Yep thats right, I am throwing in the towel... giving up... raising the white flag... calling it quits...
to what you are wondering? (and i would imagine that some of you who read this blog would possibly assume to job hunting? nope, thats not it)
couponing. for the last year i have read frugal blog after frugal blog on how to save money at the grocery store. i have been amazed at the stories of these ladies and just how much money they can truly save at the store. i have coveted (yep that strongly) these savings and being able to accomplish this. and i have attempted and failed time and time again at saving any money in this area.
so as of today, i am giving up on the couponing endeavor for now.
i have to look at what is best for my family at the phase of life we are in right now. you might think, "why would saving money not be whats best for your family?" and that is the thought (and the fear of others judging me with that thought) that has kept me trying for so long. but i have reasons this doesnt work for me.
1. the thing is, Mr. Pate and I dont live a lifestyle that is conducive to constantly clipping coupons, going to several different stores, printing tons of coupons (we dont even have a printer right now!), stocking up and planning meals around the "sales". i was spending some of the only free time my husband had too busy for him b/c I had to save us money...
2. the things that were on sale or were super cheap with coupons were never things i normally buy. maybe we are just weird shoppers, but what is the point in getting free stuff if it is not anything you would normally get? i would spend the same amount of money but come home with extra "stuff" that i got dirt cheap, that we didnt eat!
3. our meals suffered. with this couponing thing, you are supposed to plan all meals around hat you can get cheap- and eventually you are supposed to be stocked up and have lots of stuff to chose from. this never happened for me and we were just having the most random meals bc i was trying deparately to stick to the "rules"!
4. it was more about meeting others expectations (well my expectations to live up to others standards) than my hubby's. i was spending my time and energy trying to gain wife approval by being super frugal, but i was not even caring about my hubby's approval and if i was meeting his needs.
5. I would make plans to be able to go to a million stores with all my scenarios and "work the system"... but then i would get a call from a youth who needed to talk, or from my hubby needing us to go visit a family, or from a college student needing whatever... etc etc etc. and the truth is all of those calls are my priority right now... i have no kids, this is the time to serve in that way, to be available.
so this is why i am throwing i the towel. i know plenty of fabulous people that are able to make this couponing thing work for them, and i am quite jealous. but it is time for me to just go back to my $200 a month budget being frugal enough for me and focusing on enjoying mr.pate and cooking again.
but the real reason i am posting this? (obviously most of you could care less if i am couponing or not) i feel like we all let things like this creep in and control us. we strive to do something as good as or better than someone else. we feel like if they do it then we have to do it to be a good wife or girlfriend or daughter or employee or whatever... and we let these things rob us of seeing to our greatest priorities. and we have to start calling one another out on this, we have to start pulling each other back to what is the best thing for US right now.
right now God has called me to minister to and alongside my husband. for me that means having a home that i relaxing and well kept, a kitchen that feeds us without stress, and a schedule that is flexible and able to bend for our current areas of ministry at church. and for me and the way i am wired, couponing doesnt fit into that right now. it is time to seek "first things first" as good ol lizzie george puts it.
i hope you will work to do the same, realizing that your will look different than mine.