Thursday, November 12, 2015

No Spend November Update/Tips

So, last I mentioned, I signed up to be a part of "No Spend November."  Like I typically do with challenges or group things, I didn't really think everything through.  It sounded awesome and so I jumped on!! So, excuses or not, this hasn't been my best version of No Spend November.   I think it's a tricky time of year with all things holiday coming out, and shopping for presents etc. so that I'm not stuck the week before Christmas trying to get everything accomplished. I want a STRESS free Christmas season, so I am working on it little by little.

Here are a few areas I feel as though I'm doing well:

Not buying things I just want.  Like, new foundation primer or the Naked Pallette 2, or a gazillion cute dresses from online boutiques, scarves, jewels, ya know, basic girlie things that we never really need, but can't stop/won't stop usually.  I've noticed that I like to take home momentos or trinkets too; for instance we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch and I really wanted to buy a mug. Or a Christmas ornament. Or something.  It's not that it wasn't cheap, because nothing was really that pricey, but that's the problem.  We can easily buy things because "they're only $4" or whatever.  And then you drain your money and have a lot of useless junk.  (In my opinion)

Not buying books.  I absolutely love books. I love books of all kinds…and books? They take up space and your money! I see nothing wrong with having a lot of books, but they can get a bit overwhelming.  I am really using the library as much as I can with the kids and myself.  I also am asking for cookbooks for Christmas, because I just love a good cookbook. Online recipes are great, but there's something wonderful about recipes in a book, with photos and sometimes stories or tidbits. I'll sit down and look through a whole cookbook! I have Laura Vitale's on hold at the library.

Food Waste.   With a baby, toddler, a husband with Crohn's and myself who really tries to eat 80-90% clean, it is a bit of a juggling act when it comes to food around here!  I sometimes find my veggies and fruits start to go quicker than we can eat.  Partially, because I am the one who eats most of them.  One thing that I noticed, is I'd almost get through a bag of, let's say carrots, but they'd get a little funny and weren't so good to eat fresh outta the bag.  Enter in: Dave Ramsey's Budget Soup.  Essentially, it's just that old world concept of not wasting your food.  You can save anything from beans, rice, potatoes, pasta, chicken, and veggies and throw them in a pot and make a soup!

I threw in:

Cooked asparagus
garlic powder
1 bag small potatoes
2 boxes chicken stock
parmesan rind thrown in for added flavor
Brought to a boil and simmered until all veggies were soft
1/2 of a whole chicken I made in the crock pot the day before at the end

I figured it was perfect for this time of year, cold/flu season and the babes actually really liked it!

Grocery Shopping.  We are totally spoiled with grocery stores, they're like mini malls.  I didn't realize it until I started blogging or when my mom moved down South and says how much she misses Wegmans.  That said, there is a lot of extra crap I want to buy because it's pretty or cute or whatever.  I have been good and saying no to the nude eyeshadow in the makeup aisle or the adorable Christmas spatulas in the home goods section.  I stick to our list and buy the necessities, for the most part.

Here's a haul I just did this week:

Not eating out too often. So, we totally had a date night, but it was honestly the cheapest we have ever spent probably!! We only ordered entrees, a salad, and I had a glass of wine.  No apps, no dessert…that all adds up! We did grab breakfast and lunch with the kids, like I said "Staycation" but we did fairly well with that, as the kids can basically share a meal at this point.

No coffee runs.  The red cups came out--gasp--and boy do I want one, 'just because' but really…I think I'll be fine until Dec. 1st to officially enjoy one grande peppermint mocha.  I haven't died yet.

Cancelled monthly subscriptions.  I had quite the list going and it all, adds, up.  So like I mentioned before both my husband and I misplaced different credit cards, so all those #'s that are saved into a computer system, no workie!!! Which, as much as I love all of our 'extras' they are not needed.  Examples?

Netflix.  We have Amazon Prime--why do we need Netflix too?
Essential Oils.  I have enough, always want more, but really, I think we are set for awhile.
Next Issue.  I love the idea of having any magazine at my fingertips, but I just don't read like I want to.  That was a lovely auto renewal…oy!

Saying No to Target.  I get it. It's our happy place.  Even my almost 3 year old daughter asks if we can go to Target.  But Target is just a place to avoid, for me, if we are trying to save money.  I had to make diaper, wipes, formula run and I went to Walmart.  I kid you not, I spent $100 less most likely because I wasn't enticed by any super trendy home decor, scarves, kid goodies, or anything else.

Use coupons.  It is NOT as easy as it used to be.  Before I had kids, I was starting to get a kick out of clipping, sorting, using coupons.  I still clip, but now they get shoved into my holder, I try to make a list, pull from the holder and trying to buy what you have coupons for/and remember to use them while making sure the kids aren't fighting, falling out of the cart or screaming, is really a mini workout.  But it works.  Some things you just want name brand (ie. feminine products) and there are always coupons! So to save a few bucks, always helps.  Even if you're not saving a ton, you're saving something and that's worth it!

Be vocal about it.  The more I talk about it, the less I'm likely to veer off course.  I am dying over Naked Eyeshadows, but spending $54 right now is not in the budget!  Encourage others to hop on the saving train with you and just have fun with it.  I feel like we live in a spend, spend, spend some more world, and none of us are really happy about that!  Figure out what your big goals are and really keep that in mind.  In the long run, I'd rather have a nice new home to raise our babies, land to have a garden, walk the woods, be all together on our homestead.  That means more than a new pair of whatever.

No party shopping.  Everyone is involved in some sort of MLM.  I love supporting other ladies, but it gets out of hand. There is only so much you can spend--so maybe this is where I need to have a separate budget, "fun money" or whatever, so that I can spend, but have a limit.

Where I'm not doing so well:

We did eat out a few times.  I did get my nails done. Waxed.  Hair appt. tomorrow.  Babysitters cost $. We threw a get together so extra plates, cups, plastic ware, drinks, food, added a little more into our budget.  Granted, it was pasta and meatballs, so that didn't break the bank! And I have bought some stuff for Christmas…and we made a major purchase like a new mattress and pillows. So like I said, it hasn't been a "NO SPEND" strictly, but I have been making progress.   I am being brutally honest because like anything, it should be about progress, not perfection.  I firmly believe if I continue to do these little things all the time, it will help in a major way!

If anything, it's really making me look through what we have in cupboards, drawers, organize what we own and USE IT!!  It's also giving me a nice list of things we may like for Christmas, so when people ask I don't have to say, "I don't know!"

I am not sure how well we will do when we go away to Arizona, but the trip {airfare, hotel, spa treatments, meals} are all accounted for, so we should be okay?! I will try to pack as much food/snacks as possible, as I hate having to pay airport food prices, but sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.

1 comment:

  1. I am a huge couponer! I'm actually working on a free e-course for couponing for healthy foods.


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