I have been so excited to do this. Seriously.
I wasn’t sure if Mr. Gordon would go for it, but when I asked if he would jump on board, I explained that it would only be related to groceries (with the following caveats below). He could still order non-food stuffs from Amazon, go to the lumber store, etc. Since it was only for groceries, he agreed.
Here are the exceptions on our No (Grocery) Shop February:
- We will continue to buy fresh produce for the chickens weekly (spinach and greens, apples, etc.).
- I’m pretty sure we will continue our Misfits Market (affiliate link) order every other week – this is how we get most of our fresh produce.
- At any time, wine purchases will be allowed. 😉
- I know I will run out of milk for my coffee and I AM going to do my best to be satisfied with powdered milk. (Note, I did freeze an open half gallon.) The brand below is pretty good and I have this on hand already. I can put a spoonful into my cup of coffee or blend a batch in the blender. I DO reserve the right to go by a half gallon of milk for everyone’s sanity if I need to.
So What’s the Point?
I honestly learned the idea of “no spend month” from other bloggers. I think most of us come to do things by habit, and I grew up with my mother doing a Saturday grocery shop. As an adult, I do my grocery shopping mostly on the weekends. That’s part of the weekend.
But what can happen – and has – is you end up with a LOT of food in your pantry, cupboards, and fridge/freezer that you either forget about or just never get around to using. I abhor waste.
The February no-grocery-spend will allow us to “shop our pantry” and maybe even get creative with some ingredients. Now, I did a rather large grocery shop on January 30th but honestly, I did not really stock up on anything. I mostly purchased what I would have normally without anticipating a month of no-grocery spending. I only bought extras like: extra half-gallon of milk (for freezer), extra pizza sauce (love the Don Pepino), extra pack of Swiss cheese (I am on this weird Swiss cheese kick). But all in all, the groceries purchased did not include items I would have bought during normal February shopping trips. Already I’m rethinking my decision to NOT buy extra potato chips. 😉
Shop your freezer first! A kielbasa link from New Year’s was added to Sausage-Potato-Pepper One Pot dish.
The Other Reason
Another reason to practice a no-grocery-spending month is to set that grocery money aside for savings. That is what I intend to do with my half. (Mr. Gordon and I currently split the grocery bill 50/50.) This savings will either be kept as rainy day emergency money (I d0 have an emergency fund, but I can always add more) or go towards debt reduction. In January I was hit with an $800+ bill for brakes / calipers when my car was up for inspection. UGH. Thankfully I had the cash on hand (emergency fund), but bills like that make to want to increase EF savings to cover those unexpected whoppers.
My Word of the Year is Order and I believe that the no-grocery-spend will help me work toward putting order into my finances (and weekends in the short term). Although I am already an expert budgeter (learned at the dining table watching my mother) and can pull a nickel from a penny (ha!), I did get into the habit of making some extravagant (to me) purchases in 2020. I have re-centered to an “account for every penny” mindset and a practice of taking 24 hours before hitting a “buy” button on Amazon. It’s working.
Truthfully, my biggest “frivolous” spend is typically on an ebook or stuff for the chickens – although I can argue the necessity of chicken purchases. I mean, the black soldier fly grubs ARE expensive, BUT they are raised in the US and Canada (versus China) and they are good sources of protein for chickens in winter. Especially my crazy molting chickens.
I have been purchasing Grubblies – which are expensive at $55 for a 5-pound bag – but I found another brand (thank you, Instagram!) called Grubtera. I am using my last bag of Grubblies and I have a bag of Grubtera waiting in the wings. Same size bag at $35. If the Grubtera grubs are just as good, I’m making the switch. Grubtera also uses grubs grown in US and Canada.
So Back to the Groceries and No-Spend February
No-spend is easier with monthly meal planning which I brought up in last month’s post. We’ve been doing pretty good, too. We allow for leftover nights if we haven’t finished everything off during weekly lunches. Here’s a peek at February’s dinner plans.
I rather like this planning. I can be a little rigid, though. Mr. Gordon will say, let’s make such-and-such and I drag out the calendar and start pointing out how it’s not on the list. I’m trying to be more flexible. I’m a little nutty about dinner plan change-ups.
So There You Have It
Another way to add some Order and save some money, all the while using what you have AND limiting outings during the pandemic. Check, check, check, and check.
Have you ever done a no-spend grocery month or a complete no-spend month? What was the reason and the results? I’d love to know! Share in a comment below! 🙂 (Scroll down!)
February Blog Drop
This post is part of the February Blog Drop! You might also enjoy: