Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grasshopper and the Ant

Do you remember this Fable from your childhood. My Grandmother use to remind us of this all of the time when we were little. For me it took, my younger Sister not so much. sigh Our grandmother lived the life of the ant. In the garden always planting and putting back enough to get us to the next season. She bought from local friends/farmers what she couldn't grow on her own and cooked from scratch. It's been 4 month's since I traveled to my Sisters house to load up the pantry and freezer, it's time to do it again. This time I am doing it different, rather than having a huge shopping trip in her town I will be hitting the sales here at home with coupons in hand to try and save some money. I know I can stock her up a heck of a lot cheaper than the OVER $800.00 out of pocket last round!!!
Yesterday I ventured out in the rain and fog on my first stock up trip for her. The sales on meats and some canned goods were great. Total spent $174.43. total saved $112.00
My Sister doesn't know how to cook. Her life before being on a fixed income was fast food, evening's out at restaurants or a call in pizza. Therefore I have to shop for lots of open and warm up meals, YUCK!!
The sale on meat was what caught my eye in this weeks sale flyer. I will need to purchase more than what I bought yesterday but this is a great start!

Not only can she not cook her kitchen is not well appointed. When I was down for a visit at the end of last summer I was shocked that she didn't have a clue on many of the basics of cooking. I had to drop back and think after the first night I arrived. We had already done out first BIG shopping trip of over $600.00. At dinner that evening she was so excited to have the freezer and pantry full but she ask how to cook various meats. WHAT!!! How can you get well on the other side of 50 years old and have no clue?

It got me thinking, I sure as heck can't teach her to cook on such short notice and she really has on interest at all to learn. Bingo, after almost 40 years of marriage I realized I was living with someone just like her in the kitchen skills department that is :) When hubby is off on a project he does eat out quite often but it gets old fast. He has a little kitchen travel kit to take along for long projects. A few small pots and pans, coffee maker, toaster, and most used of all a "George Foreman Grill" The next morning with list in hand of more food I realized she needed I also added a 4 cup coffee maker and a small George Foreman grill to the list. The days of Starbucks are long gone for her, fast food impossible.

As we were chatting this weekend by phone regarding the size packages she needs before I vacuum seal and freeze them as well as what she needs the most, likes, and dislikes she hit me with yet more shocking news of her lack of basic cooking skills. She told me she didn't want anymore pork loins as they never got done in the middle no matter how long she cooked them. WHAT??? Well it seems she has been only cooking with a skillet and her George Foreman grill. UGH!! BTW she loves her George Foreman, uses it most days even when its the wrong kitchen tool!

I explained to her the pork loins, pork roast, beef roast and such needed to be cooked in the oven or a crock pot. She informed me she doesn't like cooking anything in the oven for more than 20 or 30 minutes as she is afraid she will forget it then burn the house down. I can see that might happen.... Don't you have a crock pot? Ya she did but it's over 20 years old and is rusted. Turns out years ago she did use it once but didn't know how to clean it right therefore it rusted. Lord don't let me pass out!!!!!

I instructed her to put the rusted thing in the trash as it very well may also burn the house down or give her food poisoning from the rust. I pulled out my stash of coupons, saver cards, extra bucks, you name it, came up with some Kohl's rewards points and a little money left on a return merchandise card. The 4 quart crock pot shown above cost me a grand total of $7.49. Nice!

For more years than I like to admit to I have banged my head against the wall trying to encourage, mentor, lecture, as well as some SCREAMING to my Sister on lifestyle choice she was making. I sent her the first IMO "Dave Ramsey" books by "Larry Burkett" of course the has a library of Dave's as well. Nothing stuck, nothing worked, nothing could change her opinion of what a "Good Life" was about.

Now she is living a lifestyle not of her choice, a lifestyle she is not prepared for, a lifestyle she will be stuck in for the rest of her life.

My Sister is a living, breathing example of what living in the moment looks and feels like when the day comes that the paycheck ends.

Moral of this extra long post....LEARN HOW TO COOK!!!!!!


  1. What an angel you are to help your sister! Sounds like she needs all she can get. I love Dave's Ramsey's advice to live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else.

  2. Your sister is so lucky to have a kind and caring angel to watch over her.

    Have a great day, Janie