Everyone has heard of No- Shave November. I am going to attempt a No/Little Spend November for groceries. I am sharing this to be accountable and also to see if anyone wants to join me.
First lets talk about the reasons, I want to do this type of challenge. One of the bigger struggle with budgeting for me is always the grocery budget. This month we are sitting right at $650. We were extremely over budget in both September and July. As we look ahead to the holiday season with extra spending coming in everywhere, I need to find extra money in the budget to use for the holidays. Next is the simple facts, we have been able to take advantage of several sales and Zaycon has helped to fill our freezers. Therefore, we have on hand lots of items and even are over stocked in others.
I had a wise friend tell me “the best way to not spend money is not to shop.” So I have decided to take that advice to heart, at least for the month of November. I talked with Matt last week about the idea of not shopping for groceries in the month of November. By planning ahead this allowed us to really look at the pantry and freezers and identify any immediate needs that could ruin a no spend month very quickly.
Now on to the how this is going to work for us. I know that we will need to purchase items like creamer and eggs so I am going to start by pulling out $50 in cash to use for these items. I also want to be able to take advantage of any “Black Friday” deal that CVS may have so my plan is to “earn” a 25 gift card from Swagbucks to use. I should be able to cash out of this card during the first week of November and simply won’t shop at CVS till then. Cash is very hard for me to spend and this way if a true need arises then we will be able to purchase the need but not go overboard. The gift card is free money that is not from the budget so it will be part of the game to see how far I can stretch this card and what real deals, I can take advantage of. Because it is a gift card unlike ECB it can be use to pay tax on the items I purchase.
Final step in this challenge is planning. I have already started working on a list of meals that we can cook this month. One advantage we do have is our scheduled trip to Georgia for Thanksgiving. This will eliminate at least 3 if not 4 days of cooking and eating from home. Since Matt and I have already talked about this challenge we actually started meal planning last week. I know that in order to save money, I need to make sure that we are not wasting money especially by allowing food to go bad, so the focus this weekend is to finish up leftovers and find new or favorite dishes to cook with the items we have on hand. Look for lots of menu plans for November.