Monday, January 16, 2012

31 Days of Nothing & The Pantry Challenge...Make It Work!

I don't think it's a big secret that these challenges are taking it out of me. For someone who always thought they were getting good bargains I didn't realize how many of them I was scoring....and unnecessarily at that!

I had to hit up Costco this week for toilet paper, apples, strawberries and some granola for my yogurt. This put a dent in to the monthly spending but it had to be done. I hate buying these particular items anywhere else as the quality just doesn't compare...or the price!

I went to the grocery store to take advantage of a few sales since I didn't have as much stockpiled for either of these challenges. I spent $30 which for me is a record. I have been pretty creative with what I've had though. I've done a few "freezer potlucks" with all of the leftovers freezer snacks like pizza rolls, chicken nuggets, fries...I got rid of all those little bags of 5 fries here and 10 pizza rolls there which made me feel like a pantry challenge masta!

Friday I had to go shopping for my Mother-in-Law & Aunt's birthdays. (GULP) I like to hit up my fave stores Tuesday Morning & TJ Maxx for presents because I can find unusual fun things. This was an obvious mistake. I ended up spending $6.99 on a notebook (that matched my bigger one!!) and $2.99 on some magnets for my little yellow bird magnet board I bought from there on clearance months earlier. I did get my Aunt an itty bitty tea Hummel set for one (she collects teapots) and my Mother-in-Law a black & white polka dot housecoat as she loves polka dots. I also made them both a salt scrub (which I post separately) that smelled heavenly and didn't cost me a dime since I had all the ingredients on hand. That's frugal, right??

Does that mean I'm a failure on this challenge? I sure hope not. I've been working so hard! I honestly thought I was living "frugally" but gosh what a joke that is. I might cut coupons and go out of my way to spend less on each item I buy...but that doesn't mean anything if you are buying things you don't need. That's what this challenge has been about for me. It has really opened my eyes to all of the little things I spend money on. Some of it cannot be helped obviously! But did I need cute magnets for my bird board? YES!!!! Ok I guess not.

I'm going to keep plugging away. I suppose I could totally fib and create a post where I've been fabulously frugal and hadn't spent a penny, but that just isn't my style. I figure there are has to be at least one other mom out there like me! Hello? (crickets)

If you are wanting to find some "better" tips on watching your pennies...head over to and for some real expert advice!

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