The Lord continues to teach new lessons on living below poverty level. (So silly to even write that.. I don't feel poor!)
One lesson I am learning is that it's not always a bargain to stock up even if it's on sale. I used to stock up on sale items no matter what. I liked keeping a well-stocked pantry. But, I'm playing under different rules these days since we are living on at least a 1/3 of what we used to. (My husband says we're living on less than a 1/4).
I normally allow $5-10 a week for stocking up. But, it just depends on the month. For instance, this month I've had to use money from my grocery budget to help pay for Christmas. So, I'm not going to be able to stock up on any sale items. My goal is to spend as little on groceries as possible so I can use the rest for Christmas gifts.
I continue to pray and ask the Lord to show me what we can live without. I've simplified our menu and dropped a lot of recipes due to the cost. If a recipe has out of the ordinary items then I don't use it. When looking for new recipes I scan the list of ingredients to see if they're items I normally stock and if the cut of meat is cheap. We eat very simple these days.
I realized today that I could actually live without another expense. I have a Brita pitcher that I bought at a garage sale for $2. We use it continually throughout the day because the water is bad where we live. The filters are on sale this month but even so it will cost me $14 initially. Since this month is very tight I hesitate putting out that kind of money. I started asking the Lord what I should do. The lady I care for has told me more than once that I can use her water which is filtered. Ah ha! There's my answer. I can easily fill my pitcher each morning and save the expense of purchasing filters. Yay! Another expense bites the dust!
I guess it's all in your perspective. Some people wonder how my husband and I can live in less than 300 sq. ft. Yet, this young man lives in 78 sq. ft. I've learned the past few years that we need a whole lot less than we ever imagined.