Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 1 Recap

March's first week is in the books, and our "No-spend" experiment went pretty well. So far, so good. I've gotten a lot of questions about our grocery spending, so I'm trying to put together a post, but I didn't get it finished yet--naps for the bigger two have been sparse recently and it's hard to write with three kids buzzing about, hopefully I'll have a chance in the next couple of days.

The highlights:
-I got more done at home since my shopping time was greatly reduced. For the first week since Annika's been home, I really felt like I didn't have a pressing list of chores that were woefully neglected. (It's hard to credit all of this to No-Spend March (NSM) since she finally got onto a bit of a sleep/wake schedule this week as well, but it definitely was a factor.)
-I found the needed next-winter boots for Joshua, James, and Annika at 75% off. I went in for boots and didn't even look at the other racks, even though there were huge "final clearance" signs around. For me, that's progress!
-We went out as a family on Friday night. We made the monthly character-building variety show our church puts on for the first time and our kids had a blast! Quality entertainment for FREE!
-Saturday night James and I had a game-night with some friends while our kiddos played. Again, fun, quality time with people for no cost.
-We brought the kids on board as coaches. The first few trips into the stores (or past McDonalds in Lydia's case) brought pleas for desired, but definitely unneeded, items. So we explained how we were trying to focus on spending time together, but not spending money on items we already had or didn't need and asked the kids to remind us if they saw us looking at something we didn't need. Though saving money isn't the primary focus, we decided a bit of reward might be in place for the kids, so we promised them 1% of whatever we DON'T spend this month. Joshua is VERY focused on keeping spending down now...and they've stopped whining for extras.
-I went into Target to purchase a needed item and left with NOTHING else. Yep, just what was on my list...that never happens!
-I did use Craigslist this week, but only as a seller. Yay for switching unused items for ca$h! :)

The Lowlights:
-While purchasing needed boots for the aforementioned family members I fell "off the wagon" for the first time. I saw very cute, very cheap, but not strictly needed boots for Lydia for next winter as well. And I purchased them. Oops, first time, but probably not the last.
-I received an extra 30% off coupon in the mail from Kohl's this week. And there are great clearance sales going on in there this week. That may be my biggest challenge: a bargain hunter's paradise. Must. Not. Look.
-James' company's anniversary party is the 19th. It's free, check. We're swapping with friends for sitting, check. But, the theme is Red-Carpet Extravaganza, red-carpet attire is encouraged. I don't have any gala-wear. It's my one excuse per year to go all out and purchase something fancy. I'm not sure what to do. Any thoughts? For the sake of discipline, I want to stick to the no-spend rules, but I also really want something fun to wear. Anyone want to let me shop in your closet for the night??? :)

The Cuties:
I know at least part of my "readership" comes to this site only to see cute pictures of my little people. Here are a few of my favorites from the week:

She's into toys now
But, not quite as much as Lydia would like...
Working hard on sitting up
These two are too cute: hosting a birthday party for Ellie on a couch-boat
She hates being on her tummy, but she's getting better at it. :)


Love Where You Live said...

I have an awesome dress I would love to let you borrow. Unfortunately, it is NOT your petite size. :(
Thanks for sharing how your week has been going. Even the "oops".

Anonymous said...

good for you ... with rehabing the house NOT spending is not really an option ... but i'm appreciating the reminder to only buy what is needed .. not the extras ... mostly trying to wean the time spent hunting!

wish i could get to you to lend dresses ... have many you could use ...


adam and andrea said...

look at those cheeks!! Looking forward to your grocery post! I need some inspiration!

feel free to shop in my closet! : )

Laura said...

Looks like you have well dressed friends to help for the party. Now, about Kohl's, share the coupon with a friend! Then you don't have to feel guilty for not using it and you can enjoy making someone else's day.

Joylynn said...

There's always the option of buying, wearing and returning - JUST KIDDING. I do NOT advocate that kind of behavior!

I think the willingness to borrow shows just how committed you are:) And I'm looking forward to the "Grocery" Post.

Rebecca said...

love the pictures of your cuties!! kudos to you & the family on your no-spend venture!! look forward to the grocery post :)

Melanie said...

Liz! Thanks for asking about the grocery price list. You are welcome to use it for your post. Would you mind referencing me and linking to my blog though?

I love how much Annika is already growing up and is so adorable with her siblings!

And I think it's so cool how we've become friends because of blogging! I'm not even sure we've met in person, but it really feels like we have. We have so many connections, though, on your and James's side of the family. Between school with Justin and Dan, and Kevin quizzing, and now quiz mastering for Matt and now Steven we see your family every month... crazy. :)

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Liz. :)
I loved reading about your adventures in saving $$. We, too, are constantly struggling with that. I can soooo relate with your feelings in Target and Kohls. At the time, it seems so important to buy a cute item, but then after a few days, it's not so important anymore. I try to have John go and shop for me so I will not want so much. Last year, I banned myself from Target (for the whole year!!) and it really helped me get out of the habit of impulse buying.
Your kids are sooo cute! ;)