Thank you for visiting my blog; it is an exciting venture for me and I hope this will become a forum for moms and homemakers of all types to share stories, frustrations, and triumphs. There will be recipes, pictures of my latest and greatest soap creations, and anything I think will be interesting to Enthusiastic Homemakers.....

Monday, January 31, 2011

The greatest thing since...

I've recently been trying to find ways to stretch my grocery budget even further. I've always been very thrifty, but because of the state of the economy in the last few years, I've had a need to keep my grocery budget the same, while at the same time joyfully expanding our family...twice! It was this need to keep costs down that led me to learn the art of soap making; and we all know how that turned out! I also cloth diaper and use cloth wipes, make my own soap (obviously) as well as laundry detergent, buy in bulk, make everything from scratch, and pretty much do everything humanly possible to get the most out of my grocery budget while still providing my family with hearty and (I hope) yummy meals day in and day out. Recently, Elvis began to eat solids, and this has put additional strain on my poor little budget, especially since he absolutely refuses to eat the homemade baby food that I intended  to be his only food, and I'm still working on getting him to eat "regular" food, since I don't believe in giving children purees for any longer than necessary. Because at the moment I am spending something like, eeek! 10 to 20 dollars a week on baby food, I decided to start making all the bread we eat with my own little hands! I've always been an avid baker, making bread to have with dinner several times a week, but I've never felt equal to the task of providing the bread for toast and sandwiches, not to mention the bagels, hamburger buns and hot dog buns that our family uses every week. We can easily go through a loaf of sliced bread a day, and although I shop at a bread "thrift" store, at an extremely reduced cost, it is still triple the cost of homemade bread, and of course, not nearly as delicious. My favorite recipe only uses one pound of flour, and a nominal amount of yeast and salt; costing only 25 cents per loaf, a far cry from the price of bread in stores. It will take some getting used to, since we are all used to eating sandwiches on uniformly sliced, abnormally soft-crusted commercial bread, which as a bonus is filled with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, dough conditioners and preservatives, and a huge amount of sodium compared to homemade. Before they "invented" pre-sliced bread, people were used to eating toast or a sandwich on a thick, rugged slice of bread, and thought nothing of it. I hope that in my family at least, we can go back to blithely eating a hunk of bread without complaint!


  1. Oh, How do the cloth wipes work out for you? I think I'm going to pick up some flannel or something a make a ton of them for when the new baby gets here. I do cloth diapers but for some reason, never bought any cloth wipes! It makes sense to toss the dirty wipe in the bin with the dirty diaper instead of having to wash one and pitch the other. I love homemade bread! I want to start baking more often too. Actually, my husband LOVES to bake. It's as relaxing as meditation for him. Maybe I should put him in charge of the "calming" task of baking our breads and muffins every week! He'd probably love it :)

  2. The cloth wipes are great! I wish I had just bought some washclothes though; I bought into the whole eco-bamboo thing and broke the bank with some bamboo wipes...don't do it! They turned out to be too small and got matted and frayed easily. Terrycloth works a lot better, I just get a bunch of cotton terrycloth wipes wet when I grab a diaper, no fuss!

    I think that's a great idea; you should always encourage baking activity whenever possible!

  3. Thanks for the tip! Yeah- I'm super frugal about my cloth diapers. I live in St Louis, where Cotton Babies is based and every time I go in there, I am SHOCKED at how expensive some of those things are! We decided to do cloth from the start because it saves us a ton of money but when some of those people dish out $25 per diaper, I don't see how they're saving anything! I think my hubby has been dying to do cloth wipes for a while now. I think it will be better on those little bums too!

  4. Yes, no diaper rashes! I used Cotton Babies, but I got their line of economy diapers called Econobum; only $100 for two dozen pre-folds and six covers, which is more than enough! And they're perfectly fine, I agree with you about not spending a lot of money on cloth, what's the point of using cloth, then?