Matter of fact, he thought his working student mom was pretty cool. We were a team through it all.
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?
great post. i’m not a mom and don’t have to save for college for my dogs/horses/cat ‘kids’ but i can appreciate the juggling you have to do to make everything work somehow.
Jenna Kromann says
Great post, Katie! Although I don’t have children yet to save money for college for, my husband and I are on the other side of the fence with paying for college…we are working to pay off our own student loans. We do the same…shop sales, use coupons and eat in more than eating out. It’s a balance and I appreciated your post – it was encouraging! p.s. I don’t think the picture of you and your son with his football helmet on could get any cuter. So adorable!
Food, Mommy! says
Great post. Someone recently asked me why I shopped at the grocery store if I support farmers – huh? I wanted to reply, “well if you can tell me where to find a farmer who grows bananas in the middle of winter in Kentucky, please put me in contact with them.” I refrained from my smart-allecy retort, but people don’t undersand what a great food system we have. Whether it comes from the grocery, farmer’s market, or we can grow it ourselves, we Americans spend the least percentage of our income on food which allows us more opportunities, like college. Good luck with your saving. I will also have two to put through college, and I need to start thinking more about saving for that.
Thank you for sharing. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to travel abroad which have reminded me how blessed we are to have such an affordable and abundant food supply here in the US along with the fairly common opportunity to go to college. Stuff that is easy to take for granted when we get caught up in life.
Prairie Mother says
Great post! I’m with you. I do all I can to scrimp everywhere and save money. I’m sure even though we were lucky to start a 529 for my kids when they were small college costs lots and we’ll pray for those scholarships too. What a great model you are for all your kids! Thanks for sharing.
I am new to your blog, found you thru Farmwives of America…I LOVE your blog!
I like that you write about real issues and this is one we are all feeling and know well.
Our biggest issue is, just when we think we are getting ahead, something big breaks and it costs us most of our savings to fix it…I’m sure you know that feeling! College seems like a million miles away when the kids are young, then there are in High School and you wonder where all the years and good intentions went.
We try and save by gardening and shopping to the weekly specials, we also try and make 1 meatless meal a week, which is a challenge, but homemade pizza usually fixes that.
Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says
We are in the same boat. We’ll have THREE in college at once (shudder).
Food is so expensive right now. Truly hoping our garden will grow!
Much like you, we will do a combination of things to get ours through college. They do have some savings already, but we know it won’t be enough. A very though provoking post.