I’ve Adopted an Imaginary Family

Okay, I haven’t lost my mind- really.

I decided that this month and through Easter, our family is going to devote 10% of our grocery budget to food pantry donations.

It helps me to imagine a family as I shop.  I think about what little special things the mother would not be able to buy if her  husband were suddenly out of work.

Perhaps she couldn’t bless her kids with the surprise of the sugary cereal they love and their friends talk about.  Yeah, they shouldn’t have it all the time but the week Daddy got laid off, it would have been nice to have a little something to brighten their morning.

Meat is very expensive so if I could provide the veggies and starches, perhaps more meat and fresh produce could be purchased for the week with the little they have for food.  Perhaps I could help this mom stretch her meat dishes by buying some cans of beans to add some fiber and protein.  Peanut butter is expensive these days, but that doesn’t mean her children don’t still long for the comfort of good ol’ P&J.

My heart hurts for those who are unemployed.

So, it dawned on me one day that I could shop each week for my family, and my “imaginary family”.

My mom volunteers at a mission house (I think that is what it is called).  Not too long ago she told me how expensive it is for the mission house volunteers to keep cereal in stock.  But that is what people ask for.

I noticed cereal on sale B1G1 at Publix this past week.  That gave me the idea to focus on the Publix B1G1 sales to shop for  my family and imaginary family.  I Heart Publix does a great job of matching up coupons with these sales.  I can get quite a bit of food with my ten dollars (Our budget is $100 right now.  I decided to give a tenth of that.)

This past week was my first week believing God to stretch our money so I could still provide for our grocery needs this week.  He did and then some.

When I got to Publix I remembered that they were giving an automatic $10 off your receipt (with the flyer coupon) if you bought a $50 gas gift card with your grocery purchase of $25.  I needed to fill my tank and so did my husband.  The gas money was in our budget.  There was my $10.

But I also found a ten dollar gift card to CVS in my wallet that I had forgotten about. That gift card took care of the dish soap that I found myself suddenly in need of and the added valentine’s candy that I wanted to bless my kids with on Valentine’s Day.  And I still had money left over for the rest of the week!

If you have been looking for a way to give to those in need, would you consider adopting an imaginary family?  Maybe yours is a single mom and her baby, or a widowed dad and his three growing teenagers.  Use your imagination.  The more specific you are the more fun it will be.  I promise.

I think one of my adopted kids is getting a hankering for Star Wars fruit snacks since he heard the 3D version just came out in the movie theater.  I think I can surprise him…….

PS- The donations for this month will fill our church’s food pantry.  Our church is regularly approached by needy families and the pantry emptys out quickly.



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