In these financially difficult time, I am constantly asking the Lord to give me wisdom as to where I can cut back on my household budget. I've tried many thing. When cooking, if time permits, I try to make everything from scratch. I make bread, rolls, buns, tortillas, potato chips, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, sauces,etc. I even tried homemade pasta; wasn't too good. If there is a way to make it myself, I will try it. I'm even using less meat in our meals, which is a big deal for our family. I do the same with cleaning supplies. I've made homemade laundry detergent and have a list of others cleaners I'm going to make as soon as I've used up my store bought ones. I'm patching holes in clothes that I would have, in the past, thrown away. I'm washing out freezer and storage bags, depending on what was in them in the first place. Yesterday I read about a lady who was turning off her hot water heater at night and her freezer and refrigerator for 2 hours every day. I'm considering the freezer and the hot water heater. Not sure how I feel about turning off the refrigerator for 2 hours every day. I quit using the heated drying cycle on the dishwasher and my wonderful husbands is going to construct a clothes line for me (soon, I hope :). If it's hot outside, I keep all the blinds and curtains closed. I promise I do have a point to make and here it is. I may have started cutting back out of financial necessity, but through this process God is teaching me to be a better steward of what He provides. Now, my desire to be frugal is not only to save money, but for the Lord to be pleased and glorified in the way I am using His provisions.
For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. (1Cor. 9:17) This does not indicate that Paul was unwilling to obey but that his will had no part in the call itself. Since it was God's sovereign choice and call, he received not a "reward", but a "stewardship" (a valuable responsibility or duty to be carefully managed). (John MacArthur)
...assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you...(Eph. 3:2) "Stewardship" means an administration, or management. Paul did not choose the stewardship of his apostleship or ministry. God had sovereignly commissioned him with the calling, spiritual gifts, opportunities, knowledge, and authority to minister as the apostle to the Gentiles. (John MacArthur)