Read Part 1 – The Day I Got Mad at Groceries and Food in General here.
After processing with you some of my frustrations with being able to achieve balance when striving to…
- Save money on groceries
- Fill us with nourishment
- Satisfy my teenage sons’ huge appetites
- Not spend hours in the kitchen
- Keep up with life during a busy season
…I headed to the grocery store.
I had my list ready to go. I also had our full calendar in mind, knowing all too well what the next two weeks held for my family. Which was bigger – my grocery list or my to-do list? Oh, now that’s a tough one.
So I prayed for a balanced approach to my shopping. God is not above me asking for help in selecting food for my family. God cares about every detail. He knows my desire to be a good steward and also my need to not over-burden myself in the kitchen. He knows what’s on my calendar. He knows how much my boys eat. He knows we need a new vehicle. He knows.
At the store, I filled my cart with a wonderful variety of fresh produce from strawberries to peaches to zucchini to peppers to apples to asparagus to watermelon to avocados. I got all the produce at wonderful prices thanks to price-matching.
Then I compromised and bought a few loaves of bread, even though I know how to make it myself. I bought pre-made frozen hashbrowns, even though I know how to make them myself. (By the way, the only ingredient in the Mr. Dells brand frozen hashbrowns is potatoes. The lack of fillers made me add three bags to my cart!) I bought several packages of nitrite-free, uncured beef hotdogs for fast and fun lunches on the grill. I bought bottled BBQ Sauce, even though I know how to make it myself.
Truth: Everything I bought was still real food. (Yes, I realize I’m pushing it when talking about hotdogs. Work with me here. They’re trying. Really they are.)
I got good deals. I was careful about everything that went into my cart. But doggonit, when I want to make Grilled Chicken this week, I’m gonna open up a bottle of pre-made BBQ Sauce, dump it on, and go about my day.
I think we all have to:
- make decisions about what works for our family and what doesn’t.
- realize that just because something had been working for our family, sometimes a change is in order.
- ask God for clarity, peace, and help in all areas in our lives.
My conclusions about groceries…today
Actually, I have no conclusions. I conclude that what I conclude today may be different from what I conclude next week. Right? Often if it’s best if we just think about today. I trust God to make it all clear to each of us when it comes to saving money, eating well, and saving time.
Today’s conclusions are:
- I will continue to follow Simple Meals plans because without them, I’m lost and frustrated at dinner time. The recipes and every aspect of these plans are so easy I barely have to work and I rarely have to think. This is how I’ll continue to do dinner.
- With that, when a recipe calls for BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, or beans – it’s coming out of a jar, bottle, or can because it is still real food, the price is still reasonable, and I don’t have time to make every single ingredient from scratch right now.
- Lunches and Breakfasts might need to be some of the same choices over and over for a while. This will cut down on my need to think so hard, and make it easier for the boys to help themselves.
- As long as I always have plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies to fill the table, I can relax about the occasional hotdogs or pizza.
What have you found helps you most when trying to find balance in saving money, eating well, and saving time in the kitchen?
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