Category Archives: Finance & Resources

Wills, Living Wills & Resources – How to Write a Will That Is Legally Binding

 

tree-97986_960_720

by Bruce Humberstone

Recently the Rocky Butte Ward held a workshop designed to help attendees gain a basic understanding of will making and to help them become aware of the care that must be exercised in order to have some assurance that their property will be distributed, after their death, according to their wishes. This article is a brief summary of the information presented in the workshop.

Having a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. A will can smooth the way in the legal matters facing your heirs, especially your spouse and children, as they deal with the transfer of ownership of your property after you die. With a valid will you can direct exactly how you would like things handled after your death. Making a will is a responsibility that comes with a commitment to intelligent and provident living.
In Oregon, any person eighteen (18) years of age, or a minor lawfully married, and of sound mind may make a Will. See: Oregon Revised Statutes, § 112.225. “Sound mind” generally means someone who has not been deemed incompetent in a prior legal proceeding.
There are five essentials to a valid will in Oregon.

(1) The testator (the person making the will) must type or print the will. Oregon law does not provide for a will written by hand (a “holographic” will).

(2) The testator must sign the will in the presence of each of at least two witnesses.

(3) The witnesses must each see the testator sign the will, or hear the testator tell them that the signature on the will is the testator’s (acknowledges the signature).

(4) If the testator signed the will out of the presence of the witnesses, the will must be before the witnesses at the time the testator acknowledges the signature.

(5) The witnesses must then attest the will by signing their names to it. See Oregon Revised Statutes, §112.235. In some states a witness may not be a beneficiary under the will. Not so in Oregon. See Oregon Revised Statutes, §112.245. It may still be a good idea to have disinterested witnesses.

To be sure there is no question as to whether the will was signed and witnessed (executed) properly, the signature page of the will should spell out that the testator and the witnesses were in the presence of the each other when the will was executed.
The signatures of the witnesses on the will need not be notarized, but it is advisable to have the witnesses sign an affidavit proving that they are the witnesses to the will. An affidavit is a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation for use as evidence in court. The affidavit should be attached to the will. After your death the will and the affidavit should be filed with the petition for probate. If the affidavit is not filed one of your witnesses may have to appear in court during the probate process to prove your will.
Some people choose not to make a will, or procrastinate doing so. Not having a will is not a good choice. Without your will your surviving spouse may not get your entire estate after your death. If one of your surviving issue (living descendants) is not issue of your surviving spouse, your spouse would only get half of your estate under Oregon law. If you do not have a valid will at the time of your death you will be forfeiting your right to chose who would be administrator or personal representative of your estate and who would be the guardian of your children, if such is needed. The State of Oregon would make those choices for you.
If you decide to make a will, you could try to write it yourself. If you follow the legal requirements your will can be admitted to probate. Probate is the courtsupervised process of gathering a deceased person’s assets and distributing them to creditors and inheritors. Probate in Oregon is not as costly or time-consuming compared as it is some other states.
You could use an online will making service or an inexpensive will-kit available at office supply or printing stores, however online services and will-kits may not cover all your estate planning needs. They may be satisfactory for individuals with simple lives and family circumstances or with couples with no children. They would not be satisfactory if you have children from prior relationships, if you do not want to leave things equally to your children, or if you have a special needs child.
If you make a will by yourself, it may be possible to get an attorney to review the will and tell you whether it can be properly executed as drafted. The attorney may also give you advice on other issues raised by the way the will has been written. Many mistakes with do-it-yourself wills involve the way these documents are signed and witnessed. After consultation with an attorney you will still be responsible for the proper execution of the will.
After careful consideration of your circumstances you may decide you need to actually hire an attorney to draft the will and direct its execution. With the technology available to attorneys today, an attorney should be able to meet with you, prepare a simple will and walk you and your witnesses through the proper execution of the will quickly. If your circumstances call for the creation of a trust or other special provisions, the work will likely require more attorney time.

RESOURCES FOR LEGAL HELP
You may be able to get limited free or low cost legal help. As of June 10, 2016, the following resources for legal assistance may be available to you.

Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO)

520 SW Sixth Avenue, Suite 700 Portland, OR 97205 General

Phone: (503) 224-4086

Email: probono@lasoregon.org

Counties Served: Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington

Case Types: Bankruptcy, Consumer, Domestic Violence, Elder Law, Housing, Public Benefits, Real Estate, Wills

Other Case Types: Other civil legal matters and general poverty law.

Case Restrictions: We are an LSC program, so all of those restrictions apply including income and citizenship status.

LASO Web Site, click here

Senior Law Project.

The Senior Law Project (SLP) began in 1978 and is the VLP’s largest project, with over 25 legal clinics per month. Volunteer lawyers meet with clients who are 60 or over (or who are married to someone 60 or over) at nine senior center locations in Multnomah County. They provide 30-minute consultations, on any civil legal issues, for up to six clients per clinic. All clients 60 or over are eligible for free 30-minute consultations, regardless of their income. SLP volunteers provide continuing pro bono services for only those clients who meet VLP financial eligibility requirements. The VLP sponsors a monthly Elder Law Discussion Group to provide information and support.

Click here for more information…

Legal Aid Night Clinic

LASO co-sponsors this evening clinic with Stoel Rives, LLP and Dunn Carney LLP. Clinics are held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m at the Standard Insurance Building (downtown Portland). Volunteer attorneys from the two participating law firms screen the cases and provide continuing legal representation to clients with meritorious cases. Two volunteer attorneys are scheduled for each clinic and each attorney meets with up to four clients per clinic. The following issues are referred: consumer law, small claims advice, criminal record expungements, landlord/tenant damage claims, estate planning [includes wills], and uncontested guardianships.

Oregon Law Center Pro Bono Program

Primary Address: 522 SW 5th Ave, Ste 812 Portland, OR 97204 General Phone: 503-295-2760 Fax: 503-295-0676

Counties Served: Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington

Case Types: Consumer, Employment, Housing, Real Estate, Torts, Wills

Other Case Types: Expungements, Insurance disputes, licenses, taxes.

Case Restrictions: Must meet 125% of fed. poverty level.

Click here to visit the website..

Oregon State Bar (OSB)

The OSB Lawyer Referral Service consists of a referral to a local attorney and a 30 minute consultation with the attorney for a $35 fee. The Lawyer Referral service can also provide assistance helping you determine what kind of legal assistance you might need and organizations that may be able to help.

The Modest Means Program offers reduced-rate legal assistance to modest-income Oregonians involved in family law, criminal defense, foreclosure, and landlord/tenant issues. The program application is available at the OSB website.

The Military Assistance Panel is a program geared towards matching deployed service members and their dependents with lawyers who provide up to 2 hours of free legal advice.

The Problem Solvers program provides 30 minutes of free legal information and advice to children and young adults ages 13 to 17. Hours: 8 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday

Phone: 503-684-3763 or toll-free in Oregon at 800-452-7636.

Click here to access the website

Specific Links For additional help:

Probono Net, click here

Oregon State Bar, click here

Senior law project clinics:

YWCA/ East County
600 NE 8th St, Room 100
Gresham, OR  97030
(503) 721.6771
2nd & 4th Fridays 1 – 4 pm

Neighborhood House (Downtown)
1032 SW Main St.
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 295-0044
2nd & 4th Thursdays 1 – 4 pm

Friendly House
2617 NW Savier St.
Portland, OR  97209
(503) 224-2640
1st & 3rd Thursdays 9 am – noon

Hollywood Senior Center
1820 NE 40th
Portland, OR  97212
(503) 288-8303
Fridays 9 am – noon

IRCO
740 SE 106th
Portland, OR  97216
(971) 267-4049
Thursdays 1 – 4 pm

Neighborhood House (Southwest)
7688 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR  97219
(503) 244-5204
2nd & 4th Tuesdays 9 am – noon

North Senior Services
9009 N. Foss
Portland, OR  97217
(503) 288-8303
1st 7 3rd Tuesdays 9 am – noon

Impact NW SE Portland
4610 SE Belmont
Portland, OR  97215
(503) 721.6760
Wednesdays 10 am – 1 pm

Urban League Multi-Cultural Senior Center
5325 NE MLK Blvd
Portland, OR  97211
(503) 280-2600
2nd, 3rd 4th Tuesdays 1-4 pm

 

Salvage Grocery Stores

By Donna White

A trip to the salvage grocery store is like a treasure hunt.  There you will find great bargains and unexpected treasures.  These stores are not as busy as regular stores, so if you have any questions you can talk to the owner or staff who are always very friendly and helpful.

What is a salvage grocery store, or scratch and dent or discount grocery store, as they are sometimes called?  A salvage grocery store is basically a damaged goods store. Cans and packages (and sometimes the whole case) may have been slightly damaged during delivery.  There are many other reasons why products end up in these stores: a label change or improper labeling; closeouts, discontinued items, overstocks, excess inventory, off-brands, seasonal items; closing of a warehouse, goods getting close to their use by date, etc.

For whatever reasons the regular supermarkets could not (or choose not to) sell the particular item.  Items are then sent to a supermarket reclamation center where broken jars are discarded, cans with leaks are destroyed, etc.  The rest of the products are then shipped to a distributor, who ships the products to a salvage grocery store.

Some things to be aware of:

*  Salvage grocery stores are regulated and inspected by the USDA.

*  A spokesman for the National Food Processors Association stated that dented and rusty cans are safe as long as they don’t leak or bulge.

*  All the groceries are check for quality by the liquidation center and by the staff at the salvage store.

*  The Best if used by date is the date recommended for best taste or flavor.  This is how long the manufacturer wants their goods on display, but usually foods will be good for many months beyond these dates.  Canned foods usually last a long time past these dates as do many boxed foods.

*  The only foods  required to have expirations dates are baby food and infant formulas.

How do you find salvage grocery stores?  Usually it is through word of mouth.  You can also check for small ads in neighborhood papers and in the Yellow Pages under Salvage, Discount stores, and unfortunately, under Grocery-Retail, along with the myriad of other grocery stores.  Some of the places I go to are Everyday Deals, 17310 SE Division St., phone 503-762-4970, Grocery Outlet, one of the classiest discount stores around with 4 stores in the metro area, and Save-A-Lot.  Check to see if there is a salvage store in your area.

What are some examples of what you can find?

At our local salvage store in our area I can get pure maple syrup for $4.99 for a 12 oz bottle which is half off the regular store price.  I check every so often to see if they have it, and when they do I buy as much as I can afford because it goes fast.

On a visit to family in Gresham, I stopped in at one of the salvage stores my daughter told me about.  They had packages of dry beans, kidney and red beans, 2 packages for $1. Each package was 2 lbs, which came out to 25 cents a lb.  What a deal!  The next time I visited the store they still had beans.   Same kind, new price – 1 package for $1.

At another store in Gresham several years ago I found packages of Bob’s Red Mill TVP (textured vegetable protein) which not only do I store and use regularly, but was also on the lookout for more.  There were about 35-40 packages.  I would have been pleased to find just one at the marked price, but this was a gold mine.   I told the owner that if it was alright with him I would like to buy all of the TVP and would he be willing to give me a bulk price on it.  He thought for a minute, and then quoted an extremely low price, which came out to about 15 cents a lb.  Later that week I was able to dry-pack 3 cases of TVP using the portable canner from Portland Home Storage. 

Things to remember when shopping at a salvage grocery store:

*  Bring your price book or know your prices.  Not everything is a good deal.

*  If uncertain whether to get something, buy a sample to test, preferably as soon as you get out of the store.  I bought a package of dried pears at a great price, and my husband and I ate some in the car.  We liked them so much I went right back in and bought 3 more packages.  The next time we were in the area we went back to get more dried pears.  They were gone.  Stock up, if you can, because what is there one week might not be there next week.

*  Unless the store is in your area, to save on gas plan your visit to a salvage store in combination with other errands.

*  Know that circumstances change.  One store that was a favorite of mine changed ownership two times and no longer has the same good deals.

In today’s economy, business is booming at the salvage grocery stores.  Not only are they a great resource in these lean times, but shopping in them is a fun experience.  You never know what treasures you are going to find.

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

 

Plan Ahead for Christmas Gifts

My husband and I decided years ago that in order to ease our spending budget at Christmas time, we would buy most of the gifts year round. The first thing we do early in the year is decide on an amount to spend on each family member/friend. We collect wish lists, and then check the retail price for each requested gift. When that is done, we total all the gifts amount so we can evaluate if the total matches the budget originally decided, and if not, we adjust.

Throughout the year, we watch for sales and purchase the gifts on the list at their lowest retail prices. This method enables us to save money on most of the items and then apply the money saved toward last minute unexpected gifts that need to be purchased.

This will work if the list is kept handy and reviewed  regularly; it is similar to setting goals, we keep it fresh in our mind by reviewing regularly what is on the list, thinking about the strategy to achieve the goal and working at it.

We found that if we have a list, it is less likely that we will succumb to impulse buying when visits to the stores are made during the Christmas holiday. In order for this plan to work, we have to stick to the list like glue, review it and adjust so we always know how the budget is doing as purchases are made.

We prefer a non-stressful Christmas, and with the shopping out of the way early, we are more available to help others during the holiday season.

LDS Intelligent Living

Photo source: public domain

Sisters share how they teach money management to their children

I have learned over time that making a child work for a desired item BEFORE they receive it more often than not results in the child not wanting the item after having worked hard to earn it.  I have asked the child why the thing was no longer desired after all that work to secure it?  The answer is usually that they worked so hard for the item and after seeing how much money it cost and the time it took to earn it, it is not quite as desired as before.

Sincerely,

Karen A. 

First, I give Maeve an allowance, and she can use it on whatever she wants.  I buy her what she needs, and I do even buy toys on occasion.  But when we are at the store and she wants a magazine, or another toy, she has to spend her own money.  She  really does think twice.  I keep the allowance very small, ($2 per week) otherwise, she would be able to buy too often.  She has to actually save up a while for stuff she really wants.

I do not pay Maeve for chores, but she is responsible for her chores, just like I am responsible for paying her each week.  Because we have chickens, she can gather the eggs to sale the extras.  Lately, she hasn’t been on top of collecting the eggs.  If I have to collect the eggs she doesn’t get to sell them.   When she asked me to raise her allowance, I told her that if she was really in need of extra money, she could “work” for it.  If she works on a consistent basis and showed me how important earning money is  to her, I would consider raising her allowance.  Maeve wants an American Girl Doll ($100) so she started pulling weeds for me to earn extra money.

I liked what Lorraine said about buying and caring for her own clothes.  Maeve has begun doing her own laundry, but I haven’t figured out a budget for clothes to know what I should give her in allowance for her to buy her own clothes.   I look forward to her valuing her clothes more.  She is too quick now to “tire” of clothes, or decide she doesn’t like them.

Dannee B.

When I was growing up, I clearly understood from my parents that when I turned 12 years old I would become completely responsible for my own clothes–laundry, ironing, purchasing, etc. I babysat, picked berries and beans (insane labor laws no longer allow this rite of passage!), did what I could to provide for myself. We instituted the same practice with our children. And for the most part, it worked. They laundered and ironed their own clothing. They babysat, mowed lawns, painted, did janitorial work, whatever. We discouraged working too much during the school year as we wanted them to concentrate on being good students. School was their primary occupation during their teenage years. But summers were dedicated to work. One daughter even managed to have $8,000 saved by the time she began college. Good thing too, because she chose to go to the University of Utah where she had to pay out of state tuition–very costly.

Making children responsible for their own lives as soon as possible is always a good thing. It is truly the difference between giving then the fish to eat or teaching them how to fish in order to feed themselves.

Laraine T.

P.S. I did not have the money to go directly to college after high school and the BYU scholarship I received was not sufficient. I worked as a telephone operator for 15 months, then took a leave of absence each year for the next four years while I completed my bachelor’s degree at BYU. The money that I had made in that 15 month period of time, combined with each summer’s wages saw me through to graduation with $200 to spare which paid for my wedding (nothing fancy for sure!). Obviously, times were vastly different then. I couldn’t hold this endeavor up for much respect, except to say that I found means to pay my own way.

I had a very good friend (from a working class family in our neighborhood) who got a great scholarship to Harvard out of high school. He still had to work to subsidize his scholarship. He did and not only graduated from Harvard, but then received advanced degrees from Boston University and UC Berkely. He is now the head AIDS officer in the Dominican Republic after having served as part of the American Diplomatic Corps all of these years. He, like the rest of us who grew up in the neighborhood,  knew we had to work for what we wanted…………

Laraine L. Thompson

One thing that helped me with helping one of my child learn about money management was the Personal Finance Merit Badge. When one of my boys was a teenager, he always complained because we did not let him have everything he wanted.  When he started working on this badge, all the receipts and expenses went into a small box for him to go through, and when he saw the house payment, and all the other bills, he never complained afterwards. He had a part time job and learned to save for what he wanted.  At the time I was sewing to earn the money to provide for a missionary, too. It was a real eye opener for him, and he learned to take better care of his hard earned money after this experience.

Violet R.

Last weekend our sons went on the annual scout woodcut on Mt Hood. They told me they needed “at least $5” each for a fast food lunch on the way home the next day. I told them that was fine but I didn’t have any cash for them now so asked if they could pay for it themselves. They have to work for their money doing jobs for others. (Rent-a-Son) That was fine with them too. The next day as they packed to leave they asked if they could just bring a sandwich from home so they didn’t have to WASTE their money on junk food. I told them pretty much the only sandwich that will survive the 24 hours (room temp) would be a cheese sandwich on bread with butter only. (We use Tillamook Cheddar) Again that was fine, with a couple of apples, granola bar, nuts and water they were set.

When they got home I asked them how lunch was. “Great! “was the reply. I asked them if they felt bad cause the other boys were eating Dairy Queen, they said “Nope! besides our food actually tasted better!” We seldom do fast food. In fact my kids do more fast food on church trips than they ever get from me! Guess I know what to say next time they ask me for lunch money for an outing!
 
Sally 
Photo source: public domain

Live Within Your Means

Bob T.

For many years our church leaders have encouraged us to learn to manage our finances by creating a budget and learning to live within that budget. In the pamphlet entitled “All IS SAFELY GATHERED IN”, our leaders have counseled us to follow these five basics:(1) Pay Tithes and Offerings. (2) Avoid Debt. (3) Use a budget. (4) Build a Reserve. (5) Teach Family Members the principles of frugality, hard work, and saving.

In a welfare session of General Conference, Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Council of the Twelve Apostles counseled:

1. Pay an honest Tithe

2. Learn to Manage Money before it manages you

3. Learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters

4. USE A BUDGET

5. Teach family members the importance of working and earning

6. Teach children to make money making decisions within their ability to comprehend

7. Teach family members to contribute to the total family welfare

8. Make education a continuing process

9. Work toward home ownership

10. Appropriately involve yourself in an insurance program

11. Understand external influences (inflation) on finances and investments

12. Involve yourself in food storage and emergency preparedness programs

Although given many years ago, these 12 points of counsel are valid today. Our adherence to these principles – given above – will bring harmony and cohesiveness to our family in spiritual matters as well as our material lives. We are encouraged to work together as husband and wife to accomplish these principles. In my experience as bishop I can tell you that family finances are a large problem in marital happiness. We can find happiness in sharing and working together to live these principles and teach them to our children by example as well as by precept.

We Need to Prepare Ourselves and Our Families Financially

by Gayle D., POE Stake Relief Society President

This past week our high council message was to prepare ourselves and our families financially.  Our goal for the month of September follows this same theme.  With so much uncertainty in the world today, money management is essential .  Management of our resources doesn’t just affect us temporally.  Discord in our homes almost always traces back to quarrels and accusations over money.   This isn’t necessarily because of a lack of money, many humble homes are filled with happy families.  Discord comes because of mismanagement of money, regardless of the income. Each family should have access to the brochure,  “One for the Money.”  By Elder Marvin J. Ashton.  May I suggest that each individual, each married couple, sit down and read this carefully.  Then be prepared to share with the entire family.  It is only when the family has a shared goal that wise management can be successful. If we start by paying an honest tithe, we set a foundation  for financial independence.  Following Elder Ashton’s 12 steps to financial freedom will aid us and our families in achieving the happiness that our Father in Heaven desires for us.

May we each find our way to follow the admonition of our prophets and live the Lord’s commandments.  The Lord will open the windows of heaven to us in these matters if we but choose to obey.

To read “One For The Money” by Marvin J. Ashton, click here

Now Is The Time to Prepare

A Message From Todd D., POE Stake President

In 1998 President Gordon B. Hinckley told us all that it was time to prepare; to pay off debt, to not purchase homes beyond our ability to pay for them, to begin to save for a time when trouble might come.  Well trouble has come to our nation and our communities.  It reminds me of a statement Job made; “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” (Job 3:25-26).

When President Hinckley told us  ten years ago to prepare it was like Joseph of old who had been sold into Egypt and was able to interpret the Pharaohs’s dream.  Joseph told the Pharaoh to prepare during the seven years of plenty and that the seven years of plenty would be followed by seven years of drought.

Well trouble is upon us.  Those who are prepared shall not fear.  Those who did not listen have plenty to be afraid of.   It is my prayer that you are prepared and if not it is time to start.   On the Provident Living web page the Church gives us some very simple ways to prepare and to stay close to our Father in Heaven.

Pay Tithes and Offerings
Successful family finances begin with the payment of an honest tithe and the giving of a generous fast offering. The Lord has promised to open the windows of heaven and pour out great blessings upon those who pay tithes and offerings faithfully (Malachi 3:10 and Isaiah 58: 6–12).

Tithing

If our tithing is the first obligation met, our commitment to this important gospel principle will be strengthened and the likelihood of financial mismanagement will be reduced.

Fast Offerings

On fast day, we go without food and drink for two consecutive meals, if physically able, and then give to the bishop a fast offering at least equal to the value of the food not eaten. If possible, we should be very generous and give more. The bishop uses the fast offerings to care for the poor and needy.

Avoid Debt
Spending less money than you make is essential to your financial security. Avoid debt, with the exception of buying a modest home or paying for education or other vital needs. If you are in debt, pay it off as quickly as possible. Some useful tools in becoming debt free are a debt-elimination calendar and a family budget worksheet.

Distinguish between Needs and Wants

We must learn to distinguish between wants and needs. We should be modest in our wants. It takes self-discipline to avoid the “buy now, pay later” philosophy and to adopt the “save now and buy later” practice.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught: “All too often a family’s spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress”

Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts, Ensign, May 2004, 42).

Getting and Staying out of Debt

We should avoid debt. There is nothing that will cause greater tensions in life than grinding debt, which will make the debtor a slave to creditors. A specific goal, careful planning, and determined self-discipline are required to accomplish this.

President N. Eldon Tanner taught: “Those who structure their standard of living to allow a little surplus control their circumstances. Those who spend a little more than they earn are controlled by their circumstances. They are in bondage” Constancy Amid Change,Ensign, Nov. 1979, 81).

Use a Budget
Keep a record of your expenditures. Record and review monthly income and expenses. Determine how to reduce what you spend for non essentials.

Use this information to establish a family budget. Plan what you will give as Church donations, how much you will save, and what you will spend for food, housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, insurance, and so on.

Discipline yourself to stay within your budget plan. A budget worksheet is a useful tool to help you with your plan.

Build a Reserve
Gradually build a financial reserve, and use it for emergencies only. If you save a little money regularly, you will be surprised how much accumulates over time.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has taught: “Set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts”

To the Boys and to the Men Ensign, Nov. 1998, 54).

Teach Family Members
Teach family members the principles of financial management. Involve them in creating a budget and setting family financial goals. Teach the principles of hard work, frugality, and saving. Stress the importance of obtaining as much education as possible.  Abundant resources are available—from classes, to books, to other resources such as One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance.

A new booklet that summarizes basic welfare principles and elements of self-reliance is now available for priesthood and Relief Society leaders. The new booklet, Providing in the Lord’s Way: Summary of a Leader’s Guide to Welfare, can help all Church members better understand their welfare responsibilities.

Photo source: Josephs Dream, as in Genesis 37:9–10, illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible
public domain

Shopping Tips – If You Want to Save Money, Lose the Traditional Menu Planning Idea

by LDS Intelligent Living

How to Save Lots of Money and Build a 3 Month Food Supply much faster

If you are well organized and know what you are doing, you can build your food storage much faster. When you shop smart, you save lots of money!

You most likely have heard these money saving tips before:

  • Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach: Eat before you go shopping so you don’t succumb to impulse buying, and get extra food not on your shopping list because you are hungry.
  • Leave your husband and children at home : Go by yourself if you can; you will have more success sticking to your shopping list.

Those are great tips to follow, but there are many more helpful ones. You should be paying close attention to these money saving ideas because, remember, when you plan your grocery shopping wisely, you can save a lot of money and build your food supply faster!

man-shopping-at-a-mobile-produce-market-725x484 PUBLIC DOMAINHere are my suggestions about saving money on groceries; I share them with you because they truly work!

If You Want to Save Money, Lose the Traditional Menu Planning Idea

I read a book, years ago, that changed my grocery shopping habits. It explained that the traditional planning of menus is counter productive in the attempt to save money on groceries. When you start planning meals, and collect the recipes for the meals planned, and then, head to the store with your list, you will be most likely paying full price on most of the food on your shopping list.

Barbara Salsbury said: “Plan to eat the bargains you find, rather than trying to find bargains on what you plan to eat!” In other words, you should plan your meals after reading the ads in the newspapers, after comparing them to find the best deals, AND after checking your well stocked pantry for what’s already on the shelves. Using the food in your storage is an important factor in this method; if you can buy food in bulk when it hits rock bottom price, you will never have to pay full price again; you can stock-up your pantry and wait for the next sale cycle.

A grocery price book will help you keep track of the sales cycles for the items you regularly buy in each store so you’ll know if the sales are truly “great deals”. The best way to find those price cycles is to record the prices and dates for each of the products you regularly purchase. So, next time you go shopping, don’t throw away your receipts and start recording. Don’t be overwhelmed, take baby steps, start with a few items at a time and build up your price list slowly.

When you add coupons to those bargains, you will have much better results saving money on groceries; the extra savings will help you acquire your three month food supply faster.

When you learn to combine a price book with coupons and other shopping techniques, you will be able to save hundreds of dollars. Remember: It will take planning, organizing, and time at first, but it will be well worth the effort when you see the results.

Why do all this? For peace of mind, to save money, and for convenience–you never run out of food in your house because your pantry is well stocked. Think how much better you will feel knowing that if you experienced economic hardship, had to “shelter in place”*, or were caught in a natural disaster situation, your family would have what is needed to survive.

Also, don’t forget the other necessities like toilet paper, deodorant etc. and the other needful things in your life that should be included on the list.

*A grocery price book is the ultimate money saving tool: you can use a notebook, or go digital. Melanie Pinola on lifehacker said that “Both paper and digital price books have advantages. A paper notebook is quicker to jot down prices and refer to when you shop, but grocery apps make quick work of calculating prices (plus, they serve as grocery lists).” You can also use a spreadsheet to create a price book to record the prices of all the items you regularly purchase at different grocery stores; the grocery price book enables you to detect price cycles in different supermarkets; find the real bargains, and plan your shopping trips for maximum savings.

Here are several articles that will help you build a price book

Making a Price List: The Digital Version

Grocery Pricebook Apps

How to Save the Most Money on Your Grocery Budget with a Price Book

How to create Your Own Grocery Pricebook

…and some great ideas on these sites that will help you save hundreds of dollars on  groceries

29 Ways to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Groceries