Making it Stretch: A Lesson in Frugality

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The Paycheck came late this week! Normally my husband’s Check comes on Tuesday every other week. He sits down and works out the budget for that next two weeks. The check is deposited Wednesday morning and I can go shopping Wednesday during the day if I choose, which I usually do. This week Things were different.

Tough Sacrifices Can be Made

I went to my husband and told him that I had $3 left and we had no lunch foods for the kids for the next day. My husband, who can be very generous, gave me his birthday money to spend for groceries. So I went out to the store with $23 to stock up with what I needed to get us through the next several days. I had a little bit of a problem though. Daniel had invited company over for dinner, so I was not able to get to Aldi before it closed.

That means that my $23 wouldn’t stretch as far as I had hoped. So I took what I had and I headed to the store. I wish I could say that I prayed over my situation before I drove away, looking back I wish I had. God had given me an unexpected gift and I should have been thankful for that gift, as well as asking God to guide my shopping.

Thinking Ahead

Since I had already cleaned out the refrigerator I knew what we had in the house to eat. I had some broth in the freezer that I had saved. I had beans, and I had rice. I ended up at Publix and I bought:

  • 3 loaves of Publix brand bread
  • 1 Gallon of Whole Milk
  • 1 1/2 Gallon of Almond Milk
  • 1 small jar of peanut butter
  • 1 Large bag of carrots
  • 1 bag of celery

I spent a total of $21.12.

So last night we had soup for dinner. I make a habit of keeping all the broth from the meat I cook. I have learned that when I buy a whole bird, or a pork shoulder there is usually some amazing broth left over. I strain that and keep it for later in the freezer. Last nights soup had pork broth, chicken broth, and a little ham broth all mixed together. I chopped up onions, carrots, celery, added some of my mom’s jarred tomatoes from last year’s garden, as well as some of her green beans. Seasoned to taste and Yummy supper.

As I write this Daniel has received his paycheck and yet has not had time to do the budget. It will still be a few days till I can go to the store. I am not concerned though. We have what we need.

I do need to add, my mom will often buy us things as she is out and about and finds deals. Yesterday she went to Deal Mart. There she was able to buy a ton of Chobani Yogurt for real cheap. I have not been to Deal Mart, and I don’t know where they are around the country. I know of two in our area. I want to do more research on Deal Mart, I will keep you updated. But we have a bunch of yogurt for the kids for snacks and maybe even some for my breakfast. 🙂

I have been blessed by family that is close by and so we do get some extras that we normally couldn’t afford. Even without these extras we have what we need in the house. Today I am planning:

Breakfast: Oatmeal

Lunch: PB&J for the kids. Maybe left over soup for me if there is any left. I think there might be a potato left I might have that too.

Snack: Yogurt, Crackers from my mom, Carrots

Supper: Turkey, Stuffing, and peas. [ I have had a Turkey in my freezer for a month or so now. I thought now would be a good time to use it, I also had some of the stuffing mix that my husband liked, and I think we even have a can of cranberry sauce still!] We get to have a second Thanksgiving Dinner. I think that is appropriate. We can be Thankful for God’s blessings.

Tomorrow: 

Breakfast: Oatmeal

Lunch: PB&J for the kids, Maybe a salad with turkey for me, I think I have enough lettuce for that.

Snack: Yogurt, Carrots, Crackers if there are any left.

Supper: I am thinking of a Turkey and Rice Casserole. I need to see what we have, I don’t have pasta but maybe a Turkey Tetrazzini sort of thing with rice instead. I will need to do some research and see what I can pull off.

And hopefully by Friday I can go to the Store to stock back up. I still have a bunch of Quinoa in my house, I am thinking about doing something for me for breakfast with it. hmmmmmmmm

 

**Our paycheck is very small for the next two weeks. I am hoping that I can get Daniel his birthday money back. We shall see!

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The End of The Budget

 

 

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Here is my fridge today. I took the opportunity afforded by the lack of stuff inside it to clean all the shelves. Doesn’t it look pretty! 😉 One advantage to eating everything you buy is that you can actually see what you have in the house. It might even force you to get creative with what you cook for dinner. Creative is good!

Today is payday for my husband. What that means is that the check should arrive in the mail. It does not mean that the money is available for me to go shopping. We are coming to the end of our groceries. I am pleased that we still have milk, both regular milk and the Almond milk that my two younger ones drink.

We used up the last loaf of bread today. That means I need to make bread either tonight or first thing tomorrow. We ended up using a lot of bread over the weekend. That meant the stash I had didn’t last all the way through our two weeks. I do not have any more money in the budget, in fact as you remember I went over by $16. It might be easier to run to the store tonight and pick up some bread. I do happen to have about $3 in my purse. And I could do that perhaps. [We received a survey from Neilson Surveys about our TV watching, it happened to have $5 in cash inside. Surprise!] I might go to the store. I don’t know yet. I also need peanut butter and if I am careful and maybe look for some hidden change I might have enough to buy one loaf of bread and a small jar of peanut butter from Aldi tonight.

Or I could make something different for my kids to eat. Yep I went there. I could actually make something different from peanut butter and honey for my kids to eat for their lunch tomorrow. Will that cause problems? Oh you bet! Will the kids complain? O Yes Sir!

Let’s consider something for a moment:

What do I want to be teaching my children? Do I want to teach them that it is my job to cater to their every whim and provide for them whatever their little fists demand from me?

Or

Is it my job to teach my children that the world does NOT revolve around their little conceited hearts and there are bigger problems in this world than whether or not they eat peanut butter for lunch. Maybe I can remind them of our little girl we adopted through compassion, Miriam Da. Such a sweet little slip of a girl from Burkina Faso. I doubt she has the audacity to complain to her parents about what she gets to eat for lunch each day. I have a feeling she is happy to have something to eat, and a home to eat it in.

I don’t know exactly what I will do about our lunch for tomorrow. But I do know I want to teach my kids to be thankful for what we have been given. We don’t have much by way of the world’s standards. I feel so rich at times. Sometimes it is because we have been given some amazing gifts. Sometimes it is because we have found some amazing deals. But I am sitting in a cozy house on a lovely couch I didn’t buy, typing on a computer that was given to me and seeing a living room where only one piece of furniture was purchased by me.

God has provided for our family in some pretty amazing ways and I am so thankful for the abundant riches he has poured out on our family. I want to be teaching my kids to trust that God will take care of them, and to be thankful for how he chooses to take care of them. Even if it means they eat salad for lunch instead of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Luke 6-38

 

How is your week going? Is this the beginning or end of your grocery money? What are you doing to make it stretch to the end and not spend money you didn’t budget? Share with me and let me know how things are going.