Sneering, jeering, mocking and scorning. Many words that are used today for women who choose to not work. I've heard them before. I've felt the sting and rising insecurity and doubt that have arisen because of choices we've made for our family.
A stay-at-home woman just isn't revered like it used to be and often, I think people view us as lazy. I can assure you I am not lazy. I am capable. I have been part of the leadership of organizations and I have been in the upper management of corporations. But, I made the choice many years ago to stay at home and work alongside my husband in ministry. I felt the same calling he did and we actually met at seminary. But because we've been in smaller churches, I'm not paid for the things I do and that's okay. I'm fulfilling my calling.
Not working outside the home requires me to be frugal. Some of the role models I had growing up were women who also made that choice to stay home and in order to do so, had to be creative in managing on one income. It does require sacrifice and hard work. It requires the ability to be content with little. It requires the ability to make celebrations special without going into debt. It's definitely not easy and if you are going to do it well, you cannot be lazy.
So I continue to do these Frugal Friday posts because they keep me motivated and I hope they will help someone else who needs ideas on how to save money.
Ways I've saved this week....
$ Dan and I hit the regional market on Saturday and for $34 I purchased the following: 3 lbs onions, 1 basket salt potatoes, 1 basket sweet potatoes, 6 pickling cucumbers, A large basket of baby kale, 1 large head romaine lettuce, 1 bunch basil, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch leeks, 1 basket green beans, 5 pears, 8 bananas, 2 red peppers, 9 large tomatoes, and 1 large zucchini.
$ Because I knew I wouldn't use the kale up fast enough before it went bad, I took about 3/4 of it and put it in freezer bags in the freezer to use at a later date.
$ Even though our church pays the utilities on the parsonage, I still try to save money as much as possible. I've been asking for a clothesline for awhile now, and our facility managers graciously took time out of their schedules to come and build me one the other night. Of course, it's rained since they put it in but this one will have 5 lines and that will save quite a bit on the electric bill, as well as not heating up the house so much in the summer.
$ I cut all three of my men's hair.
$ We got a bill in the mail for $255 from a local community college. Emily's high school offered a college level class for the fall semester in which she would get college credit. We were told there was no cost because the school pays for this particular course. However, it was a while back and I couldn't remember. But rather than pay it, we researched and discovered that no indeed, we were not supposed to get the bill. If I hadn't checked on that we would have been out that money.
$ We were offered the use of a house for our district's upcoming family camp so we will be able to attend and not have to pay for housing. Otherwise, we were not going to be able to go and this was available for pastor's and their families.
$ The doctor had asked me if I wanted to do physical therapy for my knee. Because it was the same knee I had surgery on last year and had gone through the therapy, I asked him if I could just do the same exercises the pt had given me. He said, "Go ahead and try it and see how you do." I can say that my knee is feeling fantastic. I've been walking with Dan at a local state park, as well as doing the exercises. The past few days I've noticed I can start to go up stairs with the bad knee with minimal pain. I couldn't do that a few weeks ago. So I saved megabucks on the physical therapy!
$ I made a gallon of sun tea the other day (first for the season). I left some unsweetened for me and added sugar for the rest of the crew. It's delicious and cost a few cents compared to $3 or more dollars for a gallon of iced tea in the store.
$ I am not a fan of Walmart at all, and I purchase the bare minimum there. One thing I do get there is the rabbit's Timothy hay because it's the same exact stuff you can get in the pet store but almost half the price.
$ My frugality carries over into my ministry as well. Someone was getting rid of a bunch of binders and she gave me some which I will be using for an upcoming training program for my women's group. It saves the organization some money.
Anyway, that's it for this week. I hope you've been inspired to try your hand and cutting out some of the expense and saving!