By Published On: September 2nd, 20130 Comments

Trying to Make a Dollar out of Fifteen Cents

15-centsI had to go to the store today, I went to bed around 4am and I know I had to get up early to beat the BarB-Q’ers for Labor Day. So I got dressed, feeling all good, and looked in the mirror. I saw my reflection and just plumped down on the bed.

I wasn’t going to go today…perhaps some other day.

I was feeling quite insecure about my clothes. After three years, they are now so tattered and worn. I just stared at myself and I told myself…clothes do NOT make the woman and I got up and went to the store, I wouldn’t let a couple of bleach stains and an off-black shirt ruin my day.

I get to the store and I am on a mission to spend no more than $68.25. I have house guests now and I so can not afford to feed them and myself but after these three years in Alabama, Resourceful, has become my middle name. I go to the Dollar Store first because I know I can always get my spices for a $0.50 and other low-key items for low prices, no need to pay McCormick $4.50 just for their name. I come out a little above my $9.00 budget for the Dollar Store,  so I know when I get to the beast, Wal-Mart (queue music…dunt, dUNT, DUNNNNT!), I have to be at my best AND on my guard.

As I’m walking into Wal-Mart, I catch a glimpse of myself and once again insecurities start to set in about the clothes I have on. I suck it up and walk through those sliding glass doors. I’d be damn if I let Wal-Mart beat MY ass this time. I have a list of everything I need and the prices that everything should cost. If I picked up something below budget, I added a +X beside the item letting me know I have extra to spend. Above budget, -X, and then I’d cancel out items based on my savings. I went +3 dollars over on my meat, but I went under -2 for Couscous and -1 for Spaghetti Sauce. Ha! So +3 -2 -1 = STILL ON BUDGET.

By the time I finish, I think I may have been right at budget, and no more than about $5 or $6 dollars over. If for some reason, my math was off, I would be over budget by too much and I’d be declined and I’d have to put things back…embarrassing to say the least. I start shaking like a crackhead…Chris Rock told it best…”Oooooh Loooooord please let it go through!!!”

I watch the monitor as she scans each item, she gets to the last item, avacados, which didn’t have a price sticker and I think to myself, “Unless those damn things cost $20, I think I may have done it.” Never the one to assume much of anything, I wait until the scan is complete…$58.14! I MAGICALLY saved over $10?!? If anyone could of seen, the look of excitement and glee on my face, they would of thought I won the lottery. I kid you not! Now let me tell you what meals I was shopping for, Steak & Potatoes, Lasagna, General Tso Cauliflower!! Can you imagine? I still think it was a miracle and I refuse to look at the receipt, because then it would take the magic out of everything. There was no way that I was under budget by THAT much.

So now, with my extra money, I think of ALL the things I can buy just for me! I am so excited! Then reality sets in. What could I possibly buy for $10? Damn. I decide to spend the extra money on some bread for my uncle since I know he eats it, I DO NOT BUY BREAD IN MY HOUSE. DANGEROUS. And I splurge and get some Splenda Tea for myself…total $5.15..tea will just have to be my special gift to myself for now. As I drive home, once again my mind goes back to me back in the day. Spending money as if it was going out of style, having whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. Flying cross-country at the drop of a hat. I look down at myself and think…just as a negative thought comes along I push it away and say to myself “If I had to do it all over again I would.”

I get home at around 10a and I begin to cook breakfast for my uncle, wheat pancakes (from scratch because its cheaper), red-hot sausage which he loves and can not find in New York and southwest style scrambled eggs. I think he’d enjoy the sweet and the savory as much as I do. I ask him how everything is…he says…perfect. He has some orange juice to wash it all down (always buy high pulp, it contains more fiber and it reduces the amount of sugar your body takes in)

I don’t fix myself anything, not really hungry, my mind is so set on all the things I have to do. As he’s eating, I walk toward the door to take out the trash, he comes behind me and says, here is a little something for you. He gives me $100.00. I cry.


Author's Note

It is so important for me to keep myself in good spirits. I have to keep my mind focused on the goals at hand, and remember to continue to be my loving, kind-hearted self. When we give to others, with no thought of self we always get what we deserve back. It may not come from that person, but goodness will find its way to you. When one has next to nothing, self-preservation sets in and its quite hard to give without thought of self. I think only people who really don’t have much to give, whether monetary, physical, mental or spiritual, can truly talk about what that means exactly. I am thankful that through everything, I still remain me, Asherah Amyas. I will not let this world break me, I will not let any person break me. I can not worry about what other’s think of me…walk in my shoes honey.

And as I'm Editing...Another Blessing

My uncle just walks into my room and says, “Here’s your tip. You deserve it.”, and hands me more money…$20. No words.

And the Blessings Keep Coming!

What happened a few minutes ago (9/4/2013), can only be compared to winning the lottery. It’s a situation that has kept me up at nights, even given me nightmares. It bothered me to no end and now, before I could even lift a finger to resolve the issue, someone unexpectedly does it for me. There are no words to describe the burden that has been lifted off of me. I don’t know WHY it happened but Lord knows I am grateful that it did. Thank you. #2010 #2011 #2012

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