Domesticity Nouveau

Monday, March 2, 2009

aaaaaah, shopping....

Today was spent shopping... not in that way in which you throw caution to the wind and max all the credit cards, but in the fashion that requires concentration and math in order to maximize every dollar. Yeah, I know... math....

I have come to realize that the wise woman counts her pennies and frugally spends them. There is something to be said about the satisfaction of finding a fantastic deal and capitalizing on it! I have found a key to success in watching the budget is stocking up. This requires really knowing the price of items at the various stores in the area. To this effort, I have started a very nerdy spreadsheet in which I enter the cost of items from the receipts I have as souvenirs of my adventures in retail land.

Buying in bulk is a HUGE savings!!! But not always. It is important to analyze the cost per unit/ounce/pound/item. This is often on the price sticker posted on the shelf, but sometimes it isn't. My Dad used to make me do the math in my head when I was a kid ( I credit this, and cribbage, to my success in mental math Olympics... yep, 100% nerd I am!). Buying in bulk, and I don't mean the overpriced costco-sized supply amount, almost always saves money.

Bulk herbs and spices are the best example of saving money by buying bulk. A single jar of a spice can run between $3-$6. The same amount of herb that fills the jar is only pennies, yes, pennies!!! Today, for a jar worth of spice, I paid:
$.06 for dill
$.33 for cilantro
$.51 for minced dried onion
$.25 for parsley
$.28 for thyme
$.23 for garlic powder
$.46 for paprika
$1.03 for poppy seeds
Considering that I already had the used spice jars to refill, I think I saved at least $25, and added a lot of flavor!!!

Yes, it did take me a mere five minutes to fill the baggies with spices, and a few more seconds at checkout as the checker punched in the codes, but it really equated to a savings of $25 an hour... not a bad salary in my opinion!... oh, alright, I had to spend 5 minutes filling the jars, but still, I'm clocking in under 15 minutes. So... if I use those math skills, this could equate to $100 an hour for buying and storing my bulk herbs and spices! I love being nerdy!

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