Careful budgeting is a big part of my life. Pinching pennies was the way I was raised, and I hate paying more for something than I absolutely must. I use both paper and digital coupons in addition to online rebates. I examine store ads before I go shopping and plan my excursions to make the most efficient use of my time and gas.
The cost of attending writing conferences, workshops, seminars, classes, and retreats add up. Factor in the cost of maintaining an active blog that isn’t bringing in even a fraction of what it costs, and I spend a great deal of money in an effort to further my writing career and share my stories with the world. I pay for it all by cutting back in other areas of my life such as eating out.
I have a friend who complains about money being tight. Yet, she eats at a national fast food chain at least four times a week. While I love fast food fare as much as the next person, those biscuit sandwiches and cheese burgers really add up. If she buys a fancy coffee with her biscuit, her bill is nearly $10.00 just for breakfast. To eat breakfast at $10.00 a day four days per week, she’s spending $160.00 a month on her morning meal alone. I’m not even going to get into how much lunch costs her.
My salad is a super food salad made up mostly of kale and broccoli, and costs me approximately $2.00 per bag at a member’s club to which I belong. My lunch meat runs about $3.00 per pound. I like roast beef, which is more expensive than bologna or salami. I hate paying more than 50 cents a can for tuna, but I’m afraid it’s usually close to $1.00 a can these days. One can lasts me two days.
I was once a fast food addict like my friend. Then I did the math. Numbers don’t lie. It’s far more economical to buy food at the grocery store or farmer’s market and prepare it at home than to grab it from a drive-thru. It’s even better if you grow it yourself. I’m looking forward to my tomatoes finally ripening, so I can stop buying them. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and boiled eggs in French dressing is one of my favorite lunches.
Another reason to avoid fast food is that it’s unhealthy, generally speaking. There are some healthy alternatives to be found in a drive-thru window such as apples and yogurt. Honestly, how many of us order apples or yogurt when we go out? Not me. If I’m at a fast food place, I’m having the greasy food nine out of ten times. Once I can smell the fried food aroma, that’s what I want.
Life is about balance. I balance my budget by trimming all of the fat that I possibly can in order to pay for the things that I really want. I really enjoy attending writers’ events. None of them are free. Therefore, I save money every way possible, so I can go have fun with other writers. Skipping the bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit is worth it when I keep my goals in mind. Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you have enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.
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