January is No Spend Month at our house this year. We are doing it to bring our current spending more in line with our new one-income status and as a detox after the consumer-centric holiday season. Of course, buying less stuff will help us be more green and more resourceful as well. We usually spend about $500 on groceries each month. Instead, this month we will be budgeting to spend only $500 on all non-bill expenses including groceries, gas, household items, dining, entertainment, and yes coffee!
What We Spent
Last week we spent $165. This week we spent only $110. Thirty dollars went to gas. Since it’s only week two, we decided not to fill the tank all the way up. As always, $43 went toward our box of organic produce from our CSA, and I spent $28 at Whole Foods. That’s right. I made it out of Whole Foods spending under $30! Netflix got $9.
How We Did It
We started off the week eating a Salmon & Spinach Quiche. Eggs are a delicious and relatively inexpensive source of protein. It takes 3 1/2 eggs to equal one serving of protein, which costs us about 87 cents. Compare that to one serving of beef which costs around $1.87. The next day we had beef and lentil stew. Stew meat costs about half as much as steak, and if you put it in the slower cooker it will get nice and tender. Other low costs favorites are Cuban Green Soup and Quinoa and Black Beans.
What We Learned
What I realized this week was that we’re not just saving money by doing No Spend Month. I’m also saving an amazing amount of time. I only had six items on my grocery list this week. I was able to leave the house, strap BabyE into his carseat, drive to the store, grocery shop, check out in the express line, put the groceries in the car, go back into the store to find Baby’s hat that fell off, put Baby back in the car, drive home, and unpack the groceries all within 35 minutes! We have $225 left and over two weeks. I hope we make it!