That's right, the Practical, Frugal, Clever Mom is back. Over the weekend I read some pages from a "Frugality Journal" I kept for a few years. The entries inspired me to get back to basics and post some of the little things I do to be frugal.
Today I baked bread, five loaves of basic white bread. The kitchen smells lovely and my boys will arrive home to their favorite fragrance!
At the beginning of October I set a goal to bake ALL my bread. I made it all the way to the week of Thanksgiving and events overtook my good intentions. Still I made it through almost two whole months without buying a single loaf of bread, or other baked good. It freed up enough money to bulk buy some other things my pantry was lacking. The practice of making what we use rather than buying, will consistently free up money that can be put to other uses.
There are some caveats. I read on another blog about making her own lip balm for 12 cents a tube. Which sounds fabulous except she had to spend about $60 to make the first dozen tubes and she has enough ingredients left to make dozens more. So, unless she plans to sell the tubes, she's not saving any money, and it's possible that the leftover ingredients will spoil before they can be used up. Perhaps for her there are other uses for the leftovers and it won't be wasted. However, that is not a way I'd look at to save money.
Saving money means (to me) spending less (or nothing) on something I normally and regularly use, including gifts or materials to make gifts. Example: bread making. Last summer, while in Utah, I bought two hundred pounds of unbleached flour in 25 lb. bags for $10.45 each. That saved me a lot of money. It works out to $.418 per pound. When flour goes on sale here it is cheaper than that, but it comes in tiny five pound bags and there is usually a limit of 2 bags. That doesn't help me much as it is 30 miles to the grocery store so I can't go everyday and keep buying. Plus there is all the packaging to deal with. I like big bags!
I've been pondering how I will be able to restock. I can't justify driving a thousand miles to Utah for a couple hundred pounds of flour, although visiting family and friends would be wonderful too. Answers come to those who ponder! I was reading a book called Money Secrets of the Amish in which the author talks about the bulk buying habits of the Amish. Ding! There is an Amish community in south-central Iowa that I could easily drive to twice a year to stock up!
Oh, that bread smells good! I think it's time for a piece with a little butter and honey.