#16 Don’t forget the basics

As news of the recession now being “official” I decided to try and be a little more regular with my money saving tips column.  If you are new to my blog, you can click on the “money saving tips” category on the column to the right and read all of them.

Anyway, back to the point of #16- The basics.  The other day I watched a family on food stamps buy a couple cases of pop, microwave sausage and egg biscuits, corn dogs, Sunny Delight orange drink etc.  They went over the food stamp amount and had to put something back- they chose an expensive cut of meat.  I am not writing today to whine and complain about people receiving hand outs.  My own family has experienced the pain of barely scraping by and I applaud folks who use government assistance to help them get out of the spot their in.  There are many good programs out there to help a family get back on their feet: WIC, Food Stamps, etc.  My point of sharing this story is this:  the family could have afforded the nice cut of meat if they had been a little more careful with what they purchased. 

  1.  Biscuits made from scratch with flour, margarine, baking soda, and sour milk cost pennies in comparison to the already made ones. 
  2. Coffee and Tea cost pennies in comparison to soda. 
  3. Inexpensive hot dogs rolled in homemade cornbread batter cost less than frozen corn dogs. 
  4. Real orange juice purchased in the frozen concentrate form and served at the recommended serving size of 4 oz. may be a little more expensive but it is healthier.  I know some families who dilute the real juice with water or mix it with generic kool-aid to help it stretch and be cheaper than Sunny D. 
  5. Buying a whole smoked ham is an expensive purchase but it is usually less than half the price per pound of buying lunch meat.  Ham can be slow roasted and then frozen in smaller portions to be used for lunch meat at a later time.  The same is true with turkey, roast beef, etc.
  6. Pizza crust made from scratch is mere pennies as well.  So is buying a can of tomato sauce  and seasoning it yourself, instead of already seasoned pizza sauce

My point is, many of the things that we buy because they are “convenient” are costing us a lot of money.  Think of those many things that you buy already prepared or in a box and do some trial and error “cooking” in your kitchen trying to find a simple way to make them from scratch.  Many people think they are not capable of cooking from scratch but the more one tries the better they get.  Truth in point, I make homemade pizza crust nearly every single time we have pizza.  When I first started making it, it took my over 30 min. to get it mixed up and ready to rise.  Now, it takes me 10 min to mix up.  Not much longer than mixing up a mix from a box.

One excellent website to help with this is www.hillbillyhousewife.com

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