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Have you heard the one about the homeschooling family that lives on less than $22K a year in an area that costs above 100% (116%) of the National CoL Index?

I haven't quite figured out why so many people still persist in perpetuating the myth that living on a single income and homeschooling on a dime aren't possible. I can only suppose these are people who can't imagine life without a daily trip to Starbucks and dinner out several times a week. The people who actually shop at malls (*shudder*) and think "Brand Name = Best". The people who really live by the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

That? Would not be us!

Welcome to our world. We cook from scratch. Buy from thrift stores. Find 95% of our homeschool materials for free. This is my blog and this is how we do it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How I shop, Side Bar.

I wanted to talk more about purchases other than meat at the grocery store, when I remembered that I only casually mentioned bread thrift stores somewhere and I thought I'd better go into a little detail about that before I continue with the rest of the shopping posts, or I'm likely to forget about it altogether. (More in full post.)

We live within about 20 minutes drive from two bread thrift stores. One of them, on Wednesdays, has .65 cents for everything in the store, including the "nice" bread - meaning the whole grains and multi-grains and breads that are *not* Wonderbread. Well, they have that, too, but we don't buy it. Once every two months, we go to the thrift store and buy 8 loaves of bread. This costs a little under five and a half dollars. Because we buy at least $5 worth, we are also allowed to select something off the "free" rack. From there we will get something like hoagie rolls (for meatball sandwiches - yum!) or tortillas or occasionally we'll choose the dinner rolls. As I've mentioned before, I bake everything else. Muffins, cakes, sweet breads, biscuits, and so on. It may very well be that I could purchase all the ingredients to bake multi-grain bread at home cheaper than the thrift store, but I'm not entirely sure where I'd work that into my schedule if I did! I decided awhile ago that spending .65 cents a week on bread would fit into our budget. We actually don't eat that many sandwiches, but bread slices are eaten frequently at snack time - toasted and served with apple butter or homemade jam and a glass of milk, or served with peanut butter, fresh fruit, and some lemonade. I will also sometimes, at the request of my children, make a batch of French toast.

We freeze all but one loaf of the bread when we bring it home. I keep stackable baking racks on my counter all the time. On any given day you will find (in baggies) some muffins, cookies and possibly dinner rolls on the lower rack, and on the upper rack sits the loaf of bread. When one runs out, I pull another from the freezer. They seem to thaw just fine in this way, sitting on the rack; we never have "mushy" bread.

I wanted to mention all this so that later when I've finished my actual shopping posts and then break down a shopping trip by posting everything I've bought and how much it cost, you won't be confused by the lack of bread/grains.

Oh, and because I mentioned lemonade, here's my recipe:

1 1/2 cups sugar (Increase by 1/4 cup if you like more sweet, less tart.)
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice - fresh squeezed.

In a saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled (about 4 hours). Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 7 cups water.

Generally, it takes me about 6 lemons to get the 1 1/2 cups juice. Every so often I'll find lemons on sale for 10 for a $1.00.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazingly I found you while I was on blogger and your site popped up as one that was updated. I am really glad I saw that and am glad to visit your site. I am very much into frugal living (have been all my life) but even moreso at the moment. I am looking forward to more of your great posts. You are very wise. Thanks so much.

Sincerely, Mrs. L

June 12, 2007 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger Just Me, Jenni said...

Aw. Thank you! :)

June 20, 2007 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Lylah said...

great site! keep up the good work! lylah

November 15, 2007 at 1:54 PM  

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