Author Topic: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...  (Read 2501 times)

mistymoney

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Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« on: July 20, 2019, 09:28:53 AM »
So - I've been working the plan and planing the work.

My one real and easy opportunity to reduce spending quickly was the grocery store/incidental spending, and so far this month I am on track to reduce that spending by about 33%.

But - I've also gained 3-4 pounds since first of the month, despite giving up most of my treats (!) - chocolates, non-dairy ice cream, etc.

I've been having a lot of rice and bean meals, peanut butter as a breakfast staple, and a lot less fruit and salad.

I was not in a position to welcome this added weight! While I would have welcomed a weight loss - my weight was stable and at an acceptable level and I was not actively trying to lose - hence daily desert of pricey treats.

Previously - about half my diet was fruits and salads, and now - that is about 25% of my diet trying to save money. If I ever wanted to lose weight - I would crank up the fruit and salad to about 75% or more of the diet. But - that is going to come with a price tag, and I haven't been in the mood, frankly. So was willing to be ok with acceptable weight levels. Gaining a pound a week is not acceptable!

Not sure where to go with this, any thoughts?

TomTX

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2019, 09:39:59 AM »
Fruits and vegetables aren't that expensive, unless you're buying the pre-cut, pre-bagged stuff.

Around here, bananas are $0.33/lb, green cabbage $0.34/lb, organic carrots $0.78/lb, cucumbers are 3 for $1, you can often get apples or grapes for ~$1/lb, potatoes and sweet potatoes are cheap and nutritious (eat the skin, not too much butter) Et cetera.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2019, 09:42:13 AM »
Can you find a way to get your fruit and salad more inexpensively? There's such a wide range of prices, between expensive out of season perfect produce in the mainstream grocery store versus slightly imperfect in season fruit and produce from discount sources or frozen.

Also if the beans and rice are replacing meat and poultry you're swapping protein for a lot of carbs.

Every person's system is different. Try to find a compromise that saves you money but doesn't cause weight gain.

Steeze

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2019, 09:43:59 AM »
Compare the amount of calories your are eating now compared to before. Adjust caloric intake to previous levels.

mistymoney

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2019, 09:54:39 AM »
Fruits and vegetables aren't that expensive, unless you're buying the pre-cut, pre-bagged stuff.

Around here, bananas are $0.33/lb, green cabbage $0.34/lb, organic carrots $0.78/lb, cucumbers are 3 for $1, you can often get apples or grapes for ~$1/lb, potatoes and sweet potatoes are cheap and nutritious (eat the skin, not too much butter) Et cetera.

produce is significantly more expensive here, unfortunately.

mistymoney

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2019, 09:54:52 AM »
Can you find a way to get your fruit and salad more inexpensively? There's such a wide range of prices, between expensive out of season perfect produce in the mainstream grocery store versus slightly imperfect in season fruit and produce from discount sources or frozen.

Also if the beans and rice are replacing meat and poultry you're swapping protein for a lot of carbs.

Every person's system is different. Try to find a compromise that saves you money but doesn't cause weight gain.

I think this is really key. I maybe needed to change my diet more slowly than with a sudden alteration and see how that went and made small adjustments along the way.....

I guess I really did up my carbs. The beans and rice were replacing mostly nuts and seeds, we only eat meat 2-3x per month.

Ok, back to the drawing board on grocery/meal planning.


TomTX

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2019, 09:59:22 AM »
Can you find a way to get your fruit and salad more inexpensively? There's such a wide range of prices, between expensive out of season perfect produce in the mainstream grocery store versus slightly imperfect in season fruit and produce from discount sources or frozen.

Also if the beans and rice are replacing meat and poultry you're swapping protein for a lot of carbs.

Every person's system is different. Try to find a compromise that saves you money but doesn't cause weight gain.

I think this is really key. I maybe needed to change my diet more slowly than with a sudden alteration and see how that went and made small adjustments along the way.....

I guess I really did up my carbs. The beans and rice were replacing mostly nuts and seeds, we only eat meat 2-3x per month.

Ok, back to the drawing board on grocery/meal planning.

Peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds tend to be the cheap nut/seed choices around here.

Brother Esau

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2019, 10:51:57 AM »
Do you exercise regularly? I find that keeps my weight stable regardless of how my diet may vary.

lhamo

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2019, 11:17:32 AM »
Do you have access to any kind of outdoor space where you can grow stuff yourself?  I spent about $30 on seeds and another $20 or so on tomato starts this season and have already harvested WAAY more than that in lettuce, snap peas, and green onions.  Have tons of basil, cucumbers and tomatoes on the way.  Much of this is being grown in containers on my (large and sunny) deck.

If you like nuts, Costco might be a good investment for you -- their nuts are good quality and decent price per lb.

For fruit, buy whatever is on sale -- this week I got grapes, apples, cherries and strawberries.

For next month, maybe try just cutting the non-healthy food out of your budget/diet and buying the rest of the stuff that you used to buy.  You probably will save at least 10-20% with that change alone.  Then work on switching to planning your meals/diet around whatever is on sale and substituting lower-priced shopping options for high cost items like the nuts.  That will probably save you another 10-15%.

mistymoney

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2019, 12:00:18 PM »
Been thinking about costco!

I think that would be good for us as we tend to have some unusual staples that are not available bulk most places, like sunflower seeds!

lhamo

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2019, 12:05:08 PM »
If you eat a ton of salad their huge packages of romaine hearts are awesome -- under $4 for 5 large heads.  I personally stay away from their salad mixes, though == the dark-leaved stuff in them tends to go slimy before I can finish them.

Costco also has decent prices on nut butters, oils (we get our olive and coconut oil there), olives, cheese, dried fruit, and frozen seafood (the wild caught salmon fillets are a staple for us).

If you know someone with a membership you could ask to tag along on one of their trips to see if it is worth it for you.  YOu can also ask for a refund of the membership fee if you find it isnt your thing.

mistymoney

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2019, 12:12:59 PM »
Do you have access to any kind of outdoor space where you can grow stuff yourself?  I spent about $30 on seeds and another $20 or so on tomato starts this season and have already harvested WAAY more than that in lettuce, snap peas, and green onions.  Have tons of basil, cucumbers and tomatoes on the way.  Much of this is being grown in containers on my (large and sunny) deck.

If you like nuts, Costco might be a good investment for you -- their nuts are good quality and decent price per lb.

For fruit, buy whatever is on sale -- this week I got grapes, apples, cherries and strawberries.

For next month, maybe try just cutting the non-healthy food out of your budget/diet and buying the rest of the stuff that you used to buy.  You probably will save at least 10-20% with that change alone.  Then work on switching to planning your meals/diet around whatever is on sale and substituting lower-priced shopping options for high cost items like the nuts.  That will probably save you another 10-15%.

I didn't do a garden this year, but have in the past. Currently way too hot there, so it may have been a wasted effort if I had, work has been pretty consuming since my promotion, so I didn't get stuff together/couldn't care for much if I had. I do have a few herbs going, might try for a few things when the heat wave is over. Will definitely put this on the agenda for next year for sure.

Have been doing quite a few of the sales for fruit, will try harder for lower cost fruits and veggies going forward.

mistymoney

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2019, 12:14:53 PM »
thanks for the encouragement everyone!

I'm feeling a lot better about this, and I think that I can retain the savings, and get a better healthier balance on the food again.

Will look into costco, and focus more on sales, cut back on the rice and beans.

maybe better to go hungry once in a while than fill up too much on the cheaper stuff....

Candace

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2019, 12:30:35 PM »
There are a lot of good suggestions for cutting the cost of salad and fruit upthread. If you're limited yourself to the same favorites all year, you'll do better by buying what's in season.

If you have ethnic markets or supermarkets, try them for produce. Sometimes they're a lot cheaper than "vanilla" supermarkets.

If you have a Lidl or Aldi, do some comparison shopping. For me, the price difference is profound between Lidl and Kroger/Harris Teeter. Lidl is a lot less expensive than Costco as well, but Costco has more choices and really good quality.

You're doing a great job cutting costs! Sorry you gained weight. I'm sure once you re-adjust your salad and fruit shopping, you'll have both things under control quickly.

insufFIcientfunds

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2019, 01:04:01 PM »
Exercise. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Put on some shoes and start walking.

Luz

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2019, 01:53:40 PM »
I live on a low income but don't skimp on fruit and veggies. I try to get the most economical ones, but I think that  reigning in food costs needs to be in balance with impacts on quality of life. I like eating well and it's good for my health (and like you mention, weight) to have smoothies, salads, veggie-rich entries, etc. So I spend more money in that area. Worth it, IMO.
With that said, you mention ideally having fruits/veggies at 75% of your diet v the current 25%. Could you split the difference and do 50%?

Lichen

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2019, 02:14:41 PM »
It's a simple equation, really -- calories in vs calories out. Carbs, etc, doesn't really matter when it comes to weight loss/gain, only to the feeling of satiety.

Nuts vs beans isn't a huge difference calorie wise. My guess is that the 3 to 4 pounds is water retention/bloat. A common side effect of increasing bean/carb consumption, especially if you've cut back on vegetable fiber to keep things moving. Try upping your water intake to keep everything moving and add something high fiber early in the day (fibrous veggies or oatmeal, for example).

caleb

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2019, 02:29:59 PM »
My thought is that if you're down to cutting out vegetables, your grocery budget is likely close to optimized.  Cutting further is a false economy that's coming at the expense of your health.

My one real and easy opportunity to reduce spending quickly was the grocery store/incidental spending

The quote above reads like you might be a victim of the "coffee fallacy": just because part of your budget is conspicuous and voluntary doesn't mean it's a great place to cut, much less an optimal place.  Don't fall into the trap of coupon clipping (both literally and metaphorically) so that you feel like you're doing something about your finances without first taking a hard look at the big picture.  Even worse, don't sweat the small stuff in order to avoid a larger reckoning with the big line items in your budget.  I don't know that's what you're doing here, but it's a pretty common trap.

Regardless, buy the kale.

use2betrix

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2019, 07:47:16 PM »
Weight is determined by eating too much. You’re having too many calories, there’s really not much more to it.

TomTX

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2019, 01:55:53 AM »
Weight is determined by eating too much. You’re having too many calories, there’s really not much more to it.

Well.... deep calorie cuts can result in long-term metabolic slowing, which makes things even more difficult.

Steeze

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2019, 04:44:24 AM »
Weight is determined by eating too much. You’re having too many calories, there’s really not much more to it.

Well.... deep calorie cuts can result in long-term metabolic slowing, which makes things even more difficult.

“Debt is determined by spending too much. Your spending more than you make, there’s really not much more to it.”

“Well...deep spending cuts can result in long-term deferred maintenance costs, which makes things even more difficult.”

Yes if you have a lot of debt it’s harder to save. And if you try to cut your spending too much then there are long term consequences. Understanding the correct amount of spending you need, tracking it, and cutting out all unnecessary spending is the key. After your spending is under control you can focus on more income. More income without getting the spending under control doesn’t help us generate wealth.

Same-same.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 06:18:24 AM by Steeze »

SwordGuy

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2019, 06:09:24 AM »
Weight is determined by eating too much. You’re having too many calories, there’s really not much more to it.

Well.... deep calorie cuts can result in long-term metabolic slowing, which makes things even more difficult.

“Debt is determined by spending too much. Your spending more than you make, there’s really not much more to it.”

“Well...deep spending cuts can result in long-term differed maintenance costs, which makes things even more difficult.”

Yes if you have a lot of debt it’s harder to save. And if you try to cut your spending too much then there are long term consequences. Understanding the correct amount of spending you need, tracking it, and cutting out all unnecessary spending is the key. After your spending is under control you can focus on more income. More income without getting the spending under control doesn’t help us generate wealth.

Same-same.

deferred maintenance, not differed maintenance.   

slappy

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2019, 11:12:57 AM »
I read somewhere that when trying to lose weight, you should stick to one serving of fruit of day. Even though it's healthy, its still a lot of sugar/carbs. Also peanut butter has a lot of calories/fat, so pay attention to how much of that you are eating. Maybe get a food scale so you have a good idea of exactly how much you are eating. I got one for $10 on amazon and it works fine.

Personally I find the "my budget is high because i have to eat fresh, healthy foods" argument to be obnoxious. (Not that you are saying that at all). People on this thread have mentioned how to eat healthy on a budget. Pay attention to in season fruits/veggies. Buy frozen if necessary. Make sure that most of your plate is veggies. Rice is the one tough thing for me to give up. I'm used to paying 30 cents per pound for rice. It's tough to swallow paying $2 per pound for veggies or some other carb to replace the rice. I've been replacing rice with sweet potatoes for now.

use2betrix

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2019, 01:12:33 PM »
Weight is determined by eating too much. You’re having too many calories, there’s really not much more to it.

Well.... deep calorie cuts can result in long-term metabolic slowing, which makes things even more difficult.

The OP is having PB as a BREAKFAST STAPLE.. PB is one of the most calorie dense foods that exist.. just 2 TBSP is 188 calories.. That’s more than 1 cup of cooked oatmeal.. I also, highly doubt that the OP is just having two measured TBSP.. Most people that eat PB as a staple are probably having 5+ TBSP pretty easily.. 

Thanks for your input but I don’t think that is relevant to this situation here.

PB as a meal (unmeasured I’m sure) is probably about the worst snack/meal for the vast majority of people in terms of calories.

MilesTeg

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2019, 01:23:59 PM »
So - I've been working the plan and planing the work.

My one real and easy opportunity to reduce spending quickly was the grocery store/incidental spending, and so far this month I am on track to reduce that spending by about 33%.

But - I've also gained 3-4 pounds since first of the month, despite giving up most of my treats (!) - chocolates, non-dairy ice cream, etc.

I've been having a lot of rice and bean meals, peanut butter as a breakfast staple, and a lot less fruit and salad.

I was not in a position to welcome this added weight! While I would have welcomed a weight loss - my weight was stable and at an acceptable level and I was not actively trying to lose - hence daily desert of pricey treats.

Previously - about half my diet was fruits and salads, and now - that is about 25% of my diet trying to save money. If I ever wanted to lose weight - I would crank up the fruit and salad to about 75% or more of the diet. But - that is going to come with a price tag, and I haven't been in the mood, frankly. So was willing to be ok with acceptable weight levels. Gaining a pound a week is not acceptable!

Not sure where to go with this, any thoughts?

Don't sacrifice important things like health for frugality - that will almost certainly backfire when you end up with poor health and associated medical bills.

That said, it's possible to be both frugal and eat healthily. Frozen veggies, in season produce, etc. There are probably tons of threads on this forum about how to do it.

TomTX

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Re: Unintended consequences in FI pursuit...
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2019, 02:29:10 AM »
Weight is determined by eating too much. You’re having too many calories, there’s really not much more to it.

Well.... deep calorie cuts can result in long-term metabolic slowing, which makes things even more difficult.

“Debt is determined by spending too much. Your spending more than you make, there’s really not much more to it.”

“Well...deep spending cuts can result in long-term deferred maintenance costs, which makes things even more difficult.”

Yes if you have a lot of debt it’s harder to save. And if you try to cut your spending too much then there are long term consequences. Understanding the correct amount of spending you need, tracking it, and cutting out all unnecessary spending is the key. After your spending is under control you can focus on more income. More income without getting the spending under control doesn’t help us generate wealth.

Same-same.

Sort of.

With the financial analogy, the difficulty is all being caused during the time of debt gain (ie, overeating equivalent).

With the original metabolic slowing argument, the difficulty is caused during the time of calorie deficit (ie, later frugality equivalent)

To make your analogy closer, it would be as if you switched to deep frugality causing your income to drop (maybe taking the bus to work instead of driving made you late all the time and you lost that high paying job)