When school’s in session; we go through milk and bread like there’s no tomorrow. I’m grateful for the local Costco with its bulk groceries. I’m ungrateful for their $300 impulse buy items, but that can be a money-saving tip for another day.
Until then, today’s money-saving tip is brought to you by Costco:
Buy in bulk when it’s cheaper and when you’ll use it.
Besides the cost working out about the same for us, my husband also prefers the taste of the Kirkland milk. I wouldn’t know or care, since I rarely handle plain milk without feeling sick.
We also purchase bread, meats, fruits, frozen vegetables, whole and grated cheese, sliced meat, string cheese, snack foods, and dry goods like vitamins and soap.
Fortunately, we live 15 minutes from that Texas-sized warehouse. If I’m laundry pile-deep in kids and dinner’s on the stove, however, my freezer is much closer than a half hour round trip.
Photo Credit: Henry & Co.
©2019 Chelsea Owens
I’m all about having food on hand. I don’t like frequent store trips or surprises. I’m also big into getting as natural of food as is reasonable.
So, today’s food tip is:
Grow your own food.
If you don’t know this by now, I draw my lines at convenience and comfort. Although all-natural and organic are great ideas, the most organic I go is our backyard garden. Even then, I totally called in our pest guy at The Battle of the Squash Bugs (that epic tale will need to wait till another post).
I also think saving money is important. But when the cost of garden boxes, soil, plants, and special vegetable wash exceed the cost of tomatoes at Sprout’s; I’m not going to waste the effort.
So, start small. Plant one thing that you’ll use in a small bit of land or a pot. Add a watering system the next year. Over the next while; purchase and implement garden boxes, special mix-ins, and more interesting plants.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll even start saving seeds for next season’s plantings.
Garden fresh tastes better and is healthier. It’s also fun for kids, especially if they have one plant that is all their own.
©2019 Chelsea Owens
Today on Surviving on Little Income Because All the Kids Need Dental Work Except One and the Water Heater Went Out and We Had to Replace It…
My super thrifty food tip involving concentrated orange juice.
Water juice down a bit.
When we’re living the high life right after tax returns; I purchase all natural, fresh-squeezed orange juice like a millionaire. At other times, concentrated juice or even Kool-Aid are our go-to.
You can stretch your buck juuuuuust a bit further if you add a bit more water than it says to. How much so depends on your ability to withstand what you mix.
Of course, you can always go cheaper and add food coloring to water. I’m sure they’ll never know the difference.
We’ve hit our bi-annual Family Depression early this year, perhaps due to the combined costs of a surprise pregnancy and the final failing of our faulty water heater. I’d say to let the latter rest in peace, but honestly wanted the plumber to leave it behind so we could axe it in pieces.
At these times I start seriously considering rice and beans for dinners. I start examining the dryer lint and dropped hairs for re-use projects. I snap at the kids for running the water, the bathroom fan, their legs, and the lights.
Candles might be good…
This also means that any summer plans start involving internet searches for free events. I love free concerts, free splash pads, and free movies in the park. “Kids eat free” is another great one, though adding “…with paying adult” limits those of us who are not living polygamist lives.
And I know hosting such money-less ventures is messy. When kids are involved, things get noisy and broken. Weird problems arise, like a rubber life-sized Transformers doll stuck in the drainage pipe.
Which is why I am grateful for those companies and public facilities that run them. I am.
Someday, long after they’ve retrieved the Transformer and cleaned up all the wrappers, I’ll return with a more mature crew. Maybe when the city is voting on increased funding for public parks I’ll recall how great the parks we went to were. I will definitely eat at restaurants that catered to us and were nice, and stay away from those that were not.
Even today, I leave an extra tip after my children leave behind a whirlwind.
So thanks, businesses and peoples. From one poor, grateful parent; your efforts mean a lot.
©2019 Chelsea Owens
Cooking does not have to be that complicated, especially with the prevalence of so many frozen and pre-made options.
My tip today, however, is to not be afraid of making basic meals.
Don’t fear cooking!
There are a ton of easy meals that don’t take a lot of time, ingredients, or money to make. From the Poor Man’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich to French Bread Pizza to all the quick meals I listed on this very site, you have more than the drive thru to choose from come dinnertime.
You can do it. I promise.