So we are two weeks into our January commitment of “31 days of Living Well and Spending Zero” . On the agreement Ruth provides we have outlined what we may purchase, what is already planned and what we MAY NOT purchase this month. So let’s review how we have done.
What we may purchase during our spending freeze
So we may purchase the following items as part of our approved spending on Groceries to fill gaps, toilet paper, fem products & deodorant, which I should have refreshed myself on more regularly . Because I have made some grocery store mistakes. The good part about this particular month of limiting grocery store purchases is that we sold our home and we need to eat everything in our freezer, anyway. By limiting our purchases to just what I need to make a meal which is usually something like mushroom soup, sour cream etc… we should have a lower grocery bill. My mistake this month is not sitting down and planning out the meals that we can make and the things we should buy and instead just randomly buying groceries several times in the past 2 weeks. Failure to meal plan is a big frugal woman ‘no-no’.
What we have already committed to purchasing during a month of no spending
Prior to beginning the no spending month we already planned a tea party and during the tea party for Dad to take son out for lunch. So we continued on with those plans and everyone had a blast.
Things I/We may absolutely Not Purchase during our Spending Freeze
The things we agreed not to buy are Starbucks, McDonald’s Carmel Frappe, fast food are the main places I waste money. We live in the country and I come in to town twice a week with the kids for activities. I normally purchase a Carmel Frappe which adds up to about $28 bucks a month. Fast food is a wild card some months we spend $40 and others $120+ none of which is in our budget nor is it good for me and my husband.
My husband identified his cafeteria at work, soda from Gas Stations. He spends over $200 a month buying cafeteria food and we plan to get him some frozen entrees to supplement sack lunch or left-overs. For him we went to the Supermarket and purchased a bunch of sodas for him to take tow work and have to drink at home on the weekends. He Spends about $45+ a month on gas station sodas and we probably spent $15.
So far my husband has spent $5 on a trip to Dallas (3 hours drive) for lunch. Normally, he and his boss go to yummy Pappasitos ($15-20), instead they went to a dive.
Change’s we’ll make next time is to account for my husband’s periodic business trips and the lunches. he’ll need to buy He goes with his boss and he can’t tote a lunch and eat it as they go. I will make my normal menu plan ahead of time!
The Results/Thoughts about of our Spending Freeze so far…
Hubby says it’s removed a lot of convenience from buying food at work and has disrupted his habit of getting sodas at gas stations. But that’s fine because he has plenty of soda to drink at home. Mind you he’s not complaining he’s a man and they just make observations.
I feel like I’ve had a spending reset about random thoughtless spending. No matter how frugal I am in all the other areas of my life I cannot out save our thoughtless spending. The biggest problem comes when we have unexpected mandatory expenses such as a trip to the doctors office which resulted in the need buy tamiflu. Well that can be a hardship when you’ve spent all your tamiflu money ($113) on Chick-fil-a!
So I suggested to my husband that we may want to consider doing this every 4 months to continue to keep ourselves living frugally and below our means.
When I checked our budget (which I do every payday) we only had $13.93 in unaccounted for spending. I am still trying to determine if any of this can be budgeted elsewhere.
More tips and quips on frugal living:
- Practical Tips for Frugal Living
- Frugal Homeschooling
- DVD GIVE-AWAY “Indescribable the Movie” (Ended January 2014)
Are you wondering how your children might react? Check out Mary’s post on Homegrown Learners: THE $19 HAT – 5 LESSONS FOR KIDS DURING NO SPEND MONTH
Blessings as you and yours seek to live at or below you means!
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