Friday, October 15, 2010

Frugal Living....ALWAYS Have A Plan!

I never used to be a "list" person.  I always had appointments in memory, and always got to them on time.  I knew what I needed at the store without going in with a list.  I could remember both names and faces~even if it had been a long time since I'd seen that person.  That was all before....before I became  a mommy!  Even that's not completely true.  I'd say I started going downhill shortly after child number 3 came along.  Or is it just that I am getting older??  (No, couldn't be that one!)

Anyway.... I have found that lists are completely beneficial.  I need a list to remember who called during the day.  I need a list to remember that my son wanted me to make a dentist appointment.  I need a list to remember that my daughter has practice after school.  And I definately need a list when I go to the store. 

I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday about lists.  They also save me money!  I know some of you learned this a long time ago, me....well.....I guess I'm a slow learner.

My daughter wanted to go to the thrift store to look for a sweater for church and a couple of pairs of jeans.  Sounded easy enough.  We needed a couple of things from the grocery store also, so we could do them both in one trip.  We got to the thrift store.  I was not going to be swayed by all the "new" Christmas items they just put out that day(Oh how I love Christmas!).  I had a focus....jeans and a sweater.  My daughter and I were looking through the clothing......when I spotted it.  They had winter coats, snow pants, and boots out also.  I just had to go look.  After all, we have 5 children.  Getting winter gear at the thrift store would save me a ton of money!  My husband would be so proud!  So off I went to look at the winter clothes.  I found a winter coat for 3 of our kids (one has his coat from last year that he can still wear this year, and we couldn't find one for my oldest daughter), snow pants for 3 of the kids, and boots for one of them.  I was so excited.  I spent less than $30 for all this.  Keep in mind, I didn't plan on buying these things.  I didn't pray about them before I bought them.  I didn't think at all, I just bought them. 

Then we ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  Did I mention that I did this without a list?  Well, I just needed a few things.  Got the groceries and headed home.  I wanted to impress hubby with the great deals I just got at the thrift store, remember?

As I am proudly rambling on about the winter gear, he puts away the groceries.  In the middle of my story of success, he interupts and says...

"Didn't you get milk??"

"Aaahhh, no.  I forgot."

"How can you forget milk?  We always need milk!"

Hmmm, that list would have come in pretty handy at the grocery store.  I forgot to get milk (and he is right, we always need milk), so I didn't plan that trip very well.  If only that were the end of my story...

In the middle of the night I woke up (God loves to do that!) and remembered that last year some friends had given us a coat and pair of snowpants for our youngest daughter.  The same child I just bought a pair of snowpants and coat for!  They were tucked away in a closet waiting for the cold weather.  Ugghh!  Then this morning while I was cleaning out another closet, I found a pair of boots that I did not remember keeping from one of our children.  These boots will fit the same child I had bought the pair of boots for at the thrift store.   Double Ugghh!! thriftiness actually cost me about $15.  Triple Ugghh!!  I learned that I not only need to bring a list along with me, but I also need to completely stick with those lists.  I know that God will provide all that we need.  It is when I think I can do better than Him that I run into problems.  My reasoning for impulsively buying the things last night was that it was just to good to pass up.  The coats, etc might be gone if I don't get them right now!  My father in law always says in situations like this that it wasn't meant to be if you go back and it isn't there, God has other plans.  Had I offered up a prayer about those items, God may have gently reminded me about the things I already had at home.  I'll never know because I didn't give Him that chance.  I just jumped ahead of Him and took control myself.  (I have a BIG problem in this area!)  I do know however, that it is not coincidence that I remembered and found these items just one day after buying them.  God was and still is in control.  I'm learning to completely rely on God in all areas of my life.  I failed this one big time!  Today I'm thankful for a forgiving God, and the Grace to begin again tomorrow!

Praying you have a great weekend!



  1. Hi, just came across your blog from So, I Married a Mennonite's Blog promotion. Your blog is great! Loved your story about having lists! I have been learning that lesson too. I HAVE to have a list when I go to the store or else I will forget something or buy things I don't need. :)
    Have a blessed day!

  2. Oh yes. Could this explain the three containers of cream of tartar in the spice cabinet? :)
    From Glory Farm


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