I like to think that a big part of being an adult is making decisions. The double-edged sword of responsibility allows us to make the big choices when we want to offer our input, and it forces us to decide when the options are all unappealing.
Making decisions is more than just a benefit, or curse, of growing up; it’s also an opportunity to save money.
We know getting organized is a key to financial success, and this week we’re going to expand on that. Keep your wallet happy by prioritizing and making decisions to save yourself money.
First there are the easy decisions. When you go to the grocery store you have to decide which brands to buy. You need to prioritize products and brands. Usually, the “generic” or store brands are cheaper and often are exactly the same or really close to the same as the name brand products.
When, or if, you have some financial leeway, you can try a name-brand product and its generic competitor side by side to decide which one you prefer. Also, keep an eye out for brand-specific coupons. Right now there are a lot of General Mills cereal coupons out which make this household name even cheaper than its off-brand competitors.
This leads to some of the more difficult decisions. Social responsibility will lead to a different set of choices to mull over.
If you are someone who feels compelled to support local businesses and abstain from big chain shopping, you will find it more difficult to save money. Buying lunch from Zoe’s or The Coug is great for the local economic climate but stress-inducing for your bank account. Packing a lunch with items you purchase on sale from bigger grocery stores will allow you to use national chain coupons and keep to your budget. This is where the prioritizing comes in.
If you can afford to support local small businesses, more power to you. I like to save money up for a monthly coffee treat. When I finally splurge, I head to a locally-owned coffee shop which is often cheaper than anything I could get from a chain coffee shop plus I can feel good about my contribution to small companies that treat me well as a consumer.
Despite the desire you may have to save money while supporting local businesses (only buying small things does count as satisfying both requirements on occasion) you need to prioritize in order to strike a balance between frugality and social responsibility.
Be kind to your wallet and keep living frugally.