“A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
I used to believe that this quote was about putting money into a savings account so that my hard-earned cash would earn interest. I agree with the principle of saving money in the traditional sense and work diligently to conserve for various future uses. Maybe that is just what Ben was trying to communicate to the people of the 1790s. However, in today’s consumer-driven society, and with recent trends in the economy and the rising cost of food and gas, I have gained a new understanding of this clever quotation.
I have discovered that I save money every time I do not spend it. This may sound obvious, but every time I go to the store, I have begun to think carefully about what I put in my cart. By making a menu plan and a grocery list for a minimum of one week, I reduce my trips to the store. If I can walk out of there with just a few less items, I may have just saved $10.
I read somewhere that shoppers spend an average of $10 on unanticipated purchases each time they visit a store. If you stop at the grocery store three or four times a week, you may be spending an additional $30 or $40 a week. That is about $120 to $160 extra every month. If you do not believe me, take a look at your pantry and/or deep freeze. If it looks like you could feed an army for a month, then maybe you could benefit by making fewer trips to the store.
By planning ahead for my daily errands, I can put everything I need by the door. On my way out, I will remember to get the library books for the library, a package to mail at the post office, and a bagged lunch so I can pick up Clark at preschool before we end up hungry and turning to fast food to satisfy our grumbly tummies. If I can make one less trip to town in a day, that may be worth $3 to $5 in gas savings. That is like money in the bank!
My interpretation of this well-known quote has helped me save money and resources so that I can do my part to provide the necessities for my family in these times of increasing prices.