When I say that I live in a small town, most of the time people don't understand how small I really mean. They ask if we have this store or that restaurant. When I explain that we only have a post office and a closed down general store, they still can't wrap their minds around it.
So, as I was explaining on my FaceBook page about our weekly trip to town, people's interest was piqued. I thought it was the perfect time to share our "town" with ya'll :)
We live in the parsonage (house that belongs to the church where my hubby pastors)that's across the street from the church. So, here's our church that we see from our front yard!
Our neighbor's house is a tall grass field away and with the trees we can hardly see them.
Coming from the other direction, you'll see my neighbor's house on the left, the church on the right, and our house in the distance on the left across from the church. (You'll have to look really close between the trees to see it ;)
Are you ready to see our downtown?!? Really?
Here it is:
Yep, that's it!
On the left are the post office and pumping station. Our post office is on the federal list to close soon. The pumping station pumps our "city" water, which is really well water that the city stores and then pumps to our house. Because of the old pipes and several times the power going out to the pumping station (which can allow for backflow....ewww!), we boil our water and then filter it. It's still yellow after all that. Yep, you're in the country now ;)
On the right are the closed down Whitten General store and the volunteer fire station that also serves as our local voting station. The Whitten store has been closed for longer than we have been there and we've heard they were shut down due to illegal gambling machines.
That's it! There is a local gas station about 5 miles from the house that has some essentials, if you just can't do without something, but we've not ever paid the extra price for the convenience of having it.
SO, when we need to go grocery shopping (which we do every Monday) we "go to town". That means we drive 25 minutes to the nearest town. They have a Wal-Mart supercenter and 2 local grocery stores plus some restaurants (fast food is mainly the only ones you'd recognize. They rest are locally owned), and a True-Value. No Home Depot or Lowe's. (If we want anything else you'd recognize or a mall or LifeWay, etc we have to drive an hour.)
We have figured that it costs us about $6 in gas to go to town. So, we are trying to limit our trips to town to once a week. While in town, we do our grocery shopping, go to the bank and post office, and any other running that needs done for that week. The rest of the time, we make due with what we have or borrow from friends...unless we can't get around it. We've lived here almost 5 months and are just now getting to the once-a-week point. It's a huge change from being in Memphis and literally 5 minutes from about everything you could think of!
Okay, so how do we do it? For one we keep a running grocery list on our fridge. As items run out or need replaced, we write them down. I know...easy right? Well, it's a habit that takes getting used to.
Another thing is that we budget our groceries. We have a certain amount of money that we delegate for groceries and household items for each week. Next, I plan out our menu for the week before we go shopping. I plan out breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (and any desserts or goodies we might also want). I keep in mind our budget and plan our meals to stay within it. Once I know what the menu is I can add to the already running grocery list.
Before we go shopping, I estimate what each item costs and figure the total to make sure I'm within budget. I do this from memory and write down discrepancies when we get to the store. (This gets easier the more I do it!) For example, I budgeted $5 for toilet paper. When we got to the store, what we normally spend is $12 (yikes! my bad!), so I got a smaller package for $7 and will have to get more next week BUT next week I'll budget the $12 necessary :)
When we're really on top of our game, we also go earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon so that we're not out at lunch time. This cuts down on eating out while we're there. Although that's a nice treat, it just doesn't fit into our budget often. We do, however, usually get drinks while we're out since we're usually gone for about 2-3 hours (1 hour of that is just driving!). We have taken water bottles before but find that the drinks are a nice, cheaper treat.
Well, that's our town and what "going to town" means for us :) Someone said it sounds like Little House on the Prairie. That sounds just fine to me. I always loved that show (I know it's a book series too!)and wanted to live on a farm. We're adjusting to country life and thank the Lord Jesus every day that He has moved us here!