This is a great story that you can add to your money saving toolbox. It’s one of my favorite money saving stories of all time. I was a painting contractor at the time I took advantage of this opportunity.
I lived in Atascadero, California and I played billiards at the local pool hall. The owner of the pool hall and I were good friends and he felt comfortable saying anything to me. He wasn’t afraid to tell me what was on his mind and I like when people are up front with me.
One day, I discovered some grapes growing outside of his pool hall along the creek. The vines were growing all through the trees and the grapes were mighty tasty. I waited until they were ripe and one day during my lunch hour, I went over with three five-gallon buckets and a plan to fill them full.
It took me about an hour to fill all three buckets and just as I was about to load them onto my truck, there was Dave, the owner of the pool hall. I could tell he thought I was out of my mind as he walked up to me with that chuckling grin and asked what I was doing. His next quick witted sarcastic comment, before I could even open my mouth, was about how most everyone would go to the grocery store to buy grapes. He then called me a weird duck, but in a kidding, friendly way.
I’m really glad he was able to speak his mind, because it allowed me to tell him my thought process about why I was picking the grapes. He could have kept his mouth shut back then, gone and told everyone about how odd he thought I was for picking the grapes, but then he may have lost out on a good opportunity to hear about my logical money saving plan.
I said to Dave, “Think about it like this Dave, grapes in the grocery store cost about $1.49 a pound and I have about 10 to 15 pounds of grapes per five gallon bucket. If you do the math times three full buckets, that’s a minimum of 30 pounds of grapes times $1.49 a pound, which equals $49 or more at the grocery store. It only took me about an hour to pick the grapes. I not only saved $49 or more, but I had fun picking them while enjoying the sunshiny outdoors during my lunch hour.”
I went on to tell Dave that I was going to squeeze the grapes that night and freeze the juice and enjoy the slushy healthy treats throughout the next couple months. I said to him, “Now, you do the math and tell me if you think I’m a weird duck.” His reply was, “You know, you’re right David! I never thought about it like that.”
I’m not afraid to do what I think is necessary in order to save some money, even if there will be a risk of embarrassment because of the people who are too proud to go the extra mile for fear of what other people might think. You can’t get ahead playing it safe all the time or worrying about what other people think.
I saw an opportunity to save money picking the grapes and I took advantage of it. The grapes were growing wild on city property and they were free for the taking. They might have shriveled up and died anyway, had I not seen them as a gift from God.
Saving money is sometimes about your perception of the situation at hand. If you are not saving money, it could be that you need to change your point of view and be more open-minded.
Speaking of changing your point of view about money, I have several money saving books that will help you get a new perspective about saving money so that you an save a lot more of it. You can learn about my money saving books by reading my about page in the link above in the main navigation bar.