Sunday, March 3, 2013

Do the Math on simple luxury items Save your $$ 
     After Christmas was packed up and gone, I moved on to the next project.  Today, I learned a lesson from the home made Christmas gifts had planted a seed that is about to sprout!

      My eldest son likes his coffee.  He doesn't drink it all day and after those trips to a combat zone, he sure knows hoe to do without the frills in life, but he does like his morning coffee.  One morning he ran out of his favorite coffee flavoring.  He is a french vanilla snob.  His lovely wifey suggested he put some of the vanilla sugar I made in his cup and go to the store later.  He tried it.  It satisfied his taste and made the morning.  

     Later, on his trip to the grocery store he looked at the price of his vanilla flavoring with wide open eyes.  Of course he bought some but, he started doing the math.  How much does it cost times how many times a year did he buy it.  $6 x 50-52=$306 !

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     I got a phone call asking about the cost of the gifts.  (oops)  I had to confess my secret.  Two beautiful vanilla beans and a bag of sugar and the use of a lot of saved up small glass containers to gift it in.  The vanilla beans were the most pricey at nearly ten dollars for the two at an organic grocer local to me.  I was able to reduce the cost of the next batch by buying bulk online.  

     One vanilla bean at the highest cost plus a 4 pound bag of sugar equals $9.  It will cost $15 if he makes a strong flavored sugar and cuts it later.  He figures to make his first four pound bag of sugar and reduce not only his cost for a little flavor, but he found the calories were fewer by the spoon full.  The flavoring he used had a higher calorie count than two spoons of sugar.  It also had alcohol and preservatives and ingredients you couldn't pronounce and when examined closely was in fact an artificial flavoring!

     Now THAT is the kind of math they should teach in school!  He will make his own flavoring and be able to share some with his wife the baker.  He will have the means to make as much as he wants to have for now and to store in his prep pantry and will do it for less money while having a healthier substance to ingest.  

     I have also found vanilla sugar is available from specialty 
spice companies for $31.49 for three pounds and $5.95 for 2.8 fl. oz.!  It's crazy money! Make your own!

     Look around your life and your habits and find what you can make better, cheaper, fresher, faster.  Spend the money better on things you really need without denying yourself all the little pleasures in life.

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