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Why I’m Back to Grocery Shopping, Menu-Planning, and Freezer Cooking Again (it might surprise you!)

As you may have noticed if you follow me on social media or watch my Facebook Live videos, I’ve been doing a lot more deal-shopping recently.

I feel like this Year of Rest has impacted me in so many different and powerful ways — some very personal and some very practical. One of those practical ways it has impacted me is in helping me to clarify what I love, what I want to invest my time in, and what I want to be sharing here on this blog.

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In all honesty, as this blog grew, life got so full of good things. Things like speaking opportunities, travel opportunities, writing opportunities, interview opportunities, partnership opportunities, etc. These began crowding out my time to do things I loved — like deal-shopping, menu-planning, and cooking.

Between the business growth, my team’s growth to accommodate the business growth, and trying to juggle everything and still make my family a priority, a lot of my former loves had to take a backseat.

I just couldn’t do it all. And I had to choose between spending my time growing a business and keeping up with the demands or shopping deals, finding markdowns, menu-planning based upon what’s on sale at the store, freezer cooking, and making things from scratch.

I struggled with this because the whole reason I had this growing business in the first place was because I was known for being so frugal and finding such great deals. So it felt weird to let go of some of my frugal practices or hand them off to Jesse in order to focus more time on the business.

Truthfully, I missed it. I missed the days of being able to just leisurely stroll the store seeing what markdowns they had. I missed being able to tinker around in the kitchen. I missed getting to make some of our favorite recipes. I missed getting to share those things here on the blog, too.

And I know many of you missed these things, as well. But you’ve been patient with me as I’ve struggled, grown, floundered, learned, experimented, and fumbled along.

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For that, I say thank you so much. Thank you for sticking around here with all of the changes and ebbs and flows. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for giving me the space to experiment, the space to try new things, the space to stretch my wings and stretch myself as a person.

I took the first 6 months of this year to do a lot of pondering, sitting, thinking, processing, and letting go. With all my heart I can say that deciding to cut way back, to say “no” to almost everything new, and to downsize just about everything when it came to the business, was one of the greatest blessings to me and to my family.

I have joy and peace that I’ve not experienced in years. I feel so much calmer. I feel so much happier. And I feel so much more settled in who I am, what I’m called to, and who I’m not and what I’m not called to. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Something on Clearance

Many people have asked me what my plans are for the rest of this year and how I see the Year of Rest playing out and changing my life.

Well, I plan to spend the rest of this year similar to how I’ve spent the first 6 months, with a few exceptions. As I’ve had space in my life to breathe and try new things, I’ve also had space to start doing some of those things I used to do that I’ve missed so much — like deal-shopping, shopping the markdowns, menu-planning, and freezer cooking.

And I’ve enjoyed it oh so much! I realized that even though our income is in a different place now and we aren’t on a beans and rice budget, I get so much fulfillment from finding great deals, planning a menu based upon the markdowns, and cooking healthy and yummy food for my family.

So, all this to say: while Jesse is still going to be doing some of the cooking and grocery shopping (because he discovered he really enjoys it, too!), I’m taking a lot more of it over again (because I’ve missed it so much!). Which means that there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing a lot more of menu-planning, cooking, and grocery shopping posts around here again. 🙂

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Something on Clearance

I’m excited to feel like I’ve “come full circle” in sorts… getting back to my roots and back to some of the foundational parts of what this blog was founded on in the first place.

I don’t regret the journey it took for me to get here. I’ve learned so much along the way.

I’ve learned that fame and success aren’t where the joy is. I’ve learned that blog numbers and income numbers don’t equal happiness. And ultimately, I’ve learned that I find a lot more fulfillment in the quiet, small, simple spaces of life.

I’m not going to run from stages or platforms or opportunities if I feel like it’s in line with my priorities, but I’ve stopped chasing after more. Because, at the end of the day, I’ve discovered that I already have enough… exactly where I am. 

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  • Kari says:

    Love, love, love! 🙂

  • Kemi says:

    Love those crossover yogurts 😉

  • Megan says:

    Love the transparency. Life is a journey and its full of change and winding roads. Just more confirmation that my scaling back to do the things well I know God has called me to. Scaling back feels strange but peaceful.

  • Amy says:

    LOVE this! Glad you’re back to doing what you love!

    • Verlette Mckendree says:

      I cut out my internet, I still have it on my phone. I downgraded my number of cable channels and together saving about $100. I have more time now.

      I’m decluttering my house so I’ll feel better for myself and when someone comes over.

      I love the days when I stick to my Bible studies.

      I enjoyed your post.

  • Natalie says:

    Yes! Good for you, girl! 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    It warms my heart when I see photos of Kroger Woo Hoo food. I’m obsessed with the Woo Hoo section of my Kroger. 🙂

  • Kristin says:

    thank you for being so transparent. We should all be so reflective. Love it!!

  • Brandi Criminger says:

    I love how you openly share your heart in all things. It’s part of what brought me to your blog (4 or 5 years ago). I love watching you on Periscope share what’s near and dear to you. I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to seeing more menu planning and “here’s what we’re cooking” posts- because that’s what real life is about: cooking and being you!

  • Karen says:

    Crystal, I love your post! As we go through different seasons we have to adjust our lives. In the end there are our constants. Our families, the people in our lives, and of course our faith,and sometimes simplicity, that bring us great joy. These things are what matter most and bring us joy and fulfillment. I am happy you are finding balance! Isn’t that what we are all working towards whether we know it or not!

  • Kimberly says:

    What a wonderful post! I have been a follower off and on since Biblical Womanhood! Life is a neat journey! What I have enjoyed so much about you is your desire to learn and grow! 🙂

  • Brett Marie says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart. This especially resonated in me “income numbers don’t equal happiness. And ultimately, I’ve learned that I find a lot more fulfillment in the quiet, small, simple spaces of life.” So many times we are seeking the counterfeit and the real deal is right in front of us! Thank you for that reminder, it’s just what I needed this morning 🙂

  • Connie says:

    Thank you – you never know when you write a blog post who it will touch. But, I needed to hear your message today.

  • emma says:

    Yay, me too, I have just too overwhelmed in my personal life the past 4 years and I truly miss the frugal life! I missed getting those deals. I have started again some and it is so much fun. I love being able to try new products because of the sale shopping too. I miss certain products that I no longer used because they were too expensive without a coupon and I didn’t have time for that. Things are settling down for a bit and I hope to coupon and menu plan more now.

    I love your blog and have followed it for 8 years now, glad to see you are able to focus more on things that give you joy!

  • Judith says:

    You go girl! I’m really exciting that you have decided to “get back to your roots” because that’s why I started visiting your blog in the first place. Exciting to see where this goes in the future.

  • Diane says:

    Joy and peace…. it doesn’t get much better than that. Rejoicing with you in your “new found place.”

  • Amy says:

    I love how you share your growth and evolution with your readers! Looking forward to the shopping/meal-planning/recipe posts!

  • Mamato4 says:

    I love this!! And am so glad you got to experience all that other stuff, it helps bring contentment. Those lessons are so important!! And I’m glad to be seeing more of the stuff I originally came to this blog for.

  • Amie says:

    Yay, your frugal cooking and meal planning was my favorite part of your blog. I actually visited your blog for the first time in several months to pull a recipe. I understand changing your focus though. We make more money now and an Aldi came to town so I mostly do my shopping there. I still coupon at times and always for certain items, but my time became more valuable to me so as long as I am close to my budget, I am happy. I’m sure with your meal planning and recipes, I can find some inexpensive ideas though. 🙂

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