We’ve discussed in a previous post that our family is on a pretty tight budget these days. I feed my family of four for $50 a week. That means that each member of my family eats for $1.70 a day. Let that sink in for a minute. Before we moved, we were near 2 large grocery store chains that doubled coupons, so I did really well clipping coupons and matching them with sale prices. I would get items for free this way, but we still struggled to stock our fridge and pantry. I love couponing, but it is really only worthwhile at stores that double coupons. Now that I am working full time, it is harder to find the time to clip coupons and do ad matching and go to several stores in order to get the best deal. Also, our new house is not really very near any large grocery chain. We have a Trader Joe’s and an AJ’s but they’re the opposite direction from where I am always heading (and AJ’s is no place for the budget conscious.) Thank God for Fresh & Easy! It is located right on the way to and from work and the kids’ school.
I pray about everything. I converse with God as I’m going about my day like I would a good friend. I’ve learned over the years that it’s the little things that I pray about that often help me feel closest to Him. Of course the big things are, well, big…and they often result in huge miracles and life changes. But I guess when I pray about how beautiful the clouds are today, and I thank Him that I have just enough gas in my car to get to all of my daily appointments, and ask Him how He thinks I should respond to that email from my realtor, I am struck by the realization that the God of the Universe, who holds all the planets in all the galaxies in their orbits, cares about the insignificant details of my day. He’s listening.
All that to preface that I pray about groceries. I don’t just mean that I pray that God will provide the income for us to buy groceries. When I drive to the store, and before I go inside, I pray that God will guide me in the store. I say, “Lord, You know what our needs are. Please guide me and guard my eyes, that I would only see the things that You want me to buy and I trust that You will provide the items that we need.”
Maybe a shallow prayer, but I don’t think so. To say that I pray every time I grocery shop would imply that I’m a disciplined person, which I’m not. But it is amazing what occurs when I pray.
All of this from Fresh & Easy’s clearance food section for $5.44. I couldn’t have made that happen with all the coupon clipping in the world. (2 packages of Tilapia, sourdough English muffins, a pound of grape tomatoes, a pound of pluots, 2 pounds of tangerines, salad dressing, a pound of tomatoes, a pint of sour cream and 2 packages of cookies.)
$13 worth of Tide laundry detergent for $1.75
I have also gotten loaves of delicious 9-Grain bread there for $.19, and one of my favorite things in the world…cinnamon raisin bread…for $.30 a loaf. I guess because of their compact stores, the managers have to mark down day old bread, and near date meat, dairy and produce in order to make room for new inventory. I am able to stock my freezer with these items and they are perfectly fresh when I use them.
I wrote a letter to my local Fresh & Easy to thank them for their clearance food section (their regular prices are already very low) and to let them know what a difference it makes for our family. But I thought one of the best ways to thank them would be to ask my readers, if there is one in your neighborhood, to give them a try. They are a great company, and in our case, one of the ways that God answers my prayers and provides for our needs.