Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Provision

Is anyone still going in the One Year Bible? I've been listening through the Bible and also reading through the One Year Bible.

On the audio version I'm into Deuteronomy, but in reading - I've been knee-deep in Leviticus. It caught my attention when I heard it and now read it yesterday morning about the seventh year being a year of rest for the land. A Sabbath rest for the land.
Leviticus 25:18-22, "'Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely. The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely. And if you say, "What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?" I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years. When you sow in the eighth year, you will be eating some of the old crop; you shall eat the old until the ninth year, when its crop arrives.'"
It speaks profoundly to my heart of God's desire and perfect ability to provide for His children! I love this passage as it speaks so beautifully to His generous provisions for us.

With these thoughts on my mind, I've been watching to see how God even provides for our food now. Through sales, mis-priced items and so forth.

Confession: Historically, I've paid for our groceries with my debit card just for convenience sake. However, around Christmas I realized that I'm consistent in going over my grocery budget because I do this. It may have only been a dollar or two at a time but I was still doing it. And, yes - sometimes it was more than that.

Anyway, I decided to go cash for groceries and my spending money. For two months now, I've had envelopes in my purse for my grocery money - one month at a time. It is working out great! But, I have noticed that the last week or so is a real stretch to use our dollars wisely to stay within budget.

I've had to get more creative with our meals and my shopping list! And, I've been so thankful for the $5/$20 coupons to help me stretch our dollars!

Through this - I've also been analyzing more what I am buying. I remember my Mom saying it is best to shop around the edges of the store where all the freshest foods are. Recently, I was looking at the grocery ad and had planned out about $15 in groceries that were on sale (fruit, cheese, meat) and then saw they had Totino's frozen pizza on sale for $1. Do you like those? Oh, I love those little pizzas - they are terrible for you and so delicious.

Ok, I digress - as I was driving to the store - I was just praying for wisdom about what to buy. I could've gotten the pizza "free" with my $5/$20 coupon - but I asked myself what we really needed more than that and the answer was meat. So after gathering my $15 in other things on sale - I headed to the meat department and decided I would see what I could get for $5. I found some chicken on sale for 0.59/lb. and some stir fry beef for a couple of dollars.

After all of my coupons and Register Rewards at Walgreens and everything - my total was 0.34! Of course, I had really paid a bit more since I had already paid for the RR items at Walgreens - but I was so excited to see how God provided good food for us, I shopped around the edges and made good food choices and He helped me stretch our money and provided for us.

On yet another visit to the same store - I wanted to get a rotisserie chicken that was on sale for $5 as my "free" food. It rang up the wrong price and I ended up getting it free plus was still able to use my coupons and get other groceries we needed. Again, I love seeing how He provides!

I certainly do not want to imply that we don't have enough to eat - we do have plenty of food, and I am just rejoicing in watching God work these things out in front of my eyes.

Going back to the passage in Leviticus - when He calls us to follow Him, He will provide a way for us to do that. He provided food for His people by giving them bountiful harvests to carry them through until the next harvest and He will provide for us too. He will show me how to best spend my dollars and when to do without a certain item to make it last until the next "harvest" (pay day!).

I love watching for His provisions in my life! How have you seen God provide for your daily food needs? Let's offer praise to Him for His generous caring for us today!

23 comments:

Mom said...

Way to be aware of God's provision! He can and does use all kinds of ways to provide, doesn't He? Love you! Mom

Cheryl said...

Morning Monica!
I am constantly amazed and thankful for how he provides. We do the Larry Burkett envelope system with our budget. So, we allot a certain amount for things each month in our envelopes and groceries is one of them. When the money runs out in that envelope, that's it. So, like you it behooves me to stay on the edges as well and stay focused. LOL, in other words stick to my list. My biggest challenge is making the money last till the hubs gets paid again.

*carrie* said...

Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Monica. We've used cash for several years, but I confess that it doesn't always "stop" me from going over. (Sometimes I pull from other categories if I need more grocery money.)

I smiled at the Totino's comment. Those are yummy, but I haven't had one in a long time!

Your mention of meat made me think to point out that there is a rebate for Jennie-O turkey products. I saw the link on Mom Advice last Fri. I buy their ham and dice it into chunks for the boys to add to pizza and potato soup. The rebate is up to $5 so I just got a sizeable turkey ham for free!

Hope today goes well!

asnipofgoodness said...

God is so good Monica, and it is always such a faith builder when he meets us in the little things. Thanks for sharing.

Ginger said...

Hey, Monica. Great post to remind me. In January I did great with the grocery budget; I believe I spent less than $100 eating from the pantry. I am going to do that again in March since in February I went crazy and spent about $175!! for 2 of us! I have plenty of food so I need to be a better steward of it.

2plustwinsmom said...

Wow. Thank you for this. Our grocery budget is an area I really need to get into better shape. I will certainly be praying about how I can use our money more wisely!

I've been reading the Bible in 90 days, and it has been an amazing eye opener for me. My husband is reading along side of me, and we are having wonderful discussions about what we read. Reading so much so quickly doesn't allow for deep study, but it has opened our eyes to God's overall picture. I am knee deep in Ezekiel right now, and I'm really looking forward to the New Testament soon!

Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

That is really a beautiful post. I am listening to the Daily Audio Bible and I just fininshed the passage in Leviticus that you mentioned. God can certainly be creative in the ways that he provides for us if we just open our eyes and are aware of His presence.
Blessings,
Nancy

Tina said...

I enjoy your blog, but rarely comment. This really struck a cord with me, as I am rejoicing today in God's provision during a "lean" time. I'm overwhelmed at His abundant blessings, and perfect timing. I wonder how I ever doubt and worry. I also just finished reading Leviticus in my read through the Bible.:)

Jason and Geraldine said...

I totally agree! Its is an amazing thing to see our wonderful God at work in our lives. Being the mom/wife/organizer/cook in the house its easy for me to see the food provisions. It really is amazing. I also find the same amazing provisions for clothing and household goods. Just as I am in need of summer dresses, I'll get a bag of hand me downs or find that the local SallyAn's has everything marked for 50% off so the dresses are like $2 each. Its amazing and wonderful. I know no one wants to talk about money, but I truly believe that because we are faithful in tithing, letting Him put to good use what we give back to him, he in turn provides in ways that are far greater than we could have imagined.

Anonymous said...

Your post really spoke to me this morning! I've been struggling with my grocery budget for the past few months. Our local store also had frozen pizzas on sale -- I love them because they are tasty and so easy to fix. They were 5 for $10. I stood at the freezer for a long time looking at them, thinking what other good things I could get for $10. Finally, something clicked in my brain and I realized I could just set aside an hour or two and, using my home-canned pizza sauce, make a bunch of homemade mini pizzas and freeze them for way less that $10. I used the $10 I would have spent on the pizzas for 5 bags of frozen veggies and 5 lbs of chicken breasts that were on sale. I just have to listen to my heart sometimes and make the best choices for my family! :) Your blog inspires me daily!

Kristina

Wendi said...

I do praise Him for meeting my needs! On the months that are the tighest it always seems to work out. My parents will stop by with some meat they found on Managers Special or with some fresh fruit for Megan. (They do this often. They love to delight Megan with goodies from the store.) We will get a dinner invitation or the the items we need the most will be on sale.

BTW... Megan and I split one of those Totinos pizza's today. So ymmy, but so bad for us!

Katie said...

Well written post, Monica.

I've become increasingly aware of God's provision in this regard as well. I've been praying for His guidance to acquire better skills in the kitchen and to make time for better meal prep and planning for our family's health and budget...God is faithful in helping me!

I liked to read about your envelope system ~ I too tend to overspend if I use a card.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on God's goodness!

Matthew 6:25-26

Dorothy said...

Another wonderful post Monica. Have heard the tip from your mom about the outside perimeter of the store being the healthiest several times and I think it is true. I am trying hard to cook healthier because DH and I need to get weight off : (
Have a blessed day Monica!

Julie Kreke said...

I'm still reading through the bible in a year... although Leviticus is a challenge for me to face every day! :)
I also spend over-budget when I use a debit card. I think that I excuse myself too much because when I grocery shop with three little ones I sometimes just want to get through and not add prices as I go. But it really does not work!!
Thanks for the encouragement.

Rachel said...

Monica, thank you for a heartfelt look into provision and what that means as far as groceries are concerned.

My family has decided to go Vegan- for many reasons... it's much healthier, much more inexpensive as dry grains and beans cost less and we felt that the Lord was calling us to abandon the factory farming that is raveging our farmers and nation (food inc. movie for more on this).

I am SO happy that you took your mom's advice and shopped the outer edge of the store. It is much better for you- may the Lord continue to bless your beautiful family with better health within your food budget!!!!!

Mary Ann said...

I'm in the middle of writing a post that runs along a similar vein.

I shop with cash too. Like Carrie, I still will occasionally take some extra $$ from other envelopes but most of the time I try to stay on track.

Our grocery budget has been a lot lower lately. We still have plenty to eat; I just have to be very careful in my choices. Your pizza story hit a chord with me. It's silly, but I've had this desire for fish sticks for a couple of weeks now. We were at the grocery store yesterday and I noticed that big bags of fish sticks were BOGO and were only $3.50 each. Oh, I struggled with whether or not to buy a bag. I mean, it was only $3.50. But yet it was $3.50 for something that really isn't that healthy. Fortunately, my husband was along and he snapped me out of my processed food craving by telling me that what we had in our cart was enough.:-) Not that it's wrong to buy a treat or processed food on occasion...but I knew that $3.50 could purchase much more needful items that were healthier and more filling.

During the same grocery trip we were amazed and blessed to find many mark downs on meat. I picked up a huge ham for $.69 a pound. That will make many meals for us or a good hospitality meal to share. I also bought a Jennie-o ham that will be free after rebate.

We are grateful right now that the Earth Fare stores in our areas have been releasing 2-3 coupons per week. Most are for a FREE item with any purchase. In the last 2 weeks, we've gotten free: pizza crust, fresh mozzarella cheese, a pound of shrimp, a deli sandwich, a bag of frozen blueberries. Such a blessing to us!

God has stretched my grocery dollars so many times by providing coupons, mark downs and sales at just the right time. I just praise Him for His goodness!

I try to make a habit of asking God for wisdom before I shop and then thanking Him for His provision. Even when there are no markdowns, great sales and coupons, He still provides for us. We always have plenty! Today we bought 2 huge tote bags of groceries at Aldi for $15. I was so thankful!

Thanks for sharing this today, Monica!

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing this and what fun to see God at work thru His Word.

Can you explain what $5/$20 means? What stores do this? I am assuming you spend $20 and get $5 free? I have a feeling it's a store we don't have here.

pippasmum said...

I am reading a Bible in the Year, too. Leviticus can be interesting!
You are so right, it's amazing the way that God provides. I am expecting my second child and I know that when this little one arrives, things will be very tight for a while. I have been trying to buy as much clothing as I can for my daughter in advance and I have been so surprised and blessed! There is a Goodwill and I have started scouting out their sale each week and I have found so much lovely clothing and for a tiny amount. It has also brought me closer to some of the other mothers at our church because we are all trying to find ways to provide for our families and we are sharing advice with each other. It's great to be able to fellowship that way!
I haven't gotten my grocery budget under control the way you have. I am working on it. At the moment, my husband and I have really been working at not stopping at the store at all during the week - I find that those little trips for one thing always end up involving so much more and so much more that we don't really need. I would like to go to a cash system, as well. Thank you for the inspiration.

carriecaribou said...

I so appreciate all of your insight and sharing! I feel like your grocery example is specifically for me today. Like you, I use my debit card for convenience and also consistently go over, but I always justify it to myself in some way, and its FOOD for goodness sake! :) Anyway, I was convicted about this and plan to start using cash (as I know I should). :) Thanks!
Carolyn

Sue said...

Oh, I love hearing of God's provision! He has been so faithful to always provide for our needs...and some things that we think are 'wants' as well! I just did a post recently on this very thing...He just pours out His blessings abundantly! Blessings to you!

Ruth said...

Beautiful post and reminder of the faithfulness of our great God. I also prefer cash for groceries because I tend to be more careful that way. I was way over budget when I used my debit card.

Ruth

Rochelle said...

I can not express the difference it has made to my shopping by using cash, what I can convince myself to buy when I use my debit card vs looking at what I have left in my wallet that month and just making whatever is in the pantry work for the next week with very little else. Its been such a good stretch for my creativity when it come to food stretching.

thehomespunheart said...

$5/$20 means I had a coupon for $5 off of a $20 purchase! One of our grocery stores accepts competitor's coupons and I can use the drugstore $5 off coupons on groceries there - what a blessing!