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A Great Tool To Save You Thousand$$$

How would you like to work four hours less a week, make $7000 more a year, have less stress, feel better and eat better, all by using one simple tool?

If you are like many of us you never seem to have enough time or money. Wake up in the morning and rush off to work. Grab a coffee and muffin on your way in, work through the morning, grab a mid morning coffee, rush through a not so healthy lunch, grab a pick me up at about 3pm, call your significant other around 4:30 to try and figure out what you’re doing for dinner, rush out of the office at 5:30, stop by the groceries store to pick up stuff for dinner, make it home for 6:30 have dinner on the table for 7pm, play with the kids or significant other, clean up the house and throw out the rotten food and leftovers in the fridge , and collapse exhausted into bed at 10pm just to get up and do it again the next day!

Sound familiar? Let’s first look at the time you have spent:

10 minutes to get coffee, 10 minutes to get lunch, 30 minutes to get groceries. That’s 50 minutes a day!

Now let’s look at how much you have spent and what you have eaten that day. Morning coffee and muffin – $4.50, mid morning coffee $1.50, not so healthy lunch $8.00, 3pm pick me up (chocolate bar, pop, or donut) $1.25; add $2.75 of rotten groceries / leftovers you throw out of the fridge and in one day you have spent $18.00! That’s $90.00 a week on coffee and bad food! If two of you are doing it add another $15.00 to the daily total and the weekly spending comes out to $165.00!

To top it all off (and we all do this) there will always be at least one night in the week that we will order-in/take-out/eat out. At a minimum this is going to cost you $20 so your weekly total is now $110.00 or $200.00 for a couple/family. This $110 works out to $5500 a year after tax dollars (50 work weeks) or $7100 of salary. WOW!

Okay, I can already hear people saying “I don’t spend that much …do I?” or “but I don’t have time to make a lunch!” My answer to these people is: YES you do spend that much and YES you do have the time – JUST MAKE IT A PRIORITY!

So the question I hear now is “How can I change this?” My answer is “SIMPLE! – Make a meal plan and use a grocery list!” OK, OK, there is a little more to it than that but not much!

Here is how it works: Early on a Sunday morning when you are having your first cup of coffee in your bunny slipper and housecoat, sit down with your grocery list and some cookbooks. On the backside of your list write down the seven days of the week and beside each put a dinner that you will eat that day. Once you have completed the meal plan, flip over the list and write down the various items you will need for each meal. Remember that not everyone will be there for every meal.

Time Saver: Organize your grocery list in the layout of your grocery store: Fresh / Deli / Meats / Boxes and Cans / Frozen / Dairy. This will make it easier and faster when shopping.

Go grocery shopping once a week. The best time is early on Saturday or Sunday morning. This is when the store is least busy and best stocked. It will ensure that you get what you need and out the door quickly.

TIP: If you and/or someone else in your family like leftovers – make extra food at dinner and they can take it for lunch the next day.

Find a good butcher shop in your area and buy a month or two worth of meat at one time. Most butchers now offer vacuum sealing to protect your meats freshness in the freezer. Many will have better cuts, better selection, better advice, and better prices. Most will also knock 5%+ off the price because you are buying so much.

TIP: Buy a great cutting board and knife set and practice using them!

If you are single and hate cooking for one – DON’T! Find and make meals that can easily be frozen AND taken for lunch the next day or two. Meals like lasagna and burritos. If you have trouble getting your significant other to do the cooking – DON’T! Try cooking together or trade off duties – one cooks the other cleans!

TIP: Cooking with your partner can be fun and a way to spend some time together! Remember – they may have a different way of doing things and that’s okay!

So you have found some recipes, made your meal plan and grocery list, done your grocery shopping and convinced your significant other to help out with making the meals. Now let’s look at what your day looks like:

Wake up in the morning rested and alert. Grab your lunch and snacks from the fridge (3 minutes – $3.50) and rush off to work, coffee in thermos in hand, work through the morning, pour a mid morning coffee, relax through a nutritious lunch that gives you more energy, snack through the afternoon as you finish off your report for the boss early, call your significant other around 4:30 just to let them know you were thinking about them, casually pack up around 5pm and head for home, make it home for 5:30 have dinner on the table for 6pm, play with the kids or significant other, clean up the house and prepare food for the next day (10 minutes), get things ready to go in to talk with your boss about your promotion, relax with a book before bed at 10pm, get up and do it again the next day!

TIP: Make some meals up ahead of time that just have to go from the freezer to the oven for those days when you drop the ball.

Think of cooking as a job? You should – one that improves your health, reduces your stress, improves your performance at work, increases your financial wealth and married or single – chances are will increase your relationship wealth as well.

TIP: Turn on some music and open a bottle of wine. This will make cooking more enjoyable.

So let’s see where we ended up. You grocery shop once a week and save four hour a week, you are saving an additional $5000 a year, you are eating better food and spending more time with your family. To top it all off you are sleeping better and have less stress. All because of a meal plan and grocery list?!?