Friday, January 20, 2012

"31 Days of Nothing" Challenge - Week 3

This post is a part of Learning The Frugal Life's "31 Days Of Nothing" Challenge.  Along with many of you, I accepted the challenge and this is my weekly check-in to chart my family's progress!

Week 3 is done and we're still working hard to make it through the end of January without spending, but I have to admit that we are all feeling a bit like this Pinterest gem:

Pinned Image
1.  Saying "No."  This week I found myself saying No to things like Girl Scout Cookies & Raffles.  I kindly told folks that our family is on a "spending diet" this month and that I'd be happy to get back to them in February.  My five-year-old is even on board.  When we went past McDonald's and he asked for a Happy Meal, I reminded him that we're not spending ANY MONEY this month.  Surprisingly,  he gave me no argument and said, "Maybe we can get one next month."  What a good boy!

2.  Confession:  We did, however, say Yes to Chinese Takeout last weekend.  We used $20 out of our "Just In Case" jar and we implemented the Chinese Takeout Rule of ordering during lunchtime.  
3.  I ran out of Bisquick, so I made a big batch of my own for pancakes and biscuits this week.  For cheap & filling dinners, you really can't beat "breakfast!"

4.  My pantry is really starting to look barren.  That said, I've been taking this opportunity to use some of the more "unusual" items in the pantry (pickled beets, canned German potato salad) in an effort to really clean out and not waste anything that we have stored.  I would hate to throw out things that I've left sitting on the shelf because they've gone past their use date, and that's why this Challenge is a really excellent way to force me to use them. 

5. We've been staying at home on the weekends and it's really been nice!  We're catching up on sleep, house errands, and just relaxing as a family.  Who wants to go out in the freezing cold anyway?  Because of this, our gasoline usage was very low - particularly since Monday was a holiday - and I still have half of a tank!

6.  I had to do a little extra stocking up at Aldi this week because my son caught a stomach virus and in an abundance of precaution (or likelihood that my husband and I will both have it before the weekend's out), I purchased extra Gatorade, Saltines, Paper Towels & Toilet Paper.  Let's hope we don't need it! 

Meal Plan Week 3*:
Sunday: Chinese Takeout
Monday: Meatball Subs, Tater Tots
Tuesday: Bratwurst, Pierogies, Red Cabbage
Wednesday: Turkey Reubens, German Potato Salad, Pickled Beets
Thursday: Banana Pancakes
Friday: Turkey Goulash with Egg Noodles
Saturday: Clam Chowder in Homemade Bread Bowls

*With some variation, our other meals are typically:
Breakfast: Bagel/French Toast (husband), Buttered Toast/Crumpet (son), Yogurt/Cereal (me)
Lunch: Leftovers (husband), PB&J/Can Fruit/Chips (son), Soup/Egg on Toast (me)

Purchased at Aldi this week:
Gatorade - 10
Toilet Paper - 12 Rolls
Paper Towels - 8 Rolls
Frozen Stir Fry Veggies
Frozen Chicken Tenderloins
Frozen Ground Turkey
Canned Mushrooms - 2
Canned Tomato Sauce - 4
Yogurt - 3
Bacon - 2
Hot Dogs
Cream Cheese

Money Spent Week 3:  
Grocery: $52.18  
Chinese Takeout:  $20.00
Gas: $0
Total $72.18

Week 1 Expenses:  $96.28
Week 2 Expenses: $86.42
Week 3 Expenses: $72.18
Running Total/Month:  $254.88

Feeling motivated?  It's not too late to join in Learning The Frugal Life's "31 Days Of Nothing" Challenge!  Also, LTFL is hosting a weekly Link-Up on Fridays to see how others are living frugally through the month here!

Linking Up at Tip Junkie, Today's Creative Blog, The Frugal GirlsFunky Junk Interiors and these other Great Parties!


  1. I like what you are doing. We are trying to get by with what we have in the pantry as well. Our goal is to save the money we would have spent eating out , to help pay off a bill faster. And guess what? I'm losing some weight too!~Ames

  2. Sounds like you are doing great. Good job using up those older pantry items. I really need to work on that. I feel like I wrote #1. We drove by McDonalds yesterday on our way to the library and my 5 year old asked if we could get lunch and I responded the same way "remember we aren't spending any extra money?" No fits, just an "ok maybe we can go next month." Amazing. They learn quickly! Good luck the rest of the month! Look forward to hearing how it goes.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm cleaning out the pantry and spice cupboard today...amazing how easy it is when there's not much left! :-) The last 10 days are going to be the most challenging for us as I am not out of the money I hoped to spend this month and my list of things I'd like to stock up on is growing. Hoping I can fake it with a bit more effort in the kitchen! Love your pinterest quote.

  4. I am officially starting today!! I am going till the 21st of February as it's my birthday soon there after and I do have some things coming up.. but I'm going to really try this and see how it goes.. thanks for the encouragement!!

  5. Love this idea! We are switching over to gluten-free eating at the moment due to a newly discovered intolerance. This will introduce a new expensive into our lives so living frugally everywhere else will be a great help.

  6. I am doing this challenge in February (though it won't be the full 31 days). Great job! I think gas for our vehicles is going to be our biggest cost.

  7. Love what you are doing! I'm a huge fan of the homemade baby wipe recipe you posted a while back, they work great and my daughter is getting less diaper rashes because of them. My one question, got a recipe for homemade wood polish? I have hard wood floors, and spend an arm and a leg on the sniffer mop cleaner because it's the only ting that works really well.


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