Well I've made it through the first week of my personal No (Low) Spend and Pantry Challenge.
Although our fridge was fully stocked on the weekend, we went through food pretty fast. The kids have been home all week and we had a lot of snow come down this week, which meant a lot of playing in the snow, tobogganing and burning energy, which made them hungrier. It seemed they were asking for food every couple of minutes. I had planned for leftover for lunches, but that didn't go very far. Hubby usually took a leftovers container for lunch everyday, so that meant I had to come up with something for the kids. I found a container in the freezer of lasagna, a can of Alphaghetti in pantry (not sure who bought it), some other frozen leftovers and made a chicken noodle soup with leftover chicken from Mondays dinner. Thursday was supposed to be leftovers soup and well... there weren't any! So we had breakfast for dinner. We had lots of eggs and unopened package of bacon, so we had Egg/Bacon sandwiches for dinner. We stuck with the plan for the remainder of the dinners. All in all, I didn't plan very well for lunches but I made do. There is no pizza left over from last night today, so I have to come up with something because today is leftovers night. hmmm.... Minestrone? I have a container of ground beef and tomatoe sauce in freezer and lots of veggies in fridge and beans in pantry... yeap that sounds good to me.
What I did right this week:
1. We stayed out of stores! If you don't go into a store you are not tempted to spend right? I don't like dragging the kids to the stores so this was an easy one.
2. We opted for Free entertainment! With the snowfall the kids spend their days frolicking in the snow. I took the older two to the library and they picked up books and movies. Friday night was Family Swim night at our health Club so we took the kids there (Sydney and I worked out on elliptical and treadmill for an hour while watching t.v.) Although we pay our monthly membership fee I still consider it Free because I had already budgetted for it and didn't spend any extra cash (hubby's work re-imburses us 50% of cost).
3. We stuck to our menu plan! Although I didn't plan very well for lunches, we still ate well without ordering take out or going out to eat. So that is a big bonus for us.
4. I cleaned and organized! Everything looks better when it's cleaned and organized!
5. Hubby and I are both committed to spending less this year to save for certain large expenses this year (I'll be posting my big House Project list next week). It helps when both heads of the household are on the same page.
So here is what our envelopes look like:
I started off with $160 for the week.
- $100 - groceries
- $20 - Gifts/entertainment
- $20- Clothing
- $20 - Misc.
Because my mom paid for my groceries last week, I had an extra $100, so I've decided to move the money to Emergency Fund in addition to the initial planned $125. So I should have $600 at the end of my challenge (if all goes well).
I didn't spend any gifts/entertainment or clothing or Misc., so that gets left in the
vaults, errr.... envelopes. Yay. So it was a NO SPEND WEEK!!
Going into the second week I have another $160 to work with (same categories as above!) and $225 in my Emergency Fund.
I don't think going into the second week I will have the same luck. I need groceries, to pick up a sample can of paint for a possible paying job at hubby's work, and get Anthony's haircut (I hadn't budgeted for this). I'll use the Misc money to pay for those two items and I'll be re-imbursed for the paint. Also, the kids are back in school so it will be a challenge to keep me out of stores!
How did you do this week? What were some of the things you did right/wrong?