No Spend January - Monday Check In

It's Monday and time for the weekly update on the No Spend January #nospendchallenge.  How are you doing so far?  

I have been food shopping twice in January and sticking to my $ 100 budget was not hard. 

 Week 1: I spent $ 107 at our local Shoprite ($ 1 of that was a donation to the local food bank and the other $ 6 was a rotisserie chicken)  I had Molly add things up as I went along and somewhere she omitted something because we should have been right on.  You might ask HOW can I make it on $ 100 for a family of 5 for a week.  The answer - meal planning and not buying items that were not on my list. 

Week 2:  I spent $ 89   This was between two items at the Dollar Tree, $ 7 at the local bread store outlet and $ 79 at Aldi's.  Again the key was meal planning and making sure I only bought what I needed. 

Hubby had to go to BJ's (every 6 weeks) and get our water for our water cooler and a few other paper products and he spent $ 83.  This does put ME over on my overall budget, but I really have no control much over the BJ's shopping. He wanted to put a ton more items on his list but I asked if he could please keep it to a minimum this time.  I also found out that hubby bought into the Powerball pool at work $ 2.  That was money wasted 8)

Some things we have done that were FREE this week.  The library - signed out movie videos and games for the Wii.  Sammie and Zachary had stuff going on through church that gave them time away from the house which included dinner for one and snacks for the other.  

Things I am still doing to help the bottom line:

Making bread each week (2 loaves). If you follow me on Instagram you have seen pictures of this lovely bread and it was in my weekly wrap up post of Friday.  The recipe is the easiest in the world and you can find it over at Frugal Living NW.   I can use organic flour and know that there is nothing harmful in the bread for the kids. 

No impulse after holiday spending. I will tell you this is always a challenge for me.  I walk right past those 75% off signs with all the Christmas wrapping, candles etc.  Hard for me but discipline is the key. 

Using Amazon Prime streaming - I saved up some "credits" on Amazon Prime over the holidays so I can "rent" a new release movie and no other cost.  

Using coupons when I can. Shopping at Aldi's you can't use coupons but at Shoprite I can.   Not that what I am really buying is a lot of items that need coupons, but things like the vitamins and some condiment coupons have saved me a few bucks. 

We leave in two weeks from today for our Winter break vacation. The vacation itself is already paid for. The only thing not paid for is our food. We have a full kitchen in the condo, so I am meal planning out for that and using my $ 100 budget to provide our meals for the trip.  The only thing that might cost us is IF we go out to eat ONE night.  Otherwise we should be good (and price of gas has gone down here in NY and we are just over $ 2 a gallon, which helps).

How have you been doing?  What has been the hardest?  Have you been able to reduce, reuse and recycle anything?  

Please share and have a great week!  


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