Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fabulously Frugal

Anyone who knows me dearly, knows that I absolutely hate to pay full price for something, especially when it is over-priced to begin with.  I imagine that the Proverbs 31 woman had good business sense.  Although she lived in an era in which women were not highly esteemed, I can see her bargaining in her purchases.  Her husband was presumed to be well respected also and if she was taken advantage of, you could probably expect her to send him to square the deal.  I am not at all a feminist, but I imagine she was smart and frugal in her endeavors.
I always search the sale racks before I ever hit the main floor when shopping.  I went to a local ladies store last night hoping to find a great deal on something nice.  My husband and I were alone on a date night and we ate dinner in the same parking lot of one of my favorite dress shops that I rarely get to go to, soooo we whipped in for a few moments.  I was not sure what I was going to find, but I wanted something nice I could wear for work or church.  I asked my husband to come in for a second opinion (he usually waits in the car for this).  There were not many clearance racks so I was a little disappointed and most were loaded down with sweaters (I am not crazy about them, since I am "hot natured").  As I was double checking the last rack, I ran across a sleeveless dress with bling on the neckline.  I usually do not wear much bling on my clothes, but it went to the floor, so it had a bit of dressiness to it.  I was so surprised to see the price was $13.99 marked down from $45.00.  It was the last one in the store and it was "my" size!  I immediately said, "Praise the Lord"!  My husband and I both agreed that it was the best deal of the entire sale rack, especially since it covered my entire body.  I had just lost 3.5 lbs and was looking for a mini/cheap celebration.  I was tickled pink at what the Lord hid on that rack just for me.  I was perfectly content to walk out empty-handed if I did not find a great deal, because I do not like to blow my hard-earned money.  But I took this as a great blessing from a wonderful God that knows my heart.
I have been working so hard to be obedient lately.  This obedience encompasses everything in my life from eating only when I am "physically" hungry, to turning off the TV and Facebook and having quiet family time, to watching my mouth and attitude with my husband when I do not get my way (I realize that I may have struck a few nerves there with those).  There are numerous ways to practice our obedience to the Lord and these are just a few.  I find that when I die to my flesh, the Lord gives me more life back in other ways.  I get happys or jewels in return.  The book of Proverbs is full of little nuggets of wisdom for all of us to chew on.  When life gets rough and we feel as if we do not have any time to be alone with God (like when the alarm clock does not work or we forgot we needed to be somewhere earlier than usual) I can open my Bible to the Book of Proverbs or Psalms and find a few verses that I can meditate on all day.  Sometimes, I learn more out of repeating a short  few lines throughout the day, instead of reading several chapters.  I prefer to study deeply, but sometimes life pops in unannounced.  God has a way of making passages come alive when we seek His truth and revelation.
Now, I am not only frugal with clothes.  I shop yard sales and do a lot of do-it-myself projects.  I like to enjoy a good cup of coffee on a cold day,  but I do not like to pay $3-4.00 for it.  My goodness, I can make a meal for my entire family for $3-10.00!  My husband and I will make these special treats at home.  We get our instant decaf coffee with ice, cream, and sugar and make them at home.  I use to buy a certain brand of vanilla syrup for my coffee, but I have not in over a year.  The last time I saw it in the store it was well over $4.00 and I about had a fit.  The other day when I was wanting some, so I just "Googled" it and found a good recipe to make my own.  I whipped it up in about 3 minutes and now I have it in my fridge ready for my next cup of coffee.
Very simple vanilla syrup:
2 Cups of white sugar
2.5 Cups of water
3/4 Cups of brown sugar
3-4 Tablespoons of vanilla extract (like a lot of vanilla so I went for 4.5)
Boil water and sugar until dissolved then add vanilla.  Store in a bottle or jar.
I have not tried it yet, but if you prefer sugar-free, I think Splenda should work fine.  You would not have to boil it though.
We have a few salvage-type stores around our town and we love to go get great deals there.  One time I bought a toaster oven for $1.90.  It was new and has worked fine for over 2 years so far.  I think I have gotten my money's worth.  I think it is very important to be good stewards of what the Lord has blessed us with.  I enjoy giving things to my family and friends and the fact that it did not cause me to go into debt to do it makes it all the sweeter.  We do about 3/4 of our grocery shopping at our local salvage grocery store.  It has cut our grocery bill down about 2/3-3/4 what it use to cost.  We have to know the true prices of items and be picky about dented goods and we get our meats from other grocery store sale events.  Every store tends to have a mark-down section.  We go early in the morning and find meats less than half of what they were the day before.  Pop them in the freezer or cook it that night.  I know WalMart "ad matches", but I have not been too successful with that.  I need someone to go with me and walk me through it a time or two.  Coupons are a great way to save also.  Again, you have to know your prices and not buy things that you would not normally buy in order for it to be cost effective. 
I pray the Lord pours out His sweet blessings over you this week and helps you to see the best deals available to provide for your family.  God Bless you and yours!
Marla B.

No comments:

Post a Comment