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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No spend challenge

Can we stick to a budget of $300 for all non-essentials this October? The idea of a no spend month is nothing new, and I've been wanting to try it ever since reading about other blogger's experiences here and here. My company is closing the doors to our facility on November 1st, so October seems like the perfect month for us to pay extra close attention to our budget...to recalibrate our idea of frugal and prepare for the months ahead when I'll be staying home. Bills, medical expenses and work related expenses will be excluded, but groceries, my gas, and entertainment will all be subjected to the budget. (EmDee's gas is a work related expense)

We have 3/4 of a tank of gas and the normal amount of groceries for the week to get us started. Today is our 9th anniversary, so we get to sneak a date night in under the wire - thanks, Mom, for babysitting! :)

Here are some free and cheap entertainment ideas I have put together for the month so far - if you have any to add I'd love to hear them!

Story time at the library
Exploring at the pumpkin patch
Picnics (at our local metro park and in our yard)
Borrowing movies and books from the library
Swimming at the YMCA (we are members)
Exploring our local parks and playgrounds
Backyard bonfire
Watching a local high school football game
Starting our home made Christmas crafts
Take a nature walk
Decorate the pumpkins from our garden

I'll be menu planning from the grocery ad even more than usual, and with an eye for quick and affordable meals. I'll be updating our progress weekly. Care to join me? If so, please let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear your advice and suggestions too!

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McVal said...

If you're keeping the internet, there are tons of tv shows that air their programs online. I know the Disney channel does, NBC, TBS and several other channels. You could probably give up cable, if you haven't already and just watch some of the programs online.
As for not spending much, I'm trying to be creative on how to use the many groceries we have in our house that we buy at one point or another and then they sit there.
Let me know how you solve this one!
BTW: I've started an antique booth a local antique mall. So far, I've actually made a little $$ from it for this my first month! Purchasing some of the things in dollar boxes at a local auction. See if anyone of your friends has a booth like that and maybe unload some of your older items... or spend a little money at an auction to get you going.

Martha (Menagerie) said...

$300 with bills, medical and work expense excluded? Easy challenge for me! I'm in! :-)

Condo Blues said...

If you have herbs in your garden you can freeze them or dry them for winter http://condo-blues.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-preserve-fresh-herbs.html.

I pick up the free weekend alternative paper and look for fun free/low cost things to do like Halloween pet parades (I'm big on supporting animal rescue organizations.)

If you run out of cleaning supplies, you can use vinegar. http://condo-blues.blogspot.com/2008/07/budget-friendly-kitchen-cleaners.htmlI thought it was odd, but it really works. You can repurpose an expired box of baking soda for cleaning too. I cut up old towels that are too worn to donate for cleaning rags. Old t-shirts work well too - especially on mirrors and windows.

Michelle said...

oooo $300? I could so do that. My husband, not so much. As long as you don't count cable and our phones and gymnastics classes and swim lessons. Among other things :)

So come November will you try the stay at home thing, or are you going to look for a new job then?

Rachel said...

"recalibrate our idea of frugal" -- absolutely. Good luck with your challenge!