What You Can Do Without (at the grocery store)

I think the recession is squeezing everyone. If not literally, then emotionally. People are not spending so much money; they are nervous with the economy. Me too. Here is what I cut out of my grocery list:

1st week: breakfast cereal
The breakfast cereal got cut, to my kids’ dismay. I would rather feed them oatmeal or homemade whole wheat pancakes for breakfast, but there are mornings when a quick bowl of cereal is what my college-going daughter Emily would love to grab. But, because there is no cereal, she is eating homemade pancakes, oatmeal or homemade bread instead. When you consider that a big box of cereal (16 oz.) usually costs anywhere from $2.50 to $3.97, that is a pricey purchase. At up to $4 a pound, you could spend your money much more wisely.

Next:  bye-bye to store-bought bread
I have a favorite type of whole grain homemade-looking bread that I buy every week at the grocery store. As I was loading up my shopping cart with 5 loaves of it, at $3.50 (to $5 per loaf, depending on if it had seeds in it or not), I stopped and did some math. I could spend $25 just for bread each week! I came home without bread and thought of every way I could skip on sliced bread until I got around to baking some. We had pancakes, muffins, scones, breadsticks, biscuits, and coffee cake—and it was great! It doesn’t take that long to mix up pancakes, and they are cheap if you make them from your own freshly ground flour. I started baking bread again, and my recipe makes 5 loaves—a week’s worth—for not much effort. (I have a Wonder Mill wheat grinder and a bread mixer that I absolutely love.) The bread is so delicious too! And I am using my stored wheat—that feels good too.

Now I am cutting out salad dressing
I read that by the time you use the salad dressing sitting on the shelf in the grocery store, the oil has already gone rancid, but is masked by spices and flavorings. I hope that is not the case, but even so, you will be surprised at how much fresher and more delicious homemade salad dressing tastes. And it actually does take only about 5 minutes to mix up a big batch of it that will last all month in your fridge, where the oil will stay fresh and healthy. Just a quick blend of olive oil, good vinegar and salt and pepper tastes great on salad. That’s how they do it in France, so you’ll be gourmet!  Try these tasty recipes!

We have become accustomed to convenience, but it’s pretty amazing how much we can trim if we need to.  Give it a try!

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