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This week: awkward money moments, how to stay on budget, how pot smoking affects life insurance and the changing grocery landscape.

1. How Millennials Are Changing the Grocery Store

[Credit.com] “Next time you run to the grocery store for bread and milk, you might find yourself staying for a champagne tasting. Or seduced by Comice Pears. Or perhaps you’ll just stay home and cook the elicoidali pasta and mascarpone cheese from your Blue Apron box.”

The idea behind this post is that the grocery store is getting fancier because young people are getting more discriminating, more demanding and, thanks to technology, there are more options available to feed them.

I’m not sure if it’s demand from young people or simply expanding choices, but things are changing when it comes to food. For instance, just one company, Blue Apron, says they’re now delivering more than 8 million meals in a box monthly. Check out the story for more details, and check out our story to find out how our writer liked it.

2. How to Avoid the Grocery Store for a Month

[The Dollar Stretcher] “The idea of a pantry challenge is to eliminate or greatly reduce your grocery shopping for a specified amount of time by utilizing the food you already have on hand. It’s a great way to free up some cash while cleaning out those cupboards. You’ll be amazed how much money you’ll save and just how much food you already have without even setting foot in the grocery store!”

Sticking with the grocery theme, this post is about ignoring the store entirely and eating only what you have on hand. It explains the rules of a pantry challenge, how to get started and also offers resources, like links to recipe sites, that can help make your challenge a success.

Not something I would do, but I guess it’s a way to save a few bucks while stretching both your imagination and culinary skills.

3. Pot Smoking May Not Be a Deal Breaker for Life Insurers

[Money] “How often recreational users smoke pot is a key question for life insurers. At Prudential, for example, people can get high as often as three times a week and still qualify for nonsmoking rates. Someone who admits to smoking four to six times per week would have to pay a bit more, while anyone who uses marijuana daily wouldn’t be offered a policy, said Thomas Farrell, vice president of life underwriting at Prudential’s individual life insurance business.”

How smoking pot might affect life insurance rates is something that’s never crossed my mind, but if it’s crossed yours, here’s your article.

4. My Simple Trick for Always Staying on Budget

[Debt.com] “We kept trying everything we could think of to keep us staying on budget. I was clipping more coupons. Both of us changed our shopping habits (or so I thought). However, it didn’t matter. I was coming up short. Every. Single. Month.”

So, what’s the simple trick? Although it sounds odd, it’s to over-budget for things rather than try to under-budget for them. In other words, if you’re spending $250 monthly on food, rather than trying to trim the expense to $200 monthly, increase your budget to $300. The idea is that by not feeling deprived, you’ll develop a better attitude and come out ahead in the end.

Sound odd? I thought so, but read the article for yourself and see if you’re convinced.

5. 10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone

[Wise Bread] “Most of us don’t like to talk about money, because when we talk about money, things get awkward. But it’s not just the talking part that ruffles our feathers. Sometimes just being in a situation that relies on money can make us uncomfortable.”

Can you think of situations where money makes things weird? This article names a bunch, including asking for your first raise, realizing you’ve forgotten your wallet when the check arrives, having a credit card turned down, and having to ask your parents for money when you’re an adult. It also includes ways to avoid these kinds of situations, which basically boils down to managing your money more effectively.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page!

Stacy Johnson

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