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Monday, November 2, 2009

No spend month in review

Today was a bit hectic, but I wanted to get my menu plan up and reflect a bit on our no spend month...my laptop battery has died, and I can't tell you how hard it is to be newly tethered to a desk again!

Monday: Beef stroganoff, mashed potatoes and peas
Tuesday: Chicken tetrazzini and green salad
Wednesday: General Tso's chicken (modified from this recipe) rice and baked crab rangoon
Thursday: Turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans
Friday: Turkey soup, crusty rolls and milkshakes
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: Turkey pot pie

We ended no spend month just a few cents over our budget. It was an empowering experience to know we can cut our budget by nearly 40% and still enjoy ourselves. I spent nearly $100 in diapers and wipes for the month, leaving us roughly $50 per week for groceries, gas and miscellaneous spending.

Having little ones in the house makes it both easier and more challenging - on the one hand, there are lots of things that are just too challenging to do with an infant and a preschooler. (shopping comes to mind...) On the other hand, I tend to want to buy everything in one location, or to choose the easiest place to buy things because shopping can be so challenging. I normally buy several things at Sams club, but this month I opted out, even though it would have been a bit cheaper, simply because it was too difficult to fit a trip in without the girls.

I really didn't miss going out and spending money - we found plenty of free and nearly free things to do. While I enjoyed the freedom of not counting every penny when I was shopping yesterday, I think I've retooled my menu planning to a point where I will consistently spend less than I had been. For anyone that has been considering a no spend month or budget challenge, I would highly recommend it. This month's adventures will pay dividends (literally) for months to come!

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Martha (Menagerie) said...

It was no problem for me living on that budget, it's pretty much about my usual. We did however had a $678. vehicle repair yesterday ::sigh::

Michelle said...

Go you! And the meal plan sounds great, too. Out of curiosity, do you buy your diapers from 1-800-diapers? I always found them to be SO cheap (and free delivery when I stocked up, too!).