Frugalista: I Love You, Waldo the Bread Machine

I got my bread machine many, many years ago.  I think I had visions of making my own bread weekly at that point, but it baked down to a couple loaves made with a pre-boxed mix and a from-scratch loaf that didn’t rise.  Yet I lovingly kept a hold of the blasted thing – complete with its “Meat’s no treat for those you eat” sticker from my vegetarian phase (and yes, for me it was just a phase).

However, skip ahead about five years and add another vegetarian (the ovo-lacto apple of my eye) to the mix.  Add a heaping helping of an unemployment check along with a part-time job in the mix.  What do you get?  Two twenty-somethings that have to learn about frugality.  And fast. 

Enter back into my life the bread machine!  He’s been named Waldo, and apparently he likes that name because he has spit out an amazing array of dough and breads in the last seventy-two hours.  Therefore, Waldo and I have developed a love affair.  I love Waldo.  Not only is he feeding me, but he’s saving me money by doing so.  And yes, I name just about everything I own.  Weird quirk, I guess.

Doing a little research, I figured out an estimate on how much I’m saving this week by making my own baked goods.  We used to buy the really expensive bread products; good bread is something I developed a taste for, too.

Loaf of Whole Wheat Bread:  $2-3
Pita – $2
Hamburger Buns – $1.50+

Therefore, I’ve saved around $6.50.  This is good this month, because our energy bill was higher by about $13.  I also pay the energy bill.  Groceries and energy are my two financial responsibilities in this relationship, which is actually a pretty sweet deal.

Never mind the fact that thickly sliced homemade bread is just heaven on a turkey and Swiss sandwich.  Pita is delicious with Roma tomatoes and homemade hummus.  And Mr. NaW has stopped complaining about how much he dislikes hamburger buns.   It’s also saving me about $20 a week by not eating in the food court at the mall – Food which for the most part doesn’t good taste and heaven knows it’s not good for me (Hello size 22 pants.  Goodbye size 16.  Yikes!).

You know what I’ve discovered?  Frugal living is exciting!  It’s fun making things and mixing up concoctions.  It’s fun saving up money and actually being able to put back into a savings account for emergencies – Well, it’s fun watching the savings account grow at least.  It’s pretty fun to spend money too, lol. 

Now if I could just get Mr. NaW switched off of his $4 cereal and $5 fake meat habit, life would be great.  I’m starting to experiment with making my own bean burgers, so hopefully he’ll like those better.  I’m not sure there’s anything I can do about the cereal other than stock up when it goes on sale.  We eat Multi-Grain Cheerios, and I like the comfort of all our vitamins being shoved into one serving of cereal a day.  Though I just realized I can mix it with cheaper cereal and keep our double serving!  Ah ha!

So tell me…  What do you do to save money?  I’m hooked.

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4 thoughts on “Frugalista: I Love You, Waldo the Bread Machine

  1. My bread maker is in use everyday, too. I make dough and then transfer it to regular bread pans for bread. I don't like the shape of the pan in the bread maker I have, and that STUPID HOLE IN THE MIDDLE FROM THE PADDLE makes me neurotic. I also make doughs for dinner rolls, sandwich rolls, buns, you name it. It's soo much cheaper to make homemade bread products. I also save money by not buying any pre packaged dinners. Nothing like boxed mac n cheese or anything. I make absolutely everything from scratch. I've lost 10 pounds and have actually learned to cook. 🙂

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  2. Trick I use on my children: buy the generic cereal and fill up his Cheerios box. Not even kidding.I got this one from one of my frugal friends, if you can get Andy to go along with it: have one day a week where you purchase nothing. No lunches, no coffees, no groceries. It's actually harder than it sounds at first, but it's fun to come up with ways to get around those weird things that pop up.Homemade bread is the best stuff ever! And creating it, is, I think, a little addictive.

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  3. I am a big one for mixing in cheap stuff with expensive stuff. Cereal is one. Milk is another. When the gallon of milk is about half empty (or is it half full? LOL!) I mix in powdered milk mixed with the appropriate amount of water. Do this late at night so it has all night to chill (as I find powdered milk not very appealing unless it has been well chilled. No one will notice the difference (that is, of course, if you drink milk!).Another thing I like to do is make really cheap soups. I grab whatever veggies are on sale. I always keep a bag of frozen mixed veggies in the freezer, too. I stock up on diced tomatoes with chili peppers in them (they often are pretty cheap), cans of soup stock/broth (I like chicken, but veggie stock would work, too). So I throw the stock and diced tomatoes into a pot, add as many veggies as possible. Then I grab whatever is in my cupboard – beans, lentels, rice or barley (I LOVE barley!), or even pasta and throw THOSE into the soup…bring it to a boil, boil about 10 mins, then simmer another 10 mins or so and voila! Easy, cheap, yummy.Ok, now just how frugal do you want to go? I've discovered that using a dish rag for potty trips (#1) can save on tp, and wet wipes (baby wipes these days are made thinner and easier for septic systems to handle) for #2 (they seem expensive, but when you figure you use only 1 instead of a whole heap of tp, it's actually a good deal). When your dish rag needs it (once or twice a week), throw it into the tub when you shower and let it get washed, wring it out hang it up to dry and use another one while it's drying. Repeat. Saves tons of tp, especially for women who tend to use the toilet more often then men and who need a drying off after #1.my brain is tired, so this is all I've got for the moment 🙂

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