Being Frugal or What to Do Before You Lose Your Job ! part #2

If you have started making changes you are on your way to having a rainy day savings account.  There is another area to consider. That is food. Groceries are a big expense for most people. Here are some ways to change the way you eat and save money.

First, start cooking from scratch instead of eating out or bringing dinners in. If you live where you can have a garden please do so. Besides saving money you will gain health benefits from eating better food. If you can’t have a garden look for local farm markets in the area where you live. Organic  foods are more expensive and better for your health. But some people can not afford the extra cost. In that case buy what is freshest at the farm market and wash the fruit and vegetables thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue before storing or eating them. Buying more than you need and canning or freezing will save you money too.

If there are no farm markets buy  fruit and vegetables at the supermarket and watch for sales. I have noticed some stores reduce prices on fresh food just before the weekend on Friday nights. When there are mark downs buy a lot and preserve it. Use coupons at the grocery store only for the things you normally use. A sale is not a sale if you don’t need the item. Stop buying frozen and packaged dinners and canned foods unless on sale very cheap. Canned food from the store should be saved for emergencies only.

Shop for potatoes, squash, carrots, turnips, cabbage, beets, onions, garlic, brown rice, whole wheat flour, whole wheat spaghetti, corn meal, oat meal, dry beans, raisins, dates, dark brown sugar, nuts, flax seed, honey, milk, olive and sun flower oil, white and apple cider vinegar and coffee and tea if you drink it.

Buy in season only, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, oranges, grapes, pears, peaches, lemons, rhubarb, strawberries, and apples. I buy bananas only when over ripe and marked down. Then I mash and freeze them to use in baking. We have stopped using butter because it is so expensive here. We don’t eat margarine because it isn’t natural. We have learned to eat our food plain or seasoned with pepper and herbs. I use olive oil mixed with cider vinegar and honey as a dressing for salads. I don’t buy any commercial dressings. Sunflower oil is used for baking. I don’t buy canola oil because it is genetically engineered I was told. Corn oil is getting expensive so I quit buying it too.

Flour is rising in cost so I bake less. Sometimes buying bread is cheaper than baking it yourself if it is on sale. Here bread can cost from $1.59 to $2.89 a loaf in the stores. When it doesn’t sell it gets marked down. I have bought five loaves of whole wheat bread for less than  $5 when it was over a day old. Then I freeze it until we need it. I still bake muffins and cookies for Bill. We have our own wheat  but it doesn’t have enough gluten in it to hold together to knead. I mix boughten whole wheat flour with it for bread and muffins.

We only eat meat we raise but most people don’t have that option. Personally I don’t care for meat and eat very little. It has to do with not being able to eat animals I see every day and get attached to! For protein I eat one egg three times a week, ten almonds every day and drink skim milk. Fish is also good protein if you can get it fresh. If you feel you must have meat then shop around for locally produced meat. Whether beef, chicken, other fowl,  pork, lamb, or chevon cook it well done before eating it. If possible buy meat where the animals were free ranged and not put in feed lots. Also avoid processed meats as they are full of sodium among other things that are not good for you.

Here we eat plain food that is healthy. For breakfast we eat oatmeal every morning. I make a big pot full. To it is added a mixture of ground soy beans, almonds, cashews, and gloden flax seed as well as raisins and blue berries. Then I had just a little liquid honey or brown sugar and milk. It is kept in the fridge and lasts us three days. We don’t buy any boxed cereals.

Lunch varies from tomato and egg sandwiches to salad and hash brown potatoes. Supper we have lots of vegetables and sometimes meat. We drink herbal tea, milk and water. We only have juice if I make it myself or buy it on sale. Our diet isn’t fancy but we are healthy and seldom ever get sick with cold’s or flu. Avoiding packaged ready made foods will improve both you health and pocket book.

Those who live in a hot climate will have a different  diet. You will probably have access to fresh fruits and vegetables all year. Lucky you!  But try to get food grown without pesticides if you can.

One more area to save money on is transportation. Do you need to own a car or truck? If you live in a town where you can walk to everything or a city with public transit the answer is no. Rent a car for out of town trips and ride a bicycle or walk when not using a bus or taxi. Most people with families and jobs feel they need an automobile. Then find the most fuel efficient one you can afford and become a one vehicle family. Do your kids really need a lot of after school activities? Cut back and think local when it comes to sports so the kids can walk to where they want to go. Car pool to go to work and grocery shop. Walk and bike if you can. All the money you save can go into that rainy day bank account.

Once you have reduced expenses and debt and started to save how much do you need saved ahead? The answer is you need enough to pay the mortgage or rent, lights, heat, telephone, car expenses, food,  and any insurances you have first for a month. When that is saved start saving  for a second and third month until you are at least six months ahead. If you lose you job you will be able to live until you find another job.

The big challenge is while the earnings are good do you have the self-discipline to get out of un-necessary debt, change your living habits and save money? From what I understand this world isn’t getting any easier to live in. Now is a good time to take control of your finances and life. Cut back and save. You will be glad you did.

About lrose

Greetings from " Land's End" in Nova Scotia! My name is Linda Rose. My husband , Bill, and I have been living on and farming organically on a ten acre farm for 23 years now. Bill grew up dairy farming and I grew up and lived in both the city and country. We were married thirty years ago July 9th. and are former Light House Keepers. I am a writer, mother of four, grandmother of two, former dog groomer, hospital worker and now do child care part time. Bill always farmed but also did gardening for others . He was also assitant Light Keeper on Green Island and Bon Portage Island off the south shore of Nova Scotia. We live in what is now called Short Beach on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Many years ago before the first white settlers set foot from their sailing vessels on the rocky shores of Short Beach the natives called this place Kespoogwit. Translated to English it means "lands end" Appropriately named, the land does end a two minute walk from our farm. This is where the Atlantic Ocean beats the rocky shores holding us spell bound. Nature, ever changing, demostrates the puniness of man or woman to the relentless forces of the sea. The forefathers of many people who reside in this area sailed on vessels from England and Scotland. They journeyed to Nova Scotia to begin their lives afresh in a new land. They brought with them only the bare essentials of clothing and tools and in some cases animals. They came men, women and children. Challenged by the weather more than from hostility of the original inhabitants, many a stout man and woman carved homesteads from forested land near the Atlantic. The weather and rocky soil presented obstacles for the original homesteaders and the generations who would follow them. Bill and I came to Short Beach in 1985. I prefer to call our homestead "Land's End". Our journey was much different than that of the first homesteaders who settled here. However our lifestyle is not a whole lot different. We still till the ground and mow the hay with horse drawn implements. I sweep the house with a straw broom and cook on a wood stove. Although ;someone thinking I was missing something gave us an electric stove and fridg; I still prefer my wood stove. Our wood for heat comes from a wood lot and is hauled five miles home with our work horse. Our food is grown organically using mostly simple hand tools to work the soil. The Atlantic continues to hold its observers hypnotized by its sporadic beauty. Tranquil repose is periodically interrupted by furious surging tides, eroding and redefining the shoreline of Short Beach. This is Kespoogwit ; "Land's End". It is our home.

One thought on “Being Frugal or What to Do Before You Lose Your Job ! part #2

  1. Great ideas on saving money! We try to do so, as well. Our credit cards are just about zero, but we hold on to one in case of emergencies when we travel. I could give up satellite TV, although we have no local channels here, but I don’t know if my husband could or not. It something to discuss next time we talk money.

    Good luck on saving money – we all need to do more.