Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Frugal Friday: Buying and Using Reduced-Price Produce

ImageI have discovered my new favorite thing at Valli Produce–the reduced price produce section. Heaps of bananas marked down–perfect for banana bread. I just throw them in the freezer if I don’t have time to make it right away. My husband is always super excited when I buy 8-10 avocados for $1.49 total. That usually means my dinner plans for the night are changed, effective immediately! 🙂

I bought a bunch of Granny Smith apples in the reduced section the other day, knowing exactly what I would do with it: Apple pie. Filling. For the freezer! I now have 3 pies’ worth of filling ready to be placed in a crust at a moment’s notice. Hurray!

I also have been buying whichever apples are $0.59/lb or cheaper each week. I have found the simplest way ever to make cheap, delicious, easy applesauce that freezes well. After letting my apples soak for about 10 min in a vinegar/water bath, I cut the apple using my apple slicer (peels on!). Then, I toss all the apples in my steamer until they are soft. Once steamed, I throw them in my food processor, with some of the juice from the steamer and some cinnamon, and I have applesauce. Once cooled, I keep some in the fridge and put the rest in freezer bags to freeze for later.

Do you have any other ways you use reduced-price produce?

{Each Friday, I attempt to pass along a frugal tip I have learned or am attempting to learn. I love a good deal, and I love to help our family stay within the budget by being frugal in every area of life!}

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Thursday Thoughts: Ministry is Not Just for the Paid Professionals

Paul Tripp’s last message at the Revive Conference, “What does it look like to be a woman who helps women” (you can listen to it here), was another winner. His text was Colossians 3:12-17. This text is on my chalkboard in my dining room. It is one of my favorite passages. It is also an extremely convicting passage!

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I kind of wondered where he was going to go with this text, because there is so much that could be said!  As he talked through the text, I began to see. . .

He reminded us of the first part of the chapter which states that every Christian’s life has been “hidden with Christ” (v 3). We, then, put off sinful behavior and put on Christ-like behavior. Why do we call compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, love, thankfulness, peace, etc Christ-like? Because Christ was those things. Because when Christians put on Christ, they put on Colossians 3:12-17 behavior!

And this, Paul said, is the Savior’s plan for normal Christianity. Grace-living, he called it.

Okay, we’re good so far. . .  But then he nailed it when he started talking about the Church with phrases like “God’s total involvement paradigm” and “organic ministry community.”

What was his point? His point was that ministry is not to just be done by your pastor.  Ministry, making God’s invisible grace visible to others, is to be done by every believer. All the time. Every believer is called to the ministry.

 But too often we, as Paul pointed out, live our lives like we actually own them. I gave my offering this week, accompanied the church choir, worked my slot in the nursery, brought donuts to Bible study, and attended prayer meeting. I did my ministry for the week. Now, it’s the pastor’s job (this is why we pay him, right?) to prepare all the messages, organize all the outreach, do all the counseling, pray for everyone, teach & admonish everyone in the church, and be completely compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, forbearing, forgiving, loving, peaceful and thankful all the time.

Wrong.

Every believer must give himself to the ministry as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. We don’t get to pick and choose when and how we want to serve and show God’s grace to others.  We can’t let fear (that we won’t measure up to what we teach) or amnesia (forgetting who we are in Christ) hinder us from ministering all the time.

“The Gospel is not an aspect of theology; it is your life,” Paul said, reminding us of Col 3:16-“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Everyone is a teacher and a counselor. When people present a problem to you or ask you a question (about anything!), you either minister the Gospel or you give anti-Gospel advice. People don’t need to know what you think about anything. They need to hear the truth.

Every believer is an ambassador of Christ, not an owner of his life. We need to live like it. We need to be willing to complicate our lives, get up early, stay up late, give up our money and time. We need to get up when we fail and are broken and watch what Jesus will do (rough quote from Paul).

Are you an ambassador or an owner? Is your life ministry or do you leave that for your pastor? Think of what an encouragement you could be to your pastor if you whole-heartedly gave yourself to ministering in your church, in your home, in every aspect of life. Think of the impact you could have on others as you let others see Christ in and through you!

{On Thursdays, I share some thoughts about what God is teaching me in my various roles as a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, and a pastor’s wife.}

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Worthy Word Wednesday: “Is Your Life a Mess? Are You Willing to Admit It?” & “Feel Like an Imposter?”

I mentioned on Monday that I attended the Revive ’13 conference in Schaumburg last weekend. I wanted to share a couple “True Woman” blog posts summarizing a couple messages we heard.

The first post, “Is Your Life a Mess? Are You Willing to Admit It?” reminds us of Paul Tripp’s 2 messages from Mark 6 and then Psalm 27. Here are a couple of truths from his messages:

  • “God took them [the disciples] where they didn’t intend to go to produce in them what they couldn’t achieve on their own.”
  • “Difficulties are signs of the zeal of God’s transforming love.”
  • “Biblical faith never requires you to deny reality. If you have to establish momentary, personal hope by denying reality, you are not exercising biblical faith. What I love about the Bible is that it’s shockingly honest and gloriously hopeful at the same time. The honesty doesn’t diminish the hopefulness–and the hopefulness doesn’t negate the honesty.”
  • “So stop denying reality. Stop telling stories that make life look better than it actually is and that make you look better than you actually are. Jesus doesn’t need you to defend His reputation with your functional lives. If you’re lying about your life–if you’re really good at non-answers–that’s not faith. That’s shocking religious selfism.”

The second post, “Feel Like an Imposter?” reminds us of Elyse Fitzpatrick’s message, “Walking in the Light.” Here are a couple of the truths from her message:

  •  “When I bring my sin out into the light, it loses its power to bring me to despair.”
  • “As long as I’m hiding my sin, I’m not going to deal with it. Come out into the light! Then other people will be encouraged knowing God can use someone as weird and messed up as me.”
  • “The women who relate to you don’t need you to be perfect; they need you to be a sinner with a Savior.”

So good! So convicting! And, I just saw that conference audio is now available on truewoman.com for all of the main sessions and most of the breakout sessions!! I’m planning on re-listening to the ones I heard and listening to the breakout sessions I didn’t hear!

Did any of you attend Revive ’13? If so, or if you get a chance to listen to any of these sessions, let me know what God taught you!

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}

 

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Tasty Tuesday: No-Fuss Potato Soup

POTATO SOUPThis recipe is the best! It is easier than other potato soup recipes I’ve tried. It’s healthier. It’s delicious. It’s crock pot. It’s currently in my crock pot to be eaten for dinner this beautiful fall day, paired with some homemade bread. 🙂

Makes 8-10 servings; ideal crock pot size: 5-6 quart

 

Ingredients:

6 cups diced, peeled potatoes

5 cups water (Sometimes I will replace 1-2 cups of the water with chicken broth if I have some on hand; then I will reduce the bouillon cubes by 1 or 2.)

2 cups diced onions

½ cup diced celery

½ cup chopped carrots

¼ cup light, soft tub margarine

4 tsp chicken bouillon powder (can use sodium free; I use 4 bouillon cubes)

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

12-oz can evaporated milk (can use fat-free)

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I just use 1 tbsp dried parsley)

8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (can use fat-free)

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except milk, parsley, and cheese in slow cooker.
  • Cover. Cook on High 7-8 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in milk and parsley. Stir in cheese until it melts. Heat thoroughly.
  • Enjoy! 🙂

{Adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook}

Note: I prepared this for some friends one day, then found out that one of my friends was currently sensitive to dairy. I ladled out some soup for her before I added the milk and cheese, and she said it was delicious!

I’ll try to remember to take some pics of the finished product and update the post later!

{On Tuesdays, I share a yummy recipe. Typically, my recipes will be super easy, because I’m a mom with littles. I try to be healthy and frugal as well. But I like good food, so it will always be delicious! }

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Monday Meditations: Thankful for My Sin

ImageThis past weekend I was privileged to attend the Revive ’13 Conference, Women Helping Women, with the 2 deacons’ wives in my church. What a life-changing opportunity! The ministry of the Word through speakers like Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Elyse Fitzpatrick, and Paul David Tripp, along with the break-out session speakers was incredible.

Friday night, Elyse spoke on “Walking in the Light” from 1 John 1. And this just so happened to be the exact chapter I was scheduled to read in my devotions this morning! So, below is the compilation of my thoughts from the text, as well as some of Elyse’s comments from my notes.

The bottom line is that God is light. As Christians, we walk that light. The message of the Gospel promotes fellowship between believers because our fellowship is with the Father.

One of the lies that Elyse focused on from the chapter is the lie that we say that we have no sin (verse 8). But true fellowship with believers, true fellowship in the light requires that we let ourselves be known. It means that we don’t pretend that we’re not sinners.

But our sin always wants to make us hide. It makes us feel ashamed. Elyse brought us back to the very first sinners, Adam and Eve. What did they do after they sinned and realized they were naked? They were ashamed and covered up their nakedness with fig leaves.

But then we remember 1 John 1:9, God is faithful to forgive our sins. You don’t need a Savior if you’re not a sinner! (quoting Elyse). If I seek to minister to other women, and if I cover myself in “churchy-looking fig leaves” (Elyse) in order to hide my sin so that I look good, I will thwart my ability to help others. Who wants to open up their heart and troubles to a believer who seems to never sin?

Rather, I need to be transparent about my sin before God and others. God already knows the depth of my sinfulness, but he doesn’t look at that! When God looks at me he sees Jesus. He sees Jesus’ perfect life; he sees Jesus’ blood; he sees the power of Jesus’ resurrection working through me to live for God.

When I cover my sin before others, there is no opportunity for them to see Jesus through me; all they can see is me! My sin should not cause me to despair. Rather, my sin should force me to be thankful for Christ and to point others to the merciful, gracious work of Christ in me!

What does this mean for me practically? This past weekend it meant that the ladies I was with and I confessed some of our sins and struggles to one another, wept together, prayed together. It means that I have a burning desire to see this kind of “light,” this kind of transparency among the fellowship of the ladies of our church. It means I desire to have this kind of transparency with my husband, as I confess my sin to him and as we marvel at the grace of God in our lives. It means that I am on the same level as every believer that I minister with and to, a sinner saved by grace!

{Note: Please be aware that I am not suggesting that we “continue in sin that grace may abound” (c.f. Romans 6:1ff). I also do not recommend that you share every detail of every sin with everyone in an effort to be transparent. Discernment should always be exercised!}

{On Mondays, I share some thoughts from my pastor’s (husband’s 🙂 ) sermon on Sunday. This will be good for me, as it will help cement God’s truths in my head and heart. I hope these truths will encourage and challenge you! If you’re interested in hearing a particular sermon, you can head here to listen.}

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Thursday Thoughts: What is Your Life?

ImageOur lives are filled with joy and sorrow. There are the expected, but sad deaths of the elderly; the joyful arrivals of babies; the jarring news that a middle-aged man is dying of cancer. . .

Tuesday, my husband and I went through some of his Grandpa Dean’s belongings. Grandpa Dean was a godly man who lived a long life (91 years!). Yet everything that he accumulated over those long years was left behind. Reality kind of hit me, as we looked through his stuff, looking for something we might be able to use. The reality that you take nothing with you when you die. Now, Grandpa Dean was a very generous man. I’ve never seen so many $50’s slip from one hand into the hand of another, as did from his hand. Yet, still, everything was left.

Yesterday, a friend introduced a beautiful baby girl into the world. She came into this world with absolutely nothing. She will most certainly have many good things poured out on her in love, yet she, too, will leave this world one day with nothing.

Today, a friend passed from this world into the welcoming arms of his Savior. His wife and sons were left behind, as well as everything that he ever worked for.

And I think to myself, “What is your life?”  The Bible speaks to that very question:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4: 13-15).

What is my life? It is a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. I can make all the plans in the world to go to this place or another, to do this thing or the other, to accomplish that thing and accumulate this amount of possessions. . . but I don’t even know what’s happening tomorrow.

Clearly, we need to plan and have goals and aspirations. But our lives need to be lived with the ever-present realization that we are here for such a little time. Our lives–and deaths– are in the hands of our sovereign, loving Lord.

Should we not, then, live our lives in this reality? But we don’t. We live life under the delusion that we control our lives, that we are going to live forever, and that we are going to take what we have with us. Not that any of us really believes it. But we live like we believe it. At least I sometimes do.

Not that we can’t enjoy the temporary pleasures of life. We can actually use the “everyday” to glorify the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes brings out the enigmas that life seems to present. He talks about the seeming futility of life when everything just dies anyway, yet he realizes that the pleasures of life–and life itself–are good gifts from a God who wants us to enjoy them. After analyzing the brevity of life, he ends his book with these words:

 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (Eccl 12:13).

We need to have a reverential awe of and obedience to God that permeates our entire lives. This is our primary goal in life as we meet our temporary goals. Because life is short. Because we can’t take anything with us. Because we treasure God above all else.

So, what is your life?

{On Thursdays, I share some thoughts about what God is teaching me in my various roles as a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, and a pastor’s wife.}

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Worthy Word Wednesday: God, our Treasure

ImageWhile reading another book the other day (Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick), I came across a quote from a book that I read a long time ago. It is a wonderful book that I highly recommend, The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. I wrote this quote down in my journal when I first read it, and I have read it many times since:

The man who has God for his treasure has all things in one. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight.

I love this, but it is SO convicting. My happiness is an indicator of how much (or whether!) I am treasuring God, regardless of my abundance of or lack of earthly pleasures (sinful or not). What I treasure reveals where my heart is, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-21:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I am a nurse, so I am used to looking at symptoms to try to figure out the cause of the symptoms. If I am discontent, angry, complaining, lacking joy, etc, I must figure out what is causing those “symptoms,” for these are not the real problem. Sinful words and actions are the symptoms of a heart problem (“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Matt 12:34). They reveal that my heart is treasuring my own plans, earthly treasures, sinful pursuits, etc –  but not God. For if I was truly treasuring God, I would have “all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight” no matter what.

So, what do we keep in our treasure boxes? Our hearts will always reveal what we treasure. May we all have hearts that reveal that God truly is our Treasure!

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}

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Tasty Tuesday: Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

chicken enchiladas

 

My family LOVES Mexican food. Dave and I could eat it every day. Thankfully, Calvin and Mackenna love it too! 😉

Here is one of my go-to recipes when we are in the mood for Mexican. It’s inexpensive, easy, and oh-so-good.

 

Ingredients

1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup

8 oz sour cream {UPDATE: I used yogurt instead yesterday, and I couldn’t tell a difference!}

1 cup salsa (I actually make my own enchilada sauce and use that; I don’t like chunks!)

2 tsp chili powder

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (or turkey)

1 cup shredded monterrey jack cheese

12 (6-in) flour tortillas (I use the slightly bigger ones, and it makes about 9-10)

Directions

  • Mix soup, sour cream, salsa, and chili powder in a medium bowl.
  • Combine chicken and cheese in another bowl.
  • Mix 1 cup of the soup mixture with the chicken and cheese (Save remaining soup mixture for top).
  • Spread about ¼ cup of chicken mixture in each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in 9×13 baking dish. {UPDATE: I found that spreading about 1/4-1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan helped the enchiladas not stick so much, while also helping them not be so crispy as if I had just used cooking spray}
  • Spread remaining soup mixture on top.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes.
  • Enjoy! 🙂

UPDATE: This is great served on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes on top. I also make my own chips by spraying both sides of corn tortillas with cooking spray, cutting them into chip-size pieces, placing them on a baking sheet, sprinkling salt on top, and baking them in a 425-degree oven for about 6-7 minutes. Yummy and healthy–especially if dipped in homemade guacamole and/or salsa! 🙂

{On Tuesdays, I share a yummy recipe. Typically, my recipes will be super easy, because I’m a mom with littles. I try to be healthy and frugal as well. But I like good food, so it will always be delicious! }

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Monday Meditations: Here is the Church, Here is the Steeple, Open the Doors. . . Where’s All the People?

ImageThis past weekend, our church had what my husband called an “Emphasis on Evangelism.” We invited Pastor Ken Brown of Community Bible Church in Trenton, MI. What a blessing, encouragement, and challenge he was to our church!

Small churches make up a majority of American Protestant churches. According to 2003 Barna research, “the average church attract[s] less than 90 adults on a typical weekend.”

“Phew,” we say, “That makes us feel better. Our little church is average. We don’t have to feel bad that we’re so small. . . that we’ve been small for a while. . that we’re staying small.”

I think that we are so afraid of growing our churches unbiblically (becoming “missional,” marketing the church, compromising core beliefs, etc), that we are paralyzed by that fear. So, we teach doctrine (good), we maintain a conservative flavor to our worship style (good), we proclaim the dangers of unbiblical methods of church growth (good). And then we pray that the really good Christians in the other churches would thirst for what we have and come to our church. We pray that good families would move to the area. We pray that people would be saved. . . but we don’t do much about it.

Hmmm. Is that how the early church grew?

Pastor Brown brought a number of suggestions with him in our workshops on Saturday. During our Sunday morning worship service, he pointed us to Acts 6. Both Matthew and Luke end their Gospels with the Great Commission: Make Disciples by going, by teaching repentance & forgiveness of sins, by baptizing, and by resting in the Sovereign God. Luke, the author of Acts as well, chronicles how the church obeyed that great commission.

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:1 states that the disciples were increasing in number. There was both quantitative growth (“increasing in number”) and qualitative growth (the “disciples” were growing in number, not attendees, not church-goers, not VBS participants. Disciples.).

Verse 1 then details a problem, unique to their situation, that arose because numbers were increasing: Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews) complained that their widows were not being provided for by the church like the Hebrew-speaking Jews’ widows were.

Verses 2-6 go on to describe the solution to the problem: The apostles recognized the validity of the complaint, yet in no way did they want to compromise the primary thing: the preaching of the word of God. They knew that their primary task was to devote themselves to prayer and the Word of God.

But they still took care of the valid problem:  They chose seven godly men with Greek names (Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus) to minister to the Greek-speaking Jewish widows. While ever-prioritizing the Word of God, they wisely chose Greek men to minister to the Greek-speaking widows, effectively using their resources.

The result? “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (v.7, italics added).

God grows his church through both the faithful proclamation of his Word and the wise application/use of our resources to reach the people around us.

Are increasing numbers a sure sign of a healthy church then? Well, that depends.

  • If the large number consists of disciples who are now seeking to evangelize and disciple others, then probably yes.
  • If the large number consists of people who just loved all the gimmicks to get them to  “attend” and be entertained or to pacify their consciences, neither being discipled or seeking to disciple others, then no.
  • If the large number consists of people who know all the correct theology and have all the “right” music and standards and whose growth consists primarily of church membership transfers, then no.

Clearly, there needs to be emphasis on doctrine, theology, the Word of God and prayer. But this example in Acts 6 evidences the necessity to be willing to make functional changes (e.g., appointing Greek deacons  to serve the Greek widows)  in order to be sensitive to the reality of the world around us without  compromising either the Truth of the Gospel and its applications in our churches.

So, your church is small.  Why? Are you actively, intentionally fulfilling the mandate that the church is called to fulfill: make disciples? A healthy church seeks to make disciples. If our churches look like the churches in Acts, our churches will likely grow.

**I could probably make hundreds of clarifications. Those of you who know me will (hopefully) graciously assume all the clarifications I could make. 🙂 One I will make is, as Pastor Brown reminded us, only believers can worship. So, the worship service of a church, while being accepting of the attendance of unbelievers, is not to cater to the needs, wishes, and desires of unbelievers (this is church marketing). We can make an unbelieving guest feel welcome without changing our biblical values to do so. To save myself the time of making all the other clarifications I could make, I highly encourage and recommend you to listen to Pastor Brown’s workshops, lessons, and sermon that will be available to listen to (at some point this week) here.

{On Mondays, I share some thoughts from my pastor’s (husband’s 🙂 ) sermon on Sunday. This will be good for me, as it will help cement God’s truths in my head and heart. I hope these truths will encourage and challenge you! If you’re interested in hearing a particular sermon, you can head here to listen.}

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Frugal Friday: Shopping Around {for Groceries}

ImageI have learned that the best way to shop for groceries is to shop at 2 (or more, occasionally) different stores. Before I was married I used to grocery shop exclusively at stores that carried everything from clothing to toys to groceries (stores like Meijer). I wasted so much money. Now I put in a tiny bit more work and “shop around.”

The store that I go to every week for my basic necessities is Aldi. I do the bulk of my grocery shopping there, and I spend very little for great quality. I love how small the store is, as well. I can be in and out (as much as my 2 kids who are with me let me) pretty quickly.

If necessary, I then shoot over to my second store of choice. Now that we live in Illinois, that store is Valli. I actually head here most weeks to pick up produce, meat, and special items. I signed up for their weekly ad emails to help me figure that out ahead of time.

Other stores, like Meijer or Schnucks, will have occasionally amazing deals, like 10 for $10, get the 11th free. Those are about the only times that I shop at these stores. And then it’s only to jump on those deals. Meijer would sometimes have that deal with OJ, so I would buy a bunch. These are the kind of weeks I may go to 3 grocery stores. But that is very occasional.

Now, you may have to take into account distance. If the amount of gas you’re paying is a huge amount because you’re driving around to more than one grocery store, you may want to limit yourself to one. Thankfully, all these stores are just minutes away from each other and my home, so my biggest challenge is carting my children around (literally! 😉 ).

Saving money is work, but every penny helps!

Happy Weekend! 🙂

{Each Friday, I attempt to pass along a frugal tip I have learned or am attempting to learn. I love a good deal, and I love to help our family stay within the budget by being frugal in every area of life!}

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