Many of us are forced to keep a close eye on our expenditures. We know that not doing so will cause problems for us. What price do we pay for this?
I am one of those who are on a tight budget most months. Out of necessity, I have spent the last few years denying myself many things that other people would not think twice about purchasing.
Practicing frugality in everything from food purchases to items for the home or car, I have always thought, has it’s rewards. I am able to live for less, and still live “well”. I have prided myself in outsmarting the grocery stores by doing everything from cutting coupons to shopping sales, to shopping at specific stores.
The other day I was in a grocery store, (one of the “lesser priced” stores that no one would be caught dead in), and found that as much as I wanted a large container of strawberries, I was once again walking away, knowing that apples are cheaper, for the same amount of food.
Do you know something? I am tired of cheap apples. So I asked myself, “When do I get to eat strawberries? When can I finally buy blueberries? When do I get to stop drinking the cheap store brand milk that has God-knows-what in it?” As I stood there, I did an inventory of my eating habits, and I felt pathetic, even to myself. I looked around the store, and knew that the others I saw in there were probably worse off than me, and were scrutinizing every package, every can, hoping to find a penny or two of savings, and undecided about everything they picked up.
I don’t want to live the rest of my life in this de-spiriting mind-set. If I don’t get to eat strawberries and blueberries now, then when? How many birthdays have to go by before I feel it’s OK to purchase a food item, or any item, and know that I will not perish because of it?
If I look back, from the end of my life (which is coming faster than I care to want to consider), what will I see? What would my opinion be of this woman who tiptoed through the fresh food aisle of this not-so-great grocery store and passed on food items she felt she couldn’t afford? What would she think about this person that still uses items that long-since should have been thrown away, because she didn’t want to be wasteful?
Living in fear of poverty, of wastefulness, of overindulgence must have its limits. I don’t want to look back and see this penurious, fearful entity that couldn’t enjoy strawberries, or a newer car, or other healthier, safer commodities due to fear. The tradeoff is too great.
Published in: Homemaking