Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mulling Over Money

With the prices of gas and groceries going up AND our rent having gone up an extra $50.00 a month, I've been under quite a bit of pressure to stretch our dollars even further. Fortunately, I've learned to enjoy and welcome the challenge. I do the best I can and am learning to trust God for the rest. He is ever faithful!

Here are some ways we're saving money these days:

  • We do some shopping in Ulaan Baatar. My husband preaches at our branch church there every other Sunday so we use the opportunity to shop at the big market there. We save a lot this way and we can buy things like broccoli and lettuce that we can't usually find here in Darkhan.
  • I don't buy bread crumbs. Instead, I trim the crusts off of the kids' bread before serving them, and dry it out in a warm oven for several hours then grind it in the blender. I have even seasoned them for certain recipes and it works great!
  • We use less beef than before. Beef just went from about $3.00/kilo to $4.50/kilo. and that's not pure meat. I still have to trim off what we don't eat but that a post for another day. I then prepare our beef and separate it into meal portions then freeze it. This way I'm not tempted to use too much.
  • The kids are learning to wear clothes longer than one day. We went through a period where we didn't have a washing machine and I was doing all the washing by hand. I made sure they got good use out of their clothes before sending them to the dirty laundry basket! The habit stuck and, even though we now have a washing machine, we are still careful about wearing things more than once. If the kids do get dirty, I don't stress about it. After all, it's what kids do. We also use our bath towels 4-5 times before washing.
  • I make oven baked French fries, instead of fried. It saves oil and it's healthier. I usually add an herb like rosemary/garlic salt or sprinkle on seasoning salt.
  • I turn off the lights when I leave a room. I'm terrible about this but I really am trying!
  • Eat beans! Fortunately, everyone in our family likes beans. They're fairly inexpensive here, too.
My main motivation for cutting back is, of course, to make ends meet. Another thing Hetee and I always try to do is bless others in some small way. From groceries to school tuition payments, we are always open to help others as He leads.

Financially, we live on the edge. Helping others financially doesn't leave much room for saving. We do save but, not as much as we "should". I seem to always feel torn between saving money in a bank account or financially helping someone who has an imminent need.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

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