|I am so happy we've built up a garden a little at a time!|
Many thanks for those who let me know Michigan sugar is now all grown from Monsanto GMO seeds! I did a little research and found others who preferred to purchase "as local as possible" were not happy about the switch. I had no idea!
This past week I have once again been pondering a Truth I learned from my mother about spending to save. That is... a frugal person knows how to spend wisely, a cheap person just does not spend.
It all started when I was happy to find frozen veggies on Kroger's 10 for $10 sale so $20.00 of my limited grocery budget went to the vegetables. I not only bought frozen spinach, broccoli, peas, and California mix, but I also purchased a few bags of frozen peppers (red, green, and yellow in one bag). This time of year, it far more economical than purchasing them fresh.
As usual, I checked for clearances on the fresh veggies and found a number of items with the familiar orange clearance price. This is the only way I can afford fresh fruit and veggies this time of year. Although the savings did allow me to purchase three good vine ripened tomatoes on sale, too.
Recently I wanted to make a recipe which called for ham but I really didn't want to spend the money on sliced ham and a whole ham was out of my budget. So... I went to the aisle where sliced ham was sold and was pleased to find a Manager's Special on a few packages (near their Use By date) for half price.
I could afford a package of the reduced price sliced ham, which went not only for the recipe but was used in scrambled eggs and as a protein on a salad. It is always worth checking for clearance prices if your grocery store does this, my local Kroger is the best for reducing the price close to and on the Sell Buy date! Produce will have to be used quickly.
A pantry stocked this way is the epitome of being frugal as it usually means we don't have to run to the store for one item at the last minute (using extra gas... and really... how many times do we go to the store for one item and just come home with ONE?). ;)
That's why I know doing can be just as important (and more in some circumstances) than buying. It takes awhile to gain frugal shopping and cooking skills. It took me a long time and I was raised by a very frugal mother!
When both my husband and I worked, it was important that we spend our money on time saved. So when I stopped working outside the home, I had to do a 180 degree turn in thinking and buying... now I had more time and less money. It was not easy.
More and more people these days are needing to develop frugal skills.
I was chatting with my daughter recently about her efforts at reducing their grocery budget while eating healthy. Her husband makes an excellent salary but even then with five children, the increasing cost of food and gas (he commutes over an hour each way to work), and the recent increases in payroll taxes... she has to economize more than ever. They actually had more spending money when my son-in-law was in graduate school.
Of course, a frugal way of thinking expands far outside of the kitchen.
Just recently I stopped by Goodwill and looked through their summer tops. I already knew I needed to replace a few for the upcoming warm weather so I've been perusing that rack in the clothing section.
I hadn't found anything I liked but this time there were two pretty Alfred Dunner short sleeve summer pullovers that were just what I needed. It takes patience to shop this way but it often pays off over time.
When I can't find a needed item at Goodwill or a thrift shop, I do what my mother did when shopping for important clothing items. She hit the end-of-season sales at stores like Macy's (there were no actual Macy's in the Midwest at that time).
Before this season of Forced Simplicity... I always shopped the pre-season and post-season sales at the "stores which sell purple" (a term learned from Anne Ortlund's books for the stores which sell nice clothing) for most of our clothing.
Frugality doesn't mean cheap. When I can't find an item at Goodwill or on sale... as God provides the money I pay... gasp... full price. But by that time I have done my best to save money so there is
I am now in desprate need of new SAS sandals (as a diabetic, the only sandals my former specialist said I could wear) and after searching for a few years, it is looking like full price.
Sigh... a frugal person learns there are times one must spend for quality. A cheap person witholds needed items from themselves and their family.
What does all of this have to do with the pantry?
It gets back to living a Pantry Lifestyle. Which can be very enjoyable. We learn that stocking up is frugal and that doing it ourselves is a good thing when possible. We realize the meal which cost a lot of money at a restaurant can be made at home for a fraction of the cost.
Eating out becomes special again instead of something we do because we are always in a hurry or we have not learned to cook. (Unless circumstances are such that funds budgeted for eating out is purchasing precious family time together... been there.)
We know the joy that homemade bread can bring and that leftovers make great soup. We never cease to be amazed that when one combines butter and sugar and eggs and flour... magic happens.
We know what the Culture today seems to have forgotten... that frugality brings out the creativity we all desire. If we let it...