I’m learning to be frugal. Call it cheap if you like, but in my mind, it’s frugal. I’ve found it a bit more challenging to be frugal in a country that is new to me. I’ve spent the last 6 months or so learning the British supermarkets and where to find what. Now I think I’m confident enough to think about saving a few pennies.

(Photo by cascadeAndSTAN)

This weekend I stumbled across a blog that talks about being a good steward in the kitchen. Another blog I like to read has been doing a series on frugality that’s piqued my interest. In reading these two ladies’ perspectives on stewardship and frugality, I’ve been convicted.

I’ve been convicted on how much money is spent on groceries. I’m not saying that I’m not being wise in this area; I’ve realised however that I can do a lot better. I realise how much gets wasted and how much money gets spent on certain food items when I can make things on my own. For example, last week I cooked a whole chicken and got 3 meals out of the deal. That’s not including what I could have done with the bones (and giblets if they had been included). That 1.8 kg chicken only cost me £3.99, and that got Leon and myself 3 meals. That’s less than £1 per person for just the chicken on each of those meals.

When I lived in the US, I caught the coupon clipping bug. The problem I now see with that is I wasted so much money (and food) buying things that I never used or forgot to use. Now that I live in England, where coupons aren’t so readily available, I’ve learned to shop more wisely, buy only what I need, use it, and then replace it when it’s gone.

I’ve also been thinking about what I’ve been feeding myself and Leon. I eat a lot of sugary things—not so good since I have problems with low blood sugar at times. This weekend was really bad for that, and I think it finally got my attention. I’ve been convicted not just about sugary things, but about other foods that have a lot of unnecessary fats and preservatives that aren’t good. From a frugal perspective, it can also be beneficial to stay away from preprepared and sugary foods.

I’m not a health nut or penny pincher. It would be so easy to go overboard. It goes for those who choose to clip coupons to be frugal, too. I’ve discovered that it’s important to involve the Lord to make these sorts of decisions in my home and kitchen. It requires a lot of wisdom and grace. I’m not perfect, and God doesn’t expect me to be. I do desire, however, to use my resources wisely to honour God and my husband, and that I believe is the most important part.

I’m reminded of Proverbs 31, the wife of noble character. She was a hard-working, wise and frugal lady, something I desire.

“She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”
Proverbs 31:13-16 (ESV)