Monday, March 6, 2017

The Myth of Saving

There is a phrase people use that always makes me shake my head. We have all heard it.  We have probably all said it.

"Look how much money I saved at the store today!"

Isn't it a good thing to save money? Teresa, why don't you like this phrase?

I'm so glad you asked. Yes! Of course, it is a very good thing to save money. And the reason I don't like the phrase, "I saved money at the store today," is because it is a false statement.  A more accurate way to share your enthusiasm regarding the amount of money spent at the store would be,

"Look how much less money I spent at the store today!"

Let me explain. Until the money is actually placed into a savings account of some kind, it is NOT money saved! For example, if you have a $100 per week food budget, and this week you find a lot of really great bargains so you only spend $85 on food for the week. What happens to the extra $15? If it gets moved to another spending account (household, entertainment, whatever) or if you just nickel and dime it away, you did not save $15, but you did spend $15 less on your groceries.  On the other hand, if you take the $15 difference and place it in a savings account, retirement account, under you mattress, etc, you have indeed saved $15.

See? Money saved versus less money spent.

Speaking of spending less money on groceries, here is a recipe for Southwest Pasta that cost me only $0.95 per serving! And, while it is inexpensive to make, it is really big on flavor and my family loves it!

Southwest Pasta
8 oz. whole wheat penne
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 can black beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
salt to taste
1-3 tablespoons of adobo sauce*
1 avocado
cilantro for garnish

Heat a pot of salted water to boiling and add pasta. While pasta cooks, heat oil in skillet then add onion to sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, beans, and corn to skillet and cook until heated through. (5-10 minutes).

Garnish with avocado and cilantro. You can shred a bit of cheese on top or even add a bit of salsa or hot sauce. Also, feel free to use whatever style of pasta you like. As you can see in the above picture, I do not always use penne, myself.

This makes 4 large servings at 455 calories per serving.

*The adobo sauce could be left out, but it adds a wonderful smoky heat. Use as little or as much as you like and feel free to chop up a chipotle or two in this as well!

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