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Every Day

It Was A Busy End Of The Week And Weekend

Hubby and I pulled the container of ham out of the freezer to try to use it up over the weekend. On Friday night he made fried ham and eggs for me and ham salad for himself for dinner. I had not had breakfast for dinner in a very long time.

This was the container of ham. We had used it for a couple of meals before I took this picture. The ham was purchased for $.99 a lb. at Aldi’s after Easter. It was already cooked so I just had to remove the ham from the bone. I have one more ham in the freezer that I will use later in the year.

I saved the bone too with a bit of meat on it to make homemade bean soup.

Then I soaked the beans in water overnight on Saturday. On Sunday I drained and rinsed the beans. I put the ham bone and beans in the crockpot along with some spices and water to cover all and cooked it all day. It was not quite done for dinner so I let it cook for another 3 hours.

When the soup was done, I took the rest of the ham off the bone and added it to the soup. I let it cool and then put it in two half gallon mason jars so that I could store it in the fridge.

We have had breakfasts with this ham, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches twice for dinner, and now tonight we will have soup. I think over the next couple of days that we will finish one jar of the soup. The other one I am going to freeze and eat the next time we have rainy days. I will freeze it in reusable individual soup containers that I use to freeze soup.

I can’t buy cold cuts for $.99 a lb. so all of this was a great bargain. I wanted to get some hams around Christmas but I did not have the freezer space. Finally after Easter I did. I also bought two corned beefs around St. Patrick’s Day. I am always happy to find hams and corned beef cheap because they are two of Hubby’s favorite meats. He could eat them for a week for every meal and be very happy.

Meat is so darn expensive these days that I am very happy when I can get it under $2.00 a lb. Hams at Easter and Christmas for $.99 a lb. Butterball turkeys at Thanksgiving for $.99 a lb. or generic for cheaper is the way to reduce your meat bill. You should be able to pick up cheap ground beef, hot dogs, and sausages this week for Memorial Day. I will be making sure that I have enough for the summer. I know I have enough of all except for hot dogs. I will be picking up a 3 lb. bag this week of Sahlen’s hot dogs for $10.99. They are made here in Buffalo and they are delicious.

The only other items I will buy this week are some corn on the cob at $ .39 an ear and some strawberries on BOGO. In another month we should have great local strawberries.

Hubby is at the dentist for his cleaning and check up. When he gets home, I will make some hash browns and fried ham for brunch.

Speaking of the dentist, I am furious with the staff. I had to cancel an appointment for Hubby a bit ago and I mentioned that our Dental Plan was due to be paid today for the next year and that Frank would pay it when he came in today. Then when I had my appointment a week or so ago, I mentioned that again to his receptionist and bookkeeper. Every year the premium goes up so I called the office last week to find out how much it would be. I was told that the dentist is not offering a plan for 2024. I was shocked and asked her why she didn’t mention that fact when I was in for my appointment. She said it was a recent decision. I said how recent and she said two weeks ago. I told her I asked each time and my appointment had been after they made the decision. What was the big secret? Crickets!

My dentist is to expensive that I don’t think I will be going back there. Hubby is there now and we will see how he feels about it. The only thing I ever have done is X-rays and cleanings for my bottom teeth because I have an upper denture.

When I went to have my medical tests done last week, I saw a sign at a local college that they are doing cleanings and X-rays for free. They must have a dental school there. I am going to try to get an appointment for October which is when I have to go again. This would save me $ 305. for the cleaning and about $200. for the X-rays.

Tomorrow or Wednesday I will do a post about how I am sick and tired of making everyone else rich except us. It will be interesting because I am going to make some big changes.

How are you saving on meat?

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Every Day

A Little Of This and A Little Of That

I needed very few groceries this week. On my trip to Top’s, I purchased 4 bars of Cabot Cheese on sale for $ 2.50 each. This cheese is our very favorite so I tend to stock up on it when it is cheap. We needed cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches so that was $ 2.79. The bread is for sandwiches and to make French toast for West. It was $ 1.69. The Ken’s Blue cheese dressing was $2.49 using a $ 1.00 off coupon. The last items were 2 SF wafer cookies that Hubby asked for. They were on sale for $3.00 each. So my grocery bill this week totaled $ 22.97. I also got a 100 free gas points with a monopoly ticket. The cashier reminded me that gas points are expiring on Saturday. Since I had $.40 off a gallon, I filled up while I was there. I paid $ 3.30 per gallon after the reduction.

In the mail I received these coupons that I had requested. We love the Chung’s Egg Rolls to accompany our dinner when I make Chinese food. The Smithfield coupons will come in handy for smoked sausage, ham, and hot dogs. I take time once a week to write the manufacturers of products that I use to ask for coupons.

A while ago my son in the Adirondacks told me that the fire department he volunteers at was having a raffle so I purchased a couple of tickets. I totally forgot about it until this morning when he told me I won the Yeti Tundra 35 cooler. I rarely win anything so I am very excited. This will come in handy for picnics, parties, and if the power goes out.

Yesterday, I ran out and did some errands for Hubby. He wanted me to get some geraniums for the back patio. I had sticker shock when I saw what they cost. I needed a flat of 12 and they cost $ 38. for just 4 plants. That was $ 114. for the flat. There was no way I was paying that. So instead I got a flat of fire hot(color) salvia. That cost me $19.99+ tax. What a huge difference. I wonder why the geraniums are so expensive. I know things cost so much more but I deemed this a complete rip off.

I am lazy this morning. But as soon as I have my shower and get dressed for the day, I will be cleaning.

What are you doing this week to save money?

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Every Day

What We Did To Cut Costs The Past 10 days

The flowers in the picture are for Mother’s Day from my son who lives in the eastern part of NY. They are just beautiful with so many roses and lilies. Seven lilies had yet to open when they came. Today they are all open. I have been enjoying them while we eat our meals.

I use a car wash that gives a free wash after you collect 5 coupons for other washes. I had 5 so I went up and got the SUV washed. That saved us $12.00 and they also gave me a coupon for the free wash. When I got home I cleaned the inside of the car and vacuumed it out. It is amazing how many stones were on the mats.

While I was out, I went to Fast Cash and redeemed $ 3. 50 worth of bottles.

Hubby never cut my hair because he had an achilles problem and can’t stand for too long. Since my hair was so bad, I found a $ 12.99 coupon for Great Clips and had it cut. The stylist did a great job so I will continue going to her when I need to. I got a $ 2.00 off my next cut coupon.

We got a refund check from the hospital for my last CT scan for almost $29.52. I wasn’t sure why and was about to call them. Then I remembered that they made me pay my co-pay up front. That is unusual because between Medicare and my health plan, you never know what they will pay. So it was a refund of that over payment.

Top’s had NY premium strip steaks on sale again for $10.99 a lb. I picked up 3 more packages of 4 each. We really love these.

This past week, Hubby grilled steaks, and fried haddock. I made chicken fajitas and red beans and rice. We ate all the leftovers the other nights. No take out or restaurant meals for us.

We always have leftover steak from dinner so Hubby sliced it up and cooked it with butter and garlic. He made eggs to go with it for a late breakfast.

The landscapers came a week ago Friday and weeded all of our gardens, put a new garden in by the shed, and mulched all the gardens. Then they transplanted two bushes from the garden that has our spruce trees in it to the new gardens near the shed. The garden with the 3 spruce trees was planted over 14 years ago and they have kind of taken over. So the smaller things needed to be moved. The garden that was done last year needed a couple of more bushes. Hubby knew exactly what he wanted but the landscaper said he would have to have the nursery order them because they don’t carry them. Hubby said no he would order them and plant them. They came last week and he has done that. That saved us quite a bit of money.

We also had two bushes in the garden out front that had gotten big and scraggly over the years. So the landscaper removed them and replaced them with smaller bushes that are similar.

Two loads of laundry were done: one load of clothes which I hung and one load of winter blankets that I washed, dried, and stored for the winter.

Because I am doing so much scratch cooking, I am using my dishwasher more often unless I use paper plates. So it has been run every other day.

Have you done anything to save a bit of money?

I want to wish all of you Mothers on here a wonderful day tomorrow. We will be staying home and Hubby will most likely grill filet mignon and I will put some baking potatoes in the small oven and cook some broccoli. This is my very favorite meal.

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Every Day

Cutting Costs By Learning and Then Acting

I think most people can cut costs easily so that you can get rid of that debt that is hanging over your head.

These are some of my favorite books that I have learned from over the years. Most libraries will have some of these. Borrow them and read them cover to cover. But Precious, I don’t have time. If I could read them when I had two active children, worked a full time job for a number of years, did the cooking, cleaning, and laundry, you have time.

I didn’t have the internet back then. Today you have many blogs and you tube channels that you can learn from. Find the ones you like and read them. Do your work around the house while listening to you tube. I do that while doing chores, prepping meals, and when I am walking on the treadmill. Don’t just listen to them and then have the information go in one ear and out the other. Put what you have learned into action! I know people who read and learn and then never take the time to do any of it. Why bother to learn to begin with? That just becomes a waste of your time.

I still prefer to have a book in my hand that I can pick up before bedtime and read a little every night. I have a huge collection of books that I have read over and over again. I am in the process of reading them again now in this bad economy. Then I will be giving them away one by one so that someone else will have that knowledge.

One of the cheapest ways these days to make a meal with meat is to buy hamburger. I have this book:

It was published back in 1983. I used it over and over again when my growing boys were 10 and up. It saved my budget so many times when things were tight. Keep an eye out for it at the library, on the internet, and garage sales. It is invaluable! My son is making the majority of his meals from scratch and posting them on his facebook page. I have gotten some great recipes from him. Now I will return the favor by giving him this book the next time we see each other.

So while you are looking for frugality books, don’t forget to look for those older cookbooks that have cheap recipes in them too. I still use many from WW2 and later. Those recipes are just as delicious as they were back then and will save you money today.

Do you have any frugal books that you could comment on that you use? It could be helpful to a lot of people here.

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Every Day

Are You Drowning In Debt?

The economy has been tough these past few years. Do you feel like you are drowning in debt? Maybe you are. The amount of credit card debt in this country is growing rapidly. It reached $1.13 trillion dollars by the end of 2023. The mortgage debt is $12.25 trillion dollars. Home home equity loan debt is $360 billion dollars. Auto loans are $1.61 trillion dollars. Student loan debt I have no idea because the President seems to be forgiving “his select groups of people” who have student loan debt even though the Supreme Court said he couldn’t. Someone has to pay for that and it is the taxpayers who most likely paid their own student loans themselves or for their children. Isn’t buying votes wonderful? Okay, I will get back on track now.

If you have credit card debt, there is only one way to solve that problem and that is to pay if off. You borrowed it, you pay it off. Over my lifetime, I have heard people make so many excuses about why they have credit card debt. They use their cards for what they consider emergencies. It starts with one emergency and then balloons from there into many emergencies. First, the pipes get clogged and they use their credit card to pay the plumber, then the furnace goes and they put that on the credit card, then they have a dental emergency, or an auto repair emergency, etc. After that everything is an emergency, even food. The worst part is when they are paying the minimum payments every month. They get farther and farther behind with the interest payments they are making. Some of those interest rates are in the high 20’s. Yikes! You are making your credit card companies rich and you poor!

What are you going to do if you lose your job? What are you going to do if you have a reduction in income? There is nothing worse than losing your income. One day you are chugging along and then you are out of a job. Have you prepared for that?

The worst excuse I have heard over the years is “I deserve” a vacation or to go out to restaurants to eat quite frequently, or to go to the latest movies, or to buy new furniture or carpeting or the latest decor, etc. No one deserves anything that they can’t pay for. If you are living above your income, just STOP! You are doing so much damage to your future that it just breaks my heart thinking about it.

I have known people who have lost their homes. I have known people who have never owned their homes for many decades because of credit card debt. Every time they run up their credit cards and can’t pay them off, they redo their mortgage taking the equity out of their home or take a 2nd mortgage on their home in the form of a HELOC(Home Equity Loan). That is the dumbest thing you can ever do. Credit card debt is unsecured debt. By using your home to pay it off, you put your home at risk because your home is secured debt. You don’t pay, they will take your home.

So let’s start being responsible for all of that spending that was of your own making. You have sabotaged yourself and your family. You have no one to blame but yourself. I am tired of hearing poor me because I just don’t have the money to buy “fill in the blank”.

The first thing you do is start a real emergency fund so that you have the money when a true emergency comes up. If you have recently depleted your emergency fund, you have to work to replace it. With all the large and small things you can cut, you can do it even if you just build it with $25. a week. Then do not touch it unless it is a life or death emergency.

Start putting more than the minimum payment on your credit card bills. How do I do that Precious when there is no extra money? You cut all costs that are not a necessity. Next you look at the frivolous spending you do on a daily basis.

You don’t need to buy a cup of coffee out; make it at home and take it with you. You can cook ALL of your meals from scratch so much cheaper than paying for restaurant meals or takeout. You can catch the new movie a few months later on a free or cheap streaming channel for pennies on the dollars you would have paid for tickets and the expensive concession items. There are so many things that are free that you can do for entertainment. Just check your local area. Take up a free hobby like learning how to save money by watching you tube or taking a book out of the library to read.

If you are an impulse purchaser, do grocery or department store pickups. That way you aren’t just browsing in the store seeing all the goodies that you can put in your cart. If you buy on Amazon or Walmart online, put your necessary item in your cart but don’t check out for a few days. If you still deem it necessary in 3-5 days, then purchase it. I do this all the time. 90% of my items aren’t really necessities so I remove them from my cart. If it is a want and you can afford it then get what you want.

This is totally not targeted at any one person. Many people are very responsible with their money. If this post makes you mad, then you probably needed the advice. I will be trying to help anyone who needs to hear this in future posts.

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Every Day

Why I Don’t Take Hubby Shopping

Our pharmacy closed this weekend. I found a new one 2 blocks from the one we went to. I visited last week and looked around the store and talked to the pharmacy personnel. I have 4 requirements when choosing a pharmacy. It has to be close to where I do other errands, it has to be very clean, it has to be one that it is in our drug plan, and the pharmacist and other people that work there have to be friendly, accurate, and efficient. I was satisfied that the new one most likely would meet our requirements. I came home and told Hubby about it. He was happy to switch there. So we switched to the pharmacy and gave that pharmacy to all of our doctors to send future prescriptions to. Then Hubby ordered two prescriptions. We were amazed that just three hours after we ordered them, they were ready.

I decided that I would pick them up the next day before I did my weekly shopping at Top’s. Hubby insisted on going because he wanted to make sure that he knew right where this pharmacy was. I told him no problem but that we needed to shop at Top’s afterward. He said okay which surprised me because he hates grocery shopping.

First we went to the pharmacy. I was anxious to see how many pills they gave Hubby for each script. We have never had a pharmacy that filled them correctly the first time. We get 90 days of pills with our plan. It would be so aggravating when I would go to pick up scripts and they would be filled with 30 because they paid no attention. Then I would have to wait while they redid them. This pharmacy did them correctly to my amazement.

Then we went to Top’s to get some loss leaders. I had a list and I even ate breakfast before we went so that I would stick to my list. However, it didn’t take long for Hubby to start picking up things and putting them in the cart. The first few were on sale which was no problem. That is the way I shop and then I shop my shelves to make meals. So we are almost always eating food that was on sale. However he decided he wanted cold cuts. I said okay and took him over to the deli and showed him what was on sale. He didn’t want the sale cold cuts. He wanted the Charlie The Butcher roast beef which the girl told me was $ 18.00 a lb. I told him but before I could say I will get some he got mad and went out to the car to saying he couldn’t get what he wanted. I continued shopping and got him a half a lb. of the roast beef. Then I picked the rest of my items on my list and checked out.

I explained to him that I have no problem getting the things he likes. But I will give him the ad every week so that he can pick out the sale items. I explained that almost everything that he would want would go on sale over a 12 week period. I would buy him enough to last 12 weeks. I told him otherwise I would need a raise in my grocery budget. He said that is fine and any time I need a raise I can just take more cash from the bank. I told him I have been doing just fine this year. So when the ad comes in the mail this week for next week, I will give it to him to look at. Then he can tell me if there are any loss leaders he wants and I will add them to my list. He is happy with this arrangement.

The first 4 items that Hubby picked up were 2 boxes of Cheez-It’s that were on sale for $3.00 a box and 2 bags of croutons that were on sale for $2.00 each. We already have 8 bags of them but they are the Caesar ones he always asks for and I guess he is tired of them. Next I got the 1/2 lb. of roast beef he wanted and noticed when I looked at my receipt and this picture that the roast beef was on sale. It was on sale for $ 14.99 a lb. which I still think it outrageous. So it cost $ 7.94 for .53 lbs. It was not advertised in my flyer and the girl told me it was not on sale.

Then I purchased what was on my list which was 2 sirloin steaks on sale B1G1F and cost $ 11.98 for both minus a $2.00 off $10.00 meat purchase Monopoly coupon so it cost me $ 9.98 for the two steaks. I got a bag of frozen tortellini which was on sale for $ 3.34. I make soup and some pasta dishes with this.

We were out of tomatoes on the vine and I want to make BLT’s this week so I purchased these on sale at $ 1.88 a lb. for $ 3.46. The last item was an 8oz. chunk of cheddar cheese on sale for $ 1.99. We eat cheese as a snack sometimes.

So my total for all ended up being $ 36.71.

Did you get any grocery bargains this week?

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Every Day

Things We Have Done To Save Money This Past Week

Ninety percent of our meals were made at home this week including homemade chicken soup, taco bowls, and turkey sandwiches.

Leftovers were eaten other days. Waste not, want not!

For entertainment, Hubby and I watched the NCIS, FBI, CSI, and Equalizer shows that Hubby had saved on the DVR.

Hubby planted the daffodil plant that my son and daughter in law had given us for Easter. We were thrilled to see that there were 3 bulbs in that pot.

We are still going through our home and getting rid of things that we no longer want by donating them. Hubby took all of our old electronics: computers, cellphone and tablets to the electronics pick up at our town hall this morning. This did not save us money but it is saving us space and clutter.

I inventoried our canning jars not only for the seasonal things this year but for more meat. We have been using up the meat that was canned in 2021 and 2022. So I need to put up a lot more beef and chicken. I do have enough jars, rings, and new lids.

We have been making lots of pudding for snacks this week. I also have celery and carrot sticks that we eat with homemade veggie dip.

If you have a thrift store close to your location, run in there when you are doing other errands and see what they have. You never know what you may find. I rarely find clothes but often I find cheap books and greeting cards. It only takes me an extra 5 minutes when I am out.

We got our electric and natural gas bill for the past month. It would have been $ 193.09 for 31 days but we got the NYS Energy Credit on this bill which New York is giving to everyone. So our bill after the credit for $24.23 was $168.06. We are now having very cold weather for this time of year. It has been in the 20’s at night so I expect this next bill will be higher.

We have been doing the usual: one to two loads of laundry a week using cold water and hanging most to dry. We have been cooking either on the range top or in the countertop 11 in one oven. The dishwasher is run once to twice a week.

Hubby will be giving me a haircut today. It has been a year and a half since I have gone to the hairdresser and I am enjoying saving the $ 140. I was spending going every 5-6 weeks.

What have you done to save money this week?

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Every Day

My Weekly Grocery Haul And The Worst Thing I Have Ever Eaten

I apologize for the blurry picture again today. I will figure out this new camera when I have time.

Hubby is feeling a lot better today. He is just not 100% yet. I think it is definitely my homemade chicken soup that is curing him. We will be having that for dinner again tonight.

Since Top’s is only 3 miles away, he told me to go to the market. He said he would call me if he needed me. I went early and it was not crowded so I wasn’t gone long.

I got 3.05 lbs of Hot Italian Sausage which was on loss leader sale for $3.99 a lb. for the cost of $ 12.17. We had no shrimp so I splurged on a bag of Colossal Shrimp on sale for $11.99 and the 10 Knorr sides on sale for $1.00 each. They were a long term stockpile item. I earned $.20 off a gallon of gas in points for the Knorr deal. I got a 30 count package of bandaids and the Post Cocoa cereal cup for free with 2 Monopoly coupons. West will enjoy that. I purchased a bottle of Ken’s Steakhouse Sweet Vidalia Onion salad dressing on sale for $3.00 and used a $1.00 off coupon that they sent me in the mail for a cost of $2.00.

I have not bought a Hot Pockets since my kids were in school many, many years ago. It was $ .99 with a Monopoly coupon. I will never buy one again. I had one for lunch and it was awful. The dough was flavorless and the pizza fillings inside were like mush. This has to be the worst thing I have ever eaten. I choked down the one I was eating and debated on throwing out the other one in the package. But Hubby said he will try it later in the week. I think his opinion will be the same. It was a total waste of $ .99. The Hot Pockets back in the 1980’s were much better than this one. I think they have either changed ingredients for their profit or can’t get the ingredients. Yuck!

Lastly, I got 2 boxes of SteakUmms on sale for $ 3.99 each for a total of $7.98. I love these with my eggs for brunch. They have new pork ones out too. I have asked the company for coupons.

My total today for this weekly shop was $ 45.13.

Did you get any good grocery deals this week?

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Every Day

I Did Not Do Much Today Because……………………..

So sorry that this is not perfect. I have been taking care of Hubby today who is not feeling well. He woke me up at 1:30am this morning saying he did not feel well. I tried to get symptoms from him but all he wanted to do was go back to sleep. I couldn’t because I was very worried. So I have been up since then. He fell back to sleep and seemed to sleep well.

He got up at 8:30 because he had a late morning dentist appointment. He still did not feel well. He told me some of his symptoms which could have been many things. I gave him a Covid test. He was negative. But I called the dentist and rescheduled his appointment. It could be a stomach bug or something else. I offered to call the doctor or take him to the emergency room but he declined.

So I did the next best thing which is spend the entire day right by his side. I also made him some homemade chicken soup for dinner using a jar of homemade canned chicken and some homemade chicken broth, diced celery, and diced carrots, and added rice. It is the only thing he has eaten today and he ate a bowl full telling me how delicious it was. I made enough for a few days. The pot had just started to boil when I snapped this picture.

Today, my shipment of butter arrived from Amazon. The picture is above. With dairy being a supply chain issue, I wanted to make sure that we had some on the shelf. They were $ 9.48 a can but we like it and it will be on the shelf if the power goes out. So my order was $37.92.

Lastly, Hubby made some hummingbird food this weekend so we could fill up our 3 feeders. It costs him about a $ .25 for this gallon of it vs. $ 8.74 to buy the same size at the store. Every penny counts!

I hope you all had a great day!

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Every Day

Saving Money A Little At A Time

I hear so many people today saying I can’t save money. So many of them think that they have to save a large amount of money on one item to make it worth it. They are so wrong. There are usually only a few things that you can save a lot of money on but there are hundreds that you can save a little bit on. Those little things add up to huge amounts of money over a year’s time. We are a testament to having saved on the little things and the big things over our years of marriage. We would not be where we are today without having done that. Retired and comfortable for almost 23 years.

But enough about us. I want to tell you about someone who made his first loaf of bread from scratch yesterday. I don’t know if he thought about how much money he could save over a year’s time but I do know he will save a lot. He made it because it was healthier. You all know how much a nice loaf of bread like this would be in a grocery store or bakery. I think I could make this for under $2.00 a loaf. Especially if you buy your ingredients in bulk like I do. I buy 25 lbs of flour and 25 lbs. of sugar in bulk and store them in food grade buckets. Olive oil and yeast is purchased in bulk at a warehouse store. Most clubs like B.J.’s and Sam’s Club sell yeast in a 2 lb package that you can keep in the freezer. You just spoon out what you need when you need it. I always let mine warm up for a bit before I use it. If you prefer to buy honey instead of sugar buy it at an Amish store or warehouse club in a large container. It never goes bad. I always buy butter when it is on sale for $ 2.69 at Aldi’s around Thanksgiving and Easter. It freezes well.

I wish I could be with him to taste this beautiful loaf of bread. But since I can’t, I will just have to make it myself. He substituted honey for the sugar and olive oil for the butter to make it healthier. Now he has plenty of bread for his work lunches this week.

Here is the recipe:https://baranbakery.com/sandwich-bread/

My son who lives in the Adirondacks made this. I think he did great for his first loaf. I hope I do as well when I make it.

I want to thank him for allowing me to share this with all of you.

Do any of you make homemade bread to save on the cost of store bought? Do you have a special recipe that you could share?