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Storyton Abbey

Vintage Storybook, Help w/ Food Budget


    I am sick again, so I am reposting one of my older posts. I did a series five years ago about how I save money on food. Something have changed, mostly where I buy food now that I am avoiding GMO but I think most of what I wrote is still pretty relevant. I know I still cook the same. So if you feel overwhemled, discourged and not a clue how to start saving money hopefully this post will help you!

     I have had several letters asking me if I could share how I save money on my groceries. I am going to talk about what I do over this next week but I want to share a bit of my background first. Mostly I want to share because if anyone is struggling to feed their family healthy, interesting food and feel discouraged, I am hoping I can encourage you. Because believe me if I can do it, anyone can!

    I was lucky to be raised in northern California, which I call the Disneyland of food. In my youth I was blessed with going out to eat at amazing restaurant (almost every weekend), hand-crafted food (before it was hip), wonderful wineries all around me, two trips to Europe and really no budget. Even when I was first married I would spend my mornings planning wonderful three course meals for my new hubby, go to the gourmet grocery store and spend the afternoon cooking for him (He is soo pampered !!!). Then Auberne` was born and the first 7 months of her life was a blur of doctors, surgery and hospitals. After her open-heart surgery we needed a fresh start. My mother sadly was newly divorced and also needed a fresh start, so we all moved to Washington. For six months we live in this amazing 100 years home on the waterfront of a small, charming island. Oh I wish you could see it. Then my mother bought an old farm-house with the idea we would all live together. David and I paid very little rent, so again I really did not have a strict budget until 7 years ago when we bought our Storybook Woods.

    We went from a small rent to a large morgage. It was scary and I guess you could say I had to grow up. I had $50.00 a week for four people and remember we homeschool, so we are home all the time. I live in a fairly food expensive area, so it was stretch for me. It took me a good year to make it work and I am still learning to make my money go farther.

    The first thing I did was start a book of prices. I realized I had no idea if something was a good price. As silly as I looked (and I had people staring at me) I took a notebook with me and wrote down the prices of everything and what store it was. It took me months to really get a good picture of what was a good price and what was not. First because I have a bad memory and could not remember what I saw last week! I found there is not one perfect store but over time I could see that store A has the best over-all deal on produce, store B best deal on meats, store C best bulk section and so on. So the first thing I did was to learn what was a good a price, where to go and I only used cash. For me, I do best when I actually have the cash in my hand and can see how much I have. I do not know why, but when I have cash I can make it go amazingly far.

    What I do will not work for everyone and some of it will be stuff your probably have already heard but I hope you will come away with a tip or two!

You can read the other 5 parts of this series here!

ps. the angel above is Auberne`


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Dear Clarice,

A lovely article, although I wish you were feeling well enough to do a new one! Homeschooling and mortgages certainly do have a way of stretching us, don't they?

Get better soon,



That was a walk down memory lane. We sure have changed.


What a poppet she was! Get well soon :) Gill.


Oh no! Please get well soon!

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