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Grocery Delivery - Worth It? PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
One of the key habits of Savvy Living is getting to the grocery store on a weekly basis. 
But what if you're schedule is so irregular that it's impossible to put on your calendar, or you absolutely hate going to the grocery store?  If either scenario applies to you, it may be worth  having your groceries delivered. 
Two years ago I worked with a wonderful family who was spending $1,500 a month on food, between groceries and dining out.  As a whole, the family was incredibly busy and more often than not, they found themselves getting take out and not really enjoying those meals.  On top of their schedule, the issue with the grocery store was that the mom absolutely hated going. She had no strategy while she was there and would get overwhelmed by the process.
In their case, it was well worth the $17 fee to have their groceries delivered. 
But, before they just started buying a bunch of groceries online, it was crucial to give them a strategy.  That strategy started with the mom taking her laptop into the kitchen every Thursday night.  Her three children would then help her inventory their grocery staples.  She made a list of everything that needed to be replenished.  The family then decided what 3 - 4 dinners (planning for leftovers) they would like to have the following week.  She included the ingredients she would need for those meals on her list.  She would then place her order that night and on Saturday morning, the groceries would be delivered. 
This simple habit, that took 10 - 15 minutes on a Thursday night, ended up saving them $700 a month!  In their case, the delivery fee more than paid for itself.  It not only saved them money, but it saved them hours in their week of multiple trips to the grocery store for forgotten items as well as standing in line for take out.
This morning I ran across an article on the Advantages of Online Grocery Shopping.  Written by Lisa Aberle, it's an interesting perspective as she lives 28 miles from the nearest grocery store and doesn't have the advantage of online grocery shopping from a local store.  She experimented with Amazon Prime and came to her own conclusions about the resource.  The article is worth reading as are the 39+ comments left by her readers. 
It's Time For A Pantry Challenge PDF Print E-mail

Traditionally, the Super Bowl is the last of the big winter parties.  That makes today the perfect day to start a Pantry Challenge.  

By taking on the Pantry Challenge, you see how long you can eat using only the food you already have in your kitchen - with the exception of purchasing fresh products like milk, eggs and produce. 
The Pantry Challenge, which we do quarterly, was started as a way to encourage you to rotate through everything in your pantry and freezer within a three month period. The food in your kitchen should be consumed. Often, we get into the mode that a well-stocked pantry needs to be static. If you see an item sitting there for three months, either eat it or donate it to a shelter and don’t buy it again.

In addition to saving money, an added benefit of the pantry challenge is that it forces you to get creative. You’ll look at canned soup and dried pasta a little differently as you figure out how to make a meal from what you have on hand. Over the years I’ve received feedback from readers who have come up with new family favorites based on the need to get imaginative during the Challenge.

The longest any Savvy Life reader has gone without having to buy groceries (outside of milk, eggs and fresh produce) was three months!
Let me know how your Pantry Challenge goes. Drop me an email at 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Note: The Challenge does not include the food in your emergency kit. You should always have enough non-perishable food and water set aside to sustain you for 3 – 7 days. Keep your emergency food and water supply in a waterproof bin along with your other emergency items.

Save Money, Time & Calories PDF Print E-mail

Slow cookers were made for cold, busy December days. Endless to-do lists and crazy holiday traffic turn the idea of making dinner when you get home into a Herculean effort!  No wonder we tend to go out to eat more the last month of the year.  But going out to eat takes time and effort as well.  It also takes money that you'd probably rather spend on something more important than grabbing lunch or dinner on the go.

If you don't already have one, pick up a slow cooker the next time you're at Macy's or Target - or order one online.  This 6 quart slow cooker by Crock-Pot is programmable.  Place your ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning before work and set the timer.  Walk in the door after work and be greeted by the smell of dinner which is ready to go. 

As for recipes, our go-to website for slow cooker meal ideas is A Year of Slow Cooking

Save time, money and calories this December by getting that slow cooker to work for you. Every kitchen should have one! 



Time To Stock Up PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti 
Over the course of the next seven weeks, grocery stores will be selling products at some of the best prices of the year.  With a strategy in place, it's a wonderful time to stock up. 

Some of the items that will be on sale over the next seven weeks include:
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Spices
  • Butter
  • Chicken & Beef Broth
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Nuts
  • Cake Mixes
  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Liquor
Each week, look over your store's sales ad to see what you can stock up on.  One week you can pick up one or two extra bags of flour and a second can of baking powder.  The next week you can purchase a few spices.  The following week you can walk out of the story with a dozen cans of corn.  You get the idea. 

So, for as little as an additional $5 - $10 a week, spread over the course of the next seven weeks, you can stock your pantry with items you and your family will eat in the coming months.  Just make sure you only purchase items that will be consumed.  
Whole Foods Market Fans - Good News! PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
Fans of Whole Foods Market will be happy to know that in an effort to compete with Krogers and Walmart, it's dropping prices on some products, specifically produce.
Many of my Spending Plan clients are Whole Foods shoppers and the news will be much appreciated! 
In the article Forget 'Whole Paycheck' - This Grocery Chain Now Beats Many Competitors' Prices, author Sarah McColl offers strategies and tips for saving at the store.  Check it out!
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