"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." Proverbs 31:14
Today we are going to examine how the Proverbs 31 woman shops. Yes, the Bible even gives us an example of how we are to go shopping! In verse 14, we see that she is compared to a merchant ship. Imagine living as she did - no local grocery stores, no massive warehouse-style bulk buying, no refrigerator to preserve food. Like a merchant ship that would bring food and goods from far away lands, everyday she traveled to the busy market trading her goods for food for her family. Makes me thankful for modern conveniences like a car, Costco and our fridge!
Since we do have so many resources to make our lives faster and easier, how can we still be like a merchant ship today? Is it even necessary? Yes, it is still necessary because the Bible say she is like the merchant ships, not that she was. It is in the present tense, meaning it still applies to us today.
How do you go grocery shopping? Do you run to the closest store because it's convenient? Or do you take the time to drive further away for better prices or products? Do you go the extra mile to spend your family's finances wisely? Let's see some practical ways that we can use our time wisely as we shop for our families.
- Review local grocery ads and circulars each week. This is so important! Each week grocery stores run sales (and most of them will have similar items on sale). Be informed! Know the regular price of items, so that you can compare the sale prices.
- Make a meal plan for the week. Once you've gone through your ads for the week, make a menu. Base it off of the main ingredients (meats, produce, in-season items) are on sale. This will keep your cost down. Having a weekly menu in place will also save you time each evening because you will already know what to make for dinner (and you will already have all the necessary ingredients on hand). This may seem to take a lot of time at the beginning. Stick with it! It will get easier and faster as you build your recipe/menu library.
- Visit your local farmer's markets. During nice weather, many communities have a weekly farmer's market. Take the time to visit them. They have fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, breads and even pasta. You get some yummy, in-season treats while supporting your local agriculture community.
- Make a grocery list and stick to it! Once you have your menu in place, make a list of the ingredients you need for the week. You may find one store has better prices on non-perishable items, while another may have quality produce or you need to buy in bulk for a larger family. Don't be afraid to shop at a variety of stores. I shop at 3 each week. Yes, it's time consuming. However, I have found that I'm able to save more money this way.
- Be organized!! I can't stress this enough in regards to time management! Plan a shopping day. Know what items need to be purchased at which stores and plan your route accordingly. Pick up the non-perishable items first. You don't want to buy meat and dairy first, just to make a trip home before the ice cream melts ;-). If you use coupons, separate them into envelopes for each store. This will save you time at the store searching for that one coupon you remember seeing but can't find. Being organized takes time upfront, but saves you time, stress and frustration in the long run.
Wow! Who knew that God was so concerned about the way we go shopping! I know it seems like a lot of time and work just to go to the grocery. It is! But don't be overwhelmed! Take advantage of the sites listed on Day 4. They are a great resource for meal plans, recipes, grocery lists printables, and organization tips.
Challenge: Today pick one area above to try. We all have to go grocery shopping at sometime this week. Take some time to either make a menu for the week, or study the weekly circulars, or stick to your list (no impulse buying). Implimenting just one of these ideas at a time will make the change more doable.
Until Tomorrow Friends...
Be Blessed & Be a Blessing!
Don't forget to visit these contributors of 13 Blogs, 13 Topics, 1 Great God!
- Contributing to Family Income/2 better than 1
- The Fear of the Lord/Satisfied by Love
- Using Time Wisely/Blessed Beyond Measure
- Taking Care of Needy/Shadow Wonder
- Using Money Wisely/For Such a Time as This
- Beauty is Fleeting/Monique Zackery
- Keeping an Eye on Home/Just a Glimpse
- She Can Laugh at the Days Ahead/Faith Filled Food For Mom
- Clothed in Strength and Dignity/One Thing I've Learned
- Taking Care of Others/2Savvy Gals
- Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
- Bringing Variety to Family/Karen Dawkins
- Extending Your Hand to the Poor/Woman's Fellowship House
- Organization/Teaching What is Good