I bought groceries the Friday before Thanksgiving. That was about 10 days ago. Every time I buy groceries, I write down how much I spent on a wall calendar. I write how much I spent on the exact day I bought it. This helps me keep track of how much I’m spending on food.
I spent less than $400 in November and my husband and kids all agree that I should never buy the cheap 12 pack of hamburger meat ever again. Okay. That’s fair enough. I have two hundred dollars left for the month. Potentially, I could go back to the store and buy whatever they all want. But I have this irresistible urge to put off a grocery trip.
I want to teach my kids to use what we have. I want to teach them patience. I want to teach them self control and discipline. I also know what $200 will buy. It can buy 4 fast food meals for my family. It can also buy new blue jeans for my crazy boys who have somehow managed to put holes in all of their jeans. I could buy the new pants and still have money left over to buy them all brand new stiff collared shirts with matching ties. Won’t they all look spiffy?
I decided to sew patches on the blue jeans, and dye them all with black Rit dye to make them all new again. I also decided not to spend the last $200 on groceries. I decided to make the food in the fridge and pantry last until December 1st. But I came into a problem. I ran out of coffee filters. I suddenly wished that I had bought that re-useable coffee filter last month. I can’t have coffee with no coffee filter.
So I rinsed out my coffee filter. And I’ve used the same one three times now.
If I really wanted to save some money, I guess I could quit drinking coffee. It’s kind of expensive, especially because I drink it strong and I don’t drink the cheap stuff. I admit, Folgers coffee is cheaper, but frankly, I think it smells like kitty litter and tastes like the mud I scrape from my shoes. I like my coffee to taste like coffee. Some things are just worth it. I like to enjoy life.
But I do like to make things last. I make my nice coffee last by grinding it to a fine powder so I can use less when I brew a pot. Unfortunately, the button on the coffee grinder broke 2 months ago. A coffee grinder costs $20 at the store. I’m not going to buy one. I see them all the time at garage sales for $2. That’s where I got my last one.
I’ve had this one for several years. I broke my last one trying to make powdered sugar out of granulated sugar one morning when I didn’t want to run to the store. Bad idea. This one just broke on its own. So I cover the grinder bowl with a towel or mason jar lid and use a chopstick to press the small indented safety button on the left. I know this seems crazy, but $20 is more like $23 because if I buy a coffee grinder at the store, I’ll have to pay tax. I won’t have to pay tax at the garage sale. With the $20 I save, I can buy my kid a new pair of pants or shoes. Heck, if I find the right garage sale, I can buy a whole new wardrobe for all of my kids with $20. I could buy a can of paint and repaint the baseboards in the entire house. I could buy 20 tubes of toothpaste. I could buy a month’s worth of coffee for $20.
Twenty dollars can most likely buy that nice expensive hamburger meat that my husband’s been trying to get me to buy. Ug. So many choices. This is why I just give up, throw my hands up in the air and buy nothing at all.