Not bad, actually. Here are our results.
These were the exceptions that we had planned on + what we DID buy:
- Continued to buy fresh produce for the chickens weekly (spinach and greens, apples, etc.).
- Ordered one of our Misfits Market (affiliate link) boxes. (We skipped the second one.)
- Wine purchases were allowed.
- I reserved the right to go buy a half gallon of milk for everyone’s sanity for my morning coffee if I needed to. I did purchase milk several times and froze it. I didn’t make any special trips to the store for milk, but purchased when I bought the chickens their greens.
- On a warm day at the end of the month, we broke down and bought Miami (hamburger) rolls and crinkle cut fries (we’re out of potatoes). That was our “cheat.”
This is what we purchased (grocery store and Misfits Market):
- Feb. 7, Wegmans grocery store, Tracy purchased: $29.04. For the chickens: eight-pound bag apples, one 11-ounce pack of organic baby spinach, one 11-ounce pack of organic spring mixed greens, head of cabbage. For me: one half-gallon 2% organic milk.
- Feb. 8, Misfits Market “Mischief Box” (affiliate link, gets you $10 off your 1st order) + extra Brussels Sprouts + delivery, Tracy purchased: $30.49.
- Feb. 14, Wegmans grocery store, Gordon purchased: $14.39. For the chickens: two 11-ounce packs of organic baby spinach and a head of cabbage. For me: one half-gallon 2% organic milk.
- Feb. 20, Wegmans grocery store, Tracy purchased: $33.16. For the chickens: eight-pound bag apples, two 11-ounce packs of organic baby spinach, and a head of cabbage. For me: one half-gallon 2% organic milk. Also bought a birthday card for my great-niece. Savings: I had store coupons, so received $2.00 off the bag of apples – PLUS a FREE jar of Butter Chicken Sauce (reg. $3.99) and a FREE small bag of frozen grain (bulgur) and veggie blend with feta (reg. $3.69).
- Skipped Feb. 22 Misfits Market box.
- Feb. 24, Wegmans grocery store, Gordon purchased: $16.67. For the chickens: two 11-ounce packs of organic baby spinach – then we broke down and bought Miami onion rolls and crinkle cut fries for dinner.
- Feb. 28, Wegmans grocery store, Tracy purchased: $12.47. For the chickens: two 11-ounce packs of organic baby spinach and canister of Quaker Oats for those cold mornings (oatmeal for the girls).
Total spent on “groceries” in February then = $136.22
Typically, I earmark about $300 per month out of my paychecks for groceries and Mr. Gordon does the same.
Early in February, I realized I was running out of deodorant. I assumed I had an extra one in the linen closet. I did not. As I stood there eyeballing my almost-empty deodorant stick and considering digging some of the bar out with a Q-tip, my thought process traveled this path: Well, it’s not really groceries. Or, I could buy it at a place other than the grocery store and it wouldn’t count as a purchase… OR maybe Mr. Gordon has an extra stick. I looked in the closet again. Arm & Hammer Advanced… unscented. I claimed it. Problem solved.
There were a couple of other items I wished I would have bought in January. I color my grey (ahem) and forgot to buy hair color. D’oh!
We ate the following very slowly…
- Potato chips (one bag) and dip
- Pepperoni (for our homemade pizza)
- Maille Cornichons
With the exception of breaking down and buying the Miami rolls and the frozen fries, everything else was pretty easy to run out of or use a substitution. (Like Italian sausage on the homemade pizza instead of pepperoni!) Well, running out of milk for my coffee… while I had planned on biting the bullet and going with the powdered milk on hand, I still bought my half gallons of milk.
Success and Confirmation
So, were we successful? I would say yes. Did we shop for the things I knew we would buy? (Spinach and apples for chickens, etc.) Yes. But overall, it was not hard to skip the big grocery shops AND we do not need to now go buy a bunch of groceries to make up for things we didn’t buy in February. We just simply did not run out of things. In the end, we absolutely saved money. Conservatively, I’d say we saved around $450.00 in February by not doing our regular grocery shopping and skipping one Misfits Market box.
I knew the produce we buy for our chickens would be a notable expense. That was confirmed. I wish I could figure out a way to grow fresh greens year-round so I could save on that big expense. Although cold-hardy, greens would not make it in our back porch greenhouse. Not allowing our chickens to forage/free range outside their chicken run is a price we pay (literally). Although in winter, with a foot of snow on the ground and limited access to any ground “shaded” by trees, they would not have anything to pick through. Anyhow, if you have some surefire ways to grow a lot of greens successfully year-round in cold New York State, I’m all ears! 🙂
I know some of you have done “no spend” months. Let’s hear your story! Leave us a comment below. And, if you haven’t ever practiced a no spend month, or variation of one, would you be willing to go for it?
March Blog Drop
This is part of the March blog drop! You might also enjoy:
- March Blog Drop
- Changes (I have wanted to write this post for a long time now.)
- Nice & Easy Fettuccine Pasta + Canned Salmon Recipe
- Chickens Are Crafty (Video)
- Buffalo Chicken Crescent Ring Recipe
Loved the idea of saving through the month of February. I worked on seeing how many meals I could get out of a lb of meat.. I did very well. I made a huge lot of soup which we had either alone (me) or with a sandwich (your dad). I froze in separate containers and was surprised how many meals it made.
We do the same (how many meals can we get from one). Our roast chicken is usually the clear winner, with many lunches following the first dinner + a nice batch of homemade chicken soup!
I would consider it a success too Tracy. We didn’t do a no spend month, but have been meal planning like crazy with our new Misfit delivery day. That’s been very helpful. I’ve seen an increase in our dairy consumption since I started making homemade ranch dressing. I’m now considering if I should just go ahead and purchase a dairy cow. it would be a fun addition to the homestead. I think the fishing customers would get a kick out of it too, don’t you. LOL.
Hi Kristin! I’m still struggling with getting the right balance of meal planning and Misfits. My guess is that my difficulty stems from planning my dinner(s) around meat versus produce. Anyhow, we’re very well stocked again (just picked up 1/8 cow beef box and chicken bundle), so the meal planning here continues. I’ve read how you do it on your post. We’re pretty similar in that we also will swap out, but I still plan a whole month at a time. But there are plenty of days that I change what’s for dinner based on what sounds good. 🙂
GET THE COW. Ahem. Okay, is it wrong of me to want you to write about getting a cow so I can live through you? Ha! I have fantasized about a dairy cow – we eat a lot of cheese, after all. But it’s probably not going to happen.
Thanks for coming by and sharing in a comment! 😀