Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's All About the Math

Basic math is a necessity in the world of savings.  Whether it's using coupons or figuring out the cost per serving, basic math knowledge is a must have.  If you weren't or aren't great in basic math, purchase an inexpensive pocket calculator ($1 at the dollar store) and keep it in your coupon binder or in your purse or brief case or tote bag or whatever it is that you carry with you all the time.  If you have a cell phone, skip purchasing the calculator and learn how to use it on your phone.  I'm not meaning to sound like I'm picking on anyone, but some people don't know how to do basic math or they don't know how to use a calculator.  Trust me it's true.  Not a problem.  If you don't know how to do division and multiplication, ask someone to teach you.  There is no shame.  The shame is not taking the step to learn to better your finances and better yourself.

Now with that said.  In saving, you will begin to apply the math everywhere.  Here's an example for you.

Went to Krogers this morning to purchase my trust dusty two newspapers.  Also decided (impulse purchase) that I wanted to make sausage cheese biscuit sandwiches for breakfast.  I purchased 3 cans of Grands Biscuits (8 count).  Now there are only two of us right so you would think I would have purchased the 4 count cans. Nope.  They cost $1.79/ea. or $.22/biscuit.  The 8 count were on sale for $1.50/ea. or $.18/biscuit and they are good till end of February so I went ahead and purchased three.  Unfortunately I didn't have any Pillsbury coupons so I was disappointed in that.  None the less I got three cans.  Just FYI, when I paid for my purchases, a $1 Catalina Coupon good towards my next visit printed out.  That goes in the front of the binder. 

Anyway back at home I cooked the 6 sausage patties I had left and the can of biscuits and used the cheese.  Now when I talk about per servings cost it really pays to start paying attention to this.  I had purchased a Tennessee Pride 30 count pacage of sausage at the end of last year when their $1/1 coupons came out.  The sausage was on sale at Wal-Mart for $6.00/box so I got it for $5.00 using the coupons. That makes each sausage patty $.16.  The cheese was a 16 count package of Kraft that was $2.00 on sale that I didn't have a coupon for so the cost of each slice is rough $.12.  This makes the total cost of a sausage, cheese biscuit sandwich cooked at home $.46. 

Now, take that cost and try to go purchase a simple sausage, cheese biscuit sandwich from McDonalds or Burger King or White Castle or whatever your local fast food joint is. You can't do it.

The points here are two:

1)  It pays to cook at home and skip the fastfood places.

2)  Math plays into everything you purchase in order to save.

Start thinking of per portion costs when you purchase things.  Try to keep your per portion costs as low as possible.

Now, we each ate one sandwich which means I have four sausage patties left and 6 biscuits left.  The hubby will no doubt eat another biscuit or two through the day (he loves those things) so I have put two aside for him and set the remaining four aside to go with the remaining sausages.  Now I have breakfast to take to work for four days for $.46 per breakfast.  I'll go ahead and make them up in individual containers and leave one out for tomorrow and pop the other three in the freezer.

Breakfast for less than $.50/day works for me.


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