31 Days of Living Well Spending Zero – Day 15


So today we are technically at the half way mark. I will say that my friends have been so supportive and one even got us a special treat – some diet pepsi. You really do learn what luxury items are and what you absolutely need. For example, the dish soap we ran out of seems so much more important then the diet pepsi – BUT when my friend handed us our treat I almost could have cried. 😉

Some things are worth spending on while others are not and this challenge is really making me examine that.

Things I did not spend on…

1. I was able to make a roast chicken (remember from my freezer inventory that I found 3 whole chickens!!??!!) and roasted vegetables for our whole small group. Even in a spending zero month there are ways to bless others.

Forgot to take one of the finished product but I was able to use garlic,
home grown carrots and zucchini, and onion that I was gifted in my Buy Nothing group from neighbors!

2. We did not pay the mechanic to do the work on our car. Ben and my cousin are going to do it!

3. I wanted to make pumpkin bread (another thing a friend did was check out her pantry and gifted me a can of pumpkin she wouldn’t use, when she heard I love all things pumpkin but did not have any in my pantry at the start of the month) BUT we are running low on oil and my recipe calls for a whole cup! I researched alternatives and chose applesauce. It turned out delicious. It sealed the edges a touch differently – so I wish I had cooked it for a bit shorter of a time. Otherwise I’d substitute that again for sure! Healthier and really yummy. Plus I one of the loaves to my mom’s group as my contribution so no purchase necessary!

Things I spent on…

1. Husband bought the parts for the van we need to fix. But we are saving so much this really felt like “not spending.”  (I think it’s about $200 but saved us $350)

2. Ben also needed insulin and may have also needed gas.

Tips1. A community makes life and challenges easier. The necessary and the bonus things our community has helped us with have made all the difference. People are intrigued and “proud” of us and for that I am grateful. Feeling supported in a challenge like this is critical. Yes this is an elective challenge but one I am taking as very serious. In the end we will have saved enough to pay for the van which would have been an unexpected expense we could not have afforded in this time of trying to close on a house. Plus saved some we needed for closing/cleaning things in our new home. This couldn’t have come at a better time for us.

2. Staying committed, not letting discouragement take over, when you facing this kind of challenge is key. I am not following all the challenges to a tee but using them as a guide. Today her challenge was to repurpose something you already own to meet a need or want. This is a concept I am very familiar with and although I did not do the challenge today I have in the past and plan to before the month is out.

3. And finally – using what you have is so rewarding. Using something up until it’s gone, so there is no waste. Reinventing or substitutions can work even better and you feel so good knowing you stayed within your means.

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