Frugal Living: do you really live like you’re on food stamps?

A few friends have texted, tweeted, emailed and called us to say they say the features last night on KATU news, a “Frugal Living” segment in two parts at 5 PM and 11 PM. (Click on links below or on the image to the right to see the features.)

Last Fall reporter Shellie Bailey-Shah contacted my wife Kari to see if KATU could interview her for an upcoming feature segment of “Problem Solvers.” (Little did they know the ‘problem’ we were after solving was our own tendency to love ourselves more than others.) When she and the cameraman arrived at our just-sold home, we didn’t know what to expect. Yet, the interviews were fun, as they were a joy to work with. They particularly welcomed our kids to be part of it all. When the time came for the segments to run, we likewise didn’t know what to expect. We’ll leave it to you to see if the stories were worth sharing:

Frugal Living: Downsizing the dream house (video), was featured on the 5 o’clock news. I was especially pleased with how they mentioned the  book The Hole in Our Gospel, which was a key part of our journey in following Christ toward becoming more generous like Him. We aren’t after simply spending less; it’s saving more to give more.

Frugal Living: Take the ‘Food Stamp Challenge’ (video), was featured on the 11 o’clock news. Kari was asked to follow-up the KATU story with a frugal family meal plan.

To answer the question: we don’t live like we’re on food stamps. But our food budget is at that level. We’re grateful to be far from poor, and desire to steward well the resources we have on loan from God. Being frugal is unlike being stingy or miserly, as our frugality is part of a bigger plan to invest wisely instead of hoarding for ourselves.

So, with Kari’s ingenuity (and enthusiasm) we’ve sought to pare down our budget over the last few years. One aspect is spending less on food while eating better, and setting aside more to give. (People who know me well, know I still like to snack.)

While prioritizing our local church, we also support missionaries who labor among college students here in the States, and then our hearts are aimed at helping those in need abroad, supporting kids with Compassion and World Vision, and friends who are missionaries to unreached peoples, along with Gospel for Asia. Simplifying also frees us up to do spontaneous giving as we sense the Spirit leading. It gets fun. We long to do more.

For those in the Portland area, Kari will be speaking at a workshop entitled Faithfully Frugal – how to live more and spend less. It’s Wednesday night, Feb. 15th at 6 PM, hosted by Beaverton SDA church as part of their weekly family night (14645 SW Davis Road, Beaverton). Dinner and childcare are provided, and the event is free.