It's been pretty quiet around here. I haven't been doing much bargain shopping and it's just a little too early to report on our end-of-the-month status. I've had a lot of other ideas in my head, but have been too distracted by facebook games to actually put any thing on paper. This week, however, I got a friendly reminder of how blessed we are and finally feel inspired to write.
My Mom called me on Monday afternoon. She's a teacher and they started back to work this week. She had just returned from lunch with a former assistant. I knew this family had been having a lot of trouble. They had recently been evicted because they could no longer afford their rent. They both have a lot of health issues and her husband has been on disability for a little while. Since she's an assistant, she's gone all summer without a paycheck and his was just recently cut in half. They make just enough that they don't qualify for much assistance, but not enough to make it very well on their own. It'll be a couple weeks until she gets her first paycheck for the school year and he doesn't get paid until next week. The problem (other than the obvious)... they don't have any food left in the house to get them through the next week.
Now, they will be the first to admit that they have made a lot of mistakes. I know they have declared bankruptcy at least once. But, they have also had a really hard string of bad luck with horrible battles with insurance companies and unexpected health issues. She's also a very caring and considerate person. It wasn't long ago that she scraped together enough money to buy Troy a bug kit because she knew he was fascinated with them. So, I wanted to do some thing to help.
It was short notice, so I couldn't run to the store and pick up some staples. What I did do, however, was shop in my own pantry. I was getting ready to sort through things for our church food pantry, but this was even better because I knew exactly where it was going and there were less limitations. I pulled a lot of things that don't really "fit" with our new efforts at losing weight, some extras we have in the freezer, and some of the free school supplies I've been stocking up on (they have a son in high school). In all, I found about 2-3 bags full of groceries that we really didn't need.
It's really created a lot of mixed feelings for me. I've been beating myself up because our grocery budget is usually so high and we have so much wasted food, but maybe having extra food (to share with others) isn't a horrible thing. Maybe I need to start using some of the smart shopping tips out there to stock up on some things that we'd normally pass up. We don't eat hamburger helper, but if we can get it cheap we can always make room in the budget and help some one who would probably be thrilled to have it. Another part of me thinks we need to cut back even more because we can obviously eat on a lot less than we are right now. Hmmm. I don't know. I'm just not sure what direction my head is going in at this point. What I do know is that we are blessed and I want to do more to share those blessings.