31 Days of Living Well Spending Zero – Day 28

 
Today was a good day!
 
I got up and got in a nice walk with just the dog. Great way to start my day post breakfast. My fasting number (for those of you following the blood glucose challenge) was high. I’m a bit stumped but not deterred. I am determined to get control with my diet and exercise.
We visited my grandmother who is 95 1/2 years old and the boys cooperated. She is in a wonderful home with 5 or 6 other elderly people and full time care. But her room is small, and warm. The boys always want to play and wander so visiting can be tough. But today my Mom and I determined we would go, and it was a success. The boys got to see “sweet Great Grandma Joy” or “GiGi” and she gave them treats. And I got to get her handprint in my journaling Bible. Illustrated Faith is a new hobby and a new part of my faith walk. You can read more about it here, but really I had wanted her handprint to be the first entry in my Bible back when I got it in April. BUT the boys and I just haven’t made it there – with my Bible in hand yet. So today was the day. She put her print over Jeremiah 6:5-10 and I believe this a perfect spot for it – she has left such a legacy with our family.
 
Then we had our lunches packed (meals are tough these days for me. Hitting a bit of a wall but dertermined to stay healthy for me and our third boy) and then headed to a place in our area called Play Kitsap. I discovered our punch card a few days ago so I knew if we packed a lunch we could go for a fun outing without spending anything.
 
The boys had so much fun and here’s some quick videos of them doing the “Great Slide” too!
Momma and Camper do the Great Slide…
Nona and Cashel take a turn!
Home for great naps while I got some “Business” type stuff done.
 
 
Then the boys had AWANA cubbies. Minus a terrible meltdown at the very end – Cashel was wiped. They had so much fun. Even Camper really loves his class. I was there the first half and then Ben took over so I could take a quick walk and do some reading.
I am proud of myself because yesterday I used Ben’s meter to find out how far I’ve been walking and I’ve been doing about 1.5 miles twice a day. No less then 1 mile twice a day. And today he picked up a FREE treadmill for me. I’m thrilled as I can use this for at least the next six weeks while the boys nap to get in a post nap lunch walk too! And I can really tell the pace I need to keep to get my heart rate where it needs to be so that is a very good thing.
Lots of FREE items today. Although I did have a cheat. But first some fun news. A wonderful lady from our Buy Nothing group gifted our family some amazing things. First there was a “Halloween treat package” seen here. The candles for Momma (I LOVE Fall and Holiday scents) and then the stuffies for the boys. The cat went to Camper and the two little ones Cashel will get in the morning, he went right to bed since he melted down at Cubbies). I wrapped them up and made it a special treat! Plus cookie cutters and the spatula that we will use to make cookies on Halloween which also happens to be Ben’s birthday. That will be a fun treat (for them!)
 
 
 
 
What I did spend on…1. I hosted a Pampered Chef show online. And received over $55 in free product plus one half price item. The discount was only good in this month so I paid for the other half of that item. It was a cheat but one I feel good about. I chose things I have nothing like already and got to replace some very ragged things in my kitchen. But technically it was a cheat since I chose to use the discount and not just get the FREE product. Otherwise though I had good restraint

What I did not spend on…

1. I got some awesome products from Pampered Chef by hosting a party this month and just for a small online show I got to pick $55 in product free. Plus… I even was able to get one of my more frivolous wishlist items on top of that. It’s a Pampered Chef item (creative cutters set of mini cookie cutters) that I’ve wanted for a while, borrowed several times, but it never had made the cut when I had shopped  – I posted in my Buy Nothing group just in case someone had one they didn’t use anymore and they did! I had it in my hands within an hour or less! The Creative Cutter Set was mine and I didn’t even have to get it with my free dollars.

2. The Halloween treats from the friend, and she also gifted us some amazing toys we can give to our boys for Christmas. She is an incredibly generous woman and when she first met my boys she said they really made an impression on her. So along with another gift I was given earlier this month I put them all in a moving box that says “Christmas gifts” on the outside and this will go in a sneaky spot til Christmas. Literally we won’t buy anything for the boys. They’ll just get those items. Amazing. Stay tuned for more about how we do Christmas gifts in the coming months.

 

3. The treadmill. A lady from our community was moving and couldn’t take it with her. What a blessing!!!

4. Lunch – we packed our lunch and even though it was hard getting out the door with my diet friendly lunch and something for the boys in tow…. we did it!
5. Our fun outing. We used a punch card we already had. I heard at church on Sunday that over $1 Billion went unused on gift cards in 2014. That kills me and made me determined to use what we have. Whether it’s memberships we’ve already paid for, punch cards, gift cards, or just our own possessions!

Tips

1. Leave time to pack lunches and snacks. Bring water. You won’t be as tempted to spend. And if you prepare ahead a “rush” won’t make you spend. That is often my “reason” but let me tell you – looking at our bank account today and seeing a total amount left there was astounding. Usually we are shuffling funds or having to be incredible cautious. I cannot believe what we were able to save in the second half the month (with no car issue). It is almost $1,000 and in this families life that is HUGE. Plus I truly believe one of the biggest areas we “spend” and “lose money” is on food that we don’t need to buy. Forgot to pack a lunch, eat out. In a hurry, drive thru or take out. Don’t feel like cooking, let’s eat out. That is changing for us!

2. Use what you have. Collect gift cards, membership cards, and punch cards in one location. Use them and use them well while you can. Don’t let them go to waste or only use them seldomly. Use them like crazy and then if you still love it renew, if you don’t love it anymore or want to do something else for a time… then get a different membership. Make the most of these things. Shop sales with gift cards or use coupons with restaurant gift cards. Make them stretch.

Read the other posts in the “Spending Zero Challenge” and learn more about what this journey has taught me. 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero has changed my life.
 
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