Halfway through our month of no spending

15 02 2009

Valentine’s Day marked the halfway point in our month of no spending so it’s time for an update on our cashless existence.

We continued to eat pretty well this week, following the menu I posted last week. Click here if you missed that post. To treat ourselves to a little something in honor of Valentine’s Day, my husband and I went to Panera Bread, using a gift card I earned from participating in MyPoints. After 27 years of marriage, we laughed at ourselves as we pulled into the empty parking lot. I guess we didn’t select the hot spot for romance. Oh well, we didn’t care. We marveled at sitting down in a restaurant and waiting for someone else to prepare our food. It was a nice little break — without breaking our no-spend rules. We ordered water with his sandwich and my soup so we still have quite a bit left on the $25 card.

Overall, I continue to be amazed at the steady march of cartons, cans and bags out of the pantry and freezer. It is getting empty in there. When you are shopping every week, you just don’t notice how much food you consume. This is a great reminder to me that we, my family specifically and our country in general, live in a land of plenty. It has also been great to actually see some of the things in the back of the pantry and the bottom of the freezer. We aim to use it all before replenishing — a great thing to do periodically to keep your stockpiles fresh.

Some of you may be wondering about the status of my gas tank. On Thursday, when I made a quick run to the nearest CVS to buy milk and a container of chili powder (with a gift card, of course), I was smiling to myself about still having more than a half tank of gasoline.

It was not by accident that I still had that much gas. So far during February, I have truly lived up to my title as a “stay-at-home” parent. Other than my weekly milk run, some carpooling to Girl Scouts and twice-weekly trips to a town park to walk around the lake, I have rarely left the house. At the start, I thought I might get cabin fever or suffer retail withdrawal, but I’ve actually enjoyed the time at home. It has given me time to accomplish some things that I have long put off. But more on that in a later post.

Back to my gas tank, any smugness I may have felt quickly evaporated on Saturday. I had previously volunteered my husband and our minivan to pick up Girl Scout cookies for our little girl’s troop. Not one to back out of a commitment, off hubby went in the van and down went the gasoline gauge. I will be lucky to make it the month on one tank.

So, how much have we spent so far? In addition to the previous $1 we spent on parking, I wrote a check on Feb. 11 for $15 to my daughter’s Girl Scout troop so that she can attend a camping trip in April. And on the 15th, I wrote a check for $17.50, again to my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, for Girl Scout cookies we ordered back in January. I didn’t want to be in arrears to the Scouts so I figured I better pay up — no-spend challenge or not.




2 responses

15 02 2009

That’s amazing! Great job! There are bound to be a few things that pop up unplanned. I really love what you said about appreciating the abundance that we have and the idea of really just staying home (funny that term about “stay-at-home” mom) sounds so appealing, I might just have to try it some time! 😉
You are an inspiration! Keep it up!

23 02 2009
No-Spend Challenge: 3 weeks down, 1 to go « Free to be Frugal

[…] To read previous, No-Spend Challenge posts, click here, here, here and here. […]

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