Everybody who knows me knows I think my wife is pretty awesome. She's beautiful, she's smart, she's talented, and she has a strange attraction to nerdy guys. But she's also very frugal, which is especially cool when you're trying to feed a family of five on two teachers' salaries. Lately she has become a coupon maniac. And that's a compliment. She spends a couple of hours each week planning out her purchases for groceries based on sales and coupons. There is a website called southern savers that helps her with the legwork. By this combination of brains and discipline, she has cut our monthly grocery bill by more than half!
Here's the math of it: So far this year (7 weeks), we have bought groceries with a sticker price of $1497. That's over $200 a week! (Which, in all honesty, isn't too crazy for 5 people including two teenage boys. If we drink any more milk, we'd be better off buying a cow... or a herd.) Let's break that down further. It comes out to over $900 a month, which is more than double the rent on our first two apartments, more than the mortgage on our first house, and right in the ballpark for everything but the taxes and insurance on our current house. It's two new car payments. It's 4 times the payment on our "better" car. It's more every month than my car is worth! And for all that money, every day, those boys are hungry AGAIN!
But Ann has gotten those $1497 worth of groceries for only $624. Her planning and couponing has saved us $873, or 58% off of our grocery bill. For every dollar she spends, she has saved $1.40. In other words, at this rate we'll save over $500 per month, and over $6000 on the year. (And this doesn't even count what she saves by buying never-worn brand-name clothes at thrift stores, etc.)
It really isn't a big deal about the money (although numbers are a nice way of keeping score in any game). It's about stewardship, and freedom. Making these wise decisions gives us the freedom to do jobs we love, to take summers off, to travel, to save, and especially, to give. I feel like Proverbs 21:20 is all about Ann's great stewardship. Oh, yeah. Another passage comes to mind, too.