I checked out The Complete Tightwad Gazette from the library. WOW. This thing is like the frugal bible! At nearly 1,000 pages and tons of calculations for making the most of every penny I have found a renewed desire to save even more.
Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced decision) advocates the use of a Price Book, which is a concept I've seen all over frugal blogs. Basically you keep track of the items you buy and their cost to determine when and where is best to buy. I finally sucked it up and started. I am already surprised to find that the name brand applesauce sold at Central Market is less expensive than the store brand at Kroger!
Convenience foods are one of the biggest drains on a grocery budget and they can be pretty detrimental your health as well. While we really don't buy too much prepackaged, single serving stuff one of our weak spots has been granola bars. I made my first batch last week using a recipe for Playgroup Granola Bars. They were a big hit. This week I made Gobble Up Granola Bars. Tommy hasn't taste tested them yet, but I doubt I'll hear complaints.
But what's the cost? For the Gobble Up: Since I omitted one ingredient (raisins), got 4 for free (cereal, oats, sugar and peanut butter), the vanilla was super cheap and I've had the corn syrup so long I can't remember: cost 0.50? for 12 granola bars, that's about $0.04 each!
For the Playgroup Bars: About $1.00 for 12, which is about $0.08 each!
I also made some pancakes to put in the freezer to give Daniel for breakfast. I tripled the recipe and used The Happy Housewife's method for freezing them so all we have to do is pop it in the toaster in the morning and he's got breakfast. To the best I can figure they cost me about $2.00 for a batch of 30. Less than $0.07 for breakfast. Can't beat that.
Our next task is to renovate our drink situation. Tommy vowed to abstain from cola during October, but he requests something else "tasty" to drink. Any suggestions?