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Monday No Spend Challenge and Frugal Update

Since I have two weeks to get caught up on the Frugal Update and the No Spend Challenge (sigh), let's get this ball rolling!

Last week was homecoming at both schools my kids attend, we have gone to a lot of ball games and cross country meets, Jordan's wisdom teeth out, and not a lot else on the plate. I did that on purpose! I am pretty serious about keeping the gas usage down. Even filling twice a week was starting to get ridiculous. In an effort to keep it down, I have been intentionally and consciously driving the speed limit. For those of you who know me well, that was a big adjustment on my behalf. The results have been great! I also have been keeping the trips to a minimum. Last weekend, I did not go anywhere except to the football game Friday night.

I am finding out that if I stay home more, I get a lot more creative about what I do and don't do.

Those of you who were wondering about the games and admission, we have activity passes that we were gifted with. A huge blessing that makes my finances so much easier to manage! I did have to pay a $5.00 parking fee at one of the cross country meets which I think is bogus. Just saying.

We did a lot of canning over the last two weeks. Our apple trees blessed us with quite a few apples, but not a lot to share with others. I hope to remedy that next year. I canned 15 pints of applesauce, dried apples to fill a quart size bag, made 7 half-pints of apple butter, and ate a few. I still have a five gallon bucket full to deal with yet.

I also canned 6 half-pints of pear butter. I canned 6 pints of pasta sauce with some tomatoes from my garden and some we were gifted with! Thank you!

I also made granola. Yum...

The day I was home with Jordan when she had her wisdom teeth removed, I did a lot of from scratch cooking to stock in the freezer and to fill pantry shelves. In the three slow cookers, I did refried beans, 6 bone-in chicken breasts, and yogurt. From this, I froze 12 cups of refried beans in 2 cup containers, 3 quart size bags of shredded chicken (I served some of the chicken for dinner that night), and 6 cups of chicken stock. The yogurt yielded six pints. I also made several MYO oatmeal packets. I had everything on hand for all these goodies. Good day!

I ran out of sour cream for enchilada filling and tried a substitute of 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 tablespoon of vinegar that sat for five minutes. Worked great!

In the last two weeks, I spent $16 in groceries. In non-groceries, I purchased kids' vitamins, cat food, cat litter, and a roll of paper towels for cleaning I did not want to use rags on. I spent $16 in non-groceries.

We were treated to supper out twice! I love surprises and gifts like that!

I did break down one day and got a can of soda for $.85. And a few things from the concession with the extra earned cash I had on hand from putting a few things on a friend's garage sale. I did have a moment or two of weakness. Oh well.

In some expected school expenses, Dane and Paige both had school pictures taken. They each costs $33. I know I could save money by taking them elsewhere, but I enjoy this convenience. And I won't get talked into pictures that I don't need because the kids look so cute!

I cut my bangs. Again. And saved myself $5. I do need a haircut though...maybe I can hold off longer!

Has the No Spend Challenge been worth it? You bet! I am caught up of a few bills with a few more in sight to be caught up on. I plan to extend this into October because I am not where I would like to be on my finances. I do know in October that Jordan's birthday is coming up, Jordan's school pictures is coming up, and Hallowe'en is at the end of the month. I will also start a little Christmas shopping or saving money to get gifts. I don't plan many more expenses for this upcoming month. My grocery budget is going to be $100 for the month and my household expenses will still be $50 for the month.

Tomorrow, I will let you know how I did on the grocery and non-grocery budget for September as well as talk about some of the personal struggles I encountered in the month.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Good job, Erica! Congrats on all your successes. Keep it up. You always amaze me with your hard work and creativity. Thanks so much for sharing.


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