Over the last couple of years after becoming Dave-Ramsey-budget-abiders I had really been on the lookout of ways to cut back on grocery spending. By experimenting with less expensive alternatives and adapting new habits in all aspects of food and drink consumption, we were able to stay within our $90 weekly allowance for groceries, toiletries, and household products. It was great to see how just making little adjustments here and there really added up in the long run to save money.
these are a just a few examples of what we would opt to buy or do over other options.
2lb blocks of cheese rather than pre-sliced or grated cheese
bags of rolled oats rather than boxes of individual packets of oatmeal
dry beans rather than canned beans
lettuce in bulk rather than bagged salad
homemade salad dressing rather than bottled
baking own bread rather than buying loaves
making our own yogurt
boxed wine rather than bottled
With the above changes, shopping was going smoothly and it was rarely a stressful thing to stay within the budget. But now there is tension again around the area of spending. The unemployment situation means Rob is without the company-expensed lunch everyday, and needs to eat at home for all three meals. So in terms of food, a new dilemma has surfaced as we have to buy more and spend less.
Coffee and wine are both areas that we have determined to not rule out; it pleases us to consume both. And while coffee itself is not very costly, how we ‘doctor’ it up is. The coffee has to be sweet and creamy to be enjoyed (by me at least). So the other morning, when I was pouring my not-so-cheap half n half into my cup watching the color change from dark brown to a much paler shade, I was wondering what else I might be able to use to create this same effect. I do have a bit of lactose intolerance, so milk is out (I don’t know why half n half works for me, it just does. So does yogurt. I have no stomach issues with either of them.) I was thinking, hey yogurt is really creamy… perhaps it might work as a cheaper creaming agent here. And the next morning, without any hesitations, I willingly scooped out two big spoonfuls of plain yogurt into my coffee and began to stir. I know you are thinking GROSS! But desperate times call for desperate measures. I stirred and stirred, but could not get the clumps to go away. The yogurt was reluctant to dissolve, the coffee remained a dark brown, and hesitations were present. But I’ll stop there before I give the ending to that money saving idea and move onto the next one.
It was a story in the Bible that prompted another experiment that might prove itself cost friendly in the area of wine. Now if we could get to see regularly the miracle of Jesus TURNING water into wine, the cost savings would be huge! But since that is not a something we will get to witness, what about POURING water into wine???? It would definitely last longer.
But sadly, as if you couldn’t have already concluded just by the sheer notion of the two, neither methods will be ways we’ll be adopting in our daily lives with regards to wine and coffee. The coffee with yogurt was absolutely disgusting and inconsumable, I was forced to throw it out and brew another pot. And even though the diluted wine wasn’t awful, it definitely made the experience unenjoyable. So it is back to the drawing board as I need to come up with new ways to cut costs yet still try to enjoy what we eat and drink.