Recently I have taken a long, hard look at my spending habits and am determined to make some positive changes. As I was making my shopping list this week, separated into food and nonfood as usual, I had an epiphany. What if after making my shopping list I looked over it again with a different mindset, looking for something, anything, that I could do without, substitute with something I already had, or make it myself out of what I have on hand? I know this kind of thinking comes easily to some people, but I had never thought to look at my shopping list with this kind of filter.
And now you’re probably wondering what I managed to mark off my list. For this particular list I decided not to buy new dishcloths. I have plenty of old towels that I can cut up to the right size and use. I glanced at Wal-Mart while I was shopping and for the ones I would have bought, I saved almost $5 for four dishcloths, so if I bought 4 packs, that would be almost $20. It really makes me like my cut up towel dishcloths so very, very much. They make me smile.
So now I’m hooked. Every single list I make, I am going to peruse it with the goal of marking off even one thing that I don’t really need, can get by without, substitute something I already have, or even make it myself with things around the house. Isn’t this the spirit behind the saying “use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without”? I’m estimating that by doing this exercise before each shopping trip, I can easily save $10 to $20 a week. And that is a great amount of money to add to my debt snowball fund!