Vision for Savings

Vision for Savings

Dec 31, 2018

 
It’s time again this year to reflect and make some plans!  I’m ready to make my 2019 vision board.  Technically, I make a vision book.  I like getting artistic and crafty with my planning. I usually take an old discarded book and alter it to make it my vision book for the new year. 
 
The idea of vision boards or books is not new.  A vision board project allows you to take some time to sit down and look at your life.  Family, Finance, Employment, Religion, Health, or any other focus you may have for yourself.  You then visualize where you want to be with each in the coming year. 
 
My vision book is impacted by my choices at the grocery store in two categories!  Financial goals, how I budget the household, and health and wellness.   If I wanted to push it, my family time generally revolves around gatherings and food, so maybe three!  It seems like every year, as I start look at vision for the next year, I always start with those financial things I can cut, or keep low, in order to budget for additional things I want.  Most people look at their disposable income in this way.  It’s the expenses that you have control over that lead you to having money for the things you want.
 
Other disposable income items other than groceries include, memberships, dining, entertainment, gasoline, utilities, and donations.  Many of these categories can go up or down depending on how closely you follow your actuals through the year.  I admit, every summer my spending goes up without planning.  I just spend more doing things with the kids than I ever plan.  Maybe a last-minute trip or buying sports items or supplies for my daughter’s art projects.  Whatever the case, I now plan to overspend in the summer months. 
 
Groceries in general, are the category that people try to immediately cut.  In my experience, I can take more weekend trips, and big vacations in the summer if I plan to spend MORE at the grocery store, and less dining out.  My biggest budget enemy is lunches while working, and convenience stops when the kids are with me in the car.  It’s a lot!  I can spend $35 buying fast food for our family, or I can buy groceries and put them in convenience packages for an entire week for $35.  Take a look at your grocery budget, then honestly look at what you are paying for work lunches, or dinners out, and even what you are paying for “Being late and tired.”  That amount far exceeds what picking up an extra $20 in premade chicken salad for quick sandwiches, or a box of crackers and cheese slices would run for these lunches or snacks.
 
Health and Wellness is my next category.  Yes, like everyone else I’d like to lose weight.  I realize I don’t want to exercise, so it probably won’t happen.  I can however make myself and family a bit healthier.  Junk food is our nemesis.  I love salty snacks and I cannot lie!  So, for me, it’s finding substitutions at the grocery store.  I have found that I enjoy Nabisco’s rice based Good Thins over crackers.  Less wheat and gluten, and I love having a bean-based dip or even a taco type dip instead of chips.  This is the type of thing I look to add to my grocery buys and sub out the less healthy items. We do not run to the doctor’s office a lot.  As a matter of fact, no one in our family went last year.  Healthy eating is a big part of overall health.  Stress reduction is also something that will keep the family healthy.  Not stressing over money, helps.
 
Once you take a look at your true grocery budget (with some funds shifted away from restaurants, and high dollar convenience foods). It’s time to get serious with your 52-week shopping list.  It’s okay to put on the list “Go Foods” So that you remember to pick them up when you’re in the store.  Easy things like, Chicken breast fillets that can be grilled and tossed in the freezer make up quick salads, or sandwiches without having to run in the door and fix a full meal.  Sting cheese, applesauce cups, Jell-O cups, baggies for crackers or cuts of meat are great things to have on hand before you leave home. 
 
Next, gather coupons.  Get the My County Market phone app on your phone.  Print coupons from all the major online sites and set a monthly alarm on either your phone or computer.  Use other coupon apps to earn gift cards off everything you buy by scanning receipts. 
 
If you have never sat down and made a vision for your future year, this may take longer than a day.  That’s okay!  Review and revise your vision as you go.  There is not a wrong way to do this.  Just thinking it through will get you to your goals.  To have ongoing help, follow us on Facebook at County Market Coupon News, we are all savers who look to save money, and allow our families to have more health and comfort all year long.



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