We have kicknamed my husband the "barrista" because he makes the best darned iced tea and coffee this side of Starbucks. We have banished the countless glass jars and bottles of store bought iced tea and now rely on our refillables each day. It's always a treat to try a new flavor and of course the tea is fair trade and the sugar organic. Our coffee - from a Florida company - is also made at home and toted in our stainless mugs to work each day.
Two local bakeries in our area now supply our family with freshly made loaves of wheat, multi-grain and even a yummy cinnamon swirl for a treat. And... the occasional cannoli! I had forgotten how good a slice of whole wheat toast with a little organic butter and jam can be for breakfast!
I found La Vida Local, a local business that sources locally produced food, dairy and beauty supplies from community farms, dairies and mills. I now rely on the wonderful Julie for my eggs, chocolate milk, butter, cheese, bacon, pancake & cake fixin's as well as beans, oats and a variety of other organic and / or locally made items. We are having a ball trying new things and making meals from scratch. Hey - I didn't know I could MAKE potato salad from scratch, OK!
In short, this challenge and my bookworm challenge for the wonderful Bean - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - have almost changed my life. I cook more, but have more time. I spend more on a loaf of bread, but have more money in the bank. I learned that those big-box retail stores actually needed me more than I needed them!