My family has had a crazy year to say the least, and it seems like the hits keep coming. Just when it seemed like things were finally leveling out, my husband unexpectedly lost his job. He is a hard worker, and will flip burgers if he has to, so I’m pretty confident we will land on our feet soon, but in the meantime we need to watch every dime going out.
This a good friend of mine got some devastating news about some pain she had been experiencing. Cancer. She was upset, scared, and in a lot of pain. I am terrible at emotional things, but I AM a do-er. I immediately got a gift card for their dinner and dropped it off with some flowers.
The next day my husband lost his job, and all nonessential spending came to a grinding halt. I still wanted to help and support my friend and her family, but I needed to do it on a budget.
I decided to make up some meals for them that they could just throw in the fridge or freezer and reheat when they needed them. I pored over the grocery store’s sale ad and formulated a plan for 3 make and take meals.
I was able to purchase the groceries for $32! Most of you know I am a staunch vegetarian, but I wanted to make meals that were familiar to them and not a tofu surprise, so I compromised on pre-cooked meat that I wouldn’t have to really touch or smell as it was cooking.
The first meal was BBQ meatballs and baked potatoes. I found frozen, pre-made meatballs the freezer section that were really reasonably priced. I couldn’t find my grandma’s BBQ meatball recipe (my recipe book is still in a box somewhere), so after a little Googling I realized you could throw them in the crock pot with some BBQ sauce and grape jelly, and viola, BBQ meatballs.
The second meal was a big batch of spaghetti with my homemade sauce. I have made this when they were over for dinner before and they loved it, so i knew it was a safe bet. I also made some garlic bread by adding some olive oil and vegan butter to a sauté pan over medium heat, then a minced clove of garlic. I cut a loaf of french bread into fourths and then placed each piece face down in the pan until it was toasted. I added more oil and garlic for each piece.
The third dish I made was this broccoli cashew chicken. I obviously don’t eat chicken, but it smelled good as it was simmering on the stove!
The family was extremely appreciative of the food, and it’s just one less thing for them to worry about this week. After my family went through a devastating fire lots of people blessed us with gift cards so we didn’t have to worry about food while we were in the hotel. It was the most stressful thing I have ever been through, but having one less thing to worry about made all the difference. Knowing that we had so much support really pushed us through those days that seemed hopeless. I would really encourage you to think about actual physical things you can do when you hear about someone going through a life-changing event. In this day and age you can send a gift card online, you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas!
I have been making a conscious effort to “pay it forward” and extend generosity whenever I see someone who needs a little lift. Even though our financial situation is a little uncertain right now, I believe you cannot out-give God’s provision. I challenge you to look for one person you can shower with some generosity this week, even if it is on a budget!