Friday, January 9, 2009

The Blessing of the Famine

I had a little personal revelation this morning as I was driving back into town. I had ventured out a few towns down the highway to check out a fairly new grocery store in our area. My friends had been telling me about the great prices but I just never took the time to find out first hand. I know a lot of you have a Super Wal*Mart store in your area, but in the part of CA where we live there aren't any. It is all very political and it basically comes down to the retail clerks' union not wanting Wal*Mart grocery stores anywhere near us. We do have the regular Wal*Mart stores but they don't sell much food.

I was absolutely flabbergasted by the prices at Winco. They are amazing. Winco is the best of all worlds. It is inexpensive, immaculate, bright and cheerful, not too crowded. They have a tremendous variety and I have never seen such organized and straightened aisles. It looks like they use a ruler to put each can up with such exactness. I bought 8 bags of groceries for under 100.00 and the bags were full. I know I got some of my regularly purchased items for half the price of other stores. I have been weaning myself off of Safeway for sometime but, they have lost my business permanently now! Even though they do have good sales, over all I realize they have been gouging us to death for years and years! I don't blame them, I blame myself for being too careless with the $ we have been given stewardship over by the grace of God. Let the buyer beware, right?

So that was a long way around to my revelation, sorry.

I was thinking about Joseph of Egypt and the Seven Fat Years and the Seven Lean Years. Remember that story? Joseph was sold into Egypt as a slave by his older, jealous brothers. While there he was asked to interpret a dream of the Pharaoh's that had been disturbing him. It was about seven skinny cows and seven meager sheaves of wheat. Joseph foretold the ruler of seven fat or plentiful years and seven lean years to follow. He found favor with the Pharaoh and convinced him to act in a preemptive manner and prepare for the years of famine to come. The grain was then gathered annually, until is saved a nation from starvation and taught some very bad boys a really good lesson about loving their long, lost brother.

Well , it came to me just as clearly as anything ever has, that the Fat Years are over. With that thought also came a feeling of peace and almost relief that we can all get off the wild ride of reckless spending on things we really do not need and in some cases don't really even want. The materialism and greed and incredible waste are so bad for us, not only as a nation facing tough times, but also as a people trying to be in touch with our spiritual side. We have been trying to straddle that fence for too long and it has taken a toll.

Today when I was actually looking at prices and not just mindlessly throwing things into the cart, I realized anew that being a homemaker is so very important whether or not you have children at home or not. God has blessed us with an income sufficient for our needs and then some. He has blessed me with a husband that works very hard for our family, and it is my sacred duty to do the best by both of them. I was filled with this amazing feeling of gratitude and love for Jim and I just wanted to run and say thank you and that I will do a lot better then I have been during the Fat Years. One of the huge blessings of not running faster than you have the strength is that you actually have time to stop and look and listen and learn from everything around you.

For the Fat Years everyone has been so caught up in just making more $ and being so busy with no actual time to think things through and spend the $ wisely. Now the Skinny Cow has arrived and things will have to change for all of us. I for one, think it will be a blessing in disguise. If we are prudent we will gain during this time of apparent trouble. And maybe we can learn real life lessons from those Bible Stories from our childhood that are still swimming around in our heads. I hope so anyway, how about you?


Miss Jen said...

I am really glad the 'fat' years are over for now. I actually find it exhausting. I'm good at being frugal.

Connie said...

I agree with you, Bon! Totally and completely. I have been having similar thoughts lately and it does seem like it is a good "excuse" almost to dial things back and settle down the mania that seems to have become a part of our everyday lives without us even being aware of it. Thanks for the great post...

I forgive you for going to Winco without me! (hee hee hee)

Deanna said...

Wow, do you think that you could ship the store over here to S.A.?
I buy all my groceries at the Super Wal-Mart. We have H.E.B's here but we stopped shopping there after we lived here a year. I'm not sure why? Maybe because Wal-Mart is closer.
Whole Foods is about eight miles from my apartment but I like to go there and buy what the Wal-Mart doesn't carry. I also love World Market but I'm going to have to stop shopping there. It's way too expensive! We have another grocery store called La Fiesta but I've never shopped there. I'm told that they have ton's of stuff and it's inexpensive. I'll have to venture over there one of these days.
I buy groceries every two weeks and our bill usually hovers around $120.00. A little more if I do go to Whole Foods. We've been eating more at home lately. My husband and I usually ate out everyday because of our busy schedules but my gosh, you can get so burnt out on take out. Now that I'm on WW my shopping has changed. More veggies, I've added fish and discovered that mashed cauliflower is a good substitute for mashed potatoes! I don't know how long it had been since I had eaten greenbeans. I can't get enough of them now.

Well, I hope with good budgeting, we can get more for our money. I've never been a coupon clipper but I'm starting to peruse the newspaper on Sunday's to see if there's anything I can use.

Thanks for a great post my sweet Bonnie! I'm going to read it to my husband right now.


mandy* said...

There are tons of Winco stores in Washington, but none close to my house. I shop at Fred Meyer...they seem to have good prices, but our grocery bill is still more than I would like it to be.

Sal Gal said...

Good post! And so true! Most of the time I am FORCED to be frugal anyway. :)

Neabear said...

I have not heard of Winco. I guess it is not available in the North Bay area. I will have to search around and see where the closest one to me is located so I can check it out.