Friday, January 6, 2012

"31 Days Of Nothing" Challenge - Week 1

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!


Well, Week 1 is done and I can't wait to share with you some of the successes and strategy I've tried this week!

1.  I printed out a calendar from Printable Calendar so that I could plan Every. Single. Meal. for the next 31 days.  I asked my husband for feedback on the meals so that I could get him to buy into the idea of having more simple dinners/lunches in the coming weeks.  I then sat in my Pantry and went through my freezer for ideas.  For me, planning is integral in this exercise because I have a weakness for coming up upon 4:30, tired, no dinner in sight and picking up the phone for take-out.

2.  I am taking the actions as outlined in 10 Ways To Save on Electricity.

3.  My grocery shopping totaled only $16.95 this week!  I was/am pretty nervous about the groceries because I am not as well-stocked as I would have liked to be for this challenge:  (1) It was just Christmas and I had house guests for 2 weeks, (2) My freezer died a few months back and it hasn't been replaced, and (3) I hadn't done any shopping since December 27th.  That said, my usual grocery bill is between $130-$170/week, so I'm extraordinarily pleased!
Money jar

4.  Confession:  We eased into the challenge by using $17 out of our "$100 Just In Case Jar" to order a pizza for the first night.  This was, however, planned in the calendar and will be the only takeout for the month.

5. I've started a list of pantry items that I wish I had for this challenge.  This exercise is turning out to be an immensely helpful "worst case scenario" rehearsal.  (God Forbid my husband lost his job).  At the end of the month, I will have a very good handle on what foods I need to have more of (or less of), in stock, at all times.  I'll be sharing this list with you at the end of the challenge!

6. I'm totally hooked on this idea!  I think we might do this twice a year to use up some of the old stuff that is sitting in the back of the pantry/freezer and to remind ourselves of what really matters.  It's a real exercise in keeping priorities in mind and an affirmation of how very lucky we are that we don't HAVE to go to this extreme to survive.  

Meal Plan Week 1*:
Sunday: Pizza (takeout)
Monday: Spaghetti w/Turkey Bolognese Sauce (crock pot)
Tuesday: Shrimp Quesadillas, Guacamole, Refried Beans
Wednesday: French Toast, Bacon
Thursday: Make Your Own Bagel Pizzas
Friday: Turkey Stroganoff (crock pot), Egg Noodles
Saturday: Roasted Whole Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn

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

Purchased at Aldi this week:
1 Dozen Eggs
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 Loaves Whole Wheat Bread
4 Containers Yogurt
2 Bags Frozen Peas
4 Cans Mushrooms

Money Spent Week 1:  
Pizza $17.00
Grocery  $16.95
Gas $42.33
Dr. Visit $20.00
Total $96.28

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. Great work! I love how detailed you got in your post. Keep up the good work! :)

  2. What a great idea to make a list of the things you wish you had on hand more often. I should really do that too!

  3. You did great! I totally agree with #6. I have thought about doing this a couple times a year too. Not just to save money but to really appreciate all that we have. We are and should be very thankful.

    I look forward to seeing how next week goes. Thanks for linking up!

  4. Great idea! I learned about this through Pinterest. This plan fits very well with the Dave Ramsey financial way of living to get out of debt.

  5. Greetings from Southern California.

    Thanks for the tips.

    I am Your Newest Follower. I invite you to visit & follow My Blog... if you want too.

    Have a Nice Day :-)


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