The Frugal Catholic: “Cutting Back on Your Food Costs–Part 3–Save and Support” by Martha Wild King–September 11, 2011

In part 1 of “Cutting Back on Your Food Costs,” we discussed the first two SOS principles–SOS: Set Our Spending.  That is accomplished by using the USDA’s Weekly Costs of Food at Home found at cnpp.usda.gov       Those figures will help you determine the four various costs of food at home and what you want to spend.  We also discussed the second SOS principle–SOS: Salvage Old Stuff–where you take stock of your pantry and freezer inventory and use what you have.

In part 2 of “Cutting Back on Your Food Costs,” we looked at two more SOS philosophies.  The third, SOS: Stop Over Spending, showed us the need to make a menu and focus on using real foods (preferably organic).  And the fourth SOS, SOS: Stay Out of Stores, verified that the more we go in–the more we spend.  In Financial Peace, author Dave Ramsey states, “Studies have shown that the typical grocery purchase almost doubles when the shopper uses plastic.”  So our goal is to use CASH and CALCULATOR and a LIST.

Now in part 3, we will look at two more SOS concepts, the fifth,SOS: Safeguard Our Savings and the sixth, SOS: Support Others Spiritually.

Americans save around 4% of their earnings compared to the Japanese who save approximately 18%.  So it is important to make ourselves save any way we can.  To SOS:Safeguard Our Savings, remove 10% of your food money and put it into a “cash jar.”  If you can’t keep your sticky fingers out of your own cash jar, then deposit that money into a savings account.  Also to SOS:Safeguard Our Savings, our family doesn’t eat out: we just cook in larger quantities and freeze leftovers for later, and we drink cheap wine such as Franzia boxed wine or Two Buck Chuck a.k.a. Charles Shaw from Trader Joe’s.

To SOS:Support Others Spiritually with your food money is an insurance policy that your food dollar will miraculously stretch. This is one of those “mysteries of the faith,” and I have witnessed it several times when an extra $20 was suddenly in my cash wallet with no idea of how it got there.  In addition to that 10% you removed from your food monies to save, also remove this 10% to give away.  (This, of course, is in addition to your regular tithing given to your church.)  I change my food money tithing into small bills and keep them in a Rosary pouch in my wallet.  It makes me feel wealthy to have money to hand to a poor person or put it in the collection basket.

Other ways to SOS: Support Others Spiritually are to give away some of those double portions you made and froze.  Banana bread is a good one to make in mass quantities and pass on. (I make it from those frozen black bananas thrown into the freezer, peel and all.  See recipe below.) Or remember you can take a can of food each time you go to mass and add it to the Food Bank Box in your church.  By SOS: Supporting Others Spiritually, it follows the passage in 2 Kings:4 where God used Elisha to multiply the widow’s oil so she could sell it, pay off her debt, and keep her two children from becoming slaves.  God can and will multiply our efforts for him no matter how large or small they are.

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Extra Moist Yogurt Bread

I often make this yummy bread in mini loaf pans so I can give it away as gifts.  Use those dead bananas in your freezer.

2 large ripe bananas or 3 small ripe ones (the blacker the better)

1/4 cup applesauce (or if you don’t count calories use 1/4 cup melted butter)

1 egg

1/4 cup yogurt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mash up the bananas with beaters in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and add.  Then add egg, yogurt, and brown sugar to the mashed banana and mix.  Next blend in the flour, soda, and salt into this batter then add walnuts and stir well.  Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake 60 minutes or until done.  Remove from the pan when cool.  Freezes well.

 

My 97 year old mother used to demonstrate SOS: Support Others Spiritually when she would take a full pot roast dinner to people who were ill or grieving.

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