Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Adventure in Amish country

On Saturday my dear husband went hunting for the very last time this season.....YEAH!!!! So when I woke up that morning and had my first cup of coffee....I thought to myself "It's a decent day, why don't you take the boys on an adventure?" - also, I read on another blog about how she feeds her family of 6 on $60 a week by visiting grocery salvages and grocery outlets. I looked on the search website and found that there were two of these in Arthur and Arcola and had actually heard about one of them and I had been wanting to go there and check it out.

The boys woke up and were excited when I detailed the adventure beginning with lunch in Arcola and then all of the neat things we would see. The deal was that they had to help me clean the house before we left and they did - it was great!

Our first stop was at a restaurant in Arcola with delicious homemade food - the boys loved it and ate really well. I had homemade vegetable beef was really good and warmed my belly! After that we spotted the first of many horse and buggies.....Logan said at the end of the day that the next time we go he is going to keep count.

Our second stop was the store that I had wanted to go to so I could check out their homemade mixes, seasonings, etc. They had lots of neat things and I bought some hot cocoa, a huge bag of the mini marshmallows that you find in the packets of cocoa for $0.92, a container of powdered cheese mix that is just like the Kraft macaroni and cheese mix and I intend to use it with my whole grain pasta for the kids......not totally healthy, but it's something, I bought taco seasoning, a season salt, some homemade rolls to take to a baptism celebration the next day, a container of blueberries for $0.99, farm fresh eggs, and a few other things that I have already forgotten. I spent around $25 and just had fun looking at the neat things they had there.

Our third stop was at our first actual salvage grocery store. I will not judge those who have to shop there, but I bought the things that I needed on my list - toilet paper, paper towels, and dishwashing detergent and we hit the road. I couldn't bring myself to purchase salad dressing for $0.99 when it had expired 6 months ago. I looked for good deals that were quality items and I just didn't find them there. The things I did buy I thought might be a bit of a deal - but in researching it a bit, I realized that I probably saved a total of $0.63 and that doesn't include the gas it took to drive there.

Our fourth stop was at the soda fountain in downtown Arthur - the boys were excited to have ice cream in the winter and it was a cute little place and we enjoyed just sitting and chatting about the things they had seen. We then ventured down the street to the little shops and I ended up buying them stuffed animals that were not discount......OOPS! - but it was fun and they were happy!

Our fifth and final stop of the day was by accident. I was leaving Arthur and spotted a sign for another grocery salvage and despite my experience at the first one - I thought to myself "While I'm here......" - so I quickly turned and traveled down the road to a farm where the grocery salvage was. This one was similar to the other, but much cleaner, and I still didn't see any huge deals. But overall - it was fun because the children saw the farm up close.

Our day was good and I definitely think our first stop was a place that I will visit again for their unique items - not necessarily because they had awesome deals. The grocery salvages were not for me - I am trying to save money this year - however, I have found that by searching the ads, using coupons, buying fruits and vegetables that are in season, and making things from scratch save more than I could save at these places.

It was quite an adventure and I had fun with the boys and I learned a lot! I excitedly made them macaroni and cheese with the new cheese mix and whole grain pasta - and they loved it! They have had hot cocoa with mini marshmallows every morning since Saturday. And the homemade rolls were a hit at the baptism celebration.

The boys of course thought the salvage store was AWESOME because they had a huge toy area and I did agree to buy them coloring books for $0.25 - and they loved the horse and buggies. Noah tried to strike up a conversation with a small Amish boy, but the boy didn't respond so Noah gave up saying "Mom, I don't think he speaks English".

Look around your area and see if there are adventures you can take your children on that are off the beaten path......they learn about other cultures, get to experience things first hand, and it is a break from the norm.

No comments: