January challenge - update 2

It's been a mellow week thus far - just trying to get back into the swing of school, swim, and life. Thankfully the weather has been wonderful. I'm not sure if I'm getting better at this 'winter' thing or if it's just not as brutally cold as it was last year. Regardless, I don't ache like I did last year...not all the time, at least. I think a part of it is that I'm staying on top of my vitamins better than I did last year: vitamin B and D supplements, fish oil, grapeseed extract, magnesium, and elderberry syrup ('Your father smelt of elderberries!').

We don't do flu shots (well, MacGyver had to at work...the mist instead of the shot which irritates me because that means he came home shedding the virus) but we do make sure to wash our hands anytime we come home from being out, after using the bathroom, and before eating meals. We also get plenty of sleep (yay homeschooling! No buses to get up for at o'dark thirty), moderate exercise, do our best to eat right, drink plenty of water. And none of us has any kind of underlying medical issue that would make the flu shot necessary (asthma, prone to chest infections, allergies, compromised immune systems). I know a lot of people that disagree with this approach but this is the decision we make for our family.

In terms of eating well, I've not yet been to the grocery store this week. I might go tomorrow and pick up a few things to tide us over until payday: cheese, yogurt (though I think I'm going to make my own with some of our milk), some more fruit, and a few other odds and ends. I did make it by the bread outlet and grabbed a bunch of bread: 2 packages of English muffins, a loaf of wheat, and a loaf of Russian rye. I spent $6.89, including tax. So that puts me at 87.71 for the month. Not as good as Mavis over at One Hundred Dollars A Month but I'm still on track to only spend $200 this month on food for our family of 4. 

I still have a bunch of leftover baking/pantry supplies from the holidays so I am going to attempt to make my own bread (sans bread machine) this week. I'm debating between doing it in the oven or in my crock pot. I'm leaning toward the crock pot because we keep our house pretty cool in the winter and I worry that it won't be warm enough to make my dough rise. Our thermostat in our new place isn't programmable so we keep it set at 70°F during the day and I drop it to 68°F at night. This place is MUCH more insulated than our other house, for which I am grateful. Anyway, I suspect that, as cool as it is right now, the dough would not rise well. So I think I'll do it in the crock pot. Just the idea of a freshly baked loaf of bread with some butter slathered on it is making me drool.

In terms of a cost savings, I'm not sure how big of an impact this will have on our grocery bill. I spent all of $4.50 on bread for sandwiches for 2 weeks and I don't forsee my children using the crock pot bread on sandwiches over the store-bought kind. However, we do bread with dinner just about every night and it's usually included in breakfast around here as well so it would cut back there. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl did a cost comparison and she makes the point that it's really not about the cost savings. Instead, it's about good, wholesome bread and not having to worry about what is IN the bread. I do my best to avoid high fructose corn syrup and preservatives but, buying store-bought makes this next to impossible. Making my bread at home would help me avoid those things in our diets. And who doesn't love fresh bread? (besides those of you with gluten issues...)


- hfs


Pogue said...

Sounds like you're doing awesome! I don't think you really save much baking bread, but the quality is worth it. We do a loaf a week between the two of us. Home made pizza dough also works well for us.

Anonymous said...

You inspire me to no end! Keep posting!

Crista said...

I agree that sometimes it's not about the cost savings but about the control of what is actually in the products you're putting in your body. In addition, the love that goes into the process of making whatever it is you're making.

Just the other day kiddo said that I will have to send lots of my homemade laundry detergent to college with her next year. She doesn't ever want to buy it again but wants my homemade version. I asked her if it was really that superior to store bought and she said she doesn't even remember store bought and wants mommy's detergent. Mind you, I've only been making it for 5 months now but the girl is hooked and she wants it at college with her and that made my heart swell with love. :)

Homefront Six said...

Thanks everyone :)

Crista ~ I loved the detergent too. I need to try it again now that my skin has somewhat adapted to the air here. Last year, my skin was SO dry and unused to the arid climate here that anything with a fragrance made me itch. Not so much this year. I'm about out of my liquid detergent so I think I'm going to get what I need to make my own. I do like the smell :)

Pogue ~ we do pizza pretty regularly, usually using Rhoades frozen dough. Might be nice to make our own next time around :)


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