She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (Proverbs 31:14)
When I first looked at this verse, I thought “Costco!” A merchant’s ship holds lots of cargo, and that reminded me of any visit I’ve ever made to that particular warehouse store. We used to live 10 minutes from one, and we always joked that it was the “200 Club” since we rarely ever came out of that place having spent less than that. We have a pretty big family, and buying in bulk is a necessity, albeit one we haven’t been able to do much of since moving. Buying in bulk means two things, if you do it right: 1. you spend less per item, and 2. you don’t run out of things as quickly (thus– theoretically– fewer shopping trips).
I really am not big on shopping. Oh, sure, I love good deals, and I’ve developed a preference for having food in the house… but traipsing around a mall is not my thing. Grocery shopping is a necessary evil. I am more a “search and destroy” shopper, with a well-honed radar to those clearance carts and shelves. I so hate spending money– probably something to do with not generally having a lot of it to spend, and having to spread what I do have around pretty thinly.
So, what does this have to do with the Proverbs 32 woman? I guess the comparison I could make is, what are you willing to do to keep your family fed? Are you willing (/able) to go the “extra mile” (bringing food from afar?) to stay within budget? Do you shop the sales, comparison shop, or use coupons? Can you buy in bulk? Are you willing to get off the couch & out of the house to get groceries? Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone, if it comes to it, and visit a food bank?
A Proverbs 31 woman does many of these things. She shops frugally, not squandering the family’s grocery budget on unnecessary things. She knows the difference between a need and a want, and puts that knowledge into practice. Me personally? I toggle between being annoyingly frugal, and throwing money away on stupid things. I’m somewhat paranoid of running out of milk and toilet paper, but I’ll buy hair dye or junk food.
Excuse me while I go edit my grocery list…