Hey, it’s Jen here and I spent! That’s right…I spent during week one of the Living Well, Spending Zero Challenge. However, the week overall was a win. Let me explain.
This was a great week for me. I was really forced to look at what my spending habits are. I started the week off with picking up a few things at the grocery store. We were out of milk, bread and yogurt. I also had a coupon for a free box of Toaster Strudels so I picked those up. I spent about $9.
Later in the week, I took stock of what I had left as far as canning supplies go. My tomatoes are still going strong (with the exception of those that the short bearded man stole this morning). I’ve been canning all summer, but I had to keep on canning. We use the canned tomatoes for soups and chili in the winter as well as pasta sauce and pizza sauce. I was low on jars so I had to get those. I normally would have had plenty of jars, but the growing season has been exceptionally long here thanks to the gorgeous weather. I’ll use the same jars again next year, so I’m okay with that expense.
The other thing I purchased was a new swim suit for my daughter. She swims competitively. You may have seen me mention it in my other Living Well, Spending Zero post. I inadvertently ordered the wrong size (oops!). I could have gone to the local sports shop and picked one up today, but for a lot more money. Instead, I let her pick one that was within a certain price range from an online store and we were both happy. It’ll take a few days to get here, but it’ll save money in the long run.
I did do some shopping at Target yesterday, but it was blog-related. I could have gone gangbusters in there. I felt like I had a little cabin fever from not shopping all week. I was twitching a little and the sight of a bare cart was a little depressing. I spent about an hour there, perusing, window shopping if you will. I bought what I needed, but it was business-related, not personal. I did have one splurge and it was $4.99. My daughter has been looking everywhere for Bamboozled Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. She had an exceptionally great week at school with her fitness testing and excelled on a placement test, so I caved. Rotten eggs and booger flavored jelly beans anyone? No?
Other than those few things, I did pretty well. I sometimes get sucked into ordering things online as an impulse. There was none of that this week.
I did buy tampons, mouthwash and dishwasher soap. Sorry…but not much choice there. I did, however, have coupons so score one point for me.
Also instead of going out to buy Sprite when we were out on the weekend, I made a (or three) cocktail(s) with the diet soda that was already in the refrigerator. Boom! Money saved. Okay, that may be a stretch, but it did save a trip to the store and warded off any impulse shopping that could have happened there.
I bet you’re wondering what we ate all week, right? We ate mostly out of the freezer. We buy beef in bulk and usually have a lot in the freezer, but we’re getting to the end of the year and it’s slim pickin’s in there (as in I can see the bottom of the freezer, yikes!). We do have several roasts left, so I made one of those in the slow cooker. I foresee a few more of those before this challenge is over. The other upside to that is that slow cooking is so helpful at this time of year. We get home late and there’s not much time to cook and cleanup. A one pot meal is wonderful! We also had hot dogs from the freezer. We had Sloppy Joe’s with hamburger again, out of the freezer and I had buns that needed to be used. We needed a sweet treat this week so I pulled out one of my frozen peach pie fillings and made a pie. Basically, it was a good clean out the freezer week. Next week might be a little tougher. We shall see.
Wondering how Rachel did? Let’s find out!
Hey all! Rach here. Let me just start this by saying, this challenge is a HUGE stretch for me. It’s not that I go crazy spending, but I don’t exactly regulate, either. Cute jacket? Sure! A bottle of nail polish in a trendy seasonal color? I’m on it. Under normal circumstances, I’m pretty good about sticking to a budget on groceries. But if you’ve read any of my Chasing Dreams posts, you know we’re not exactly under normal circumstances right now. Living in someone else’s house is a challenge in itself. We don’t have a well stocked pantry (or freezer) to pull from because we haven’t lived here for years and built one up. And although my mother in law, whose house this is, doesn’t cook very often, she keeps her pantry and freezer stocked full of convenience foods for the single woman that she is. Sure, we’ve added things to make it work for us, but with limited space, shopping weekly has become a necessity for us. Until we’re settled into a new home of our own, that will be our normal. So although we’ll be grocery shopping on Sundays throughout the challenge, my goal is to keep it to only Sundays, and to use up every last item so nothing goes to waste.
This week has been a bit of a draw for me. With several out of town appointments, we’ve grabbed quick meals on the go, but we’ve cut down on wasteful spending by sharing a meal whenever possible (which so far, has been each time). So while it’s not exactly a win, we’ve still spent less than we would have if this schedule had hit us a few weeks ago. I have successfully avoided Ulta, Old Navy, and TJ Maxx, so there haven’t been any impromptu purchases there. Ulta alone is a HUGE sacrifice for me. I was having serious withdrawals after moving here, because there wasn’t one, but, as luck would have it, a store opened up here just a couple of days before the challenge started. The temptation to go and browse those bright, clean, colorful aisles is strong. But so far, so good.
Another win for me this week was in entertaining myself. Ordinarily, if I get bored, I’d go browse my favorite stores. Obviously that would be a bad idea, so I decided to pick up my trusty fall/winter hobby…knitting. I would normally allow myself to be seduced by the Siren’s song that is Michael’s yarn aisle. This time of year, a knitty itch just comes over me, and I can’t wait to get into the craft store to see what soft, squishy goodness is new for the season. However, I resisted. I also have the tendency to have a little bit of project ADD, leaving several half finished items laying around in what my husband lovingly refers to as the yarn graveyard. This month, though, I committed to using up all the yarn that I have in my stash, and to that end, this week I completed five full projects. No half done, abandoned items. That’s a win for me. And as a bonus, a few of the pieces will make excellent Christmas gifts for some of the ladies in my life. So this challenge will actually have me saving into December!
So far, so good, I think. Of course, I can always do better, but I appreciate that this challenge has made me more mindful of what I’m spending our hard earned money on. I hope to have an even better update next week. Onward and upward!
Wish us luck!