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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Onion Savings: a bit at a time and no tears

Too much trouble for too little savings

Some people think the way I figure my savings is silly. One male friend said I spend too much time saving money that is not enough to even count. Well, if I tried to take $39 from him, he would probably have time to object.

My downfall

I gave up buying onions in a bag long ago since there is only me. Some inevitably spoiled and I was irritated. If I cut, chopped, and froze the whole bag at once, I could use them all instead of letting them go bad. I don't. I eat free onions.

Not really stingy, just parsimonious

The onions I use are the ones the market says are just not saleable. Like the guy said, "There is nothing wrong with the onion, I just cannot sell it." People are picky and will not buy an onion with one little scrape.

My gain

If I use 75 cents worth of onion each week, I will use $39 worth of onions in a year. Mind you, I set the weekly amount very low. I do know that the $39 is all mine at the end of the year, and onions that are fresh and edible are mine for free. Buying bags of onions would still be more expensive even if I sliced, chopped, and froze them for future use.

Onion savings +

The onion weighs a lb, one whole pound. Even if I doubled up on my onion eating, this will last well beyond a week. Tomorrow, I will be making meatloaf with free ground round that does not have enough fat to fry a burger from it, free bell pepper, and little packets of catsup that are leftover from fast food. (There is also a bottle of catsup in the refrigerator and two in the cabinet.) My hens are donating the eggs. Salt and pepper are neglible. The oats were on a deep sale, and I had a coupon. I use lots of oats in meatloaf. That way, I eat less meat and eat more oats that are good for me. For a family, this would extend the meat and be nutritious.

Rest of the meal

The cabbage (for cole slaw) was half price as was the carrot. Green beans were free. I suppose I have $1.50 invested in a meal that will last me for at least four meals. That is $0.38 for a meal. It can be done. A family could eat for $1.50.

Multiply this

A guy gave me a whole box of tomatoes that he said I could eat but he could not sell. Just think--multiply my gain by eating the tomato with a slight bruise, picked fresh that morning. Then, think of a whole box full--a week's worth to eat and enough to share with a friend.

And, keep multiplying

If I eat free on ten items a year at the same amount of savings, that would be $390/year. That will almost pay a year's car insurance, more than pay property taxes on my home, or pay for an obgyn visit and a dental visit. Thinking of savings in those terms makes it worthwhile for me. Besides, why throw the onion in the trash/compost when it has value, monetary value and food value?

Your turn

Is it worth saving money a teeny bit at a time, even if each saving event is only pennies? How do you save in dribs and drabs on your groceries? I do use coupons and work the sales! Is there any one thing, like onions, that you consistently get for free?


  1. Hey Linda... I think it is fantastic. Saving Money is hard to do, and I truly believe that every penny counts. Hey I scored an 18 pack of brown farm fresh eggs last week for free and was completely thrilled. I think we just have to stick together, and save and support one another in our financial endeavors. Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!

  2. Yay, for fresh eggs, and a whole 18 of them! The week my chickens started laying, I was given a dozen farm fresh brown eggs. Yes, taking care of the pennies is the only way to save at all, especially when a person has as little income as I do. I love to hear of little successes of others. Linda


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