My mother-in-law has dropped by several times since Baby M has come home, always bearing food. My favorite meal so far was a giant pot of Minnesota wild rice soup - delicious! She brought with it a twin-pack of French bread from the store, and if that is not the most delicious bread I've ever tasted in my life, I'm lying.
It's the sort of thing I never buy. Normally I would eat the soup plain, or maybe with saltines or even a slice of sandwich bread with butter. But the French bread made such a difference as a side to a humble soup, and really made everything feel a little fancier and more friendly. I thoroughly enjoyed both loaves and I checked the price - just $2.50 for such a luxury! Why have I not been doing this all along for myself?
I resolved to pick up things like French bread on a more regular basis, to add some pizzazz and specialness to our regular meals - now that we're eating at home again every day. It would add maybe $10 per month to our grocery budget, and surely that seems like an affordable luxury nowadays.
Before I had a chance to put that into practice, I read Ecothrifty, which contains a really excellent and simple-looking recipe for French bread. She estimates the cost at less than $1 per loaf when made with all organic ingredients, which is cheaper than the twin-pack from the store - and would probably taste even better fresh baked.
Why didn't I think of that first? It seems like my thought process should have gone from "too frugal to buy French bread" to "well, I'll make it myself" before "oh, let's justify the storebought cost". I'm trying to change my mindset so that this type of thinking is second nature, but it's a journey.
When you think of adding luxuries to your life, do you think of making them yourself first, or do you look for ways to justify the cost of store-bought?