If you follow my advice in an earlier post and monitor where every dollar you spend goes of a period of 2 to 4 weeks, then you may begin to notice a pattern with some of your smaller purchases. Many Soldiers I know go to the local shoppette multiple times a day and buy energy drinks and snacks. Spending $5 to $10 a visit, two to three visits a day adds up to about $50 to $150 a week and $200 to $600 a month spent on drinks and snacks.
1. Find a pattern.
Identify those items you buy regularly and make it a goal to stop visiting the shoppette altogether buy bringing those items from home.
2. Is there an alternative?
The shoppette may be limited to the products available, so think about if there are any alternatives you would prefer if the shoppette sold them. Think about price, for example, many people buy Red Bulls at about $2.50 each. I recently switched the V8 energy drinks that offer about the same amount of energy and are non-carbonated juice that come in a few different flavors and offer up a daily dose of fruits and vegetables in each serving. These are sold in packs of 6 for about $3.50 or roughly $.60 a can.
3. Buy in bulk.
Once you have decided on what you need daily to get by, then make an effort to purchase a month's supply from a whole foods store like Sam's Club or Costco. Then just remember to bring it with you to work. I buy a few cases of V8 and keep them in my truck so I always have them. I also buy a case of water and keep in my truck as well.