Friday, June 28, 2013

Frugal Friday: Guilt over not doing enough?

It's  tempting to compare our daily work to others and feel we don't measure up. We've all done it. I've done it.  The only remedy is to compare ourselves to God's Word. True guilt should be a result of not keeping God's commands... not just by comparing ourselves to others. Oh, it's so easy to say but such an easy trap to fall in to.  It's a miserable way to live.

For instance, I choose to keep a garden in order to save money (the jury is out on the final outcome as to whether I will save money *smile*). Is there a direct command for every woman to keep a garden? Not that I can find. So, I am free to have a garden... and another woman is free NOT to have a garden. It's a personal choice. We just need to be careful to not put our choices on another woman if we can't back it with scripture.

There are specific commands for women and men. But, regarding whether to spend your days sewing, or living a simple life, or canning, or writing a blog, etc.... I find no commands!

Now, there are commands concerning HOW I keep a garden and WHY I keep a garden.  Here are just a few:

~ work heartily as for the Lord and not men. Col. 3:23
~ work with your own hands. 1 Thess. 4:11
~ for the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31

Our work becomes an act of worship when it's done for the glory of God.  So be free to worship God with your daily work with no condemnation if it doesn't look the same as your neighbors. And if your day happens to look different than mine or theirs... rejoice that God has given you that liberty.

A few frugal things:

1.Our grape vines were just about dead when we bought our home last year. This summer they look beautiful and lush but we have very little fruit. My neighbor told me that she buried tin cans around the base of her grapes last year and this year she has a ton of fruit. So I buried some cans and hopefully we'll get more fruit next year. I also buried some old rusty nails around my Azalea.

2.  I made 4 batches of apricot jam. The apricots were off our tree. I also made SF Raspberry jam.

3.  I've been harvesting my onions and putting them in the freezer.

4. I filled 2 propane tanks for the price of one. Instead of trading our tanks at a Quik Stop store we took the cannisters to a propane company which charged half of what we normally pay when we exchange them.  I hope to buy an extra tank next month for a back up because I ran out of propane (thankfully) right after I  finished canning my apricot jam.  I don't want to do that again. I use the propane for a campstove when I'm canning. This helps keep my house cool in the summer months. Most of my cooking and baking are being done outside this summer.

5.  It rained this week so I placed large buckets around the yard to catch the rain water. It didn't rain enough to fill up the buckets. Oh well! At least I tried. :-)

6.  Believe it or not it was 'soup weather' this week. I decided to make a batch of 'refrigerator soup'. I found some leftover enchilada sauce, ham hock, zuchinni, onions, yam and a small bit of creamed corn. I added water and some chicken bouillon along with some seasoning. It sounds like a strange combination but it was good and didn't cost much at all.

7.  I have a tooth that was causing me a bit of discomfort. The dentist suggested a procedure that would cost $25. I asked if the procedure would benefit the tooth or was it for my comfort? He said it was for my comfort. I told him I would not feel comfortable paying $25. *smile* Thankfully the xray lady told me ahead of time  to take a bit of sensitive toothpaste and 'patch' the area. God's provision! I saved $25.

8.  My birthday was this week. I wanted to go out to dinner and maybe a movie but it was a tight paycheck.  Instead of being disappointed I decided to be thankful for whatever the Lord would choose for my day.  So, we had leftovers (I didn't have to cook) and chose a movie that had been pre-recorded on TV.  A dear friend stopped by and surprised me with a special outing. Then my children and their families came over with such nice gifts and homemade ice cream after dinner.  I thanked God over and over for giving me such a special birthday. His plans are much better than my own.

9.  I'm not buying hardly any vegetables since my garden is producing. There is not a big variety but I figure that's okay because we are eating what is growing right now. We have artichokes, tomatoes, zucchini, patty squash, onions, cucumbers, okra, lettuce and green beans. I'm probably spending less than $5 a week on veggies and fruit at this point.

10. I've been stocking my freezer because my in-laws will be here in a few weeks. I've been watching for meats that are on sale. My freezers are now full so I decided to shop my freezer until our next paycheck.  I can do this!

So the question of the week is: What did you do this week and how did you save money? I love reading your replies. I feel like I'm taking a peak into your home.


  1. I like the idea of shop the freezer and can add shop the closet to that.

    Great points about guilt.

    Hugs and prayers,

  2. Dear Georgene ~ I shopped in the freezer this week and pulled out a nice fat young chicken. After it defrosted, I cut off the breasts to be used in a 'nice' dinner, and put the rest of the chicken in the crockpot along with onion, celery, garlic and water and cooked it on high for about 4 hours. The cottage smelled yummy. I also made a banana bread the same day and am enjoying that. With the chicken breasts I made a spicy Thai dish, using yellow squash, onion, garlic, fresh ginger, a little vermouth, green curry paste and a little orange marmalade. Delicious, served over jasmine rice. (I buy jasmine rice in quantity, as I do bread flour, yeast and a few other things, cheaper that way.)

    I'm glad you posted this as sometimes I do feel 'guilty' for not doing what others do. The verses you quoted are favorites of mine My life has changed drastically since Dec. and I'm learning a new way to live without my dear husband. God gives me my strength and is with me every step of the way.

    I think it's interesting that you cook and bake outside during the summer.

    Have a lovely weekend whatever you do ~ FlowerLady

    1. Your Thai dish sounds wonderful and exotic! :-)

      I can't imagine how hard this year has been for you but I'm always encouraged when I read your posts and see that you continue to look to God for your strength.

  3. Loved reading all you are doing--got some ideas there. I wonder if the propane thing would work for me. We use propane for the grill and we grill out almost all the time when Hubby is at home. I'm always afraid that we'll run out when we have company, so far it has only been when it was just the two of us and we were able to finish cooking in the house.

    I let my daughter sell my canning things a few couple years ago and use the money to buy some gates that she used when her first baby was getting mobile. :) Now those gates are here at Gramma's house protecting the tv mainly from a younger grand child.

    So, I don't can, but I do dehydrate & freeze.

    This week Hubby brought me my little chest freezer from where he is living during the work week. I'll start looking for deals on meat mainly to stock it with. Its not very big--but our fridge top freezer is really small.

    He also brought my yogurt maker and a small dorm size fridge. We'll probably put the little fridge on the screen porch so when we have company they can grab a drink without going up into the house. Our local kids come here to fish and ride the jet ski or just sit with us on the porch while there is a bonfire.

    I think I'll keep worms in that fridge too--until we have a worm bin going--I spent some time last week hunting crawly worms that had escaped in my big fridge. LOL.

    I have some cookbooks on my kindle--I mainly read kindle books on my pc, I do have a kindle but I use pc more. Anyhow some of them have dehydrating recipes and some are about herbal medicines. So I plan mainly to use my dehydrator to dry herbs quicker, and also to dry veggies and fruits that I want to use for cooking. I want to grind some up for powders to flavor things as I need to find ways to make food taste better that don't include salt. I love salt but it is not good for me.

    As for my garden-- lately I have been in the house more-- not working there all last week--but we had so much rain again, that I didn't need to do much outside. It has been rain rain rain here this spring/summer so far.

    I liked what you said about not comparing ourselves. I think we can learn from each other, but God has all in different situations so we should definitely not judge or feel guilty if we aren't living the same way as someone else.

    Right away I thought of people like Ruth and Esther-- both were in the situations they were in because of God's plan for them. I think we would expect in the story of Ruth to see her busy trying to stretch what little she had to care for herself and Naomi. We sure wouldn't expect to see Esther in the home of a godless wealthy King to be cutting coupons. ;)

    Yet each of these equally called and chosen women had a place and a plan for her that were for God's glory and their good.

    We do not honor God when we look at our sisters with any kind of envy or at ourselves with guilt for doing what we are made to do. :)


    As for money saving this week.. well, I mainly shopped my own pantry too, for most of the week. I also had a couple of sales in my etsy shop which were nice. I began to realize that I should not 'despise small things' Some of my etsy items are a lot of money, but some are not. I don't make much per hour when I sell the smaller priced things--but I know that it all adds up. This week I sold a small wood toy set and a wood gift cross. Not much, but enough to pay for gas for my car this week, got to look at all the small things I can do, because I am not able to work outside the home and Although Hubby makes a good income I do need to do my part too.
    Especially now as we are hoping he can find a job nearer home-which would almost certainly mean less money, but we think a better life.

    We shall see! :)

    1. Mary... I always enjoy your posts. I wondered how you would do a worm bin? I've never done one before?

      It's wonderful that you are able to make things from home and sell them. What a blessing!

      I hope your husband can find a job closer to home. I know you miss him!

  4. Hi Georgene! We are trying to eat from our garden right now, too. Our garden isn't doing as well this year, but I'm making do. We've had peas, kale, and tomatoes so far. We had kale sautéed with onions for dinner, it was yummy!
    I've really buckled down and started comparison shopping. (I need to recommit to keeping a price book, for sure!) But I've learned that I can actually buy some things cheaper at than anywhere else around here, so I've been mail ordering lately. The mailman must think I've got a shopping addiction! He'd be disappointed to learn he's only been delivering toothpaste and coconut!

    1. I tried Amazon Prime for a month and loved it! I wish I could afford to keep it. It was great having things show up in 2 days. I always check their prices first because they are so reasonable!

      I think I am picking my kale when the leaves are too big because it's tough.

    2. You might be picking it too late. What exactly is the tough part? The stems or the leaves? My stems are always tough, I just cut them out. If your leaves are tough, you might try cooking them longer. My favorite way to cook kale is to sautee it with a bit of onion and a splash of soy sauce. Cook it several minutes until it's tender.

    3. I don't eat the stem.. just the leaves. They just seem tough. I think I am picking them when the leaf is too large. I normally sauté it with a little bit of bacon, onion and garlic. I saw one recipe where they used broth to cook it in. I may try that.

  5. I have joined a cheapskates club... here in Australia, to help me get a grip on my finances. Have been spending a bit uncontrollably of late. decided to start documenting everything I am purchasing and stock up on everyday sale items and starting a price book so that I know when things are really on sale.
    There are some sales on meat here and I will be purchasing some to stock up our freezer. I will also be getting out an antique meat mincer to try to mince some of the meat...something I have never done, luckily hubby inherited the mincer.
    I love the idea of cooking outside in summer we do it mainly with BBQs but I hadn't thought of doing canning will look into it. thanks for posting.

    1. Your club sounds fun! I wish they had them in the states. I need to pick up my price book again and start documenting. I've been so busy with the garden and canning that I've let a lot of things slip.

  6. Thank you for the reminder about comparing ourselves to others. My husband is disabled and although I would love to stay home and have a garden I work at night as a nurse. So when I wake in the afternoon I must get my household duties and yard work done before I leave for work. That doesn't give me much time for gardening or canning. I do freeze fruit and meals. I make our laundry soap and yogurt.

    1. You have your hands full Deb! I'm sorry to hear about your husband's disability. There are things I don't do because I'm working part time. It's important for my relationships that I not stay in a place of frustration or irritability because I'm beyond being worn out. I can do this easily so I have to be careful. Caring for a husband... is number one.. then the money saving tasks come next. It sounds like you are being wise.

  7. We're still adjusting to a once a month, retirement paycheck here, as opposed to being paid every two weeks. We also used to receive quite a bit of overtime pay to help with extras, and, of course, that's no longer possible.

    With two teen boys still in the house, it's easy to spend all of the grocery money before the month ends. However, the check arrived last Thursday and we've been eating from the freezer and pantry and I haven't even touched this month's grocery money.

  8. I didn't realize it was official that your husband had retired. YAY! I know it's challenging but I know you all must be glad he is finally home. He sure has earned it! What a hard worker!

    You are experiencing the same struggles I am with spending too much at the beginning of the month. I'm praying for a solution. I know there is one. One thing I'm considering is carrying a very small notebook in my checkbook and writing down every transaction so I'll know at all times where I'm at in my budget. I'm also slowly costing out my meals.

  9. Georgene, I always enjoy reading the ways you've saved for the week. It compels me to keep on! I also enjoy reading others' comments... feels like we are all family and in this together. I gave the 3 of us haircuts this week, and the past two weeks we've eaten out of the pantry & freezer & garden produce so the only grocery expenses I've had was milk and some fresh fruit that was on sale. My grandmother gave me a dozen beautiful white napkins with fancy cutwork that she'd owned for many years. Some were yellowed and some had stains, so I used a whitening recipe in the washing machine and unbelievably they all came out perfect, very white and clean, and like new except for one that still had a few very faint stains left and it was badly stained at first. (The recipe I used was this one: 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent, 1 cup laundry detergent, 1 cup Clorox liquid bleach, 1/2 cup borax...depending on type of washing machine that you have either add to dispensers or to water after agitation starts. Use very hot water and soak as long as possible. I even added a couple of potfuls of boiling water after agitation began). My husband traded some automotive items for some wheels for his Jeep that he found on Craigslist which saved $200.

  10. Sorry that I missed your birthday.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Your post and ideas always inspire me to try and do better.... thank you!

    I'm working right now on eating all the frozen foods in my freezer..... it's ridiculous how I put food in the freezer and then promptly forget about it...but I'm doing better, thanks to you!

    Have a happy 4th...

  11. Hi, Happpy 4th! It's great that you could avoid spending the $25 at the dentist and just use sensitive toothpaste. We have had some horrible dental problems in the last year, and I am still working to resolve my most recent one. I was in awful pain Memorial day and it turned out I had an abcess. Dentist put me on antibiotics and then I had a root canal. Now I need a crown. I am maxed out on my insurance, and the portion I would have to pay to this dentist, who is not a PPO provider, was over $1,000! I set to work to find a way to do this for less, and I have an appt. next week with a dentist who will take a look. The insurance clerk at their office did a very good job explaining my options, even the option of waiting till the new year (Jan) to have the crown done. But half the tooth fell out, so I may have to do it soon. Changing dentists right now looks like maybe it will save us $300-$400. It pays to shop around.

    I spent $100 on groceries June 16th, and another $100 this past Sat. That will have to hold us through this next week. I have plenty of meat, pasta and rice and some potatoes. Today I need to pick up cat litter and cat food, paper towels, etc. We have a low sitting on us and it is raining so much the cat can't get out much and is using the litter box more. I have cut and filed coupons to use in upcoming sales. I have been hanging laundry to dry in the garage.

    I'm trying to get myself on a thrift shop schedule. I have been finding some great deals at some church thrift shops on uniform clothes for my grandkids this upcoming school year. Also hit a .25 rack at one shop and came away with a name brand blouse for myself and a sweater for my daughter. I seem to have a hard time finding pants at thrift shops, so I stopped in at Dillards looking for a pair of black dress pants. I found a pair that fit perfectly for $11.99 on clearance. The clerk thought they might have gone down even more and double checked for me. I will get a lot of wear from these as they will mostly be for church.

    Reading library books and watching Netflix movies. Did take our grandkids one night to Chik-Fil-A. Used a coupon for a free chicken sandwich.

  12. Rachael,You can make the temporary crown last a long time. My dentist replaced mine for me for free (the temp)
    2 times, I had to wait almost a year for the real crown.That was when I had dental insurance .
    Good luck ,

  13. Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great one. I thank you for the reminder to not compare.For my birthday I googled free birthday meals and got to go a couple of places for free. I think money saving mom might have a list. Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday. It varies by state I am in ca so I got some completely free birthday meals.
    Have a blessed week


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