Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Food Budget Freedom

{via Microsoft Office}
I found an online calculator to see if my family would be eligible for food stamps, just for funsies.

You know, because that's something normal people do for funsies.

The calculator asked about my family members, their ages, our income and assets (bahaha).  A few painless minutes later, it gave me a number.

And that food stamps number was bigger than our monthly grocery budget.

Or, I should say, it was bigger than our grocery budget was last year.  For February, we rolled out a shiny new grocery budget...which is a bit more than the SNAP number--and more than I've ever had for groceries each month in my entire married life.

We came to that new number after much hand-wringing and putting-things-back and not-eating-fruit-because-there-isn't-enough on my part...and an easy, breezy, "Well, just up the grocery budget" from Professor.

Enter more hand-wringing.  Lots of "but what if..."  Thoughts like, But I'm supposed to be frugal.

"Really?" I asked, still wringing my hands.

"Yeah.  We need to eat," Professor replied.  "The girls are growing.  Maybe if we put more in the grocery budget we'll buy less stuff on Friday nights."

I could dig in my heels and stick to my frugal guns.  I could stretch meat more, bake more bread, skip things we really enjoy...


I could rejoice in that big, fat number.  I could thank God for his provision and remember to lean on Him for groceries and everything else.

My friend, this was a watershed moment for me.

My grocery budget seems so big now.  Cheese was on sale, and I had money to stock my freezer.  I even picked up some treats that were on sale because of the Super Bowl.

Also, I ate two bananas yesterday.  Yeah, that's right: two servings of fruit in one day.  Granted, they were both from one of those 99-cents-because-they're-overripe bags (because this still-frugal girl couldn't pass up 14 bananas for a buck), but they were delicious.  And they tasted like freedom.

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