Crockpot: A Life Analogy

I did not do what I set out to do. I’m also not counting it as a failure.

I bought a cart full of groceries today.

It turns out Project July was really Project Val, it started one way, ended a different way, and what just happened?

Last week I was struggling with this whole not buying groceries thought. It was hard for me, to a point where I went outside, sat down and said, “Lord, what is this struggle?! Why is this so hard for me?”

I won’t delve into the entire “conversation” but here’s what the result was: it was not about the groceries. It was about my financial habits. Buying groceries was fine. Spending the amounts of money I was spending was not.

I walked back inside and spoke to Hubs about it. I told him the revelation, my concerns, and a proposal. He listened (thank you, Babe) and gave me his blessing to do what we needed to. Not what I wanted to, not resort back to the habit I was trying to break out of, but what we needed to get.

And I bought groceries.

This morning, I put a roast in the crock pot. (It smells amazing already.) I dressed it up the usual way, with garlic, onions, and salt. I turned it on shortly after 8:00 am, and we’ll sit down to dinner around 5, with me having to do almost nothing.

This is the kind of preparation I love and adore. I did a little bit of work ahead of time, and as a result, dinner will be ready (and delicious) this evening.

Yesterday, I used my Meals In A Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipes book and packed away a few meals worth of beef, lentil, and pasta soup. Not only do the jars look so pretty with their layers of dry goods, but it’s such a convenience! One day for dinner, I can grab my jar of mixed dry goods, throw them in a pot with the beef, diced tomatoes, and water and dinner will be ready in a matter of minutes.

All because I did a little bit of work up front.

This is what grocery buying is for me. This is what pantry-shopping is for me. I do a little bit of work up front. Then, come illness, blizzard, vehicle that won’t start (happened last week…) – whatever comes our way, we’ll still have dinner in minutes.

It’s like a crock pot meal. First thing in the morning, you do the work. You add the ingredients, you turn it on. Because of that minimal effort, you’re then rewarded with a delicious, nutritious meal at the end of the day.

Pantry stocking is like making a crock pot meal. You do a little work up front so you don’t have to work so hard later on.

So I bought groceries in July. Project July is now Project Overwith. Mostly. I’m still logging what we use, what we eat, what gaps we may have.

But, I’m also doing something else. I’m going back to all my receipts and I’m looking at what I paid for things months ago, weeks ago, and I’m keeping an eye on their prices in the coming days and weeks.

For a dual-purpose, really. First of all, what is my spending habit, and how much am I spending unnecessarily? Second and completely separate, is inflation really a thing this summer like all of the messages I’ve been receiving say it is? I’ll have paper proof one way or the other.

And it’s a good thing – a great thing – to log down what we use and how often, so we can have the data on what foods we actually consume, how often, what meals we may need more of, etc.

Gathering information and knowledge, especially of our own habits and practices, is a good thing.

And having a chat with the Lord about it is an essential part. That’s how I learned Project July had nothing to do with foregoing groceries or food, but had everything to do with financial discipline for ME.

Which is why I’m debating whether I should dig out the Dave Ramsey books again… (I know what to do, I just don’t do it. Paul said something similar…)

I think while the roast finishes up, I’ll pull the book Miserly Moms off the shelf and give myself a refresher. I’m seeking to be a Wiser Miser.

I don’t know if that’s a phrase yet, but if it isn’t, I’m claiming it. Wiser Miser sounds better than Crockpot Crackpot…

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