I’m MEAN to my family!?

From the garden last summer

Here is the scenario at the grocery store the other day:

Daisy is with me and spies this shinny bag of frozen garlic bread with some cartoon character on it. Those marketing guys are very smart at what they do! Bright colors, cute cartoons and right at eye level on the shelf for a small child riding in a cart or walking and within easy reach for them. Any way that’s another post. She asked very nicely if she could have the bread and I politely told her no, we were going to be making bread at home later in the week, we still had some left we need to eat up first.

Well the lady coming down the aisle the other way, had 3 children with her and a cart full of all sorts of crap, non Lizzy Lane Farm food (I notice these things). Things like  boxes of fruit-roll ups, pop tarts,  boxes of kool-aid drink boxes, sugar cereal, a pile of lunchables( those boxed lunches with about 3 silver dollar sized pieces of bologna, 3-4 crackers, pudding cup and juice box), bags of candy…well you get the idea, in this I did not see a single fresh vegetable, bread, or meat of any kind.

The lady over heard my comment to Daisy and promptly told me I was MEAN to not let her have the bag of bread, her kids loved them & they make good snacks for them. I smiled at her and thanked her for the information and continued on my way through the store. I normally stay out of the frozen food aisle but it was a short cut to the meat counter.

Later that night I was thinking about this and wondered how such a huge-grand-canyon-sized gap in opinion of food could possible exist. I worry about organic, GMO’s, preservatives, MSG, food miles, fair trade to name a few and this other side of the canyon the woman was worried about telling her children no over anything they wanted. OH WOW!

I thought about a phone call I received from a friend that same night asking how much money I thought I saved making my own laundry soap & would I make her some if she dropped off the ingredients. This friend had to save money some where and wondered if it really helped or not. My answer to this is always the same. If it saves you even a few pennies over time it is worth it. I thought about that this friend was worried about laundry soap to save money but never gave it a thought that her family ate out 3-4 nights a week and that their house was full of much the same foods I saw earlier in that woman’s cart at the grocery store. That by stopping that it would save her much larger amounts of money that laundry soap ever would. Not so say that I think she should be doing both.

Here is my quick math:

a family of 4 out for dinner 4 times a week=$45.00 a night, including tip…

or $180 a week….

or $9,360 a year!


a single bottle of 2 liter soda:

$1.25 per bottle…

$7.50 (6 bottles) a week…

$390. a year!


a single box of 6 Pop Tarts:

$2.69 per box…

$10.76 (4 boxes a week)…

$559.52 a year!


Those 3 changes alone will save her $10,309 a year.  Add back in the cost of about $50. a week for groceries ($2,600. a year) and you still have $7,709. more a year.

Home cooked meals with wholesome ingredients will save you money every time and you will be healthier too. So with that in mind I would like to share the recipe I have been using for garlic bread sticks. The original recipe came from Hillbilly House Wife some time ago. I have changed it a bit and our family likes better this way.

Garlic Bread Sticks

Turn oven on 425 f and in a 9×12 pan place:

  •  1 stick of butter
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

place pan in oven to melt the butter

In a large mixing bowl combine:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbl. dried parsley
  • 1 Tbl. baking powder

mix well and stir in 1 1/4 cup cold milk. Right in the bowl knead dough 5-6 times and roll into 9×12 rectangle on floured board. By this time the butter should be melted in the pan. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and give the melted butter a stir to mix the garlic and salt around, place the rolled dough into the pan then flip the dough over to coat both sided. Cut into long sticks. The butter will seep up between the slices and is supposed to. I get about 8 sticks across and then cut them in 1/2 the short side of the pan to make them 6″ long.

  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 425 f for 20 minutes.

Quick and easy. I have brought these to several pot luck dinners and they went over well. They do freeze well and toast up nicely in the toaster oven for a quick side to lunch or dinner.


Posted on March 24, 2010, in Home Cooking Recipes, House Budgets, In the House. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Wow ! After looking at your math I am sure I could go figure out some things in my cupboard that would save me a bundle. I do make a lot of things homemade and we grow our own meat, eggs, can from our garden and have our own milk from our farm but now this gets me thinking ! Thanks for the recipe they sound yummy !

  2. What a great post!! It amazes me how people just don’t get it. The recipe sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hmmmm. mean, eh? You care about your family’s health and the environment and the people exploited producing cheap “food” and your pocket book…

    Sounds horribly mean to me!

    You are right though – there are lots of people living in a completely different world than we are!

  4. I am so proud of you. The problem with todays society is they want it now and handy. But health is at stake here. People scream about health care but don’t put the effort into working toward a better health for themselves. Your bread would have tasted a lot better anyway. Don’t worry Daisy understands.

  5. It amazes me how many people give their kids that crap, not to mention the money wasted on it! You just keep on being “mean”. When my son wanted something junky, we made a healthier version at home. We made cookies, twinkies, ho ho’s, donuts, etc. No preservatives, lower fat, sneak in some dried fruit or nuts.

  6. I am admiring how you were able to politely thank the woman for her opinion and go on your way. Snacks like that are fine sometimes, but all children should know what “no” means, regardless of the food their parents choose to feed them.

    Regarding the food budget – YES, cutting back on the snacks and eating out will save a lot more than the laundry soap ever will (though the soap will help). I have yet to do the math though – are homemade chocolate chip cookies really cheaper than Chips Ahoy? (They taste better, so the cost doesn’t really matter, but I am curious. 😉 )

    I’ll have to try this garlic bread recipe. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  7. A wonderfully wise post, Karyn. Thank you.

  8. I forget how wealthy you all are, the average income in the UK is £20,000 – no one has £10,000 to save. I was mean to my children too – we never ate out! They ate homecooked food all their lives, they are slim and healthy and they cook for themselves too. I love your blog, it’s well written and great to read.

  9. After doing the math I am never going out to eat again lol


  1. Pingback: Homemade Laundry Soap « Apron Strings

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