You see it is not necessary to pay the high prices at grocery stores to get great food. I want to show you a secret to getting the wholesale price.
I was a meat department manager for a well-known grocery chain for a number of years. Not only will I show you how to get a great steak for less than the price of hamburger I will show you just how easy it is to cut your own steak. All you need is a good sharp knife, cutting board and freezer bags.
Oh and watch the video I made for you on how to do it that I attached below.
By the way, I even put some great tips on how to prepare meals with it as a bonus. I also spent over a decade in the restaurant industry as well. This is all about self reliance. There is lots more where that came from so be sure to subscribe and please leave a comment if you liked this post.
How does your daily cost of living look? Why does it matter anyway?
The main reason to know what the daily cost of living is to beat it or hack it. Cost of living is a reference point for establishing a standard of living. The standard of living is a reference point for our quality of life. Let’s take a look.
First we need a frame of reference.
For our reference, we will use the good ole USA first let’s establish that this is a median cost of living for 2015. Source is The Economic Policy Institute Burea of Labor Statistics, American Community Survey and United States Department of Labor. To further break this down let’s profile three households. Single,couple and family of four.
The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a single adult with no children is $2,371. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $28,458. That breaks down to $79.96 per day.
The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a married couple with no children is $3,304. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $39,649.That breaks down to $108.62 per day and $54.31 per person per day.
The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a married couple with two children is $5,466. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $65,597.This is $179.71 per day or $44.92 per person.
So what are the median cost?
Let’s break it down a little farther. Here are the categories. Child care, food, healthcare, housing, other necessities, taxes and transportation. So what are the median monthly costs in these categories for each household?
Single person: Childcare $0 Food $271 healthcare $273 housing $560 other necessities $401 taxes $372 and transportation $493.
Couple: Childcare $0 food $496 healthcare $546 housing $643 other necessities $550 taxes $434 and transportation $633.
Family of four: Childcare $1025 food $781 healthcare $832 housing $817 other necessities $772 taxes $600 and transportation $638.
How does the median wage fit into the overall income scale?
Upper Middle Class
Approximately 25.2% of the United States’ population lives in a upper middle class household or a household with an annual income between $75,000 and $150,000.
Right here median is 17.8% of Americans living in a household earning between $50,000 and $74.999
Lower Middle Class
The second most common household income level is lower middle class with approximately 23.7% of Americans living in a household earning an annual income between $25,000 and $50,000.
Whew! Ok still with me?
This is where it gets really interesting. How we all perceive this information. First off Median is the middle. That means about half of people are above this index and half are below it. Here is where perception comes in. We have cost of living and standard of living. But what about Quality of life?
Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies outlining negative and positive features of life. It observes life satisfaction including everything from physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, religious beliefs, free time, finance and the environment. QOL has a wide range of contexts including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. It is important not to mix up the concept of QOL with a more recent growing area of health-related QOL (HRQOL). An assessment of HRQOL is effectively an evaluation of QOL and its relationship with health.
Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income.
So here is where the hack comes in.
If you want to beat the average cost of living the way to do it is to find the crossover point between cost of living and quality of living. Find where your lowest cost of living is in relation to your quality of life. Generally speaking we can look at it as daily cost of living. We can compare finances to a point but only you can determine if you are happy with your life and what it costs to maintain it.
To determine your Cost Of Quality Of Life or (coqol) examine each of the levels of satisfaction in these categories physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, religious beliefs, free time, finance and the environment you live in. You can lower your cost in each area until you are at the crossover point where spending more will not increase the quality of your experience.
Remember this is very individual. This process is a journey. Enjoy it.
We didn’t believe it either. We checked the numbers and it’s true.
After deciding to sell our home of almost 20 years in 2014 it finally sold in May of 2015 and in an instant we were mortgage free for life! We chose to never have a mortgage again. So we decided to build a new much smaller home for cash.
Building a home one 5th the size of our former home has some other benefits as well.
One we decided to move to the other side of the state from where we were. The climate is much different here. We don’t need air conditioning because this climate is much milder in the summer. It is also much milder in the winter which means less heating as well. So our utilities are a fraction of what we used to pay. As a bonus, we will be heating with wood, driftwood to be precise that we collect from the beach just down the path.
Currently we pay about one 10th of the utilities we were paying before because of the size of the house and the cold winters we had. Our property taxes are only a 4th of what we used to pay and the cost of insurance is one-third.
We are really enjoying our new lifestyle and the extremely low new cost of living that comes with it. As a result, we work less and have much more free time to explore our new beach community. As a side note we drive a lot less and our fuel cost and vehicles maintenance are greatly reduced. We even get a lower rate on our car insurance from where we used to live.
Our new home is much closer proximity to shopping than before so we save time and money usually going twice a month to Costco and Cash n Carry. They are much less expensive for groceries than regular retail grocery stores.
As we go along we continue to find more ways to cut cost like discontinuing our cable T.V. in favor of Netflix $70.00 savings peer month. Another thing is we cut our entertainment cost way back. We eat out less and have only been to a movie theater twice ($50 a pop ) in a year and a half.
We spent more time outside.
Instead of going to the mall (we don’t have one near us) We walk one the beach and hike the park trails. We did invest in some fishing and clamming licenses they give us double benefits. One we get more exercise walking out to the beach. Two we get to eat fresh fish and shellfish (clams and crabs) and freeze the extras for later.
Our house is so small we don’t have room to just buy things so retail therapy is a thing of the past.
Our food waste is way down. We used to have a 25 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer. Food would get lost in it and spoil only to be thrown out. Now our much smaller unit only holds a fraction as much so we tend to buy less and eat more efficiently.
All in all we are really enjoying our new life of less.
What areas in your life have you been able to reduce?
Its been 6 years since we left the 9 to 5 rat race. It seems like a lifetime ago. But I remember what it was like when we first decided to stop the insanity.
NO more commute. It felt strange to get up and not have to leave the house each morning. Our fuel bill went way down. It was quiet and calm each morning at home.
No alarm clock jolting us out of bed and dragging myself to the shower to get me going.
I felt like I was doing something wrong. For so many years I had to go to work. I wondered if I was making a mistake or felt guilty not going to work each day.
I think it took about two years to decompress from the daily grind. I slept a lot. I didn’t realize how sleep deprived I was until I didn’t have to get up everyday.
I had a lot of anxiety. It did not feel right getting to stay home. I wondered if the bubble would burst and I would have to go back to the grind. I felt guilty if I pursued my interest and hobbies like I should be doing more productive things with my time. I think it was kind of a ptsd.
I had to retrain myself to relax and enjoy life without work. It was a blessing to get out at 48 years old. My goal was 50. About two years in I finally got that this was real and it was okay to get up and do whatever I wanted to including doing nothing.
I have been living in an R.V. by the beach now for over a year. We are slowly developing a new lot a five minute walk to the beach and building a small home (576 square feet) debt free.
So what the heck do we do for money?!
Well it is a combination of online income from blogging, DIY products we sell on our other sites, ad revenue, affiliate commissions and coaching/consulting others.
Our cost of living is greatly diminished and dropping more and more. We have no car payments, credit cards or mortgage. Our current expenses are about 2k per month. That will drop by 45% in the next 18 months.
We stay very busy. I don’t know how I had time to work 😉 We are very busy and the days fly by with our projects around the property and online ventures.
We live in paradise. We moved to the coast where the climate is Mediterranean Oceanic. It is a mild climate here cool summers don’t need an air conditioner and warmer winters. More like fall all winter with a few dips to the freezing point. You can listen to the sounds of the surf from the patio and out the window.
The area is a vacation hotspot during the summer with lots of events and fun things to do. The is an outdoor lovers dream. Right out our front door is hiking, biking, camping, hunting, fishing, boating and more.
We really are blessed to live here and be able to have the free time to enjoy it. The whole dream came true when we decided to get out of the rat race.
Hey you just found what your looking for. Tiny houses,Right? No house payments.No mortgage. Cozy simple living, minimalism. Debt freedom,A way out of the rat race.Me to.Thats why I created this blog,To show you a way to get there. We did it! It works,Really 😉
Now were financially independent and building a small (576 square foot) cozy house by the pacific ocean.We found a nice 3/4 acre or so lot a 5 min walk down a private path to the beach.
You probably think it was expensive but you’d be wrong 😉 lots around here start at around $8k.We paid more for ours but we wanted specific things.We can walk to town or ride a bike.
We have privacy.A secret garden in effect.Well water was important as was a gravity septic.The big desire was private beach access.We are close enough to hear the surf in the yard or out the window at night.Enough space to create a food garden landscape on a lot about the size of a football field. This is an area that is quiet,safe and has a great climate year around.
Another great thing is the area is a vacation getaway
. There is always something to do. Events, festivals farmers markets and lots of outdoor activities.
We have been here over a year now and really like it.There is lots to do Finnish the house,get the garden going,landscape the yard and enjoy the process.Getting up every day and getting to do what you are passionate about is a blessing.Some time I go for a walk on the beach or go fishing.Then I work on the house and in the yard.
I usually make myself a cup of coffee first thing then let Rocky our chihuahua out while I check the hen house for eggs.I’ll come back in the R.V. for breakfast.
After that we decide what to do for the day.Well thats all for now I am installing plumbing in the house today so I better get at it ;).
GUERRILLA OFF GRID in 333 and a 1/3 square feet. Are you off grid, on grid or a hybrid? Would you like to be off grid? In some areas you are not allowed to be off grid. So you have to game the system. We were completely off grid this summer while we were waiting to develop our new homesite. If you are prepared for this it works great.
Our cost of living was very low. No power bill. No water bill. No sewer or trash bill. We had solar power with a generator as backup.
Off grid living teaches you to conserve your resources. You have limited access to water, power, heat, ect. We are now partially on grid. We have power but still have off grid water and sewer in the form of a well and septic system. Our power bill is about $40 a month right now during winter. Compared to $150 per month where we used to live.
We have continued to be very conservative of our resources over the last 8 months having learned to use less has been great.
We now live in an area prone to storms that can knock out power for a week or longer so we are prepared and used to living with little or no grid available.
The fact is we don’t want to be dependent on the grid so we have taken measures to minimize our use. Propane or wood for heating, lights and cooking. Water storage and backup power from a generator. Refrigerated perishable food storage at a minimum. We have an 8 cubic foot fridge.
This year we will plant an edible landscape and garden as well as raise a few chickens and rabbits. And finnish our 24×24 ft house.
We harvest free firewood from around us. Summers are cool enough to not need air conditioning. The ocean provides an abundance of food right out our front door. We are plugged into the power grid by law but we use less and less as time goes by. What are your thoughts and plans toward off grid living?