Joseph-Style Thriftiness

An article in the Sunday paper’s Parade magazine (July 13, 2008) grabbed my attention. “Secrets of Thrifty Families” is just what my walking partner and I talk about on our early-morning jaunts. Sue Heinz, whose family was featured in the article, said, “It’s about informed decisions, not cheap choices.”

Jim Schenke, a man interviewed for the article, suggested that a story from the Bible (Genesis 41) was the driving force behind his family’s frugality. “I took the Joseph approach,” he said. “I knew the coming years were going to be lean, and we needed to fill the silos.” The biblical Joseph wisely sent an abundance of grain to the silos during seven years of plenty to prepare for the tough times ahead—seven years of famine. Maybe it’s time to fill our pantry “silos,” too!

I am determined not to get into “Y2K” mode again — I remember the panic in the last few years prior to 2000 AD — but I am just as determined to make wise choices for my family concerning material needs.

I’m buying and storing extra canned goods, and writing expiration dates on the lids with a dark marker so I can quickly rotate my groceries. (On the other hand, I’ve learned not to buy things I won’t use or use up, no matter the price!) I’m planting a small garden to help keep food costs down, unplugging things that aren’t being used to conserve on electricity as best I can, making “circuits” of errands all in one day to save gas, and making as many right turns as I can (ever since I heard how much gas UPS trucks save by doing that!). My husband and I are paying down our credit cards, too.

Those are good ideas for thrift whether in lean times or not. God does expect good stewardship. It certainly can’t hurt to make some thrifty “Joseph” choices now and every day.

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