By Jennifer Scroggins
So, I’ll admit it. I’m a creature of habit. Aren’t we all? But recently, thanks to the pandemic, I’ve been forced to change my shopping habits. I think of HEB as my first real job. I pride myself to this day for knowing how to walk the store, knowing where everything is, memorizing produce, and being able to bag my own groceries in an organized fashion; and well, faster than any courtesy clerk I’ve ever seen. Sorry I’m competitive...
I’m obsessed and in love with HEB. I mean, I still feel an enormous amount of pride every time I step my foot through their doors. It literally broke my heart when, in the interest of safety, I needed to choose an alternate way to shop for my family, without going into the store. I did it. Even though I’m a feel-it-see it-touch-it-kind of girl, I took the leap of faith and decided to order delivery online.
I soon realized a few things. First, I got 3 hours back that I desperately needed each week - no standing in longs lines. I was more relaxed and had more time to spend with my granddaughter, Lilly. In addition, I found I:
- Saved money. Limiting my cart to 75 items allowed me to really focus on buying only the things I needed each week.
- Spent less money, because I wasn’t picking up extra items on the end caps that Lilly and I just can’t seem to resist.
- Had better eating habits. I stuck to my normal routine, but because items were somewhat limited, it kept me in check.
- Less stressed. The groceries were delivered to my doorstep like clockwork every 2 weeks. All I had to do was learn how to safely unload them. And yes, I had to rely on technology one more time. (You tube has a cheat sheet for this very thing.)
When I crunched the numbers and updated my monthly cash flow and expenses, I discovered I had been able to cut my bill nearly in half!
Yea! Yea!...Great right? Well, let’s take it one step further...I have been taking that money and teaching Lilly about saving for a rainy day. Saving for when an emergency comes along, like a pandemic, and we need it, or maybe when we are saving for something more rewarding. Perhaps a goal of some sort, short or long-term, to reward ourselves for achieving great things!
How about that? I don’t think we do that enough! Reach one goal, but not stop. We can continue to save for a longer-term goal. One with a much greater reward coming our way! Isn’t that a big part of what life is about? Working hard toward something, getting closer to our goals and rewarding ourselves along the way?
For Lilly, it’s simple... she’s saving for a “rollipop”, and to find something at the store, when the park is open again, and she can visit Mickey Mouse! (Yes! THAT TRIP to Disney World may not happen this year... but we can still dream)
So how about you? Ask yourself what can I save? Challenge yourself to a goal. To a family goal. Start small and reward yourself when you get there! Then keep going. I also think it’s important to lean on professionals for advice and help with cash flow strategies to help you with whatever goal you’re shooting for!
As we have seen, tough times require creative thinking. They are a chance for us to turn a difficult situation into a new solution. Like eliminating the trip to the store and staying safe and healthy! And turning that into an opportunity to review our goals and begin working toward them.
I miss my HEB, but know soon I’ll be walking the store freely again, with clearer goals in mind, perhaps more money in my pocket; and of course, stories that last a lifetime, to share with loved ones, about how this time created an opportunity for change…in me and my community.
I encourage you, if you haven’t, to please seek the advice of a financial professional who cares about you and your future.
Take Care and Stay Healthy!
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