More bang for your buck!
Life Is a Journey, Not a Destination – Anon.
Benjamin Franklin is quoted to have said: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. As part of my journey to ‘a better me’, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to not only my wealth and knowledge base, but also my health. After all what’s the point of being wealthy if you’re too sickly to enjoy the fruits of your labor. All of the major self-help gurus stress the importance of a healthy mind and body as being key elements of being a successful person.
Proper nutrition is essential to good health. The problem is good food is expensive. As I previously in last week’s blog, you can grow your own fruits and vegetables at home and preserve them yourself. You’ll have the comfort of knowing that your produce is organic and that you canned them free of artificial chemicals, additives, and preservatives. But there are just some things that you can’t grow at home. Take bananas for example. More than likely you aren’t going to be growing those in your back yard. I do know of some people who have their own free range chickens producing eggs for them, but that’s out of the question for most of us as well. And who wants to milk a cow to get milk for their coffee? Some things just have to be purchased commercially but there are ways to trim the fat from your expenses at the same time as you trim it from your waste.
This past year, I went on a very aggressive diet and exercise program. It’s self developed, but the main elements are that I eat healthier and exercise. I’ve been eating a lot of organic foods, cooking healthier dinners from a meal kit service called Hello Fresh. I go to the gym when possible, and I’m a lot more physically active during the summer. Kayaking, and riding my mountain bike are quite fun. I’ve managed to lose 40 lbs. and I’m back to where I was before the bout of depression hit me when the ex-girlfriend left. Another 30lbs more, and I’ll be back to what I weighed in college.
Fad diets come and go, but every person is different, and every BODY is different. I found something that works for me, and if it works, don’t fix it! It irks me when people tell me I should be doing something other than what I’m doing because they read something somewhere that said (FILL IN THE BLANK) is better than whatever it is I’m doing. If they want to try whatever it is they read about, good for them. I’ve my own results to show that what I’m doing is working, and I feel wonderful.
There are a lot of dietary supplements that I take during the course of a day. Many of them are quite pricey, but just as you have to spend money to make money, you need to spend money on better nutrition. The good news is, many of these items do have long shelf lives, so you can take advantage of sales, economy packs, bogos, and clearance specials each of which will stretch your hard earned dollars and give you more bang for your buck. Stocking up and buying in bulk will drastically reduce the cost per serving, save on shipping, and prevent the accidental impulse buy when you go to the store for one item and leave with a dozen.
If you know for a fact that you will definitely use a product, often buying the larger size will save you money on the cost per servings. A single 60 serving can will always cost less than two 30 serving cans, UNLESS the smaller size is on sale. Always pay attention to the cost per unit.
The infamous BOGO or ‘Buy One, Get One’ sales will allow you to double the amount purchased and reduce the cost per unit. Taking advantage of these will allow you stock up. You can also try a different flavor, but if you buy it, use it. Waste not, want not.
If you see an item you use (or something similar that’s equal in quality) on clearance, buy it! Always check the ‘best by’ date to be certain that you can use the item before the expiry date. Certain supplements lose their potency with age, so if it’s been sitting on a shelf for months, the bargain might not be much of a bargain. Every item is different, some will be just fine, so do your homework. It’s very easy to check, just whip out your smart phone and Google information on the products and how long they’ll keep.
Brand loyalty means that sometimes you’re paying for the name on the box, and not what’s in it. There are many generic or store brands that are every bit as good as national brand names. Often, these items will be sitting side by side on the self with the competing product. They will have similar packaging, and will probably have some statement on the label telling you to compare the ingredients. Some of these products are just as good if not better than the name brand, and will save you pennies on the dollar.
Automatic shipments and free shipping
Many of the health places like GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe have automatic subscription services you can sign up for which will offer a discount on the supplements, and offer free shipping if you order a certain amount. The beauty of these automatic subscriptions is that you never run out accidentally of your favorite vitamin, or go to the store and discover they’re temporarily out of stock. Also, these services occasionally include bonus trial sample items for free, so you can try new products that you might also enjoy.
Of course there are always sales going on, so it always pays to shop around at competitor sites. I was at GNC and the sales associate told me that they’ll price match an identical item offered on AMAZON which they happened to stock as well. Some of these brick-and-mortar stores are really having to fight for your business because online retailers are stealing their customers, so they are occasionally willing to make a deal.
Following these all of these tips might mean you’ll eventually need to buy both a smaller belt, and a larger wallet. As always, I wish you success and happiness!