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Friday, December 31, 2010

Around here you gotta earn your keep!

I have some goals for 2011 (wow! that is crazy to write...er, type!) that I'll be sharing one day real soon, if I was on top of it I'd have them finished already.  One of my goals is to continue to trim our family's grocery bill.  I have considered many options: skipping meals, having the kids alternate who eats dinner each night, a meat free existance. None of those seemed viable- I was completely joking about the kids (don't call CPS), I get waaayyyy grouchy when I don't eat so skipping meals is out and we are a carnivorous family who enjoys meat! I went back to the drawing board and remembered a Christmas gift my hubby gave me:

Ignore the bed head and focus on the waffle maker, that is my money saver.  Yep, that $10 waffle maker is an investment! Our oldest is an oatmeal kind of girl, she eats it every morning without fail.  I had already figured out how to save money on oatmeal, you can scope that out here.  But, my youngest, she is not a big fan of oatmeal.  She is a waffle gal, everyday the kid eats waffles.  Have you checked out the price of waffles lately though...whew! At our Wal-Mart they run $4.38 per 24.  That makes them 18 cents per waffle, doesn't seem like a lot but she eats an average of 10 a week so that's $95 a year.

With my new handy dandy waffle maker I'm going to lower that breakfast cost for our 4 year old.  A box of Krusteaz waffle mix is $1.78, add in the eggs and oil and it is about $4 to make the entire box. A box makes about 12 large, round waffles with 4 pieces each. So the cost to make 48 smaller (child size portions) is 8 cents per waffle, using the same 10 per week formula our waffle consumption cost goes down to $41 per year. I could probably lower the cost a bit more using flour and other ingredients instead of a box mix.  But the reality is that I am a busy mom so a box mix works for me. 

I plan to make these in one big batch and freeze them, just like the fine folks at Eggo. Some will be plain, some will have blueberries that I froze after buying them at Wal-Mart reduced to $1 a pint and some will be filled with strawberries that we picked and froze over the summer (free and family time!!).  I may get really crazy throw some chocolate chips in some for the weekends. 

Now, I know you are thinking: that is an awful lot of work to save $55!!  It isn't really that much work, it will take less than an hour, be healthier than the store bought frozen variety and save some moolah. But add that to the $132 I save in oatmeal and we are saving about $190 a year to feed our munchkins breakfast and that is without coupons, which I occasionally find on the items needed for these DIY breakfasts!  Again, some of you may think $190 isn't that much money but here is some examples of how it compares to other aspects of our expnses:
$190 = 1/3 of the total cost to insure our house or cars
$190 = The cost to pay our water bill for 5 months
$190 = Our cell phone costs for 3 months
$190 = a summer of entertainment with a family pass to our local pool : )

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