The next 3+ weeks of the month are a bit more frugally lived; coupon clipping, fuel preservation, Jim & I sharing a soda at McDonalds as opposed to getting our own. It always feels so good utilize a coupon and a fraction of brain power to get a meal on date night that we can stretch into lunch and dinner the next day.
This past week as we once again found ourselves raiding the Sparklett's bottle for enough jingle for a quick trip to the grocery store. It's been a while since I enjoyed a shopping trip quite the way I did this past Friday. Now I'm not kidding when I say that we had about $18 to work with, so we had to be strategic with the choices that would get us through the weekend and into the work-week.
Oh, and did I mention that I'm on a pretty strict eating regime this month? New Years Eve is just around the corner and I need to fit into a dress...preferably a smaller one..so we did not revisit the early-married days of stocking up on Mac-N-Cheese and Top Ramen.
When we were first married and had a little 10month old, Jim would get paid and we would pay the rent, utilities, fill up the tank, buy one pack of diapers and but a case of Top Ramen....and life was good. But, you know, to this day, I still have an aversion to Top Ramen; can't stand the stuff. I ate so much Top Ramen in the "lean days" that I just can't stomach it now.
Shopping this past Friday became a tag-team effort as we shopped and scoured for the best deal. We'd get excited at the discovery of a item marked "clearance" and would high-five or chest-bump, much to the confusion of the other shoppers in the produce section. But, hey! when I find spring salad mix marked down to an incredible 45 cents, I'm going to celebrate !!! I also get pretty excited when the Dollar Tree has MEN on sale !!!
We were on a quest. We were working as a team. We were having fun and loving each little victory. We held our breath as each item was scanned by the clerk. I hate that gut-gnawing feeling you get when you realize that you might have to put something back.
But, we did it! We came in under budget and even had some money to spare! Our shared victory was celebrated by a rental movie with the money left over.
You know, when we were financially comfortable, shopping was a mind-numbing chore. We could place whatever we wanted in the cart without a second thought. But, now, shopping with caution makes us a little more appreciative of what we walk out the door with.
We save up our nickels and dimes for a return trip to Jamaica. We understand that the dream is pushed a little further onto the back burner as the economy continues to run it's course. I was feeling a little nostalgic the other day when I raided that Sparklets bottle. I wrote tribute to that big old penny bank. I look forward to the day when I won't have to rely on it so much. But until then....
Ode To My Sparklets Bottle
My Sparklets Bottle
Standing in the corner tall and proud
You are always there for me
In my time of need
You graciously open wide to accept our offerings of pennies, nickels, dimes
And the occasion fold of paper
You never complain about the lack of quarters
As you fully understand the need for clean clothing
Joyful are the sounds of the coins
Falling into the depths of your light blue belly
Even joyful more are the sounds of your willingness
To give our tokens of love right back to us in a time of need
You gladly receive and give
And as long as you stay perched in your corner
You will always have pennies shining through
As the copper color adds to the decor
Even more than the silver
Plus...I don't feel like rolling those 'lil Abes
Thank you, Little 5 gallon friend of mine
You are true to your purpose and nature
And I thank you