So week 1 of my January NO spend challenge. I'm also participating in the Pantry Challenge which might not have been the best idea since I really didn't have a much of a stockpile to start with. I am still participating with what I do have though. I am having some children over for an overnight tonight and I had frozen chicken nuggets and Totino's Party Pizzas on hand and instead of ordering the usual pizza we had an oven night instead. They loved it! We will have sugar free grape Kool-Aid and popcorn for snacks.
The no spend challenge has been kind of a thrill for me to be honest. I like the feeling of catching myself not buying something knowing normally I would have. For example, I got an e-mail from Sephora where I could get two free deluxe samples if I spent $25 plus it was free shipping. I know without a doubt I would've popped on Sephora and had a box on it's way to me within minutes. But I didn't! In my head I thought, I just saved $25! It was like a giant mental coupon!
I also decided that I had better take inventory on what I did have on hand as far as gift certificates and Groupons, etc. in case of emergencies. I had a $50 gift card that I had won at work, a Groupon for $12 at Smashburger, and two Living Social deals for the movie theater. One includes 2 tickets, one large popcorn and two large drinks, and the other is for 4 tickets, two large popcorns and 4 large drinks. These don't expire for a while, but they might come in handy if we need something to do without spending any money.
I did decide to use my $50 gift card at the grocery store, as they were having some great sales and I did stockpile on a few things that we use all of the time. I am also entertaining in my home on Monday and I have to bring crockpot of chili on Wednesday to another Christmas celebration. I am using existing cans of chili beans and ground beef from the pantry. I also have some cake mixes on hand so I will probably go ahead and make my cinnamon cakes because I have all the ingredients on hand for those also.
I also got back on my coupon cutting which I am usually very good about but had lost the time for it in the last few months. I ended up saving $53 in coupons with no doubling which gets me all fired up to not only get back on it, but to improve and perfect it.
I thought, what if I used that $53 and put it right towards debt or saved it up? What if I added the $25 that I would've spent at Sephora? What if I used that giant mental coupon towards some debt? Is this how frugal people think? This challenge seems to be working on me already...can't wait to see where I end up at the end of this. They say it takes 28 days to make something a habit...am I looking at a lifestyle change here? Wouldn't that be something...stay tuned!
For more updates and tips on saving and some great frugal recipe ideas, visit Learning the Frugal Life and Good Cheap Eats!