I know I cannot be the only one out there. The busy mom who shops only at the nice grocery store because it has everything I need. I must confess I am a convenience shopper in all aspects of my life, which I am hoping to work on in 2019.
Let’s start with groceries, because we all have to have them to keep our families fed (and with 2 teenagers, that means a lot of food).
I have done this exercise twice when the family budget was a bit tight but never committed to the process. I am lucky in that I have the nice grocery store and a handy Wal Mart each less than one mile from my house. Shockingly, I spend way more when shopping at the nice grocery store. Am I really that busy/lazy that I cannot buy most of those items for a lot less at the Wal Mart down the road? I also shop daily (mainly because of a Starbucks habit I developed while writing my first book) which is never cost effective. More on that in a bit.
So today I completed the exercise again of buying my daily item list from Wal Mart. I saved $26, now multiply that times 5 days of shopping = $132 times 52 weeks = almost $7000 a year. And that was just using today’s list, which was not a big list like the ones from Sunday afternoons.
Now back to Starbucks. Every single day around 2pm, I treat myself to a Strawberry Acai Refresher.
20oz of pure green coffee bean goodness. It perks me right up each and every day. But when I do the math and compare to a drink I found over the summer while traveling, here are the stats.
Starbucks drink $4.54, 30mg of sugar, 55mg of caffeine. Mountain Dew Kick Start Ultra $1.68, less than 1 gram of added sugar, 90mg of caffeine. Less sugar, more caffeine…. hello, that’s a win/win my friends! And now for the math, which will be cringe worthy for my husband who has asked me to do the math for a while. 365 days of a Kick Start vs Starbucks would save us $1045/year.
Now let’s talk about other forms of convenience shopping. Hello Amazon Prime. My whole family (and most of the 325 million who also live in the United States) relies on Amazon Prime for all of their wants and needs. And BAM, it appears at your front door no later than 2 days after ordering. And no shipping fees.
Now I do not think I can save as much as I could comparing Wal Mart to the nice grocery store, but I do not even comparison shop. I just search what I want, click to buy… literally ONE click and it has been purchased and on the way to me.
Auto paying was also eye opening. If you do not read the fine print, you might not know that some companies charge a convenience fee to have monthly bills paid using a credit card. One that I recently discovered at our house was the gigantic monthly tuition bill we pay for the teens’ private school. So I sat down and did the math. 3% adds up y’all. If we simply mailed in the tuition each month, we could save almost $1500 year.
My next project is to look at our monthly subscriptions. Do we really need Audible for 3 people, Spotify, iTunes, etc?
So there you have it folks, my confessions as a convenience shopper. The goal is to show my teenagers that you do not have to buy the quickest, easiest way. Oh, and you quite possibly could save a lot of money by just making a few changes. So who is with me? Who wants to be more aware of where your money goes each month? I need the Internet to hold me accountable this time around.