No Spend January: Starting Off the New Year Right
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I have a Christmas hangover. No, not from drinking or partying or eating too much junk (which, by the way, I did). It’s a money hangover. My family is just too large!! And I have teenagers to buy for. We all know that the things that they do and are “into” are not cheap.
So, for the entire month of January, I am not purchasing anything that isn’t absolutely necessary.
What do I mean by “absolutely necessary”??
Toilet paper, milk, and bills. That is ALL I’m spending money on.
Nope, I’m not even grocery shopping other than small items that I just don’t have on hand. We are eating out of the freezer cooking supply, what I have in the pantry and leftovers. No takeout; no eating out, and no waste of any kind.
Ok, I know that some of you are saying, “But wait!! I didn’t plan for this!! How do I do it??” My advice? Plan for a No Spend February.
Honestly, it’s the shortest month, and if this is your first No Spend, then that’s the perfect month to try it out and see how you like it, what you need to do differently to make it work, and how you can get your family on board with the idea.
My biggest piece of advice: Just Don’t Go to the Store.
Seriously. You can’t spend if you aren’t there to buy. Amazon counts too! (Any online shopping does, but Amazon is my weakness.) If you are doing an after Christmas no spend month, then realistically you should be burned out from all of the shopping. Those who do go shopping tend to be those who are after the clearance items or discounted items to start their Christmas stockpile for next year. Unless an item is a necessity for the upcoming year, as in maybe your tree has been destroyed and you need a new one, do not purchase anything. Obviously, you had enough for this year, so you don’t really need anything new.
Eating From Pantry & Freezer
It may not be easy for me this month, as there are a lot of items stashed in the pantry that just doesn’t seem like they are going to go together, but I’m fighting tooth and nail to plan out everything. Whether we end up eating pancakes for supper (which I really don’t think anyone minds) or eating the same stew 3 days in a row, I am NOT purchasing take out.
The end of December I took a quick inventory of what all we have in our freezer. Meat is the biggest thing to make sure I have enough of. A vegetarian-based meal is just not going to fly with City Spouse. We have a lot of ground beef and some stray chicken (that I seem to have forgotten about somehow) in the freezer, so it’s just a matter of pairing things that I have to make supper.
Meal Planning to Save
Meal Planning is just a way of life in my household. We love that we do not have to come up with a plan at a moment’s notice. It also keeps us from allowing being tired from work to let us cheat and run for take-out. I post my meal plans each week here on the blog to inspire you all. I hope you check them out here, and that they inspire you to move forward with your own meal planning efforts.
I’m working overtime to get even more ahead for the month. It’s really not that hard to plan for, especially when there are so many options in the freezer that can either be dumped into the CrockPot the morning I’ll be late, or just thawed and then CS can put it in the oven.
Want more info on a No Spend month??
I will be working on a step by step list and printables for you in the very near future. Don’t miss out! Subscribe to my blog to make sure that you are notified when they are available.