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No Bread but More Dough

It’s a dumb title; I know. I just thought it was clever. I haven’t had any bread orders in months, which is completely fine with me. I’m not running around trying to keep my girls occupied while I sweat away in the kitchen kneading and stirring and baking. The only thing I miss is the money. Perhaps this is God’s way of telling me to slow down, take some time for my family, and forget about the money for a bit.

On another money-related issue (ha!), I’ve been careful to watch my grocery spending. I have stockpiled a fair amount of things. I do not like the word stockpile. It sounds too Y2K-ish for me, but I guess it IS what I’m doing. I have 15 cereal boxes in the pantry right now. No, I will not be buying any more for several months! That’s a nice thing – being able to cross off one of my weekly purchases. We go through a large amount of cereal each month. Between snacks and actual bowls for breakfast, we consume about a box-worth a week. So, 15 boxes isn’t really that much when I start to calculate it all out. I have 5 boxes of cake mix. I love making my own from scratch, but when I can get a box for about $.20 I am definitely grabbing a few. Oh, and yes I did remember to get enough frosting for them. One of my biggest annoyances is going to make a cake mix and finding that I didn’t pick up any frosting when I bought it. Seems logical – you buy one, you buy the other – but it’s happened several times over the past several years that I’ve wanted to make a quick cake and frost it to take somewhere or have for dessert that night and I have cake but no frosting. This time, I’m prepared. 🙂

I went to Meijer today to grab some very cheap and some free items. I have been receiving, by mail, high-value coupons for items and even several FREE item coupons. I forget why I received it, but a box of Kraft goodies came yesterday with some coupons that included 2 for free items. When I write to companies online to thank them or tell them how much we like their items (and I don’t lie – I tell them what specifically we like and why and sometimes some things we don’t like), they are very appreciative and almost always send coupons by mail as a Thank You. My receipt today said I saved $31 with coupons and another $30 or so with store sales….that’s over $60 in savings! I paid $44.08 for a cart full of groceries and was able to get several of some things to stock up. I am extremely thankful for what I’ve learned lately about grocery shopping, coupons, sales, and purposeful shopping.

Next week, I plan to only buy produce (no milk…I bought 2 today that will last til the next paycheck), so that’ll hopefully leave us with leftover budgeted grocery money. My goal is to have $20 left over on the 31st to roll into our camping fund. We are so excited to go camping in July. Iris is the only one that remembers going camping the last time. Lily and Addy will have so much fun. I hope Addy’s walking by then; it will be dreadful to have to carry her around all week. Too hot! And I’m hoping she will be weaned by then….selfishly. 🙂 Too hot!

God has entrusted me with so much for my family. It’s amazing the responsibility we have as parents – feed, clothe, raise our children, financial planning and budgeting, etc. It is my job to guard my daughters’ eyes and ears from things they shouldn’t see or hear. TV is my biggest enemy right now. It is so hard to find afternoon cartoons for the girls that don’t have “stupid” or “dumb” or “i hate you” in them. My girls repeat everything and when they hear it on TV they think it’s ok. I know I let them watch too much TV, so this week it has been my goal to only let them watch a total of 3 hours a day. I know some of you are cringing right now that they are allowed to watch that much a day – believe me, that’s a huge cut in hours. I usually let the TV just play all day. Even if no one’s watching; it’s background noise. But shows and commercials come on that I’m not paying attention to and before I know it my girls are glued to Spongebob or some other older kid show that uses language I don’t let my children use. So, as much as I’d like to say I let them watch only educational shows and no more than 2 hours a day….well, we’re getting there. No Spongebob anymore; I’ve said that before and found myself putting it on for them so they’ll stop whining while I cook dinner – but not anymore! And no more than 3 hours a day. No TV during breakfast, no kid shows for Iris while the other 2 nap, no TV for lunch or dinner (that’s not a huge change, they don’t usually watch during those meals), and only shows that I know will not be using bad language. Disney and PBS are pretty good bets for nice language. And I don’t allow myself more than an hour of TV during the day. I could get carried away with silly shows during naptime but I have other things I should be doing (what’s that Proverbs 31 verse about idleness? whatever it says, that’s what I want to be doing).

As my youngest is whining, I’m thinking about how easy it would be right now to let them go downstairs and watch cartoons to keep them quiet for a while. Nope. They’ve used up their hours today and so have I. So, I am finding other ways to spend our time – catching up on blogging, organizing things we’ve gotten out throughout the day, and soon I will start dinner. To think of all those hours I’ve wasted watching unimportant shows during the day when I should have been doing things to bring honor and glory to God – keeping my home orderly, budgeting or planning grocery outings, interacting with my children, or (more importantly!) spending time reading my Bible and praying. I have slacked so much lately with that. I’ve gotten away from my routine of morning exercise and Bible reading before the girls get up. I need that; I need that time to be quiet and just read and talk to God and ask for His help throughout the day that is starting. I am so frazzled otherwise; I lose my temper too quickly, I snap at the girls, I have zero patience, I am self-centered, I waste money on impulse purchases, I waste time on things I shouldn’t be doing. God wants to hear from me; He wants me to ask Him for things. It needs to be a priority – an early morning priority before I get lost in the day. I am no good to my family if I haven’t touched base with God first.

Tomorrow is a new day.

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