Friday, March 27, 2009

MAKING IT FROM SCRATCH OR BUYING IT?



Phoebe from Cents To Get Debt Free is hosting another Finding Freedom Friday. She asks the question "What is your take on making from scratch versus buying store bought?"

I think making things from scratch is an excellent way to save money. I do make several things from scratch. But here's the thing, sometimes I will just spend the money in order to save myself the time. I guess that's why they call it "convenience" food.

Tonight I came home after being gone for several hours, and I realized that my left-overs weren't left over enough. They weren't going to cover everybody. Especially three growing boys (one son had a friend over).

So, did I whip up a homemade pizza? No, even though it would have been quick and easy. Did I take a casserole out of the freezer? Again, no, because I didn't have any left in there for such a time as this. Did I at least make homemade pancakes, waffles, or quickly make grilled cheese soup and tomato sandwiches (oops, typo, I mean grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.....did anybody even notice my mistake, lol!?). Did I even sit down and at least make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? (Seriously, do you even have to ask at this point?) No.

I calmly walked over to the phone, called my hubby at work and asked him to please pick up a pizza on his way home. We haven't done that in ages and honestly, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Somewhere, someone out there in internet-land is turning in their grave. Well, at least spinning around in their computer chair.

See, while I know that making things from scratch makes more sense and saves money, I falter when I fail to plan. I falter when I am tired. And I falter when I am cranky, hot, cold, happy, sad, mad....you get the picture.

Like I said, I do have several things that I make from scratch, and yes, they are saving me money. I don't buy near as much convenience foods as I used to, but I am still buying some. My bad!
I have a recipe to make Rice-a-roni from scratch. I have recipes for salad dressings, mixes, sauces, and all sorts of stuff. I have recipes to make my own cleaning products. I even have a bread maker for goodness sake. A bread maker! Am I making bread with it????? No. (Blush)

What I am lacking right now is will power. Will power and time. I have so many things that I want to do and things that I want to try, and I'm not doing or trying any of them lately.

So I guess the thing to do is to decide to try one thing. Just select one thing to try and try it. Then try another. Then another.

When we start trying to save money we will often do all the "big" changes first. Big changes are big and exciting and we can see a drastic difference in our finances immediately.

Little changes take work too. Little changes like using cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Using rags instead of paper towels. Washing out and reusing freezer bags. Cooking things from scratch. And there are choices to be made in what little changes you want to make.

It's the old saving time versus saving money argument. On some days money wins, but on some days, like today, time wins. They say you have to continually remind yourself of your financial goals. You have to continually examine how you're spending your money. You need to stay focused if you want to save money.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try not to, you just fall off the wagon and buy pizza. You just want to remember to get back on it again. To see what everyone else had to say on this topic please go here.

15 comments:

  1. You should seriously write a book!!!!!!!!!!! It's amazing how your posts speak to me each and every time!

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  2. I totally know what you mean--time sometimes takes over! (Confession: I bought commercial laundry soap last week because I didn't feel like making my own even though I had the ingredients. Now I remember why I make it!)

    Your grilled cheese/tomato typo--yeah I noticed it! LOL I read it a million times, and just decided that it was maybe a new recipe that I needed to get. Then I seen your explanation. Crack me up! :)

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  3. But in the big picture you are making changes, right? Isn't that what's important? I agree that it's so important to not beat yourself up over not being 'perfect'. I also personally usually keep some 'convenience' food on hand for situations like this. :) For instance, my kids were unexpectedly home for lunch yesterday because of weather. I telecommute and work while they are in school. I had been out of town and wasn't planning on lunch for them, because it was a pizza day (fundraiser at their school) and I allow them to buy pizza on pizza days. I was working, so I couldn't cook something on the spur of the moment. However, a couple of weeks ago Safeway had had a super coupon for specialty pizza and I had just on the spur of the moment picked it up for a time like this. It worked out nicely yesterday. :)

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  4. Great point! Sometimes it definitely is easier to pick something up or have it delivered for making it easier and less stress. :D

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  5. thanks for keeping it real! I'm sure your family enjoyed the treat of pizza... we do too every once and a while. I think the thing about cooking from scratch and making your own is you have to give yourself room for days like you described -- when you start doing anything without that... for me, at least, it goes down hill fast.

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  6. Sheila: I will comment here since you don't have a blog. Yes, I need to remember the bigger picture. And you're right, there really are times when it "pays" to have something on hand!

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  7. This is true of ironing HUbbies shirts each day for work. To me time is money in that area and since he got the new job 2 years ago and that nice raise...my time is worth more to me & my family than spending 1.00 a shirt to have someone else wash/dry and iron it. I used to stress so bad about it because he would never pick a shirt out until the day of. Holy Moly it was stress and frustration. This week has been crazy for us because of the times each night we have to be at the theater...challanging to say the least, but you will be happy to know I only ate out once and we spent 7.00 for 4 of us to eat. We had coupons:)
    Great post...as usual!

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  8. It's great to balance in someone's life!! Buy the pizza once in a while. Saving money is great, but we don't need to worship it.

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  9. It can be overwhelming when you look at all the things you can make instead of buy...I started making so many things and I looked at my husband the other night and said,"With three kids under 6 years old I just don't think I can keep this up right now- I'm too tired." He agreed that the stress it was causing me was not worth the money saved!

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  10. I also know there are cheaper ways to make things like Rice a roni but fail to do it. One of my goals this year was to make bread with my bread maker and it still sits- unloved hunk of metal! For me, I feel as if I can only stretch so far without feeling insane. I want to be like that and make all these cute things and decorate like everyone else, but the cost is too deep and worth the co$t in money for some convienience items to not like murder all my family and hide them in the back yard. I do things in spurts, but usually at the cost of not ironing or cleaning our bedroom or being nice which is kind of important, too. So, hope I make you feel normal to see that I am so abnormal:)

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  11. It's so true! There are so many things we can do for ourselves but don't. One thing we do every year is plant a garden and I can the stuff we grow. That makes me feel great because we do it ourselves, even if it would be faster to go to the store and buy spaghetti sauce.

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  12. For me, it varies. Sometimes it's worth it to just order pizza and there are times (most of the time) I know I just can't afford it, no matter how many coupons I have... LOL

    There are some things I always make homemade and somethings I'll always buy, just like there are some things I have to have a certain brand of but most things I can do generic :)

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  13. Loved your post so much that it spawned an entire post. Of course, I linked to you...thanks for the inspiration and stop being so hard on yourself.

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  14. Great points my friend! You are right sometimes it is definitely time vs money. Time usually wins out at my house. But I am trying. Thanks for being my inspiration to keep trying! And thanks for being real about the pizza ;)

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  15. I work 50+ hours a week so believe when I say this...my time is money. We do eat alot of items that are pre-made but no preservatives and additives. (I love Fresh & Easy) We pay more but it's healthy and that will save you in the healthcare department, for sure.

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