Godly Women Blog

Plenty Is Possible

Written by Shirlene Solomon

Food abundance is not just for those with unlimited budgets. Abundance is achievable when we have the right mind-set, good habits and involve God.  

A meal plan can help you save money and look forward to cooking. 

With prices rising rapidly on everything, how do we, like the Proverbs 31 woman, bring food from afar, provide food for our household and even have a portion left over to share with others? Is this even possible in today’s world?  

It is possible, and God can help! We’re promised He will provide for our needs in Philippians 4:19. That scripture in and of itself should alleviate many of our worries.  

I believe that we can have plenty, even in lean times and with rising food costs. Three practical points to consider are prayer, planning and perspective.

Pray about your needs

When it comes to food, I pray to God to bless my garden. Since I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on my garden this summer, I found ways to save.  

  • I saved seeds from last year’s plants. 
  • I found seeds for free on the giveaway table in our condo complex.  
  • I used a rebate to purchase $60 worth of plants for $12.50. 
  • I bought two rose plants from a discount store for $7 each. 
  • I had friends give me seeds and plants.

As a result, I currently have 20 tomato plants, two pepper plants, basil and the most beautiful garden on my balcony that I have ever had. 

I didn’t need the flowers, yet God blessed me with them anyway. He also is taking care of my needs since I can and freeze tomatoes (most are from seeds). I have already made homemade pesto with my basil, and the peppers are a key ingredient in almost everything we cook.  

Prayer is key. If we ask Him, I believe God will help us find good deals, help our gardens grow and make our dollar stretch. Praying about our needs means we are making God our partner.

Planning will help you  

Planning will help you save money and look forward to cooking. I like to sit down and plan the menu for a week. In fact, there have been times in my life when I planned an entire month in advance. 

For example, my planning session looks something like this:  

  • Mexican, four times a month.  
  • Italian, three times a month. 
  • Slow cooker, four times a month.  

Then I put whatever recipes I gather into weekly menus and shop from there. If you have the ability and same taste as a friend, plan with a buddy. It’s half the planning and twice the fun.  

With today’s market, you will need to be prepared to be flexible. Here are some ways I have learned to be flexible:

  • I plan for the week.  
  • Then I go to the store.  
  • Recently there have been items that are not there on a particular visit, so I keep a list of backups.  
  • I stock up when there are sales.  
  • I keep a mini freezer (even in our tiny condo).  

Don’t be afraid to still have guests, even if you’re living on a tight budget. We love to entertain. Remember that you can’t outgive God. Have others over, and He will stretch your money.  

Planning also involves preparation, so you won’t get home exhausted and then order takeout, which can be very expensive. Doing so uses up a huge chunk of the budget. Yes, we have pizza night on occasion. However, I get the pizzas at a discount store or make them from scratch. 

Ultimately, planning is key to stretching your money. For instance, I will cook a huge chicken and use half of it for a lovely soup with the bone broth and then save the other half for something else (enchiladas perhaps).

Batch cooking (preparing bulk ingredients for multiple meals) is a way to increase your production without spending more time on cooking throughout the week.

Another strategy I use is to look at the Sunday paper and plan where I shop based on the sales.

Perspective is key

Perspective is key to fulfillment. Many of our international brethren live on so much less than we do.

Instead of thinking about all the items you can’t afford, think of feeding your family as a grand culinary adventure. Tell yourself, “Here is my budget. What delicious concoctions can I make with affordable ingredients?”

Most of the world does not eat like the Western world, so many regional recipes are cheap to make. They involve delicious, healthy ingredients and amazing spices.   

  • Stock up on legumes, lentils and beans, onions, garlic, curry and any spice on sale.  
  • Then search through recipes.  

My family cooks everything in our tiny galley kitchen. You can get off the elevator and smell your way to our condo, where we are constantly trying new recipes.  

I guarantee you can find deliciousness and gastronomic delights without the high price tag. An added bonus is that many of these ethnic and cultural staples are quick and easy to make.   

Plenty is possible!

“The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you” (Deuteronomy 28:8, New International Version). 

This scripture gives me courage and hope and excitement. If I pray, plan and have the right perspective, I find there is plenty. With God’s blessing, we are never poor in the things that count.  

Just like the Proverbs 31 woman, we can bring food from afar, provide for our household and even have a portion left over to share with others. With God’s help, we can pray, plan, have the right perspective and enjoy plenty, despite rising food costs.

If you are interested in learning more about the Proverbs 31 woman’s godly traits, read “Virtuous Woman: A Catalog of Virtues.”

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