I wasted $27 at the grocery store last week. It’s not that I bought I bunch of junk food or things we weren’t going to use. No. Instead I spent $27 on things we already had in our pantry. I did the math. If every week I accidently bought stuff we already had, that would end up costing my family $1,404 a year. Sure, we could eventually use those extra bags of rice or jars of peanut butter. But wouldn’t that money be better put into savings? Because my life lacked organization, because I wasn’t keeping good track of what was in my pantry, I ended up wasting money.
A lack of organization has really been an underlying theme in my life. I am, after all, the woman who moved dirty laundry from one state to another in the trunk of my mother’s car in 2011. But can a lack of organization or inventory lead to wasting money? For sure. Think about it. An extra fee is tacked onto a bill that got misplaced and then you forget to pay it. A gas receipt didn’t get calculated because you threw it away instead of filing it with all your other receipts. A forgotten envelope of coupons can mean spending extra cash at the grocery store. So how do we combat these things?
I wish I could say that I found a secret or trick to organizing my entire life from top to bottom. In fact, I laughed a little to myself when I typed that. Instead I picked one area and decided to diligently attack that. That one area was pantry organization. No, my pantry isn’t Pinterest worthy. I don’t have everything in matching clear containers with chalkboard labels. My cans aren’t all facing the same direction and not everything is clean and stark white. But I did take a simple pen and a simple piece of paper and write down EVERYTHING that was in my pantry. I even went as far as dividing it between sauces, grains, beans and canned goods. When it’s time to make my grocery list I do a quick scan of the list and then off I go to the supermarket. This has saved me both time and money. It’s so simple! Sometimes the concepts that save us the most money aren’t the most complicated ones.
XO Lydia- Frugal Debt Free Life