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.