Today we have a guest post from Sharla, a lovely mother of seven, who is sharing with us about one of my favorite topics–Grocery Savings!
Soon after my second son was born and I was feeling completely overwhelmed in parenting two children, I never would have imagined that someday I would be the mother of seven! The journey here has been one filled with joys and heartaches, but it’s been incredible to see how God has met me at every challenge and seen me through. Two years ago when we went from having five kids to having seven kids, I was terrified that I would not be able to manage. There is a quote that I clung to during that time:
“God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
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This has proven true in more ways than one. When a need has arisen, He has provided. This has also been true in our finances. With the economy, my husband’s income took a large hit just before we brought our latest kids home from Ethiopia and I have had to feed more people on less money. At first, it was scary, but I have actually found it fun to find ways to save our family money and we have never gone without. In March of this year, I set out to do what I dubbed “The Grocery Challenge” of feeding our family of nine on just $200.
I planned all of our meals at the beginning of the month based on what we already had in the freezer and pantry. We ate well. I loved having the meals planned out already and not having to think about what to make for supper. I earned an awareness for the cost of some grocery items that I hadn’t given a second thought to spending on previously. When searching the internet for what to make with some of the more obscure pantry ingredients, I happened upon some delicious new recipes! It was fun and in the end, we had money left over!
I had always made an effort to cut down on our grocery expenses by meal planning, making freezer meals, and shopping on discount days, but cutting our usual $1200 a month bill by a thousand dollars was amazing! At the end of the month, though our pantry was somewhat depleted, our freezer was just as full because of the baking I had done. It felt like a fishes and loaves provision!
When March was over, I didn’t want to go back to spending $1200 a month again and began experimenting with other ways to cut our bill such as using coupons and planning shopping trips based on flier sales. Even though we live in Canada where it is much more difficult to coupon than it is in the United States, I have been able to cut our monthly grocery bill in half to $600 a month for all nine of us including toiletries and cleaning supplies. It has been a huge blessing and a burden lifted! God continues to provide for our every need.
If you are in a place of worry over finances, I encourage you to give that worry over to God and pray about ways in which you may be able to save your family money. He will provide.
**You can read more on family savings here.**
Also linking up to Frugal Friday!
Sharla Kostelyk is the homeschooling mother of seven children, two through the miracle of birth and five through the miracle of adoption. She runs Adoption Magazine, an online adoption resource and writes about her ongoing journey to find joy amid the chaos and the clutter at The Chaos and The Clutter.