Frugal Living

The last day of my employment outside the home was the day of my eldest daughter's birthday 21-1/2 yrs ago. Thankfully, dh has been blessed with jobs decent enough that I have been able to stay home with the children. We haven't had much "discretionary" money, so we have to be careful how we spend our money.

Over the years, people have asked how do we do it raising seven children on one income. Some of the ways are obvious: thrift stores and garage sales for clothes, cooking from scratch at home, not going out to restaurants very much, etc.

With today's economy as it is, I thought I'd share some ideas that work for me in this blog.

Here's a great one. Bananas are about $.55 cents a pound - they sure shot up in price this year. I was paying $.33 per pound just a couple months ago.

We make a lot of smoothies for breakfast around here. I'll have to post some recipes on a future post. But the common ingredient for our smoothies is frozen bananas. We use the frozen bananas to act as the "ice". Not only does it help to freeze the smoothy, but it is also used as the primary sweetener avoiding the need for sugar or other unhealthy sweetener. So it is to my advantage to find a good source of bananas.

I go to a restaurant supply store here called Cash and Carry. I think they are in quite a few states. Regardless, even your grocery store sells bananas and all bananas get overripe and sometimes there are too many overripe bananas and they THROW THEM AWAY (scandalous)!

So, I make friends with store managers, produce people and ask for the overripe bananas. "Hey Bill, can you cut me a deal so I can relieve you of these overripe bananas?" They always say yes. So, see that box of bananas? I paid $4.50 for it - 75% off regular price. That's a great deal on something that we use regularly.

After we take them home, we peel, slice into 1-2-inch cubes and put on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they are frozen, move the frozen banana pieces to a ziplock bags and they are ready to go for smoothies.

Anonymous –   – (7/15/2008 11:33 AM)  

I thought you trash-picked your produce? Did you have to stop that?

HomeJewel  – (7/15/2008 4:12 PM)  

Hmm, wonder who anonymous is . . . yes, unfortunately I had to stop that due to trash compactors. Too bad, because there is so much waste of perfectly good food.

Tammy  – (7/15/2008 7:23 PM)  

Wow, what a great idea!! I haven't bought bananas for a while, but the last time I noticed the price at Winco even had gone up to about .45. We love smoothies at our house. :)

Randi  – (7/15/2008 8:22 PM)  

We use frozen bananas in smoothies too. They add some sweetness when we only use fruit and juice. Thanks for the idea of asking the produce guy for an overripe box!

Tonya  – (7/17/2008 2:56 PM)  

We freeze overripe bananas for smoothies too : )

Kris-T  – (7/24/2008 5:48 AM)  

awesome idea!! I'm gonna try that. I hate throwing bananas away!

Kel  – (7/26/2008 12:21 AM)  

You know, this is something that is good to know. I really worry about making it on one income when we return home. We have grown accustom to a pretty easy lifestyle over here in the Middle East and we don't even have a nanny/maid like most other Westerners do. Mostly we have grown used to having very GOOD and very cheap produce. We eat primarily fresh foods and I know that when we go home, I'm not sure that we'll be able to afford it anymore. Produce in the states is expensive and I refuse to support big business by shopping at wal-mart or sam's or Tesco or whatever. Guess I should read up on gardening :)

Jodi  – (7/29/2008 6:01 PM)  

I am going to start doing this!! I have a diet shake every morning for breakfast (and soon to start back up at lunch as well) and use bananas in mine. Great tip!!

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