Last week I decided to plan something I call the 'Great Annual Swap-It-If-Ya-Got-It Clothing Swap'. It pretty much is what it sounds like - I invited all my friends (and their friends, and theirs, etc) to come over with as many old clothes, shoes, jewelry and purses as they can carry. Amid cocktails, appetizers and - I'm sure- plenty of good gossip, we will delve into everyone else's trash to find ourselves a little treasure.
It's planned for two weeks from now.
Talking to a friend of mine about it, she asked how I thought of the idea. '"Well, I'm pretty cheap. I don't like to spend too much on myself, but I need a new wardrobe and I have alot of nice things I don't wear anymore."
To which she replied, "Yeah, you are really cheap."
Sometimes it sucks when people agree with me.
I don't think I'm cheap so much as unmaterialistic and thrifty. I have no problem with shopping at garage sales (I once found a $400 coffeemaker for $20!!!), and I really don't need things. I would rather have a vacation than a new TV, a trip to the zoo than a new outfit and a few nice dinners than the latest Apple Ipod product.
So, because I'm thrifty, I decided to tackle the project of making my own baby food.
I mean, seriously, have you seen the prices on these baby food jars?? ONE jar is $.79 - $1.49. And my chunk-a-hunk of a baby boy eats two to three jars a day. Sometimes more. Really. He loves his food. That adds up to about $3-$4 a day for his food, or $120 a month!
While making my own baby food has probably cost me $10 a month. And I still have tons of food left. A savings of . . . . well. .. . I don't really know math well, and percentages and fractions continuously trip me up. It's a big frickin' savings is all I know.
It's pretty easy.
I started with apples. When they were on sale, I bough ta 3 lb bag of apples for $1.99. Prep the apples by washing, peeling and coring them. Cut the apples in 1 inch cubes and place in a microwavable bowl. With a bit of water in the bottom of the bowl, microwave for 5 minutes. Then place in a food processor and puree to the desired consistency. (I made it really soupy at first, but realized that Bjorn likes is a little chunkier.) Add water to make it soupier. Use less water to make it thicker.
After pureed, pour into plain old ice cube trays (I found mine for $1 for 4 at the dollar store.) and freeze overnight. When frozen, put in freezer bags.
Each "ice cube" is about 2 1/2 tablespoons, or one baby food jar.
So, my first bag of apples gave me about four ice cube trays full, or 80 ice cubes. What cost me $1.99 would have cost me over $63 had I bought premade jars of food.
Not sounding so cheap now, am I? Nope, now I'm sounding smart. Intelligent. Beautiful, even. (Thought I would throw that one in there for good measure.)
And it is so easy, y'all! Peas, green beans, pears, butternut & acorn squashes. Carrots, peaches, sweet potatoes, apples. All can be cooked in the microwave, pureed and froze. All for pennies. Pennies!!
Every morning, I take two-three cubes of fruit and 4-6 cubes of veggies from the freezer to defrost in the fridge. For breakfast, Bjorn gets fruit with some rice cereal or oatmeal, for lunch he eats veggies and for dinner he eats veggies and rice cereal. And throughout the day, his requisite servings of formula and breast milk.
I've said hundreds of dollars already, and I'm giving my kiddo good food. Not organic (look, I said I was saving money here and organic is EXPENSIVE! And, honestly - I don't really care about organic fruits and veggies. As long as it's fresh, I don't care if I have to wash a little dirt off it.) but good quality food like the stuff The Hubs and I eat. Works for me.
Even if it does make me thrifty. Frugal. Cheap.