Saturday, May 24, 2008

Trimming the Fat

With the continuing increase in the price of groceries and gasoline, I'm getting rather concerned that our income isn't going to sustain our current budget's outflow. I don't think that we need to increase our standard of living--we've intentionally chosen our frugal lifestyle so that I can stay home with the kids and my husband can serve the Lord full-time with a nonprofit para-church organization--but I do think we're going to have to re-evaluate our current spending.

For the past seven or eight months I've been getting two Sunday newspapers for the coupons, scouring the ads, and utilizing helpful websites like Money Saving Mom to find the best deals. While I've saved quite a bit on groceries and gotten many of our toiletries for free, I've traveled thither and yon to collect it all. Now that gas is hovering at $4 per gallon, I'm starting to wonder if I'd do better to do most of my shopping at Aldi and limit myself to the closest drugstore.

I am humbly reminded with every paycheck that God sustains us through the generosity of His people, and that He is truly good to us. Now I want to make sure that I am honoring Him with my spending in the leaner times, using what we have to do my best for my family to be generous with others, and not grumbling and complaining about it.

So how do you do it?

7 comments:

Hannah said...

I'm feeling the crunch these days as well. It's hard at times but you are so right- God is always faithful to provide and we are always grateful.

I really don't know what else we could trim back on other than AC. We actually kept our heat/air off for most of March, April and May. Today is the first time that we've turned on the AC. I just wanted to chase out the humidity then I'm turning it off.

Staying home is what it is going to have to be for us- no more running here and there in our big van just for fun. And couponing/sale shopping is going to have to remain. For now it is worth every cent of my time and effort especially for things like diapers and meat.

(Sorry this is so long:) What I have enjoyed about these leaner times is how just about everyone I know is sharing what they have and don't need. That has been such a blessing.

Monica said...

Okay that was not Hannah, that was me:)

eureka said...

My husband and I have been frequently invoking a new phrase for our household -- "Use what's in the house!" It's truly amazing how much *stuff* we Americans have when we look around. There's a stash of hotel toiletries, aging canned food in the back of the pantry, clothes that can be mixed and matched into a new look, medications that are approaching expiration dates... Anything that goes unused becomes less and less appealing over time, so might as well use what we need today instead of hoarding it tomorrow. One fewer shopping trip is also more time we have together, which seems to be our most precious commodity right now. Time and space, so "Use what's in the house!" helps on multiple fronts. We keep telling ourselves that we will eventually be moving out of the city, so anything we buy means less money for the next house and one more item to move.

eureka said...

P.S. Guess how I'm getting a "whole new wardrobe" for free -- losing 5-10 pounds so the "skinny clothes" fit again. Talk about inspiration! Why should "the times" be the only thing that's lean? ;)

Saralyn said...

Eureka--
You go girl! I was thinking about you on Sunday--the choir at my folks' church sang "God Bless America" and it made me snicker about old times.

eureka said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24879628

Hm, dumpster diving...

eureka said...

There's a story in today's Wall Street Journal RE people growing backyard vegetable gardens -- to save money (gas to the store, groceries) and to ensure it's more organic. Sort of "victory garden" in spirit.