Bread Baking Economics


[content notes: food privilege,being broke, classism,poorsplaining, food insecurity]

We ‘ve been buying store bought bread. I used to make most of my own but when we lived in the house with no heat in most of the rooms and a 30 year old oven that didn’t work so well, I stopped doing it and never got back into the habit.

Yesterday morning we ran out of bread and there was exactly zero cents left to buy any after scraping together the rent money. Good thing I bought flour last week and have yeast and salt on hand,eh?

I was in a terrible mood because of the general circumstances of the day but then it was made worse by Pinterest. We all know Pinterest is a life ruiner. Somehow Pinterest seemed to know the exact buttons that needed pushing and placed as their “recommended for you” posts all things that had to do with “Bake Your Own Bread To Save Money!” and holy hell…. “Eat Real Food Even When You’re Poor”.

Lizzy McGuire


Ok, great…good for you for baking your own bread to save some money but I’m not baking bread because I’m trying to save money! I’m baking bread because I don’t have any freakin’ money in the first place!

What if I hadn’t had flour and yeast? I could make pretend bread. That would probably taste great if I put my mind to it and have a lot less calories. Really,though… I am certain some of these people don’t understand that cooking things from scratch like homemade bread requires ingredients and sometimes you don’t even have the money for the ingredients. Then what? Well, then you just go without. Like…you just don’t have that thing at all. Really. That’s a thing that happens.

And time! I work at home. I’m home all day. I am busy but I do have time I can work with. I think back to those days when I was a single mom working full time outside the house and I can just not imagine how I would have baked bread everyday with all that was going on.

Other things needed to bake bread: a working oven or bread oven, the economic ability to pay for  the utilities, the physical ability to do it.
So,then after thinking about all that,  I was mad about having to bake bread even though I LIKE baking bread. I even like kneading it, which is the one thing people seem to want to cut out of the process. It’s really therapeutic and I developed this whole routine to go along with it. I made a playlist with songs that are all 7-10 minutes in length and that’s how I measure the amount of time I need to knead. It helps keep me focused (ADHD brain here) and makes the time enjoyable.

I also went through that thing where when you don’t have money and you keep thinking back on all the things you bought that you could have done without or spent less money on. Like bread. I even did math. I quit before I had the answer to what I was trying to figure out but that’s beside the point.
I did manage to figure out that the cheapest loaf I can bake at home is about 35¢. It takes two of those loaves to equal the $2 loaf we buy. So, 70¢ for homemade versus $2 for storebought. But we tend to eat more of the homemade because it’s SOOO good (really, it’s much better), so I’m  not convinced I should have major remorse about the money spent on storebought bread.

Food pantry is open this Monday. There will probably be bread. There usually is. Bakeries and stores throw a lot out . There’s nothing wrong with it. I’ll take it.

I did make bread after all yesterday. It was awesome,thankfully.If anything had gone wrong, I probably would have flipped tables.

My day ended up improving. I sold something, made some egg ,butter,milk money (we ran out of all 3 yesterday,too. Sheesh). Started the day with zero cents ,ended with more than zero plus good bread. Still annoyed at how the people telling poor people how to cook and spend their money don’t really get it sometimes. This morning I was listening to one of my usual podcasts and a woman introduced as a frugal foodie was on it explaining(poorsplaining) how to eat well even when you’re broke. The woman’s bio does not entail an impoverished life. Yes, bread was mentioned. The universe is determined to piss me off by putting these people in my ears.








250 × 139

No Food Wasted: Leftover Spinach Salad= Greek-ish Omelette

The phone rang and I have ADHD, so my omelette scorched , then plain just fell apart but you’re not here for pretty food photography, right?

This is the reason I prefer to make salad with spinach than lettuce (besides that spinach has more nutritional value) .I can recycle spinach salad far easier into other foods than I can lettuce. You can throw it in wraps, pasta dishes,bake it on fish or meat… lots of possibilities.

One negative: spinach tends to be more expensive BUT I find that I can stretch a package of spinach throughout several meals and I just don’t get that with lettuce.

Both are really easy to grow if you can do that, so there’s that way of handling the whole cost issue. Still, even growing my own I would end up buying some occasionally because my small garden was not a farm that could keep up with my ridiculous family who likes to eat lots of spinach.

If I do have a salad made with lettuce, I will use up the leftover on a sandwich. But meh…

No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever

One of my favorite blogs Thrift Core has a great post today on not using shampoo, or as it’s commonly called “No Poo”
No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever.

I haven’t used shampoo in ages. My foray into No Poo began because I couldn’t afford to buy shampoo and the hair care methods when not using shampoo are things that can be purchased with food stamps, but most importantly, they’re food stamp allowable ingredients that are very inexpensive and don’t use a significant portion of your food stamp budget. Not to mention, they can be used for other things in cooking and around the house.

After using “no poo” out of necessity, I discovered that when I had money to buy shampoo, I wasn’t crazy about how my hair felt and went back to no poo.
I use mostly just apple cider vinegar and baking soda for my hair care with an occasional Hair Smoothie whipped up when I need some conditioning. I also have started making my own apple cider vinegar with apple scraps, which helps shave more off the grocery bill.

Lunchtime Link: Drying Clothes Without Electricity

Not much to share today. My hubby got hurt yesterday and is out of work until Monday at the very earliest. We’ll see what happens on Monday. Since he’s home, he’s on parenting duty while I work on Etsy & Ebay listings (something that is harder than you might think with a super helpful 4 year old). He didn’t do it AT work, so this is time off without pay, so trying to make up the difference from what will be missing from his paycheck.

We cannot catch a break,I swear.

Just wanted to share these tips today for drying clothes without an electric dryer or when you have the power shut off. This is one of those things people ask for tips on quite often. I think Mom with a Prep covers it well. We didn’t have a dryer for years and last year at tax return time got the old one repaired. In the summer, drying was easy. In the winter (NY) , not so much… and having a big family probably made it trickier. Pretty much if there was a place that could have a rope strung, it became drying space. The thick cloth diapers were hardest to dry inside but I found that the standard wooden drying racks worked best if I placed them really close to the heater and flipped them occasionally.

How to Dry Your Clothes Without Power - Mom with a PREP //  Whether you are existing in a post-disaster situation with no power or you are choosing to rely less on the grid that provides power for your home, finding ways to effectively dry your clothes, in no matter what amount of space that you have, can be daunting if the only option you've seen is the large telephone-like limbers that take up the entire backyard of someone's home.

How To Dry Your Clothes Without Power

Ironically, it’s raining like crazy here today and I just threw a load of laundry in the dryer.
There’s flooding in parts around us. I peeked out into the garden and some parts are underwater. Sigh.

Nick Drake is always my rainy day music…

Anyone need a FREE dress for a prom or something fancy-ish?

This first dress is being offered by Matching Outfits. If you’re interested, use the Facebook messaging system to contact .

It’s a size 2/3 and hemmed to fit about 5’2 or so.

Here’s the whole post ~here ~

This next one is one I’m offering. Probably easiest to contact me via email at First one to contact me,gets it.


It’s a size 8, but fits smaller,IMO. It’s trimmed with black velour and the dress is satiny-ish with dots that are black & glittery.
Here’s the measurements:
Waist: 15″ across front
Bust: 18″, armpit to armpit
Length: roughly 36″







Library Loot: Feb 26th to March 4th

On a fairly regular basis on my personal blog, I used to participate in a  blog hop called Library Loot a weekly event co-hosted by Claire fromThe Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.  I think I’ll start doing it here from time to time because I do think libraries are very relevant to poor folks. We’ve already talked here about how the library is a valuable resource for Internet services but obviously, it’s great for other stuff ,too.

I used this  How Much Money Does Your Library Save You? calculator  . Now, “save” isn’t exactly correct because I don’t usually have money to spend on books,movies, classes,and any other things the library offers. But according to the calculator, if I were purchasing or paying for these items or services, it works out to be about $20,000 a year. Not just for me by myself,of course. That accounts for our whole family of 7.

Yeah, we use the library a lot.
We pay it forward a little by donating our used books to the bi-annual book sales and in the past, I’ve helped out with some of the children’s programming. I literally visit my library 5 days a week. As a treat, my son goes there after school sometimes to play the wii (we don’t have game systems at home) or just to hang out with his friend and play Pokemon or do lego builds at one of the tables.  Plus, they have a magazine exchange shelf that I frequently check and contribute copies to. I really love magazines but don’t have money to subscribe to my favorites. It’s like winning the lottery when I find copies of Brain, Child , PasteMother Earth News (and all sorts of other gardening/homesteading mags), Mother Jones, and on and on. I end up reading a lot of magazines I would have never even thought of reading before just because they’re there.

I just love my library,ok?

So, this is a sampling of what we have out right now from the library:

I intended to do reviews for all of these that we read on Goodreads (if you’re there, you can follow me here ) but considering I started the draft for this post on Monday evening… yeah, I haven’t gotten to it yet.
There’s a few not in the picture because they were in different rooms of the house and I forgot about them. Poor excluded books.

I will probably do a review separately of the Sweet Potato Lovers Cookbook with gratuitous food & recipe pics.

The one huge disappointment here was Sherlock. It’s Season 3, which I haven’t seen yet. But silly me wasn’t paying attention and grabbed the Bluray copy. We don’t have a Blu-ray player, so that didn’t do me much good.
Well, we do have a Blu-ray player but it’s way old and doesn’t play blu-ray discs anymore, only dvds.

My little guy’s favorite book this week was Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales.   





Here’s a video of the author reading it. She reads it MUCH better than I do. My Spanish is quite awful, even though I took 4 years of it in high school and Spanish is my step-children’s native language, so it’s used often around me. Something tells me my 3 year old will speak better Spanish than I do before too long.

So, that’s just a quickie look at some of our Library Loot this week. Yay, libraries!


parting shot from my little "helper"

parting shot from my little “helper”



ICYMI: Meals w/protein but no meat, thrifty kitchen tools,basic sourdough, staying clean without showering daily (or shampoo), and oodles more.


Backgrounds_Bright_green_background_035524_ (1)



The Foodie Stuff

21 Meals With Tons Of Protein And No Meat – Just what it says: tons of protein,no meat

Freezer Meals – Spinach Lasagna Rolls – This was one of my standard freezer meals back when I did once a month cooking regularly. They freeze well and filling is easily changed up for variety.

Soup of the Day: Fasolka – I’m loving Persephone Magazine ‘s Soup of the Day recipes. This one has good protein and easy-peasy to make.

Quinoa Mushroom Soup – I made this with some “rescued” quinoa…the grocery store was going to throw it out because there was a slit n the bag. #freegan

10 Kitchen Tools Thrifty People Own – Snail Pace Transformations    Oh, you have no idea how much I love some of these things.
Popcorn is a whole food group to me and my 2 crockpots are my bestest buds. The only think on this list I don’t like is bread machines. I dunno. I just like doing it the other way.
*My “thrifty tip”* : You can find everything on this list at yard sales & thrift stores or freecycle/craigslist.

Recipe: Basic Sourdough Starter -For the Want-to-Be-Bread-Bakers. Once you start baking sourdough, it can become a little bit of a cultivated obsession.

Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers with Smoked Paprika Chipotle Sauce – I cooked too many black beans one day, so I used them up to make these burgers. So good.


If you’re craving something, it’s probably because your body needs something else. Well, unless it’s a comfort food but that’s another story.
Another tip about chia seeds: They do this weird expanding thing and help you feel fuller longer. Weight loss people recommend them for this reason but I recommend them for reducing some hunger pangs.

It’s a problem.

Thrifty Living Things 

Growing Onions Vertically On The Windows – Pretty easy to do and doesn’t require much space.

Renewed Frugality – 21 Frugal Tips To Try This Year -Have to be honest…. the Frugal Tips in the blogosphere are getting old for me BUT I like this one! I do most of these myself …
and I have to throw out there for #10 – if you have a good library system, use it for family movie night to save even more money.

Washing My Hair With Baking Soda | My Healthy Green Family -This is my hair care regimen,too.
( not only is it “green”, you can’t buy shampoo with SNAP but you can buy baking soda & apple cider vinegar)

Garden Crops: Cold Storage Ideas & Root Cellar Tips        Helpful for those of you who are getting a bounty of root crops from their CSA. 

How to Stay Clean Without Showering Every Day– All sorts of reasons people can’t shower every day, so here’s some ideas on how to not be the smelly kid & still be clean without showering daily.

DIY Homemade Cling Wrap – Nourishing Joy -Saves money, helps eliminate (or reduce at least ) plastic.