HOSPITALITY VERSUS FRUGALITY?
My friend and her children came to town yesterday. She called on the way down and said that when she arrived she wanted to go to the store to pick up some foods for her children, since they are pretty picky eaters. I felt a little panicked...I was unsure if that was something I should pay for, or if I should just let her go to the store and get what she wanted. I had spent some time the day before, planning out meals, going to the store, etc. I really didn't want to go spend more money at the store, because of this challenge, yet, I didn't want to be inhospitable either.
We ended up going to the store together, along with our five boys. As my friend filled her cart with mac and cheese, cheetos, chicken fingers, juice, crackers, frozen waffles, pizza, etc. I nervously watched my children, waiting for them to start asking for those things too. We picked up some more fruit, as we were almost out, and my friend's children liked grapes, bananas, and apples too. I purchased some graham crackers for the boys, after saying "no" to about 15 other kinds of crackers. After biting into one today, I regret purchasing them. I should have just made more of these chocolate graham crackers, because they were much better, and I already had all the ingredients. Oh well.
My boys asked for cheese sticks and yogurt. I told them they could pick one. They picked yogurt, and I bought a block of cheddar to cut into sticks. I spent $21 at the store, on an unplanned and unnecessary trip. I felt really torn between being hospitable and being frugal (and not going over my $200 for the month). I know that most of the time it doesn't have to be one or the other. We regularly invite people into our home for a meal, or have something on hand for when friends drop by. I guess this was a little different because they were staying in our home for several days and didn't want to eat what I had planned to prepare. What would you have done in this situation? Should I have let the 30 days of nothing go, and purchased the food items they wanted to eat for the sake of hospitality? I still don't know if I did the right thing or not. And, with that $21 in extra food added to this month's total, next week is going to be veeeerrry slim. I am going to have to get really creative in the kitchen next week!