Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fear of the future or THANKFUL for today?

I'm still struggling to stay within my $360 grocery budget for 2 adults. Yep, I raised it from $260 because I kept going over once we started eating lower carb. I can do $360 but it's still very challenging. I keep trying new things and praying for God to show me how to shop and cook.

Prices continue to rise but my husband disability check is staying the same. My imagination can live in the 'what ifs' of a fearful future if I dwell on the wrong things.

 I would much rather dwell on God's faithfulness. Those thoughts bring peace, thankfulness and joy. And oh my .... how faithful He HAS been for the 56 years he has given  life and breath.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true,
 whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure
, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
THINK about such things. Phil 4:8 NIV

When we first started having financial difficulties 5 years ago I often thought about  the children of Israel and their journey through the desert. I reminded myself how the Lord fed them manna DAILY (except on Sat when he gave them extra for the Sabbath). I would remind myself how their shoes did not wear out. "He" was their provider. He was my provider. It brought such peace and increased my faith!

Low carb pumpkin pie
And He has provided for my husband and I daily over these past years ... wonderfully.. unconventionally... and beautifully! It took over 5 years to come through those financial difficulties but God provided food, clothing and shelter in the midst of some very difficult times.

 I can choose to look for God's blessings each day (and boy are they everywhere) or I can choose to fear what 'might' happen in the future. My fear steals the joy I could be living in today as I count the multitude of God's blessings and provision. 

I will leave my tomorrows in His capable hands!

My daughter, daughter in love and granddaughter at a 'tea party'.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?  Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are?"  Matthew 6:25-33 (NET)

Here are a few ways I stretched our income this week along with my Typical Frugal Day Routine:

- I pressure canned 7 jars of Romano green beans and 7 jars of a variety of hot peppers from our garden. I continue to slice and freeze the okra until I have enough to fry. I'm also freezing the small amount of raspberries that are picked to use for smoothies. 

- I used another eggplant from our garden and made Eggplant Parmesan. It was a meatless dinner meal. 

- I washed a piece of seran wrap to reuse. I also saved a bread wrapper and a high protein cereal box wrapper to reuse. I'm using the cereal box (turned inside out) to mail some items.  Waste Not! Want Not! :-)

- I found an egg farm that sells imperfect eggs for $2 a flat or $10 for a box of 6 flats. I bought a box. Eggs have been so expensive in the stores lately so this should save me quite a bit and last for a month or longer. I plan on using more eggs for lunches. I boiled some today for egg salad and fried up eggs for husband's sandwich. 

- I'm saving the envelopes that come in our bills. I pay my bills through online banking so I don't need the envelopes. They will be used to store the seeds we're saving from this years vegetables.  Which reminds me.. we are saving our vegetable seeds, too! :-) ..

- I made tartar sauce for our fish this week. I used mayo, ketchup and a dill pickle. 

- I tried my hand at a new potholder pattern. It's called  a 'Crocheted Double Thick Diagonal Hotpad'. Here is the free pattern: 

Free Hot Pad Pattern

I'm using a multi-colored cotton thread. I am on Joann's mailing list and get 40% coupons regularly. I keep them in the car until I'm ready to use them. 

- I saved the cotton ball on the top of my new vitamin bottle to reuse for facial astringent or to take off nail poish. 

- I picked up 2 more tall (5 or 7 gallon) plastic food grade buckets at a store bakery to use for my compost scraps. That makes 3 total along with 3 small ones. I should have enough now and they were completely free. 

- I'm searching for low carb  recipes that use meat more as a garnish than the main focus.  I'm hoping this will help lower my food bill. 

- I'm starting to work on Christmas gifts. I know, I know! Summer is not even over yet. But, I don't like to be under pressure so I'll take my time and work on a few projects at a slow pace. Hopefully I can get a nice little stash of handmade gifts set aside before December. 

-  I found a pair of pants at the thrift store for $3. 

How is your grocery budget?  I would so appreciate hearing what you do to keep it low.