Last week, I was given a grocery budget of $68 for the next two weeks. That breaks down like this: $34 per week, $8.50 per person for the week. Ha! Most people would question our sanity as a married couple. I saw it as a challenge. How could I get the most bang for my buck & still insure having enough for when we needed milk this week? In this challenge I’ve realized about myself as a wife, mom & “Proverbs 31 woman”. I sort of hate that phrase, but I’m going to use it…

1. I am more joyful about going shopping. I use to hate going to the store. I hated shopping. Period. Since I’ve started coupon shopping full time (yes, that’s real), I LOVE SHOPPING. I crave getting out of the house, watching my total drop to nothing and paying in change.

2.My math has improved since I started using coupons. I bite the big one when it comes to math. I realized last night during my epic Ralphs’ shopping trip* that I didn’t once take out my calculator, I did all the math in my head. For me, that’s big stuff.

3. I can “pantry tithe” every week. I wasn’t “stingy” before, but I didn’t have the resources to give the way I felt called to give. There is a local Crisis Pregnancy Center & they always need diapers. Their eyes about fell out of their sockets when I brought in two bags of diapers. That’s not a pat on the back for me, it’s just a good illustration of how God can use your frugality. Would I normally be able to walk in and hand over $40 worth of diapers? No. But now I can because I’m paying attention. I’m already prepared for Saturday which is “Stamp out Hunger” with the USPS. Being prepared=being able to help others.

4. I’m ready for your birthday/that holiday/baby shower. Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Would you like to know how much I paid for Mother’s Day (3 Great-Grandma’s, 2 Grandmas)? $3.40.  That includes: cards, picture book, coasters, 8×10 collage, Neti Pot, photo strip from Wink, & a magnet. Yep. Really awesome deals. I am not caught off guard by your celebration! Mwahaha.

5. We’re eating better. I have no excuses for getting fast food. I have so much food here. I have easy food, I have good food. That’s better for our budget & our health.

* EPIC RALPH TRIP: I walked out of the store with $30.00 worth of groceries:

-2 cartons of strawberries

-No Yolk pasta

-Capri Sun

-Tropicana OJ

-Huntz Ketchup

-Planter’s Peanuts

-Daisy Sour Cream

How much did I pay? I DIDN’T PAY! They handed me $2.83 in cash after I was done shopping! Magical, isn’t it?