I am often asked if I find it expensive to bake so much and I have always said no. I mentioned in my previous post that I am without an oven for a while meaning I am having to buy the things I would normally bake. I can now say for certain, that by baking bread, scones and other snacks I am saving a fortune. I have spent crazy money on bread and school lunchbox items in the last couple of weeks. It’s breaking my heart. I don’t think anything I have bought is as good nutritionally as some of the things I can produce at home.
The bread in particular is driving me insane! Occasionally I do buy sliced pans, a couple of times a month I suppose. They go in the freezer and come out in emergencies. I buy the odd loaf of sourdough, it’s delicious and I haven’t mastered my own….yet! I’ve had to buy bread, lots of it, we’re big bread eaters. I was doing my best to buy good quality homemade breads. I’d never considered the cost much when I’d buy a good loaf as a treat so to speak but on one evening during the week I wanted a loaf of brown bread for tea, a proper loaf that came from a loaf tin, that I would have to slice with my bread knife. A loaf that felt wholesome and hearty as opposed to light and airy, so I bought one, it cost almost €5! €5 for a loaf of bread that wouldn’t last any longer than teatime in our house. So as much as it pains me, I’m buying sliced pans. I’ve never looked at so many before; wholegrain this, chia that, multiseed, spelt, 50/50, half this half that…..the list goes on and really I wonder is any one better than the other. Soft, squishy, airy with a list of ingredients as long as your arm and my tummy is not the better for eating them.
I’m sure most people work to a shopping budget, mine is quite small for the size of our family I think, but by the time the mortgage, bills, school costs, car bills etc are all paid what is left is what I have. I have seen my food shop increase in cost over the last while as I’m sure most people have, within the last couple of weeks however with the extra additions to the shopping list it has jumped considerably. There is a lot of judgement at the moment regarding what people are eating, Ireland is reportedly on course to be the fattest nation in Europe by 2030. Andrea Mara had an excellent piece in the Irish Examiner last week on the topic. I believe there are a number of factors at play here and if other households are like mine, finance plays a big part.
There are 7 of us in our house. When I am doing my weekly shop, do I buy seven sliced pans, pumped full of ingredients I cannot pronounce priced at .79c (Supermarket own label price) or do I buy 7 of the excellent quality brown loaves at almost €5 each. Some might suggest we consume less bread, however, my children will eat bread in their lunchbox as a sandwich with home cooked ham, cheese, tuna or in my son’s case sugar free jam. So what do I do? I choose to bake our breads instead. I know that I am privileged to be in a position to first of all be able to bake and secondly have the time to do it; okay make the time, I’ll hoover the stairs tomorrow!! I do realise that not everybody has that time and therefore I would never ever judge or criticise anybody’s food choice, so please don’t see this post as any sort of criticism, it is not intended in that way. I am a Mum and along with my husband, we are trying to make the best and most affordable choices for us and our family, as all parents are. For us that is homemade….or at least it will be again soon!