Today I was privileged to be in the right place at the right time. For starters I get depressed Thursday evenings knowing I have to get up the next morning, make my menu/grocery list and go grocery shopping with my 4 year old (not too bad) and my almost 2 year old son (not always the most pleasant). But as I made my list this morning I was happy to realize that I could buy everything I needed at Aldi and thus would have time and energy to also finally go to the post office to buy stamps. I HATE running out of stamps and finding the time to go to the post office! So I went to a post office we recently discovered in a office building where we’d gone to get fingerprinted. On our way out we offered to help a man jump-start his car. Which didn’t work so we also offered to give him a ride home. (Just so you know, I only offered because there was also a woman with him. As much as I would love to offer every one I see a ride I know to be careful.) Turns out they lived a block away from several of our friends close to our church offices. I’m wishing I had invitations to our Black History Celebration to give to him. Would it be inappropriate to go back over to their house to give them one? I felt so fulfilled and joyful for the opportunity to serve. Even though it was cold and it took up time and effort, God really does give a fresh and energizing kind of joy when we serve others.
Today is Thursday, traditionally my “grocery shopping day.” Last night I made up my menu for the week and this morning I made up my shopping list. I typically go to three places to buy my groceries (not including what I get at Sam’s Club or the coffee I get Kirk at World Market). Today dawned as a wet and dreary day. We’re trying to be really good about staying within our budget lately so I had $50 to spend today. I figure I can spend $30 on regular stuff and $20 on produce. First we hit Aldi with is basically caticorner to our house. I came out of Aldi spending $16 which included two splurge items (yogurt and string cheese). Next we went to Schnucks where I get my WIC items ($8 worth of milk, eggs, juice, and peanut butter). I also spent $15 on other items for meals this week but also buying popcorn (on their 10/$10 sale-I got three), wheat germ for granola, and buttermilk for muffins. I used the rest of my money to buy ICE CREAM!!! Breyers was having a buy one get one free deal. Woohoo! With $20 left and the rain picking up we decided to go ahead to the semi-outdoor Loop Market to get our produce. I LOVE this market and the people who work there. They remember me each week, when I hadn’t come for over a year they still remembered me, and one time when I realized I didn’t have any checks with me they let me pay for my produce the following week. I LOVE THE LOOP MARKET! We had enough money to buy the necessities and even grapes and a pumpkin to carve next weekend with Aunti Anna. The kids love going to the market because they get to help pick out produce and even get some for free sometimes. They get to run around and play. Today was a blast because they got to play in the pumpkins, the puddles, and the water streaming off the roof. They came home soaked and super happy.
I was a little nervous about finding new places to shop when we moved to our new house. I used to do all of my shopping at Shop-N-Save but now it’s not worth the drive. But I’ve come to really like my Aldi. I felt a bit intimidated usually being the only white person there but when you go to the same place every week you start to recognize people. I shopped last week by myself and my cashier asked me where my babies were. I’ve also really like the Schnucks I go to (on Union), recognizing people who work there. And everyone seems so friendly. So as much as I don’t like menu planning or grocery shopping, it’s become a pleasant experience.