Money Saving Challenge: Money Saving Habits I am Embracing in 2023
Remember when I did the money-saving challenge in 2021 and raised $800? My intention was to keep at it in 2022. I fell off the wagon several times, mainly on the wine purchase issue. In my defence, I needed to celebrate my new lifestyle.
I am hoping to do better in 2023. Since I have gotten better at curbing my expenses on books, wine and sweet tooth delights, I want to incorporate the same in other habits. These patterns have worsened or cropped up courtesy of my move from the city.
Money Saving Challenge: 3 Money Saving Habits I am Embracing in 2023
1. Meal Planning
My current system is certainly not working — it’s neither saving me any money nor time and energy. I am the type who waits until it’s around 8 or 9 pm before thinking of what to have for dinner. And since I sleep in the wee hours and wake up late, mine is more of a brunch than breakfast, where I spend about 30 minutes to an hour rummaging through the kitchen and pantry, thinking of what to make.
I would love nothing more than to change this in 2023. So, I am embracing meal planning and getting my mind more accustomed to following planned systems, which I suck at a lot.
Meal planning has been lauded as an excellent way to eat healthily, reduce food waste, save time in the kitchen, streamline your grocery shopping and, of course, save money. Living in the countryside has helped a lot with eating healthy foods. But I have realized I waste money on groceries bought and never used. I am certain meal planning will be of great help in streamlining my weekly grocery shopping, ensuring I buy stuff that’s only needed for the week’s meals.
PS; I have been experimenting with this in the last month, where we make chapati’s on Saturdays. There is so much you can do with chapati, from meat and legumes stew to rolex. That means I have options throughout the weekend up until Tuesdays or Wednesdays. I mostly love that I save a lot of time during these periods. Those few minutes go into other productive things. I am sure meal planning will help me save money, too, in the long run.
2. Shopping in Bulk
Buying in bulk, especially from wholesale traders, saves you money. I tried it severally when I was living in Nairobi. The price differences between these shops and supermarkets were astounding. So, whenever I shopped, I would buy household items like toiletries, sugar, cooking oil, soaps, and flour. These would save me about KES. 3,000, and the shopping would last for three to four months.
That’s a habit that’s fallen through the cracks since I moved. My monthly shopping gives me heartache, especially with the increased cost of living. Now, it’s time to get back to bulk shopping in 2023.
Next on the list is grocery shopping. I started getting groceries from the market rather than the supermarket. It’s cheaper, but sometimes I buy a lot of it to avoid sending the rider every week. Sadly, some of it is compressed during the journey and spoils faster. I have been watching a lot of content on YouTube on preserving vegetables. I plan to try this and incorporate it fully, such that I shop for groceries twice or once a month.
I have been doing well with other food items, like legumes and maize flour. I get these from home, either my farm or my mother’s. If we did not plant any particular item during the last season, I could still get them from market stores or neighbours. This has saved me a lot of money, especially purchasing canned beans. Now, I get a lot of the small red beans from home that I can use for breakfast.
3. Kitchen Gardening
Grocery shopping is one of my biggest failures this year. While I plan to keep shopping from the market, I hope to set up a small kitchen garden in the first quarter of the year. The goal is to grow common veggies I need, like tomatoes, kale, spinach and herbs. The plan is to source fewer veggies and herbs from the market and have an autonomous system at home by the end of the year.
If you are looking for more ways to save money in 2023, here’s a money-saving challenge you can join. Go through your expenses and habits for the year. Do you see an item you can survive without? Is there a habit that needs a goodbye or redefining? The next step is to figure out how much you spent on these habits or expenses. Then, consider whether you are cutting off the total expenses or reducing them. What’s the amount? That’s the figure you should be saving every payday.