mental stimulation,

On the stroll