Monday, September 1, 2008

Materialism VS. Thriftiness

I stumbled upon a great study from Peggy at HomeMAKING, she challenges us with these questions:

The Thrifty Wife: Using money wisely and cutting where able

Do we enjoy yard sales, thrift sales, Goodwill Shops?
Do we use coupons when we can?
Are we wise shoppers?
Do we make a grocery list and stick to it?
Do we make as much as we know how to from scratch to save money?
Can we accept hand me downs?
Do we try to pinch corners where we can to save some of our husbands hard earned money?

Here are my thoughts:

American wives today need to be more frugal. We need to plan ahead and better organize our homes. We often buy too much in the name of saving our husbands money. Instead I think our husbands would appreciate if we just did not spend so much to begin with. We justify our purchases by insisting it was an irresistable sale--saving our family loads of money but later finding that we hardly used the item at all and now we are wondering why it is taking up precious space.

What if we just lived simply? If we just drowned out the voices of the world to purchase more and more and instead listened to the still quiet voice of God convicting us to be better managers of our homes and children? We manage our time quite inefficiently and squander so much of it on trivial pursuits. Shopping is a sport in America and it seems we are training for the Olympics!

What would it be like to come home to a simple home--a simple meal--a wife who didn't have to spend the entire day managing and decluttering their possessions or spent hours accumulating more and more. She had clarity of mind to focus on her husband and not that mess that was accumulating throughout the home from her shopping sprees. Dinner would be on time, she didn't over buy on food because she knew just what she had in the pantry (she even used some leftovers because she knew what was in the fridge and didn't want to waste perfectly good food) and she actually preplanned meals so she wouldn't be put in the last minute 'what are we going to do for dinner' predicament. She would have more time to spend with the children because she wasn't gone 'shopping' all day (all over town or on-line) and her home would be ordered because she would have spent time at home and not in the mall.

This boils down to self-control. Self control to stop being out-of-control 21st century consumers and buying into the propaganda of retailers who insist that we need to have it all. We need to not believe the lies of insisting we need the _____ for this reason or other especially if we cannot afford it.

I believe we would find true happiness because we would learn the true meaning of contentment. Scriptures state '"Godliness with contentment is great gain." and Paul had learned how to be content in every situation--having plenty and having nothing. When will we learn this as wives and mothers? It is our time to start saying "No."

Shopping can become an addiction that give us a temporary 'high' that eventually ends in discontentment---but clearly our responsibility as Christian wives and mothers is to redeem, esteem and model the biblical virtue of contentedness.


  1. Thank you for this post. It reminds me of a post I wrote last week on my blog. I do need to work on the grocery shopping aspect of homekeeping. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. I agree wholeheartedly--only I wish self-control were as easy to find as the bargains are!

  3. Wonderful, thought-provoking post. How timely it would be to revisit this post on the day after Thanksgiving (the busiest shopping day of the year); which I've come to celebrate as National Buy Nothing Day (Yes this is an actual day!).

    Your post reminded me of a quote I ran across quite some time ago and had written on my checkbook cover as a reminder:
    "He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself"

    Happy Labor Day!-LadyLaura

  4. EXACTLY what I've been thinking on these last few days! You put it into words quite nicely.
    And there's another upside of being frugal vs. a crazed consumer: teaching our children to overcome the temptations the world offers.

  5. yes, I used to "browse" the dollar store. Only to find that when I unpacked my bags, nothing in it was really useful and I had spent time and money on it thinking I had found great bargains! Now, I go in for specific items (like picture frames) and get out!

  6. Oh boy did I need to read that. I don't really do a lot of shopping. It's just that I do feel I need to simplify some.

  7. The art of thriftiness seems almost lost in our generation. Thanks for this thoughtful and encouraging post!

  8. I LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. God bless!

  9. You are invited to:

    Name That Chocolate Dessert Contest
    September 1 - 13

    First Prize: Hot Chocolate Dress from Emberlish

    Second Prize: Chocolate Orange Lil Grubby Candle from The Soap Maker's Shop

    Hope to see you there!

    Deborah & Colleen
    The Chocolistas

    Deborah @ Comfort Joy Designs

    Colleen @ Mommie Daze

  10. I enjoyed this post very much.

    God bless,

  11. Thank you for the encouragement to be content.


  12. I personally feel having too many possessions clutters my mind, so I try to buy only what we truly need. It brings me joy to buy beautiful and useful things for our home, but it's also great to see we don't need all we are "supposed" to buy.

  13. In the past, I've purchased small items that were a *great deal* only to find later on, they weren't really *needed* ...

    Thanks for this pointed reminder and encouragement to be truly frugal before the Lord and not shop and buy as the world suggests :o)


  14. This was very thought provoking, thanks for including the link to the site.

  15. Thank-you for this post. It was meant to be that I read this because I was cleaning out my bookmarks on my computer and came across your blog. I knew there was a reason why I saved it. Ever since I started bloging I tend to want to go shopping more just beacause. I pray daily for this to stop. It is getting so much better.
    I am in the process of cleaning everything and living more simple.
    God Bless,
    I will be back to visit often

  16. Lady Laura,

    That is a great quote--all ladies be sure to read her quote on her checkbook!

    Many blessings...

  17. Thank you for the post! I totally agree. I often pray for self-control in this area. Great wisdom!

  18. Amen!! This is excellent! I especially liked this:

    We often buy too much in the name of saving our husbands money. Instead I think our husbands would appreciate if we just did not spend so much to begin with."

  19. Dear Mrs. Fuentes,

    Thank you so much for visiting me at Harvest Lane Cottage. I thank you for your comment. I love when ladies comment because I can come check out their blogs.

    I'm really glad I came to see yours. I'll be back. There's just too much for me to read right now!

    God bless you!

  20. Excellent post and a wonderful reminder! I find that I now actually prefer to stay home rather than shop.

    So I usually only head out if I am really needing something and I do like to be thrifty about it.

  21. You're absolutely right- it does come down to good, old fashioned self control!

  22. You have a lovely blog! It's the first time I come here! Thank you for your comment... I'm looking forwards to reading and learning quite a bit from here! Blessings to you too!

  23. Well said! I've come a long way in this respect. I have more growing to do as most of us do!

    God bless!

  24. Wonderful post and we all need the reminder to be more thrifty and content with what we have. I read somewhere that we need to realize that every posession we own, owns us !The more we have, the more work it makes us. Each thing needs to be washed or dusted or found room for in our home. So you are right that a sweetly, simple, uncluttered home is more restful for everyone in the family.

  25. See, at my house, when we bring something in, something must go out. If its not used, its gone. My dh and I have a standing joke. If he sits too long, I might donate him to Goodwill!! He loves it. We have to storage to spare so we have to use what space we have wisely.

    Recently we went through what I call a "money drought". It was rough but God is a BIG God and all of our needs were met. They were met because he saw my hearts desire to change and mend my spend thrift ways. I did not waste, or misuse our limited funds. I continued to tithe and continued open communication with our creditors. God was faitful and I was thankful!

    It taught me the error of my ways and made me see myself as I was, where I was. Now I hold that pennie till it screams mercy!

    Great post!!

  26. One of the best posts I have read....
    is it contentment or coveouteousness....I know that **shopping high**...the serotonin kicks in...when I reality i would have been better off, staying out a cupboard, being more industrious, when I am physically able..or REALLY spending my time in the WORD....letting the Holy Spirit do the work....
    Great post..


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