So this month I was pretty lazy in the book department. Only 2 books read. And I didn't even enjoy them. They were:
1. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half With America's Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides
2. Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn
So why didn't I like them? All they did was make me angry. I'm looking for more ways to stretch my dollar at the grocery store and these were no help at all. Don't get me wrong, they have some great tips in them, but I found that I was doing a majority of the things they suggested already. The other things I just couldn't do.
For example: Grow your own food. I try doing this, but I live in the Midwest and we have a very short growing season. That's great that the authors have a citrus orchard in their backyard. Good for them. It ain't happening in my backyard. Besides the climate, there is the space issue. We have a very small yard, most of it is shaded. Not the ideal growing situation. Sure I could cut down the trees we do have, but our yard is shaded by our neighbor's trees as well.
Another thing the author's suggested was shopping once a month. In order to do this, one must have a Freezer. We have zero room for this in the house. We do have room in the garage, however if you look at a freezer manual they tell you not to have a freezer in an area where it gets below a certain temp or above a certain temp. The garage is not insulated. At All. It gets VERY cold in the winter, and VERY VERY hot in the summer. So we could use that freezer for exactly 2 months out of the year. Where are the cost savings in that?
Even if we were to somehow figure out where to put a freezer, shopping once a month is not something I think I could realistically do. It involves going to several different stores and getting the best deals from each place. This is a great idea, if you have the time. The author of one book stated that it was an all day event where both husband and wife did the shopping. I don't have the luxury of being able to do that. Mrblocko does not want to spend any of his time on the weekends at one grocery store, let alone three or four. This is exactly why I shop while Blockette is at Kindergarten. The less people who come with me to the store, the less time I spend in the store, and the less I buy. Even if I had that magic freezer, I'd still need to go to the store once a week to buy produce because I don't have a magic orchard and garden providing me with it's bounty year round.
Finally, the last suggestion was to purchase food from co-ops, CSA's and or direct from meat providers. I looked into this for the area I live in and the meat and produce were twice as expensive as what I could get in the grocery store. Yeah, the produce was organic, and cheaper than the organic stuff in the grocery store. But I am a terrible parent and provide my child with all sorts of chemical laden fruits and veggies. Even the meat was pricey and...I'd need, you guessed it, a freezer.
So instead of these books providing me with a way to save money, they just made me realize that I need to invent a magical freezer of holding, and a way to grow fruit in my crawlspace while raising livestock in my coat closet. Yeah. I'll get right on that.