FIRE.027 99cents —for my thoughts

We’re now closing out February and many people still have great plans to lose weights and/or get their money under control. Of course, I have the same goals—keep my weight and money under control. These tasks are similar, yet quite different.

Weight– After years of learning how to manage my weight (after losing over 140 pounds in two years) it comes down to every time you open your mouth to eat, you need to make a choice for a better food. From the start, I changed one food item per week and stuck to my new item pretty much for 15+ years now. Still, weight management is a CONSTANT activity.

Money – it’s been 10 or 20 years that I’ve had much better money sense. This is both a medium and longer term action for me. I’ve never been one to make quick impulse $5 purchases over and over throughout the day. I assume this is because I live in a vehicle-based city rather than a pedestrian type city where there are m of quick stops to take your money. Remember, each time you need to pay for something it adds up just like calories in your mouth/body.

These two goals are HARD. There is absolutely no way around it. The constant challenges for food consumption. Then daily, monthly challenges for spending that add up year after year. To make small steps forward is truly remarkable based on the dedication required.

Small goals are so important to see your progress. The debt snowball, the debt avalanche, the scale dropping one pound per week as perfect tracking tools. Some weeks you’ll slip back (just like a bear market does) but that’s a chance to regroup and step forward with more vigor. If you aren’t tracking yourself, you aren’t feeling your gains.

Yesterday I realized that *BAM* you could help both these goals easily by going to 99 cents only, or your local dollar store.

I guarantee you that we save $50 every month by visiting 99 cents only every other week. I’m sure we save $25 each time we shop at 99 cents only. It seems possible for a family to save $100 per month with weekly visits.

Quick example (not on healthy eating): My local grocery store had Pringles on sale for $1.69, yet 99 cents only had them for guess how much? If you have kids (or are a childlike lover of processed curved chip-like snack) you could easily save $4/week on 4 cans.

99 cents only has overstocks of fruits, veggies, power bars, microwave popcorn, pretzels, whole wheat bread, eggs, sauces, pasta, cereal, as well as household items, holiday decorations, greeting cards, etc, etc. So many products are exactly the same in other grocery stores. Some household products do seem to be a little lesser quality, but Colgate toothpaste seems the same at CVS. Dollar Tree is my number two choice of “dollar stores.”

Not a surprise, when I walked out of 99 cents only yesterday with my bags and bags of low-cost goods and loaded up my car, I noticed I was parked between a Mercedes and a Lexus. Yes, there were older—umm junkier—cars around, which could just be money-smart people. However, I have to think, maybe some wealthier people know the secret of where to spend/save/enjoy their money in other ways. Thomas Stanley probably new millionaires who understood this logic. Clark Howard surely does.

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