Ground Control to Major Sam

Over the past few weeks we have been trying to adjust to the fact that we must be more prudent in watching our expenses. As our house payment has increased nearly $500 a month we have to watch every penny so we don’t bounce any checks. We have had to eliminate breakfast every Sunday at the I Hop which we enjoyed immensely after church. Even our trips to the grocery store need to be monitored.

As some of you know, my husband Sam has always done the grocery shopping. When I was working full time he would do it as a favor to me because I hated to do it. He was the envy of all the check out girls who would comment that they wished their husbands would do that for them. Occasionally they would ask if he had any brothers. Invariably there was always a bouquet of fresh flowers for me along with the groceries. (I really don’t deserve this man.)

I try to make a list of what we need and meal plan when I can so we don’t over buy. Sam also comes from the school of if one is good than 3 is better. So I mark exactly how many I need.

On a recent Saturday after a trip to the grocery store, I was unpacking the groceries (that’s part of our agreement, he buys, I put away) he was commenting on how hard it was to keep the bill under $100. Just then I pulled a package of filet mignon out of one of the bags. How funny, I thought.

I do the same thing when I go to Starbucks and usually take change out of our magic pumpkin we have under the counter. I am careful to count out $3.38 in change for a tall non-fat latte. When I recently went to the mall to meet a friend for coffee, I was counting out my change to the barista and apologizing, saying it was a sign of the times, she looked at me then at my bags from Nordstrom’s and back at me again. I quickly responded that I just knew where my priorities were. And after all it was their semi-annual sale.

Only time will tell how this all will shake out. We are trying, as is every one else in the country, to make our money go further. Needless to say I am not getting flowers anymore from the grocery store.

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