Cheerfully Living on Even Less.

I was recently interviewed by the Salt Lake Tribune on the topic of how the recession has affected a family already stretched thin from trying to keep a medically fragile kid with special needs alive.

Below are some of the things discussed during that interview.




I came home  stunned.

I do a ‘big’ grocery shopping trip once a month.  Then I try to save back a bit of cash to cherry pick the sales for the rest of the month.

My big grocery shopping usually happens at Costco where I get the same things each month.  Usually items such as milk, cheese,  laundry detergent, Kirkland fabric softener, organic carrots  and a few other things are always cheaper.

Except this month.

Milk has almost doubled.  The cheese and butter* were higher too. The once cheap frozen burritos my kids love so much were no longer cheap.  I’ll be making my own  if I can master that art of making my own tortillas.  I can make up my own refried beans from the stash of dried beans I already have on hand.

Because I purchase the same items each month, I know exactly what the prices are and they’ve gone up.

Waaay up.

And I was stunned.

Anybody else experiencing sticker shock at the grocery store these days?

I’ve been employing every tactic I know to keep the grocery budget down. From Bountiful Baskets to double coupon Tuesdays at Walmart.    But I’m running out of ideas and need to rededicate myself to tightening up my frugal black belt.

You know it’s bad when your 22 year old opens the freezer door and wonders why you didn’t buy as much this month as you usually do.

Except you actually went over budget by about $50.00.

My oldest daughter and her husband visited some family in Logan this weekend.  They stopped by the Gossener cheese factory hoping for ‘ends’ at a good price.  The Munster was $1.65 a pound which was good.  Everything else?  Not so good.

The recession really picked a rotten time to strike.  It would have been nice if it would have waited until after we finished paying off the stack of medical bills Parker has amassed.   That would have put the recession’s start date at some time after Hell Froze Over.

But it’s hit, and as far as I’m concerned it’s getting worse and I’ve got to figure some things out.

I was hoping to save up enough to be able to purchase part of a cow.  If I’m going to do this I need to bring my overall bill down by a little over $100.00 a month for the next several months.

Which is going to be tricky to say the least.

Especially since we’re going to need to replace our fridge in the next couple of months.  It’s being held together by duct tape and prayer right now.

One area that runs expensive is Parker’s blenderized diet.  I’m spending close to $40.00 a month on goat milk alone. I’m wondering if by going directly to the dairy that produces the milk if it would be a bit cheaper. It’s just in Draper. Maybe passing over the middle man could help.

We’re coming into the time of year where fresh produce is cheap to free from my garden, but that still leaves the olive oil, protein and grain. Because Parker is a former IA kid, I have to be careful which grains I feed him.  This blenderized diet has made all the difference for our Brave Hero, and I’m not willing to go back to the canned formula that Medicaid would provide him.

I can do this.

Cheerfully living on even less.


* One of our family’s traditions is to pop up big bowls of popcorn each Sunday.  We use butter on that popcorn.  Everyone in our family loves popcorn.  Except for the 15 year old.  We are still wondering if he was switched at birth or something.  heh.


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