That Time I Wasted $0.27 and the Lesson I Learned

I’m a big believer in shopping with a list. Especially grocery shopping, the thought of entering a grocery store without a detailed list gives me mini heart palpitations. Needless to say, I don’t do well when we do go grocery shopping and my husband adds things to the cart that are not on the list. It doesn’t happen often and it’s usually something we genuinely need but I forgot, like salt. I try to shop only for what we meal plan, sale temptations be damned.

meal planning saves

The other day we were shopping at a local store that often puts items on a weekly sale that can be hard to walk away from. A few weeks ago, it was celery for $0.27. Good deal? Yes! Did we need it? No. I was convinced (by the husband) that we needed one anyway. Yes, it was only $0.27 but it sat in my fridge for two weeks rotting away. I threw the entire thing into my compost. It wasn’t needed for anything that I had meal planned for our two week period (I run a tight ship when it comes to meal planning!), my daughter doesn’t eat it, I don’t love it raw and my husband didn’t touch it. A complete and total waste of money. Thankfully it was only a quarter (since we Canadians got rid of the penny) but it was still money wasted and got me thinking about other areas I waste money.


The other day I was prepping my shopping list for the week and as I was looking through our local sales, I cut some coupons from an insert.  A few hours later I picked the coupons up and looked through them. Not a single coupon I had cut out was something I would have purchased if I didn’t have a coupon. If they were items I needed, then yes I could have been ”saving” money but the fact is that I was about to buy items I wouldn’t have normally purchased just because I had a coupon.


I used to have my hair cut by a lady who has done my hair since I was in high school. She’s great at what she does but I had to really think about if paying for my loyalty was worth the huge increase in price (versus a cheaper place). I don’t dye my hair, only cutting it every six to eight weeks, paying $40 plus tax and tip. I took the ‘risk’ and tried a cheaper option, $15 flat rate. I was super happy with the end result and decided to put an end to my $40, six-to eight-week relationship with my old hairdresser. When I could get a similar result for less money, why would I spend more just for loyalty?

If you think about all the areas you could be saving a little money each month you may be surprised at how much it adds up to. Wasting the $0.27 at the grocery store the other day has solidified my stance on not buying something that isn’t on my list or it will likely get wasted.

14 thoughts on “That Time I Wasted $0.27 and the Lesson I Learned

  1. I bought some produce item (can’t remember what right now) a few months ago because of the killer sale. Well, it was on sale because it was on its last breath. The next day it started to rot away. Had I known that, I would have used in my dinner that night, but I figured I could use it in a meal later in the week. Now, if I do get tempted to buy a killer deal, I make it a point to eat it right away.

    • Yeah you really have to check produce out. If it’s something that you can freeze that’s always an option. I love peppers but almost always eat them cooked but if they come on sale I scoop them up and cut/freeze them at home.

  2. My husband I and have that disagreement all the time! He likes to add things on sale to the cart, but if they are not on the list and I haven’t planned them in our meals they go to waste.

  3. I hate having food go to waste. Even cheap food is not well used money. Sometimes just going for a deal because its a deal is not a good option. It takes discipline to realize that.

  4. I’m really bad at letting produce rot in my fridge… and buying things because they are cheap/on sale/I have a coupon. I’m trying to get better at these things, but old habits die hard, as they say. (Although, I am a fan of celery and wish I could find some for 27 cents!)

  5. One of my stress reliever is going to groceries and before I go to grocery stores I make sure that I have my list with me. I use my cell phone for my checklist of what to buy, you will not waste your money if you have a list with you as well as your time.

  6. The same thing happens in my house with packaged salad…it’s one of those “we mean well” items but sometimes we just flat out don’t even open the bag and I toss it after it turns all brown and wilted. I’m a huge meal planner as well, and usually salad is one of those “whenever we feel like having one” food items. I think I need to start attaching salad to certain meals on the plan. 😉

  7. My wife would love this article and totally agree with you. I do too! Buying things just because you have a coupon or it’s on sale is something that we have been guilty of too many times. It’s important to plan ahead of time for us. I think it’s great that you pulled these lessons from a grocery store visit. Thanks for sharing!

  8. We try not to buy anything that we won’t eat. Although that was a great deal for the celery if no one was going to eat it I’d freeze it. We make broth from celery bits, carrot peelings, onion peel etc so we can make huge pots of soup. We don’t use coupons as much as we used to as it’s not as lucrative but there are deals to be had. I would never suggest to buy just because there is a coupon… a huge waste of money. You can buy things on sale but you must know your prices. If you don’t you risk wasting money. If you buy just because it’s on sale and don’t need it, you will lose money. It’s about planning, planning and more planning.

  9. Two week meal planning?! Go you! I try to plan out four dinners (we eat leftovers for lunch every day) per week, the rest of the week sort of works itself out.
    I am beyond jealous that you found celery for 0.27! It is my favourite vegetable (my spouse thinks I’m insane for this stance). We have put a lot of focus onto not wasting groceries lately and it seems to be helping; I hate how often we throw things out. We live in a small town and produce just doesn’t last around here.
    I’m now trying to incorporate an end-of-the-week salad, or a stir fry type thing that will take care of the dying vegetables.

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