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Spend Nothing Challenge – Final Update!

by Nadine on February 1, 2018

To cut costs after the holidays, we decided to Spend Nothing for a month.

Which means we didn’t actually spend nothing – but wow did we ever cut costs! Some stuff you just can’t avoid paying of course – bills, food etc.  But, we cut our grocery costs by more than half, and we really limited our outings and planned ahead.

We did get takeout coffee a few times – using up giftcards, but we tried to be more careful with those even. By planning ahead and heading out after meal times for outings, we saved a lot by not picking up takeout or going out to eat.

For a fun family night, we did a Paint Party at home. Picked up all our supplies at Michaels and the dollar store, watched a video on youtube and we had a great time. And the brushes and paints can be re-used for other paint nights, so we’d just have to get more canvasses. Made for a cheap night in, and will lead to many more.

The biggest money saver though was planning out our meals and cleaning out the cupboards and freezers. We took everything out of the freezers and went through what we had to plan meals, same with pantry items. I had bought a giant bag of lentils at Costco and wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Ended up making the most amazing burgers with them, and we made them several times after. By using up what we have, saved a bundle every week at the grocery store. Just had to get perishable items – never had to buy meat all month long (apart from sandwich meat). We tried a lot of new recipes and found some winners – it’s so easy now, just google all the items in your pantry to find recipes that work.

This was a great eye opener too – everyone took part in it and really made us question if it was a necessity before buying anything.

Great idea if you’re trying to cut costs, start living on a smaller budget or even if you just want to save up for something big.

We won’t be staying on it as strictly from now on – but will be keeping up with quite a few of the habits we started. Amazingly after a month there’s still a ton to get through in the freezers and pantry, so no big shops for a while! Great way to keep organized too and make sure nothing ever expires or goes to waste. Another one was making more soups and everything in the pot type of casseroles at the end of the week with the produce left in the fridge.

Have you done, or planning to do a spend nothing challenge? Any goals or tips?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pam February 2, 2018 at 12:27 PM

Can you give us the recipe for the amazing lentil burgers?!

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