Monday, November 22, 2010

Calculator Shopping

There are people out there that bring their calculators with them when they grocery shop. They have a budget and then use that little crunching machine to stick to it. Those people are amazing. They are also the same people with the organized coupon book. Again, I'm in awe. But I finally get it. Today, I used my calculator. Let me be more clear. Today, I went grocery shopping with Chris and he used his I-Pad (purchased by college) calculator. It all felt a little ironic. Let me give you the background....

Last week as I was crunching numbers, I saw that we would have more money the end of this month than I thought. So, when I made the grocery list, I went to my trusty Pampered Chef recipe book and pulled out some recipes that looked SO tasty. I was sick of our standard budget fallback meals. We needed some excitement back in our diet. While Pampered Chef recipes are not expensive, they do require fresh produce, which may be good for the diet, but cost more than some alternatives. So, I made out the list and it was big. Real big. Add the fact that I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner to our family and a couple other families (Thanksgiving Orphans), I knew the grocery bill would be highern than a traditional week. AND, we're hosting missionaries Friday, so I wanted to have something delicious and different for them.

Then the heart breaker. I did my number crunching again this morning and we were $7 short after the bills were paid, leaving $0 money for groceries or gas. We don't have any creditcards, so it's not like we can use those for safety nets (which is not a bad thing). Immediately, my heart fell. Why am I sharing my financial woes with you? Not to make you feel sorry for me, but to maybe gain something from my experience. I took a look at what bills were left and noticed that one bill (auto/homeowners/renters insurance) was being paid on November 30 but wasn't due till the 1st. Considering our bank is the same company as our insurance, I knew this could be changed. I called them up and asked. That's all I did. And you know what, they were the nicest, sweetest customer service agents I have ever dealt with. I'm thinking that whenever I'm feeling down, I should call them cause whenever I hangup the phone from talking with one of their sweet operators, I feel 10X better. My hair is kinked, call my children tracked mud onto the carpet, call my bank. When I hung up the phone, I knew that I had money for groceries. Course, I had exactly a certain amount (that bill - $7) so that's where the calculator came in. And would you believe it, we were only $1.62 over the amount, which is fine, because I have the amount lying around. Yea! We get our Thanksgiving meal! I modified our menu (only slightly) so we still have fun and healthy food to eat, but probably saved a lot on the snacks/treat area. Even if our wallet wasn't so tight, I learned a valuable lesson. I-Pad calculators are nnnnnIce! And I can shop under a budget during Thanksgiving week without sacrificing yummy goodness.....well, as long as the budget is high enough.


  1. Natalie clued me into the coupon site. I have been AMAZED at how much I've saved clipping those suckers. The first week, I kid you not, I saved 21 dollars! I know! Last week (I've only been doing it two weeks) I saved 12 or 13 dollars. I just go through all of the coupons and clip ONLY the items that I already buy. Believe me, there's a lot of 'junk' out there.

    Anyway, it has made grocery shopping fun for me again. Good job with your shopping!!

  2. I still get the savvy shopper emails. I should see if they apply here; I've just been too lazy and I don't get the paper. I'll work on that cause the savings are amazingly fun!

  3. Congrats on finding the money you need! It's amazing how the Lord can bless us.

  4. Thanks, Chastina. And often, it isn't just handed to us (though, I've had it that way as well). We have to work for it and trust the Lord will guide us. It was such the relief!


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