In this small town there are no Walgreen’s or CVS or Aldis. In fact the nearest Walmarts are a couple of towns over in either direction. A half hour drive or more. That’s it within an hours drive. I have two small grocery stores, a small outdated overpriced discount store, and many gift shops. We live in a tourist area, complete with numerous resorts. So, during tourist season, the prices go up here in town. They are a little better in the winter when it is just us locals.
At first I didn’t know how I would cut my grocery bill without spending the savings in gas money to get someplace bigger with more low price options. Surprisingly I’ve found many ways to save and am now spending less than ever. First I was shocked by the price of bread. Easily triple what I had paid in my Hometown. I could never spend so much on a loaf of bread, even if it was whole grain. So, I dusted off the bread machine and started making my own at significant savings. It’s not hard and I’m never out of bread. I learned how to spend cash, create a working pantry and freezer, and space out some purchases to fit the budget better.
Now three years later, I’ve fallen into a fairly frugal pattern. I still get off course occasionally. And there have been bumps in the road. But all in all it has become pretty simple. Now instead of feeling sorry for myself for not having the opportunities for the free or super cheap deals that I read about, I am almost glad that I’m not spending time trying to match sales with rebates with coupons. I am proud of myself for finding ways that work for me, where I am, and striving to be the best steward of my family’s resources.