Where is Your Hard-Earned Money Going?
Paying money to save money may seem counter-intuitive. But now, more than ever, it’s critically important to find ways to cut back in our spending. Becoming a savvy consumer means considering all viable options. Most of us spend a lot more money on food than we realize. In addition to spending money on groceries, we nickel and dime ourselves further and further away from our food budgets in the following ways:
-Daily coffee stop
-Fast food drive-thru pit stops
-Buying lunch at work
-Vending machine visits
-Friday night pizza
We can end up spending a lot more money in these places than we planned without even noticing. It’s very easy to spend more here than we do at the grocery store. Hiring a personal grocery shopper can help you save time, money, and your ever expanding waistline. Here’s how:
How a Personal Shopper Can Shrink Your Waist and Fatten Your Wallet
Your personal shopper will stick to a list, which is something most of us don’t do. That means no more buying on impulse and an empty stomach. That’s a very bad combination for your wallet and your waistline. The result is you ending up with healthier, whole foods in your kitchen, which are much cheaper. They are also much lower in fat, sugar, and sodium than processed, pre-packaged items.
If you don’t have time to prepare a list, many personal shoppers will plan your meals for you and buy the items you will need to prepare them. This means you can plan ahead to pack a delicious lunch, order out less frequently, and avoid the temptation to eat from the vending machine. She may offer other valuable services such as meal preparation. You could have your meats marinated and seasoned ahead of time. No defrosting or even getting the kitchen messy! Just heat and serve.
Don’t Think You Can Afford It?
Here’s a quick cost-benefit analysis for you. Keep in mind this is a conservative estimate for one person only. Double the figures if there are two working adults at home.
-Daily latte: $2.52
-Vending machine: $1.50
-Lunch at work: $5
-Friday night pizza: $20
-Weekly fast food drive-thru visits: $11
Monthly total: 1 Person= $304 2 People = $608
Annual total: 1 Person = $3648 2 People = $7296
Still don’t think you can afford to hire a personal shopper? With those numbers, you could hire her and have enough left over to give yourself an instant raise. And these are just the monetary benefits. Consider what shrinking your dress/pants size and improving your health would do for you.
How Much Do Personal Shoppers Charge?
How much she will charge depends largely on what region of the country you live in, how often she shops for you. If she quotes a price that you’re not comfortable paying, you could always have her go less frequently, although I recommend weekly trips. This will allow you to keep a fresh supply of fruits and vegetables since they don’t keep very long.
How to Find a Personal Shopper
1. Word of mouth and good references are the best place to start. Ask around to see if anyone knows of a good one.
2. Classifieds like your local newspaper and Craigslist.com are full of ads for personal shoppers.
3. Your local culinary school or catering company will likely have many qualified people to provide food shopping services. This is the way to go if you want meal preparation and meal planning services. They’re well qualified and experienced in this department.
Buy Yourself Some Time
How much is your time worth? It’s worth more than money because it can’t be manipulated. It’s the great equalizer because everyone gets the same amount and it can’t be bought or regained once you’ve spent it. Consider how much time you will save by not having to go to the store, find what you need, wait in line, go home and then cook it. You will have much more time for family and relaxation. Also, working a few extra hours will be less stressful because of the extra free time you have in the evening and on the weekends.