July 2, 2008

Life often presents us with hard times; I’ve learned not to begrudge them...

I remember— especially when my husband and I were first married—how difficult it could be sometimes just to make ends meet. But guess what? Some of life’s best and most profitable lessons were learned by me when I was forced to be creative with the things that God had given me. It was during those times that I learned how important it is to make a list to shop by, and that I should never go to the grocery store feeling hungry. Simple? Maybe. Valuable? Most definitely. To this day, I never go to the grocery store without my list—in fact, I’d be lost without it! And I rarely go there when I’m hungry lest impulsive buying take over my list.

Years ago, when we first came to New York, I took a job babysitting for two little girls, four days a week. When Thursday came, their kind mother always handed me four twenty-dollar bills. In my heart, I would always subtract $8 for tithe and $2 for a love offering; and the rest was our grocery money! My two boys and one girl would pile into our Grand Safari station wagon with me and we'd drive right over to Shop Rite. With my list in hand, the kids and I would travel the aisles of the store, placing items in our shopping cart while I recorded their cost, careful not to go over our budget. Sometimes, when we had money left over, we would buy vanilla ice cream and root beer for floats; sometimes we got chips, sometimes ice pops. Sometimes we’d pocket the change and walk to 7-11 for slurpies, our dog, Banjo, tagging along for exercise.

This week I planned my menu around the food I already had in the 'fridge and freezer. I allotted myself $75 dollars for groceries at Sam's. The two singles in my change purse made it an even $77. Looks like "hard times" have served me well...

4 comments:

Maggie Ann said...

You are a good shopper! My husband does all the grocery shopping. I wouldn't exactly call it his hobby, but....

Sis. Julie said...

Amen!! That is a blessing for sure!!

cheryl said...

Hey Mary thanks for the post. I need to do the same.

Mary said...

Thanks girls! Shopping has always been like a "science" for me - nutrition, math, and gym all rolled into one! And I've enjoyed myself.