I just picked this book up from the library and am now reading it like crazy. The idea is to feed a couple or family on $10 per person per week. I’m already a bit irritated because at the beginning of the book she mentions that they have a homestead were their meat, eggs, milk, fruit, and vegetables come from. Hello, if you are getting all that from the homestead…yes, you can have a tiny budget easily. So, inquiring minds want to know!
I’m going to devote myself to reading this book fully because it has been referred to as addicting and I like that. I love books about frugalism that you just can’t put down. Am I a dull frugal nerd? Possible. Oh well. Saving money is exciting because then you can do big things with big savings, like buy property.
She does a lot of shopping from Walmart and for some, this is the only superstore near them with decent prices. Not everyone has a WinCo, which is the ultimate saver and employee-owned, which I like.
I love any and all tips from the wise frugalistas, however, I do take the advice and tips and create my own program.
Take Dining On A Dime, I’m loving that book. It already has flour and oil on the pages and dog eared sections. It is being used fully. But now we are going organic. Who cares, we just use the recipes and switch things out from whatever brand to organic brands, regular oils to coconut oils, sugar to honey or coconut sugar…
We are saving like champs over here and partly that is due to not spending. I do splurge now and then, but I find that even a few inexpensive lunches out and you have a deficit. I enjoy thrifting and my pupils dilate when I spot a hearty garage sale. I love having lunch out with my sons, I love searching on these newly discovered sites called ThredUp and Poshmark where you get very high-end clothing for cheap discounts because they are used.
The best way to save, the biggest tip I have for myself and all of you…don’t spend, don’t go out unless it’s to a free park. Don’t look for new dresses on ThredUp. Don’t even watch those dang commercials of the flame-broiled burger or the cheese oozing off the pizza or the Wayfair.com commercials with that jingle that is playing in my head right this minute as I type!
I had a neighbor that jokingly said she was a commercial cleaner. She would clean during commercials while watching TV. It saves you some cravings and desires for items you don’t really need.
Now, as for the $10 per person per week. I have no milk cow and I gave my hens away. I do have two kitchen gardens and 20 fruit and nut trees and table grape vines. I will, if all goes according to plan (never does), have abundant baskets of free organic produce. I also have canning equipment and some experience, very little albeit, but I have high hopes to can a winter’s worth of spaghetti sauce and jelly. I suppose if we are being mostly plant-based this will work out great. We also have almond trees and someday I may collect enough to make some almond milk. But trees take time to produce. Gardens take time to master.
Now, some tips I am enjoying from this book so far are the idea that you want to create and build a pantry that is like your own home store. This is an idea shared by many homemakers. There are tips in Bethany’s book about how to store food and how long things last. This is so important. You don’t want to order too much wheat flour and have it go rancid on you.
She also talks about starting with a higher budget and trying to save each time. There is the envelope system we all know and then she has an extra envelope for “bulk foods” and another envelope I can’t remember or find right now as I skim this book. Drat.
I’m working toward this organic health food eating. It could be expensive but I’ve heard some positive feedback from other women who say they feed their families all organic food, products, and even cleaning solutions for very little.
How do they do this? How will we do this?
Hunting and scavenging I suppose. I’ll be putting in my first order with Azure Standard today. It is a large order but it will fill my pantry and begin my journey to restocking it to full capacity so that I have a “store” in my kitchen that I can shop from to do everything from whip up a cake, put together a casserole, or mix a mopping solution, even make playdough for a rainy day, and a face mask to bring back the glow.
To get quality and some savings you would shop at Azurestandard.com, Thrive.com, and Brandless.com. Forage at Dollar stores, Grocery Outlets, Winco’s, and Aldi’s. You’ll have to shop around to find the deals. Also, look into CSA’s. These are boxes of seasonal produce from local farms. Farmers Markets can save money, but sometimes I find the prices to be about the same as a health food store.
Here is another point Bethany brings up; sometimes boxed or premade is cheaper than scratch. This is true. Overall, I’ve found the more I cook from scratch, the smaller my grocery bills get and the less often I shop. However, there are some foods that are so much cheaper to buy canned or boxed. Mac and cheese is an example. Even after adding some butter and milk the cost is many dollars less than if I made it from scratch.
Ah, but when you get used to fresh ingredients and scratch cooking, it is hard to appreciate the packaged foods. You become a food snob wanting the quality ingredients.
Making your own cleaning products is much cheaper since you only need vinegar and some dish soap for most cleaners. Beauty can be cheap too. I use Ivory soap and cornmeal as an exfoliant and coconut oil for face and body.
Good luck on your journey and remember some good books to get started: The Complete Tightwad Gazette, this book The Housewife’s Guide to Frugal Food, Dining On A Dime, and Good and Cheap (that one was created for food stamp budgets).
You can be healthy and eat well on a budget. It’s a game and can be fun once you master it. I find we have such good meals, even if it is sometimes a couple boxes of mac and cheese with a bag of frozen vegetables. The trick is to saute and the ample use of onions and garlic. I am often disappointed when we go out to eat because the food tastes old and reheated. We are spoiled.