The first week of the no-spend challenge was actually pretty easy. We do most of our shopping online and since we don’t go “out” anywhere much it’s easy to resist temptation. 😉
I knew our shopping day (Sunday) was looming though and I wanted to be able to turn it into a bit of a date day for Stuart and I since we hadn’t been able to do that much over his Christmas break. So I listed some of our baby gear on craigslist.org. Are you familiar with the site? You have to be careful because it’ll suck you in and become a habit. 😉 Some days I just browse the “farm and garden” section dreaming about bringing home piglets or a steer.
But that’s neither here nor there. I got a bite on a few things I listed so I was able to “make” $32 which covered our movie tickets with some left over for another time! We saw Into the Woods, one of my all time favorite musicals now a big screen adaptation! I loved it!!
As far as groceries go, I’d planned to only spend $40 per week on our bountiful basket and some milk. (since our goats are dry, arg!!) I was a little intimidated by the restrictive number and I think my meal planning was poor this week, but I knew we still had some produce and fruit at home that we need to get through before it goes bad. So I only ended up buying $32 worth of groceries, and that included a $5 deli sandwich to split for our “date.” So I’ll be adding in an extra $8 for our groceries for next week which I think we will actually really need by that point.
Bountiful Baskets was taking a holiday break and because it’s on a bi-weekly schedule the first available basket for our area will be this coming Saturday but sadly because I had previous plans I won’t be able to pick it up. So I’m just taking the same money I’d spend on it and using it for grocery store produce. That’s the biggest part of the challenge for me because we are pretty heavy produce eaters in this house. We have meat in the freezer and we have eggs (though not as many as we’d like, lazy birds!) so if it comes down to it we’ll just bump up that part of our diet and lay off of the fresh stuff as much.
I made, quesadillas this week, veggie and quinoa stir fry, pancakes, spaghetti and I baked some bread. So I’m trying to use what we have already and try to keep our groceries to a minimum and I think I did a good job this first week.
We did spend $5 in change that we found in the vehicle for a much needed car wash while we were out as well. And I spent $27 I had sitting in a paypal account on some MUCH needed veggie peelers from Pampered Chef since mine has been literally destroyed by peeling winter squashes. All of this, I feel, falls within the rules because we were not spending “new” money on any of it, if that makes any sense. We have a change jar that I’m going to have the kids help me roll and we can dip into our “extra” change if we should need to for unexpected things.
In the meantime I’m also doing an 8 week house purging. The idea is to spend 30 minutes each day on various places in your house and you must get rid of 10 items each day. I’ve been badly needing a purge and this is the push to get me there. Some of the items I decide to get rid of I will try to sell on craigslist and others will go to the donation or trash pile. One thing is for sure, I’m looking forward to the end of the challenge when our household is, at least, 400 items lighter! 🙂 How do we end up with so much junk anyway?
So that’s it! Are you cutting back on your own spending? Have you set some rules for yourself? I’d love to hear what’s working for you!