Did you know you could be drinking your retirement away with a fancy coffee habit? Let’s take a look at the dollars and cents (sense) of it all, shall we?
My favorite coffee drink is a tall, non-fat, extra-shot cappuccino. I like mine dry and really foamy. At my local ‘Bucks, that costs me $3.46. I go to the gym 4 days a week; I have coffee afterward (not every day, but when I feel I “deserve” it). But for the point of this analysis, let’s say I purchase this drink 4 days a week and work out every week of the year (which is accurate except for traveling sometimes).
At that rate, my coffee habit would cost me $719.68 a year!
Now hear me just a second. No one says you have to give up eating out, having an occasional coffee out, or anything like that. I’m trying to show how $3 here and a few bucks there all add up. The biggest place for waste is the little stuff on a day-in/day-out basis.
Why am I doing this? Because I have heard so many people say they can’t afford to eat healthy. You can afford to eat healthy when you cut out some of the little expenses that you don’t even realize are affecting your budget.
But some people, they’ve already cut out luxuries like coffee out and meals out. How can they make cut out even more “fluff” to make room financially for healthy eating? Here are a few ideas:
1)Drink only water. Juices, sodas, and the like are expensive and can really kill your grocery budget. If you prefer bottled water, get an inexpensive water filtration system from a big box store—no, not “perfect” but it will certainly take most of the stuff out of the tap water you don’t want to drink.
2)Eat beans and rice. Dried beans and brown rice, prepared from scratch are CHEAP. Don’t have time? Cook it up on the weekend or your days off when you do have time, freeze it, and use it at least 1 or more times a week for a healthy meal.
3)Plan your meals. ‘Nuf said on that one! You HAVE to plan. Be flexible enough if there is a sale or unexpected great purchase at the grocery store to take advantage of it, but a general plan is imperative. Need help? Be sure and check out our Dinner Answers subscription.
4)Make soups. You can make some crazy soups out of leftovers! Once I had some taco meat leftover and a bag of frozen vegetables and that was about it in my fridge! I added chopped onion and chicken broth, and crushed tortilla chips over the top, and called it Tortilla Soup. The kids loved it!
5)Try new spices. They can spice up even the most bland stuff. I find them inexpensively at the big box stores, in the produce dept. and in the ethnic section of my grocery store as well. I have also bought them for pocket change at the health food store; you scoop your own!
Those are just a few ideas. For me, the big revelation about how much money I was spending came in realizing I needed to plug a few “leaks”! It’s the little stuff that eats away at our food budget so we think we can’t afford to eat healthy. Don’t let that happen to your family’s nutrition!
Your Dinner Diva for 11 years!