Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Extra $10

After my wonderful Wednesday morning excitement, it was time to get down to the dirty business. Putting together my official grocery list within the confines of our budget. Because of some extra grocery spending earlier in the week (juice and diapers), I had about $54 to work with. After several revisions of the list and next week's menu, I was still over by about $10. I fretted and fussed. Looked at my coupons, looked at the sales ads and looked again at my list. I then put it all down and decided to just go to bed.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I was sitting on the edge of the bed examining my grocery list again for any additional savings. I figured out that I could use my gift card from the Target Gillette razor deal to pick up a pack of diapers for nothing out of pocket. And that breakfast for dinner one day next week would be a very frugal meal. Even better if I made the pancakes from scratch instead of buying the frozen Aunt Jemima pancakes that were on sale. It helped but I was still over.

Dave came into the room and sensed my frustration. I told him all about how I couldn't make it work. How I wasn't really buying any extras for stockpiling just the basics for next week and I still couldn't do it. He sat down on the bed and shared this with me. When he was a store manager, if the drawer was short by $10, he would make all 5 of his employees stay and try and find this $10. Even though it was 8pm, they would recount the money, go through the payments and the reports. Sometimes they found $4, other times they didn't find anything at all. Looking back he realized he was paying 5 people $13 an hour just to find $10. And that's exactly what I was doing. I was expending all my energy and efforts over something as small and insignificant as $10.

I'm starting to realize, I beat myself up over the smallest of things. While I'm striving to be a good steward of our money and live in the spirit of cheerful frugality, I need to realize that sometimes it's okay to spend extra. Especially on something essential like FOOD! I'm not always going to have the lowest grocery budget. I will probably never feed my family on $20 a week. And that's okay. What's more important is being thankful that I have the extra to spend.

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