Blue Ocean Shift In My Spending 1

Think about the last time you score a financial win. What was the key that made the win possible? Was it a sale, a clearance? A downgrade of your standard? Or your perspective shifted?

For the longest time, I had to choose between a cup of RM13 artisan coffee or an RM2.5 tin coffee. Survey says millennials spend more on coffee than retirement and I want to prove that wrong. Oh yes, I crave for the better coffee but sometimes I let my wallet win and choose the tin. It was later that I realized I need not buy a coffee machine to brew good coffee, I only needed a good instant espresso powder. I bought a good instant espresso and use a kettle belongs to my mom to boil the water. Now, my coffee that tastes better and cost less than RM1 a cup. I shifted from buying water to adding water.

The blue ocean shift advocate businesses to look for the third alternative option for product pricing. Usually from an under-served marketplace. What amazes me is that when you study the frugal people who nail it in their expenses and keep their spending below inflation - they had adopted this mindset forever. In fact, its inbuilt in them.

The first shift: Mix what you can.

When I first look for cooking spices, I shop at wholefood stores where chef secret spice blend and household brands are on the shelves. It's where I do my grocery shopping and I compare the price, quality, weight, expiry date, etc. They cost about RM20 for a gourmet mix, RM12 for imported brand names, and RM6 for local bottled. So, I was planning on getting that prized kitchen pantry until... I found that you could buy most of the spices in loose packaging for RM2-3 inside a hypermarket. Then, if you walk into a wet market, you get can the same amount of spices in cheap plastic for RM1.

I look for what I knew and it would cost me RM300 to fill a 20-bottle spice rack. I shift the packaging mindset and I am filling a 20-bottle spice rack with my blend of herbs for RM30+.

It would take a lot of effort to source good coffee bean, roast to perfection and brew at the right water pressure; It would take a lot of effort to plant raw seeds, harvest and grind the spices into powder. But pouring hot water and mixing spices powder in a mason jar? That’s something me and you can do.

End of part 1. Here's part 2.