Just to share how things are going with my couponing/saving $$ plans...
1 - I can see how couponing has become a bit of an idol. I'm in need of accountability (good thing I meet with Bethany tonight!) because I can seriously get obsessed with checking all my sources for the best deal. That said, the Lord has blessed my efforts. I have a stash of coupons and am learning how to "play the game." In fact, I can completely see how you can get things you need for FREE (or almost free). Amazing! (By the way, if you don't use coupons and would like to share the ones you have, let me know!!!)
2 - My menu planning is also starting to pay off. I NEVER believed in menu planning to save money but... WOW! When I simply use what I have in our pantry or freezer/fridge I am SAVING money! I am still struggling with actually sitting down to do it but once I do make my plan, it makes things a lot easier! Last night we had Curry Codfish, my version of what my Jamaican Grandma makes. My version had flavor and some kick to it but didn't compare to what I recall hers tasting like. I would not have prepared this had I not put it on my menu plan! (Note: Jenny, I may be emailing you for meal ideas!)
3 - Baking bread is a joy, a money saver, and good for us to eat! In fact, I just got a small box of vital wheat gluten and ground flaxseed to experiment with and... WOW!!!! My loaves yesterday came out even better than my previous ones. I made one wheat loaf and one wheat and oat loaf which were delicious (and beautiful). Eating homemade bread with dinner makes the meal stretch AND our eating is packed with stuff that's good for you! (I even put the ground flaxseed in our oatmeal and William didn't think anything of it!)
4 - My weekly spending has been below my budget goal simply because I'm realizing that HOARDING IS IDOLATRY. I read that in The Cost of Discipleship and was great affected by it. What a blessing it is only going week by week instead of me trying to buy all I need for the month. When I look at our food stock and say, "What do we need for this week only?" I find I am purchasing MUCH, MUCH less. And we certainly are not going hungry! (Judi, can you believe we're going to (probably!) cancel our Costco membership!?!? Bet you never thought you'd see that day!)
So, here's what I'd like to leave you with today. It's a quote from The Cost of Discipleship which I'm trying to remember throughout my day as I ask myself, "What am I really devoted to in this moment?"
"Earthly goods are given to be used, not collected. In the wilderness God gave manna every day, and they had no need to worry about food or drink. Indeed, if they kept any manna over until the next day, it went bad. In the same way, the disciple must receive his portion from God every day. If he stores it up as a permanent possession, he spoils not only the gift, but himself as well, for he sets his heart on his accumulated wealth, and it makes it a barrier between himself and God. Where our treasure is, there is our trust, our security, our consolation and our God. Hoarding is idolatry."
Grace to you all!