Friday, February 12, 2010

Dan on Frugality

This question is part of FAQ Friday. If you have a question you would like me to address, please add it to the FAQ section.

Question

Does your husband support all of your penny pinching endeavors?

Answer


Dan and I have very different takes on frugality, actually. Although they are different, they compliment each other well. His frugality could be summed up in no debt and don't spend money. I like that and add in penny pinching.

Passive Frugality

Passive frugality is stuff we had to do once and are still benefiting from. I shopped around for auto insurance and got the least expensive apartment we could fit into. Those two items save us over $100 per month. We got a nice used car in good shape and haven't needed many repairs on it. Choosing a good car didn't take too long, but we have reaped many rewards from that good choice. Dan has given me the task of researching these and has been pleased by what I can do.

Active Frugality

Active frugality is what we do now, today to pinch our pennies. This is divided into how to spend and how to not spend.

There are some things we must spend on, food, gas, and clothes. Dan loves my cooking. His one complaint is that he wants more snack foods, like cookies, crackers and chips. My take on snack foods is that making them feels like trying to fill a bottomless pit. They cost money, provide little nourishment and are eaten too quickly, so I do it by request. I count on him forgetting to ask for them and he does.

Not spending money on stuff like new shoes or DVDs is pretty easy for both of us. For example, I won a $25 gift card to Marshall's from We Are THAT Family in December and I've only used $7 so far. I'll write about what I get when I use it all. Dan would have spent the whole gift card within a week, but not been tempted once it was gone. So, we have different styles of not spending money, but the same outcome.

Future Frugality

Future frugality is, in many ways, up in the air. We talk of pursuing a pastorate the most, but really we don't know exactly what it is God has for us. We have both at times felt we might be called to the mission field, yet God continues to direct our step toward a pastorate in Maine. Whatever we may do, financial discipline now is great training.

So, future frugality is in many ways hard to pin down, but it is in some ways wrapped up in housing. We've talked about where we might want to live once he graduates and have discussed ad nauseum housing options. He wants something a little more traditional than a yurt or tipi, but is still open-minded. He's all for a small home as long as it doesn't mean we have to get rid of all of his stuff. He's generally okay with me gradually putting more of his stuff into storage.

Authority

Finances are something Dan gave me general authority over when we first got married. We run our family kind of like a government, but with less paperwork. He is the President/Prime Minister and Secretary of Defense. I am the Chief of Staff, Minister of Finance, and Secretary of Agriculture. He lets me handle most of the financial decisions, but he holds the red veto pen.

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71 comments:

Heather said...

That sounds like us. I am also in charge of the finances. My husband gets his "allowance" every week but that is about all he sees. He is not good with being frugal. That is why he gets money and doesn't use the debit card anymore. He doesn't know what is in the checking account and he'll just keep spending.

Right now, I am looking for another used vehicle. We got our van for $800 on Craigslist over a year ago and probably had to do about $200 in work to it. Not a bad deal! Plus, insurance is so much cheaper when the car isn't financed.

Anonymous said...

One thing I would be careful of is holding on to gift cards too long. I did that once with a restaurant, and the place went out of business before I used my card. $25 down the drain. It still irks me to think of it!

Our Family Is His said...

I think insurance is a huge area that many people forget to look into. We had the same policy for a few years (great price) but this year, before we got our renewal notice, I called to ask about a price comparison. I am so glad I did. I found out our rates were going up a little on our current policy (guess that's what happens to good drivers, no traffic tickets, no new drivers, no new cars, no wrecks, homeowners, not young, heheh). We got a new policy that's cheaper than what we were paying and it has a LOT more benefits on it.

Our renter's insurance (when we rented before buying) was an incredible deal due to some specific things that made us a good risk (my husband's job and a few very cheap safety items we put on the apartment were the biggest ones). We got a HUGE policy for less than $100/year. So thinking of spending $20 once for some stick on window/door alarms was well worth it because of how much we cut down on our renter's insurance. (and they brought peace of mind)

I found that on the snack thing, we could find a wonderful compromise. I found some great recipes for healthy cookies (our doctor suggested them for our older son when we were having some major feeding issues with him since they look like cookies but are very healthy). They have the protein to carb ratio that fills you up (so you just can't eat a lot of them because they make you feel full), have some good nutrients in them, are nutritious, taste good, and are easy and inexpensive to make. (win-win situation)

We are also frugal. I have always been one to save money on items (why pay retail if you don't have to), but now it's a necessity. We would be hard pressed to afford the things we NEED if we weren't due to extremely high medical, therapy, and special food bills we have for our kids.

Christena said...

but do you hold a red veto pen for any of his decisions?

sara said...

We are the same way with snacks! My husband is very good with money but he'd still spend my whole grocery budget in the chip isle if I'd let him LOL! The past few months I've really learned how to bake and now make several sweet treats each week (cookies, brown bread, muffins etc), and then I'll buy a bag of chips at Aldis for $1.19 every few weeks to make him happy :)
sara http://myfrugalfunlife.blogspot.com/

Emily said...

Christena, not technically, but if I express a strong dislike for an idea, he will usually not push it. I have a submission question coming up in a few weeks for FAQ Friday.

Anonymous said...

We find muffins a good compromise in terms of snack foods. I can whip up a batch in ten minutes and keep them relatively healthy (whole wheat flour, raw sugar or honey, applesauce instead of oil etc.). I have learned that if I throw in some chocolate chips my kids think any muffin is a treat regardless of what other stuff is in it.

It also allows me to avoid wasting fruit that is going a little icky (bananas, apples etc.).

Daisy in Ontario

Anonymous said...

Our Family is His - will you share your recipe for "healthy" cookies, please?

Amber said...

Emily, technically my husband holds the veto power, too. He's done things that I didn't like before, but in the best interest of the family as a whole. However, my husband would never do anything that would hurt me or that I really didn't agree with. So I guess *unofficially* I hold the veto power, too... and so do you lol.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

In my family my husband does the finances. He's less frugal than I but never makes a decision without consulting me. Though I'm submissive to his authority I do tell him whether I think it's a good idea or not and he very often takes my advice and if he doesn't and his idea turns out to be bad he holds my opinion higher the next time and we still maintain a union of mutual respect and love.

It's a great thing.

Susan said...

We share the budget. The two of us go over the bills and pay them. I am in charge of the household. Groceries, clothing, and right now I am waiting to find flannel sheets on sale for 50% off.
DH buys the vehicles. He got our car for $1100 six years ago. We put $500 into it and it's been running like a charm. My truck was $2500 ten years ago and is showing it's 24 years.
We search for bargains, always have. And I am so very frugal I still pick up pennies off the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

Well I have to be honest here and say Emily, that I am absolutely horrendous at overall family money management.

I do keep the grocery shopping in line to our budget, but hubby is in charge of all bill paying, investing in RRSP's and RESP's for our kids etc., I know where the money is, we discuss how he wishes to invest it and my name is on everything....but he takes on the burden of going to the bank once a week.

I get paid an "allowance", but with that money I budget kids' haircuts, my own and little odds and ends that we need (not want).

Hubby is very investment savy so I follow his lead, we discuss any purchases made on debit and I let him know if / when I need to buy mykids' pants or shoes, it's a courtesy thing that he does as well.

If something were to happen tohim, I could/would take over the financial side of things, but quite honestly right now I have enough to deal with at home, and with my part-time job.

My hubby does have the final say on vacations, or big ticket items (which we don't have too many of), as he knows our budget best I like leaving him in charge and follow his lead :)

Mom in Canada

Amy@TheCircusMcGurkus.blogspot.com said...

In our house I am most definately the penny pincher. My husband is not bad, but it still costs us $17.00 whenever he runs to the store to pick up just one thing. When he did this last week he got THE LOOK from me and he protested. "But it was all on sale!"

Tree Huggin Momma said...

I do the finances in my house because DH would spend every last dime before he accounted for bills. That's not to say I haven't had my issues with keeping our budget (I am paying down the credit card debt to prove it).
Neither of us holds veto power. If he really doesn't like an idea or I really don't like an idea we discuss it until we can agree on a middle ground or one of us decides we just don't care about it that much and let the other have their way. I have a bright blue bathroom (his choice) I would have preferred something more subdued, but once the color went up and the fish themed shower curtain I really liked it.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

One thing about cheap insurance, I do search for the best rate for my insurance but I can't tell you how many times people get screwed (I work in the law field) because someone bought a cheap policy and the policy limit is $25,000. That means that all you get for that accident is $25,000 which in a serious accident isn't enough. I hate paying for something I hope to never use, but should I need it I will be glad we had it.

CappuccinoLife said...

lol. I love your governmental analogy. :D That's great!

My dh is definitely more frugal than I am. He's one of the few people I know who doesn't care about stuff, or personal comfort. The only thing he's bought for himself since we've been married are shoes for work and 2 or 3 books (from the Amazon.com bargain bin) to help him self-educate about successful business practice in the States.

He does the business related stuff, but I'm the finance manager. I'm the one who knows how much is in which account, whether we can afford some big purchase, what's going on with insurance, and bills, etc. I do the bill-paying and he trusts me to do all the shopping and spend reasonably, though we both know he'd spend *way* less if he were the one shopping.

Anonymous said...

Emily, with regard to future finances, I don't think housing will be the big problem, I think food will be. If you think the stomach of a grown man is a bottommless pit, aiiiieeeee will three teenaged boys make you weep. Do you have any brothers? My one brother would inhale a batch of cookies and be browing for more half an hour later. And he was like that for more than five years.

I also wonder which of you vetoed WIC and food stamps?

Ethel

Emily said...

Susan, I pick up pennies, too. (:

Ethel, we agreed on WIC, but I wrote a whole post about it. It's in the FAQ.

Hopewell said...

I agree on cheap insurance--be sure to understand all the "fine print." I have a teenager so I understand snack food. Still, I bake something once week and I keep veggies cut up with a healthy homemade [frugal] dip. Guys do eat more than women. Maybe bake whole wheat crackers? I think Sue Gregg has a sprouted wheat cracker even.

Hopewell said...

Emily--forgot--you'd probably enjoy the blog Found Money Jar--he tracks change he finds in the road, etc...

Clisby said...

Yes, one problem with cheap car insurance can be that they're selling the minimum amount of liability your state allows. For example, here in South Carolina it's $25,000/$50,000 - $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident. It's not that there's anything illegal or shady about a policy with that coverage - it's providing what the state requires. It's just not enough.

Elizabeth said...

I am the frugal one in our family, but it is slowly rubbing off on hubby!
About the snacks, I totally agree about trying to feed a bottomless pit and how those things just eat up a budget. I also agee with the above poster who mentioned muffins. I have an awesome raisin bran muffin recipe which can be mixed up and stored in the fridge for weeks and just take a little out when you want to make muffins. I make a tin of them in the morning for breakfast and add a little cinnamon and brown sugar to the tops of some and the kids and even hubby (who usually hates muffins) snacks on the leftovers throught the day. I will be posting the recipe on my blog next week sometime.

mrs. c said...

in our house, unfortunately, my husband and sons are addicted to pepsi..so that is an absolute must, and doritos, pretzels,ice cream. these things are all way overpriced, my daughters and i dont eat all that, but hubby insists on keeping it on hand. it's not my call to forbid it, as he works, and is entitled to his small pleasures.but it does take a huge chunk out of the budget.

zerohousepaymentforever said...

I do the finances at our house, and my dh holds the veto pen too. Works well!

Anonymous said...

Hi again.

Ethel, I can relate and I agree. I have three boys like Emily and our eldest has just turned 13. He seems to be just hitting that growth spurt boys do and his stomach IS a bottomless pit. That was, in part, why I turned to muffins. They are quick, easy, healthy and I can make them relatively cheaply. They also help to fill the black hole that seems to be a teen boy's stomach without resorting to junk food.

Emily...I think Ethel is right, particularly if you go on to have more boys. Groceries will be a HUGE cost and you may need to consider how to keep healthy between meal snacks for those growing boys.

Don't get me started on keeping a teenaged boy in shoes and clothes. Yikes.

Daisy in Ontario

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting to read about the veto pen.

I manage the household finances but I would say no one holds a veto pen in our home. Virtually everything we decide to do is via consensus. It works well for us. In terms of smaller purchases I manage virutally all of that stuff (clothes, food, bills, etc.). Big ticket purchases we generally chat about first but I also know that if I truly believed we needed a purchase and could afford it I could purchase it without consultation and not be challenged by husband. I appreciate his trust and respect in that regard (not to suggest that those who have different strategies don't have trust and respect...it is just different).

Interesting all the different strategies.

Daisy again.

The Saved Quarter said...

Ethel- I agree! My brother was like a Hoover as a teenager! My mom would make a meatloaf for the family for dinner and he would eat half of it, plus potatoes, salad, veggies, and a glass of milk, and be scouting for snacks an hour later. I kind of dread the cost of food when my kids get bigger!

My husband and I have butted heads about money and are finally coming to some consensus now, putting me in charge, putting away our pride and accepting food stamps and WIC, and finally able to make the month last longer than the money. He's very good at his job, but not great at the money management part, and that has made us struggle unnecessarily.

I spoke to author Judy Lawrence for "The Budget Kit" giveaway on my blog (go sign up, Emily!) and she really stresses being on the same page with your spouse. It makes so much sense, since it is easy to have money as a point of contention in a marriage. There are so many other things to cause rifts between couples; money need not be another one.

And I would love the healthy cookie recipe too! :)

Erin T. said...

Our situation is unique, as I'm a Jehovah's Witness, and look to my husband as the head of our family and household. However, he isn't religious, and doesn't like the 'sound' of the headship principle, per se. But I know he does appreciate my respect for him and his decisions. My husband and I kind of share the financial decisions, he works full time, I stay home with our kids. He relies on me to tell him what bills are due and when, then we sit down together and pay them online. I do all the shopping, and can be pretty creative, but dh likes meat! A lot of meat, so that's pricey. He also smokes, and likes a beer with dinner. All drains on the budget. Other things, like vehicle purchases I like his opinion on, but my opinion and input is important too. The headship principle, which is defined as: Jehovah God, then Jesus, then the congregation, then the husband is the spiritual head of the family. So for me, I am the spiritual head of our household, and as long as my husband isn't spiritually endangering me I submit to his headship. I've heard the saying though, the husband is the head of the family, and the wife is the neck that turns the head, LOL. I always thought that was funny. It's nice Emily, how much leeway Dan gives you to do things that are really extreme with your frugality. More power to you!

Clisby said...

It's not just teen-age boys - when I was a teen-ager, I remember hearing my father say to my mother "She eats more than I do! I can't believe it!" And I was always thin - it wasn't like I was overeating. I see it now with my own 13-year-old - she eats way more than I do, and she's thin. When they're really little, you can fool yourself into thinking that feeding the kids takes very little. I mean, it's true when they're toddlers - but don't expect that to last forever. As far as snacks go - does Dan like popcorn? You can pop it in a dutch oven on top of the stove if you don't have a popcorn popper. Popcorn isn't bad, nutrition-wise, and isn't all that expensive if you just buy the popcorn - not the microwave popcorn stuff.

Banana said...

This sounds so much like us. We are both very frugal, but have different styles. I keep trying to convince my husband that's a good thing. :)

Treva said...

"I count on him forgetting to ask for them and he does."

That statement made me cringe. I grew up very strict Southern Baptist and my dad was the head of my household. And, knowing that you see Dan as the head of your household, I wonder how you don't see that comment (and the spiritual attitude behind it) as disrespectful to your husband. Ultimately though that is between you and G-d.

On a more human note, what is wrong with snacking? It seems to me that your husband works hard and should be allowed to snack when he is truly hungry. I agree with the other posters about making muffins as one option. I make banana choc chip muffins pretty frequently, but I make substitutions -- powdered egg whites for the eggs, applesauce for the oil, at least 1/2 WW flour. You would probably use stevia, but I just cut back the sugar. And you could use carob chips if you didn't want to use choc chips. Baked in something, you can't really tell the difference between carob chips and choc chips.

My DH is also one to love his crackers and chips. I know which crackers are good in store brand and which are not, so when a sale comes along I can get the best deals. He knows the budget and I review it with him at the beginning of each month so he can see where we are over and under. When it looks like it will be a tight month, he is respectful of that and doesn't request many extras. But when things work out, I make sure he gets those treats from time to time. I really don't see the harm in allotting $3/month to 1 box of crackers and 1 bag of chips. But that's just me.

Emily said...

Treva, it's not that I don't want him to eat. I think fruit is the ultimate snack food and it is always accessible to him. I also agree that muffins would be a good option. But he wants junk food. Maybe I could have clarified that more in the post. As I said, I make it whenever he asks for it.

Our Family Is His said...

Anonymous that asked about the recipes, since I don't have room on here, do what I did when our doctor recommened it and google "nutritious cookie recipes", "protein rich cookie recipes", and "high protein cookie recipes". This will bring up a whole host of sits and you can choose which ones work for your tastes. Some are NOT good, so choose, try, and toss the ones you don't like. We have a ton of allergies in our youngest, so our cookies look quite odd on paper and are harder than the common cookie (we adapt all recipes).

I wanted to mention, when I spoke about lower cost insurance, we did an apples-to-apples policy. We didn't lower our coverage (we have full coverage on all vehicles except hubby's truck that will be sold in a few weeks. It's too old to carry full coverage on it.), we got more for less from a high quality company. That's the thing, cheap is NOT the only consideration in that area. It's just most people don't price shop when their policy comes up for renewal.

Also, I am fine with junk food. I don't like it. I think it has very little redeeming quality, but if my husband wants to eat something that is not nutritious, I don't have a say in it. He eats what he wants. He can buy junk food at work and eat it there, bring junk food home and eat it, or ask me to pick up such and such on a shopping trip (and I do). He doesn't have a big sweet tooth (neither does our younger son), but I would never presume to tell him what he can or can't eat.

Anonymous said...

I feed a family of four (two adults 2 teenagers and a dog..but she has her own "budget" lol) on average $100 a week. And I do pick up "junk food" weekly, trying for the not quite awful ones but well, life's short and some fun food now and then isn't too much to ask for.

Admittedly some of my purchases are convenient foods--boxed muffin mixes (I love Krusteaz mixes!)and cake mixes. A lot of fresh produce as well as canned/frozen veggies (spinach lasagna is our favorite these days). I use a lot of food stretcher ideas....2 pounds of ground beef will be used for both spaghetti and chili (with lots of beans added). Bananas, apples and oranges always around.
Popcorn a favorite here as well. Love to add stuff like black pepper for a kick or some parmesan cheese.
Coupons are a must but mostly its planning out the menu and using stretchable purchases.

Maureen said...

Emily, I think I remember reading about you trying Sam's Club, but I would like to recommend BJ's Wholesale Club. I go there at least once a week and buy milk ($2.20 a gallon), bread ($2.50 a loaf for whole grain no HFCS), 10 pounds of King Arthur flour for $6.xx (I think) and so much more. They have a large selection of natural and organic products. I bet your boys would like hummus! My oldest just loves it.

Best of all, they send their members a coupon book every month with money saving coupons on all sorts of items. You can pair a BJ's coupon with a manufacturer's coupon. You can even use multiple coupons- if they are selling a two pack of lotion, and you have two manu coupons for lotion, you can use both coupons (and then a BJ's coupon too if applicable).

I know that you don't have a lot of room to store things, but the wholesale club has evolved so much from the stereotype of selling things in huge jugs (like gallons of mayonnaise). They sell things in reasonable portions.

They also have a large selection of snack foods- animal crackers, Cheez-Its, etc.

Anonymous said...

Your quote: "Treva, it's not that I don't want him to eat. I think fruit is the ultimate snack food and it is always accessible to him."

Nobody here cares what it is you think, if it goes against your husband's wishes. He has a desire for junk food. Granted, being married to someone who may cause you concern for his future due to his dietary choices is valid. But just because you think fruit is the ultimate snack food is not the issue. The fact that he only gets what he likes if he remembers to ask you for it is wrong. He's busting his tail between school and work. Your really not getting this, are you?

Marcie said...

But Emily, what does he think about fruit as a snack? He is an adult who works hard to support his family, doesn't he have the right to keep a snack he loves around the house as long as he isn't starving his wife and children to do so? I can't imagine telling my husband he can't keep at least one snack food around. We spend around $5-10 a month on my husband's "junk food". He eats it when the children in bed so they won't beg for it. I am not his parent, I am his wife and I'm not going to tell him that he can't eat something when we can afford it. Would you be able to spare a dollar or two a month for him to go to the Dollar Tree and pick out snack foods that are for him only? You know that he wants them, why not surprise him and show your love by picking some up for him?

Marcie said...

I think my other comment sounded a tad harsh, which wasn't my intent, but it is hard to communicate on the internet. What I am meaning is, why not, out of love for your husband, keep something around that he really, really likes. Take $2 from the money that you earn from this blog and don't wait till he asks, just do it. My husband doesn't really care for movies like Sense and Sensability or Pride and Predjudice, but it makes me feel so loved when, with out me asking, he pops a movie I love in and curls up on the couch to watch it with me. Sure, you may think that junk food is a waste of money, but Dan doesn't, so out of love and respect, why not buy some food he likes with out waiting for him to ask for it.

Emily 2 said...

If Dan wants snack food, buy him snack food. He is the sole provider for his family. If a $3 bag of chips a week makes him feel appreciated for his hard work, then it is worth every penny.

My DH likes cereal that doesn't have a good store-brand equivalent. We go through around 2 boxes a week because he and our 3 children sit and eat it together as an "after dinner snack."

He and I both work full-time, and he is in the first year of running a business. I make sure I have the cereal on hand because he deserves it - the respect, the time with the kids, etc.

Dan NEEDS junk food!
Emily 2

Kat said...

Are there any healthy but sweet/salty etc. snacks that Dan knows how to make?

Maybe you could show him how to make some of his favorites himself. You know what they say..."teach a man to fish..."

My husband is an amazing cook, I've tried to make some meals for us in the past, but he can't resist "helping" ("Oh, honey you should really add some cayanne pepper to this...", "you probably want to turn that burner down.." etc) so it's just easier to have him do the cooking (especially since I have no real interest in it anyway--though I do like to bake.)
It sounds like it might be like that with you and your DH when it comes to cooking (you like my husband being the skilled cook :) )?

That said, I think if I asked my husband to make me a snack from scratch he would probably
a. laugh
b. stare at me strangly trying to figure out if I was serious

so I have several snacks that I put always have on hand that are sweet, cheap, healthy and quick.

Also, no bake cookies are super easy and (IMO) yummy, and the ingredients tend to be inexpensive (oats, penut butter, butter, stevia--I totally make mine with stevia!) It would probably take just a few minutes to show him how to whip up a batch that he could have on hand for the entire week.

Emily said...

So, what I'm understanding is that I'm not being submissive by making him whatever he wants whenever he wants it. Instead, I should be making it before he asks?

chloefieri said...

Popcorn is my favorite frugal snack. Obv. not microwave packets. I buy it in bulk and pop it with a bit of oil in a saucepan on the stove. Season it with brewer's yeast instead of butter for extra nutrition.

Gizmola said...

Emily, I think you misunderstand. I think they're simply saying that when you love someone and you know their likes and dislikes that sometimes you go out of your way to meet their desires, even if you don't agree with them.

When I dated the ex-Mr. Gizmola there was a Mexican restaurant I loved which he didn't care for. Most of the time I had to ask if we could possibly stop there and he always said yes because he loved me. Sometimes he would go there without me asking - which was an even sweeter way of being nice and loving towards me. Yes, I appreciated it when he did it because I asked but when he did it out of the blue I felt even more loved. That's all.

Marcie said...

Are you getting the food he wants, or trying to make a substitute that isn't really what he wants? From your original post it sounded like he was complaining that he wanted more store bought snack food, but you think it is a waste of money, so unless he asks, you won't get it. If you know he wants it (even without him coming out and asking), why not pick it up for him? I don't know about it being more submissive, but it is being more loving. I'm glad that my husband does things for me that he knows I like even without me asking. It is just another way to show love.

Mom to Eight said...

I think it's the small things that make a difference. I know my guy and I try to please him.
Silly example...My dh loves to use a body wash with a poof. I think it's silly but you bet your socks that I have an extra bottle of body wash and I even stopped by the store for a poof when his unraveled.
Or, my dh likes to snack. I keep Virginia peanuts on hand. Once I bought dry roasted so the next day I went back and bought the right kind. I don't have to and he doesn't ask but the guy thinks I am the best wife ever and can't understand why the guys at his work HATE being marrried. This is after 8 kids and 20 years.

Anonymous said...

You are being submissive by making him whatever he wants whenever he wants it. You would be being thoughtful if you would make it before he asks.

Emily said...

Marcie, no I as talking about home-made junk food in the post. I guess I should have clarified that. We very rarely buy storebought junk food. I can see the misunderstanding now. We always have ingredients on hand for the home-made junk food, so it's not like he has to ask right before I go shopping.

Emily said...

For the record, I asked Dan his take on this discussion and he said, "How would you know what I want if I didn't ask?"

Catherine said...

My husband has a weight problem but still loves unhealthy, high cal snacks. I don't think I am doing him a favor if I loaded the house with them. I keep some munchies around, but try to moderate.

Michele said...

I agree with the posters who have said that teenagers eat A LOT!!! I have 3 sons and man can they pack away the food. We eat a lot of hearty soups and casseroles. We have our fair share of fresh fruit and veggies but good carbs sure fill up hungry teens. As to family spending; my husband and I are a team in everything. We don't make purchases unless the other agrees. I have certain kitchen appliances that make my life easier such as my grain mill which we bought the top of the line model which has paid for itself many times over. I can't see buying a sub-standard appliance if it's just going to crap out in a few months. My husband did "insist" on buying me a kitchenaide mixer for valentines day which I have been wanting for a long time. I wouldn't have bought it for myself because of the price but as he sees it I sacrifice a lot for our family and if it makes my life easier then to him it is worth it.

Marcie said...

I'm confused, what exactly is his main complaint then? You said that he wanted more cookies, crackers and chips, but you feel like they are a waste of money, so even though you know he wants them, you are counting on him not asking you. If you know he wants those things, surprise him by making them a couple times a week with out him asking. This post inspired me to make my dh a cake. He hasn't asked, but I know he will like it when he gets home. :-) Of course, he filled up my gas tank for me last night without me asking. He know I hate pumping gas, so he surprised me and did it for me. That is just how we work, if we know the other spouse likes something, we try and do it even if it isn't asked for. I just can't imagine if my dh only did things for me when I asked.

Emily said...

Marcie, I said "They cost money, provide little nourishment and are eaten too quickly." It's not only the wasted money that I object to, it is the fact that they provide little to no nutritional value. I often make them quickly, meaning that I don't prepare the grains the way I like to. But it's not a big PROBLEM, it's a complaint, and when he brings it up, I make him something. Anyway, I'm glad you made your husband a cake, and there are things I do for my husband without asking, including occasionally making him a special snack food, but those things don't come under the "What do you and your husband disagree about?" post.

Our Family Is His said...

I will say, I know what my husband wants before he asks. If I walked in with a pan of homemade oatmeal cake, fresh from the oven, a smile a mile wide would come across his face. He didn't ask, but I know he LOVES oatmeal cake, his favorite snack in the world. So I make them, without him having to ask.

But that's our marriage. I personally like to do things for him for no reason, often. I just do them because I know he will like it. Some people don't communicate that way and make their spouse request special things. To each his own on that. If your husband WANTS to have to ask, fine. Make him ask. It's your marriage, not ours.

Kat said...

To clarify (after reading my own comment and seeing that I wasn't super clear. I didn't mean to imply that you somehow have a duty to provide your husband junk food. He's a grown man, and clearly if he wants some he can make or buy some himself I'm sure. He's super lucky to have a partner who cooks all of his meals for him (I actually don't know anyone who does that for their SO.) I hope he lets you know how lucky he is to have you. From your blog entries you sound like a really caring wife who goes above and beyond for her husband.
Don't let anyone make you feel inadequate.

Marcie said...

So it does bother him enough for him to complain? Why is your belief that it is a waste of money and nutrition over ride his desire to have something to snack on. Why does everything HAVE to be healthy, why not splurge on him and cook his favorite junk food a couple of times a week. I just thought of another example, I don't think canned tuna is that healthy, but my dh loves it. I used to not buy it unless he specifically asked, even though I knew he would love to have it around the house all the time. Sure, he never really complained about it, but as I really thought about it, I realized that what I was doing wasn't loving him as Christ loves me. God provides me with so much, even things that I never remember to pray for, so shouldn't I do the same for my husband?

bewaretheundertoad said...

To add one more thing...I totally see where you're coming from on this.
I LOVE coffee. I drink at least a couple of cups everyday. My husband doesn't like coffee, doesn't understand it, thinks it's a waste of money, and also unhealthy.

If I ask him to make me a cup he usually will, or if he's out running errands while I'm at work he sometimes surprises me with a latte. I really love this, because I feel like it's a big way that he shows he loves me. Mostly because he totally doesn't "get" coffee, but brings it to me because he knows I like it.

BUT, this does not mean I expect him to bring it to me everyday, like he owes it to me.
When he brings me a cup it's a great surprise, but nothing more. I'm a grown woman and I don't need to depend on my partner to feed my vices. You don't owe your husband junk food any more than mine owes me coffee.

Emily said...

Kat, thanks, he does. (:

Marcie, we eat out about once per week because he likes it. I do the extra work so that he can have that extra luxury. I make him a milk shake at night and sometimes cookies. He's fairly content, but as I said, this post was highlighting what we disagree on, which is really not that much.

Erin T. said...

That's nice, Emily. My 3 kids are almost 9, 3.5 and 1 and I rarely even take the time lately to pack my hubby a lunch! You have 3 LITTLE kids and you make him a milkshake at night after you've cooked, cleaned, blogged, hand-washed laundry! That is really sweet of you. I'm sure Dan appreciates it. Being is a SAHM is WORK!

Patty said...

My husband and I work together on finances. We are still trying to find our stride on joint vs his/hers and we spend differently. So far we're paying in 50/50 for house and household and keeping side pots for our more personal purchases but I'm not sure how we'll rig it if/when one/both of us starts staying home more. I coupon and limit myself yet he has expensive hobbies. Generally we are content that my semi-regular dollar store/thrift store/craft store purchases about even his rare camera/computer purchases. He leaves groceries and coupons to me and I leave electronics to him. Bigger expenses (cars, houses, investing) I have my input for sure but ultimately I leave it to him.
We do a lot of snacking around here but I'm buying less and less. A handful of peanuts (or mixed nuts) usually will do my husband when he gets home but the house is currently filled with lots of garbage foods. I'd say homemade potato or sweet potato chips or fries (except the oil problem) or dehydrated fruits and veggies could feel 'snacky' but be better. I agree though b/c either they snack and its gone or they snack at a time making them not want the prepared meal OR as in our house...it starts showing up on our waistlines!!!
I like the muffin plan too b/c we love baked goods but I'm trying to make them better for us. When I was growing up and mom asked what we wanted for our birthday it was a special treat to beg her to bake a cake WITHOUT oatmeal in it. After moving out I loved years of plain horrible box cake but now I'm starting to put oatmeal and flax in my bakings!

Anonymous said...

You are totally contradicting yourself. You specifically say you count on him "forgetting" to ask for snacks and that he DOES forget. THEN in your comments, you said several times that you make him what he wants whenever he wants. So which is it? You are treating him like a toddler. He is a grown man and without him, you wouldn't have a home, food, clothes, etc. And what do you mean YOU do the extra work so he can eat out once a week? Does he get any of the credit since he is the one working full-time AND going to school? Or is it all about you? YOu act like he is a small child and not a grown man. I would bet at work he is eating all kinds of junk just because you aren't there to dictate his every move. And good for him! I hope he is. He needs to get fed somewhere.

Lisa said...

I hope you're not hoping your children forget about asking for a snack before you provide one. A piece of fruit might be a perfect snack for some, but for small children and toddlers, it's not enough nutrition. Their little tummies are not big enough to hold enough food to last them 4-5 hours ... they *need* to snack. If they're eating so much, and they're not obese, that means they *need* that much food.

Kids are sometimes like a bottomless pit!

crabcakes said...

Question, because I'm not in a relationship where one of us submits to the other in a biblical way.

If Dan smoked, and craved cigarettes should Emily then buy him packs to keep on hand because he is the man and she needs to show love by submitting to him? Is it thoughtful to provide someone you love something that you believe is harmful?

How is that different than having doritos on hand all the time?

Also, Dan works at walmart. Why can't he buy these things on his own so that in caring for emily, he doesn't put her in the predicament of having to provide him with foods she doesn't fundamentally agree in?

Deborah said...

Planning meals and looking out for our health is part of my job. I don't buy a lot of snack food either.
My husband will eat whatever I cook for him. If he wants something special all he has to do is ask.
I bought chocolate chips today to make him cookies with.
If I buy junk, he eats junk! If not, he doesn't.
I'm not on as tight a budget as you Emily, but we have similar thoughts about caring for our husbands. Diabetes runs in his family. Once he gets started on sugar it is hard for him to stop. We do have some authority in the kitchen and are not unsubmissve wives because we care about our husbands' health.

Deborah said...

I should add that after 12 years of marriage I know what he likes and doesn't like.
He hates peas, so peas are not on the menu. He loves salad and we have a lot of salad. I don't cook and serve meals with no regard for his tastes.
As Erin said, making him a milkshake at night is sweet of you!

heather said...

oh boy, if i told my husband he couldn't eat something, or suggested he have fruit instead of his favorite snack...he'd tell me where i could go. it wouldn't be pretty. LOL! but then again, i eat what i want too. it's interesting to see how different people are.

Anita said...

Popcorn is a cheap, easy and healthy snack, and very versatile and it can be used in place of chips. I've made hot and spicy popcorn, kettle corn, buttery popcorn and cheesy popcorn. Worth looking into. But do not buy the microwave popcorn, if you compare the prices by the pound, you are paying over $50 a pound from microwave, where as if you buy the regular stuff you have to pop in a pan with a bit of oil, you are paying less then $1.00 a pound. ;)

Emily said...

Anon, he does forget, but not 100% of the time. He forgets enough so that I am happy with how frequently I have to make him snacks. I don't think that's that hard to undersand. And with eating out, it is done via mystery shopping, which is work I do.

Lisa, this was a post about my husband and I. Throwing in accusations of bad parenting was not called for.

Deborah, my husband hates peas, too, so we never have them either!

heather, I've never told him he couldn't eat anything.

marcie said...

Well, it sounds like you both are happy, and anyway it isn't my marriage. It was just in your original post it sounded like you were not letting him keep food that you consider a waste of money and nutrition around. If making food is too much work and he is complaining about the lack of snack food, why not tell him to pick up what he likes and keep it around the house. Marriage is about compromise and finding a happy medium. He wants more snack food, it is asking a lot of you to cook a bunch everyday, so find a middle ground where everyone is happy. Him buying his own sounds like a pretty good compromise to me, but it is really between you two.

Crabcakes, I'm not in a submissive marriage, but here is my answer to that question. My dh smokes cigars, I hate them, think they are a waste of money and are horrible unhealthy. But as long as we have food and all the bills are paid, I'm not going to tell him he can't keep cigars around the house. Occasionally I will buy him a special kind that he likes. I don't do it more often because he usually buys his own. If he listed it as a complaint that he wished I would buy him some more often, I would try and do that. He has never complained about it me not buying any, but it would be a problem if I told him he could not buy cigars at all. We both agree that he shouldn't smoke around the children, so he only smokes cigars a couple of times a month when he hangs out with friends.

nepamom said...

I think all that matters is that both of you have a system and that it's working for you. You respect him and he respects you. The snack food issue is so silly to get worked up over. Sure it's nice to surprise your spouse sometimes but really, he's a grown man and can ask for something if he wants it bad enough. You're his wife not a mind reader so good for you for sticking by that! A wife can be submissive without being a doormat/slave. Some people may not like your relationship model but guess what...it's not their relationship, it's yours and you might not like the way they deal with their lives either. That's what is wonderful about people having choices.

Patty said...

Oh yeah, I meant to say I picked up two pennies yesterday and was like 'score!'. :-D I actually enjoy sorting and rolling coins every once in a while.

crabcakes said...

I agree that you can't tell your spouse what they can and can not eat.

What I'm asking is that why should Emily have to provide something SHE doesn't believe in?

I just think the perfect way to not compromise either of their desires is that Dan buys his own junk food when he is working. Emily's beliefs matter too. It doesn't mean she gets to tell him what to eat. She just shouldn't have to provide him with things that compromise her wishes either.

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