Spoilt For Choice – NOT!!
‘Hobson’s Choice’, or taking what is on offer or having nothing is a fundamental key to the success of the $75 weekly grocery budget. Back in the 14th century Hobson used to lease horses out to (mainly) university students. The lessor was not allowed to choose the horse he wanted but was obliged to take the horse standing nearest to the stable door on the day.
Back in the modern age Hobson’s Choice is the order of the day on our menu and you would be surprised, it is nowhere near as bad as it sounds. Having no choice or limited choices actually makes decision making a quick and simple process. Take spreads for example: In the bad old days, pre-budget- my cupboard was stacked full of jams and spreads. From memory there would have at least been honey, three different flavours of jam, peanut butter and two marmites, one bought by mistake because I thought the first one was finished. Then we would go shopping and I’d buy Stevie Nutella as well. I don’t know why we needed all those spreads because we were busy eating cake at the time and throwing all the bread away…
Now that things are tight, we have eaten our way through all those spreads even though some were past the expiry date they had been there that long. Now I refuse to buy a new spread until the old one is finished. Now we don’t umm and ahh over what we are going to have on our bread or toast because the current choice is apricot jam or nothing. So you have apricot jam and you really really enjoy it because it is a whole lot better than nothing.
How many spreads are in your cupboard?
Another big money saver has been the rule that water and milk are the only drinks available in our house, not strictly Hobson’s choice but pretty darn close. This rule has been a breakthrough in that we don’t even care anymore. At the beginning we craved sugar laced fruit juices but this wore off in a few short weeks. Now water is definitely our preferred drink (although you can probably pick my kids out at the party – they are the ones standing by the table throwing as much coke down their throats as they can!!) No I am joking – we are no longer addicted to those sugary drinks and when we are thirsty we go for the cheaper healthier option.
The strict grocery budget and associated benefits are not for poor people – this is for everybody. Limit your choices and enjoy having more spare cash for the other things you love in life … like rental properties and haircuts.
Next week: The amazing things people have been saying about the homemade products.