A critical part of our ‘Life’ bucket are our grocery expenses. This is a category where the cost can easily creep up on us! Especially if we have a burgeoning family. You can dig and explore the detail of your spending on groceries, and simultaneously review your eating habits if you have health and fitness goals for yourself and your family. Consider breaking up the grocery spend into categories within the food pyramid. Below is an outline for you to place into your Money Management spreadsheet, if you’re motivated to do so. You will need to track actual groceries receipts to achieve this.
The Food Pyramid spreadsheet:
1 Eat most!
- Vegetables, legumes and fruit.
2 Eat second most!
- Grains – quinoa, couscous, oats, rice, wholegrain, cereal with minimal sugar!
3 Eat least!
- Meat, fish and eggs – I forgot these were at the bottom of the Food Pyramid. They’re usually the biggest spend for most of us, which can cause some re-evaluation… or not, as the case may be!
- Dairy – milk, yoghurt, cheese.
- Healthy Fats – olive oil, coconut oil, herbs and spices.
- Processed and non-foods such as sauces, sultanas, ice creams, biscuits, crackers, treats, flour, sugar, tea, coffee. Also, usually a greater level of spend than would be ideal from a health perspective!
- Nappies, toiletries, alcohol (should this be in ‘Fun’ rather than in ‘Life’?), non-toxic cleaning products, cosmetics, delivery fees.
Ask yourself, what can we trim back on? Less meat, a reduction in processed foods, sweets, expensive items such as out of season imported fruit and vegetables.
Is there anything that is being purchased within the groceries that you could move into a different bucket? E.g. Alcohol, cosmetics, treats and the like!
The Property Planners’ money tip – Cutting back on junk food!
Review the junk food you purchase at the supermarket and one-offs when buying a coffee for example. If you limit or totally remove this and replace it with fruit or vegetables this will not only save you money, it will also help promote a healthier lifestyle and achieving fitness goals you may also be chasing. If you’re a parent, can blueberries, dates and strawberries replace sweets? Can you chop up carrots, cucumbers and capsicum for snacks that can support your hip pocket? This will create better eating habits because these are healthy foods, plus improve emotions and moods, better concentration and improve quality of rest and sleeping habits – and not just those of the kids!
You might find that you not only improve your bank balance and investment capabilities, this might also kick-start a healthier lifestyle with increased energy for you and your family to enjoy!
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