Fast forward ten years, our son has commented a few times to me “Hey mom, we were really poor when I was little weren’t we?”
Yes, son, we were. But not nearly as poor as billions worldwide. But I’ll save that life lesson for him a different day.
Our food, clothing and entertainment budgets. It means I shop grocery store sales, love a good deal on clothes and use Priceline to get the best hotel deal when we travel to a city. It also means we go camping 60 miles from our home rather than splurge for a more pricey summer vacation.
The food budget is where I have the most control of what I spend and influence the most on a monthly basis.
Food is expensive. I shop sales. We eat in and not out. There is no McDonald’s drive thru or fancy gourmet ready to serve stop for me on the way home from daycare.
I shop our local grocery store and learned from my mother-in-law to shop based on the weekly sale page.
The food I buy on sale is not organic and most often not local, other than in the summer months when North Dakota allows for a growing season. I have learned to do a little canning or freezing during with summer fruits and vegetables to use in the winter months.
But despite not being local or organic, the food we purchase at our local grocery store is 90 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. The food I buy is healthy, affordable and we support local rural businesses by purchasing it.
If we lived in Peru, the Mango Milkshare our daughter loves would be more local but it’s not and yet she’s still smiling.
On Mother’s Day, we planted a few seeds to grow our own vegetables in our short growing season on the North Dakota prairie. It’s a family project.
What our son doesn’t know that as much as he doesn’t like to plant seeds in the spring or weed the garden in the summer he is actually helping save for his college education. Every little bit counts. He will reap the benefits someday and maybe he will understand. Maybe he’ll do the same for his children.
I have learned life is messy. It’s not perfect. Saving quickly for college isn’t the perfect scenario versus starting to save little by little when the child first is born. But as my dad has said many, many times to me, “We have to do what we can, with what we have, where we are.”
We are saving for college and feeding our family as best as we know how.
What are family saving tips you have found work for you?