Day 11 of 2022

Today was another day that I realized that I did not plan as well as I thought I did at the start of this. I needed to make some school purchases for the kids. I am sticking to what we need, but I realized pretty quickly that I need a budget. I can get carried away with all the educational goodies they have available these days.

Due to this, I will be revamping my budget plan and will share my updated version asap.

My dish soap pump was running on E today. I went to the cleaning cabinet to get more and refill it when I spotted this bottle shoved in the back. It’s clear in color, but if you look closely, you can see that the bottle is still very full. I wanted to point this out because this bottle of dish soap is four years old, or older.

Truth is, I don’t even know for sure. I have been hoarding it because I see it as a “nice” dish soap. It’s more costly than what I buy, so I do not buy it. The consumerism, branding, and advertising push in this country have worked hard on this brain.

Today, however, I nearly emptied the entire bottle into my pump. It smells amazing, and in a few short weeks, it will be all used up.


Dinner that I remembered to put into the fridge the night before!

I’m pretty sure that meal planning is going to become part of my life. I am really digging not having to figure out what to fix. Over the weekend I let my meal planning lapse and I found myself right in my usual routine of pacing from the pantry to the fridge over and over.

Not a fan of that anymore.

Pretty proud of a green win today. I saw someone suggest using a black towel to clean out a cast iron pan and thought it was genius. The only problem is my no spend year. I was bummed, but stuck to my no spend goals.

Then, as I was about to grab a paper towel to clean up after breakfast, I remembered a wore out fundraising shirt I had pulled out of a load of laundry the day before.

A pair of scissors and a few seconds later and no spend problem solved! I now have washable black cloths for my cast iron pan!

Zero dollars spent 🙂

Days 9 & 10

We picked up our grocery order for the week. I just about maxed out my grocery budget of $100 for the week for 5 people with a total of $84.31. This week, I decided to go ahead and get the amount of milk, orange juice, and bread we would need for the week to avoid an extra trip. Hopefully.

Only 4 more days left in the second week of January 2020 and I’m happy with my zero spend year progress so far. I have been tested a few times. Especially over a water misting sprayer that I picked up for my daughter for her birthday.

I really, really want one.


I don’t really need one at all.

I’ve gotten off track with my blogging routine. It’s getting hard to find time to get on the computer with all these other family members. Going to see about setting up an account for myself on the surface soon.

Some things I’m proud of so far this week are…

I used up some almost bad bananas, used more of a powdered kids drink mix that expires in March, and created a new meal plan.

Days 6, 7, & 8 of 2022

Day 6

On day 6, I had hoped to keep up a daily blogging routine but was seriously derailed on the 6th.

I managed to get caught in the next town over in a snowstorm. It accumulated so fast that ever single way home quickly became blocked due to accidents. I had planned to be home around noon, before it got crazy, but the weather decided to shake things up a bit.

We didn’t make it home until midnight.

I ended up spending around $20 at a gas station to feed and hydrate myself and two of my kiddos. I would have spent more on a hotel if I could have got one before they were all booked.

I didn’t create an emergency category, but I’m realizing now that I should have.

Day 7

On day 7, I was so fatigued, from stress I think, that I did absolutely nothing but play in the snow with the babies.

Day 8

Was our oldest child’s 18th birthday. We celebrated with Dad’s usual birthday dinner of choice. She decided on Greek food. She opened her no spend gifts from me as well as her spend gifts. I’m pretty certain her favorites are her no spend spider plant baby and the spend planter and watering jar.

Her party with family was postponed due to the weather as well as my back. I am still unable to move well and cannot get the house lined out beforehand.

Birthday Budget: $100 – $23.88 = $76.12 Remaining

Day 4 of 2022

Chugging right on through this no spend year. Not much at all to report today. Not feeling the greatest because I lifted something a little too heavy and a little too awkward, and now I’m hurting.

Going to keep this short and sweet and just share some pictures of my meals from my first ever meal plan and a picture of my first ever 100% cotton scraps added to a compost bucket I’m collecting for a friend.

Remembered to sit out frozen burger for tacos thanks to my meal plan 😊
Egg & Cheese Biscuit
Turned a wore out shirt into cleaning cloths and composted scrap cotton for the first time
Turned leftovers into a breakfast bowl! It was delicious!
Black Bean & Ground Beef Taco Salad

Day 3 of 2022

Day 3 is going down in the books as another success!

Meal Plan Report

Still right on track with our meal plan, however, we still don’t have as many leftovers as I had imagined we would. Next week, I will definitely be adding some lunch options to the plan and/or increasing portion sizes. Ideally, I think increasing portion size would be better so I’m not actually cooking three meals, start to finish, every single day.

Biscuits, gravy, ham, and frozen cherries
Beanie Weanies, cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, and peas

Grocery Budget Report

We needed milk and to avoid the $6 charge for pick up at Wal-Mart for being under $35, I decided to stop in Aldi. Before going in the husband requested 3 boxes of his favorite snack and snacks for the kids.

I’ve debated whether I should add them in as part of my budgeted grocery expense. My husband is not onboard with a no spend challenge, at all, and I try to respect that. He’s fairly frugal, most of the time, so it isn’t a huge deal.

Since I am only basing this no spend challenge off of my spending responsibilities, I’ve decided that I am not going to add it in. I am responsible for feeding this family their regular meals, and I am succeeding at that. I also provide snacks. Just not exactly the type of snacks they want.

So, today I will be subtracting $1.59 for milk and adding back in $5 for the flashfood box since when I arrived to pick it up, they couldn’t locate my box and offered me a refund.

Grocery Budget: $37.63 + $5.00 – $1.59 = $41.04 Remaining

Day 2 of 2022

Today was another successful day!

Only, it was even better than successful!

I conquered today!

Home Spending Report

I came super close to caving and buying an item for the home today after I realized some pot and pan organizers, I had purchased a while back did not work for my set. It made it extra difficult for me knowing I left behind at our hold house, a very nice organizer.

I sat for a minute, my pans and pots scattered around me on the floor, feeling very defeated. I didn’t want to spend any money, but I also know I struggle to maintain these cabinets and it impacts my ability to feed us.

Which leads to take out.

Then, my husband spotted me in the floor, pouting, and asked me what was wrong. I vented a bit, feeling sorry for myself. He did was he does and immediately went into fix-it mode.

I could have let him fix it, but it would have cost me more than money.

Instead, I assured him it was ok and that I could figure something out. He said OKAY, but I knew if I didn’t figure something out, he would buy me a new organizer.

That’s when I started poking around in other cabinets, looking for anything that I could make work. I quickly realized that my bakeware fit into the slots meant for my pans and got to work on that cabinet. By organizing that cabinet, I freed up space in my bowl cabinet. Space in my bowl cabinet left me with a white, wire, expandable shelf with nowhere to go.

I sat back down at my pans and after some shifting things around, ended up with this!

Meal Plan Report

Our meals went according to plan today, but I’m realizing we don’t have as much leftovers as I expected we would. Going to have to either start fixing larger meals, or plan something for lunch.

Grocery Budget Report

I purchased a box of produce from the FlashFood app today. We are getting low on fruit and that is one thing my kiddos eat really well. It’s kind of a double bonus because it is marked down cheap, only $5, and it is food that would have been tossed for being not perfect or near going bad.

Grocery Budget: $42.63 – $5.00 = $37.63 Remaining


While getting the cabinets straight, I managed to get a small bit of stuff that I never used out and posted to my local free group. Hopefully it’ll be rehomed with someone who can make use of it soon.

More space and less to manage for me!

Day 1 of 2022

First day of the year and while I did do a bit of spending, it wasn’t unnecessary and I am well within my budget and right on track. My meal plan did get a bit derailed today, but it worked out in the end.


Today has been a success!

Meal Plan Report

My meal plan didn’t go as planned, but I saved some overcooked tater tots by being flexible.

For breakfast, I fixed the ham and scrambled eggs as planned, and added tater tots and mandarin orange slices for sides. Unfortunately, I left the tater tots in the oven longer than needed. My bunch wasn’t thrilled about eating them.

I wasn’t feeling good about throwing them away on the first day of my no spend year. After a quick Google search, I found a solution!

Tater Tot Casserole!

Instead of vegetable soup as planned, I stuck this casserole in the fridge and popped it into the oven for dinner. We may do the vegetable soup tomorrow as there are no leftover from dinner.

Grocery Budget Report

I didn’t buy anything unnecessary, but I did buy some new flossers for the kids. I almost bought two packs, which is more than we need, and caught myself.

Technically, I did my grocery shopping for this week in 2021, but I will be counting it toward my budgeted amount for the week. I almost tried to cheat. I created my meal plan based of things I had on hand. I ended up spending $55.41 of my $100 grocery budget all together.

Grocery Budget: $100 – $55.41 – $1.96 = $42.63 Remaining

Birthday Budget Report

Our oldest kid’s birthday is the 8th of January. I spent a total of $23.88 out of her $100 budget so far. I looked at ordering a cake from our local grocery store, but it’s sort of expensive. I’m going to see if I can get or borrow a cupcake pan so that we can make our own to save costs.

Plus, I’ll get her and her siblings in the kitchen with me and we can make some memories for her 18th!

In the photo below, the copper basket, puzzle, embroidery set, and wrapping paper was free from a local free group! The baby spider plant I also picked up from my local free group! I’ll be repotting it into the white planter.

The planter and the watering jar were something I picked up for myself last year. While I didn’t purchase it this year, I’m still counting the cost. There is one other item coming.

She’s going to be super excited!

Birthday Budget: $100 – $23.88 = $76.12 Remaining

Holiday Budget Report

I got a jump on holiday gifts this year!

In a local free group I’m in, I was able to get 3 gorgeous matching photo frames. It was perfect timing because I had come across a code to get a free 8×10 from Walgreen’s. I had a photo printed out for my husband that will be part of his no spend Father’s Day gift. Each frame will eventually have a photo of him and each of our children.

Holiday Budget: $2,500 – $0 = $2,500 Remaining

January 1-7 Meal Plan


Breakfast– Ham & Scrambled/Fried Eggs
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Veggie Soup


Breakfast– Cheesy Eggs & Potatoes
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Tuna Mac Cassarole


Breakfast – Biscuits & Gravy
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Beanie Weanies


Breakfast – Egg & Cheese Biscuits
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Black Bean Tacos


Breakfast – Oatmeal Pancakes
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Lazy Lasagna


Breakfast – Fried Bologna & Potatoes
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Ham Ravioli Bake


Breakfast – Black Bean Breakfast Burritos
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Roasted Chicken & Veggies

2022 No Spend Year

Areas of Spending

  • Groceries
  • Medical
  • Clothing
  • Birthday
  • Holiday
  • Home
  • Take Out/Delivery
  • Work Expenses
  • Entertainment
  • Exess

These are the areas of spending that I am mostly or fully responsible for managing for our household. Since I am the only one attempting a no spend year, I will be focusing on these categories.

The Plan

BudgetNot OptionalZero Spending
BirthdayTake Out
Work ExpensesHome

Budget Details

Grocery Budget – $100 per week/$5,200 per year (includes cleaning supplies, hygiene, pets, etc.)

Birthday Budget – $100 per kid/$300 per year (excludes cake)

Holiday Budget – $2,500 per year (includes Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas)

Total Budgeted Spending for 2022 = $8,000

Zero Spending Details

Take Out/Delivery/Excess – Completely avoid & Copycat Take Out

Clothing/Home – Find free, borrow, do without (if an absolute need, shop second hand first)

Entertainment – Free ideas on internet, free or borrowed games/movies, Library (includes events/classes, books, movies/games)

No Spend Year Resources

  • Free Market (local Facebook group & library event)
  • Friends & Family
  • Library
  • DIY & Homemade

Budget Leftovers

Any money left over from budgeted categories will be applied toward our home mortgage of $266,270.08

Canceling Memberships & Subscriptions

Over the next few days, I’m going to be hunting down any memberships or subscriptions I’ve signed up for and get them canceled.

So far I’ve canceled…

  • Brickseek ($120)
  • Wal-Mart+ ($98)
  • Mealime ($36)
  • Tody ($5)

Canceling just these will save our family $259 in a year.

Just being honest here, I’m a little shocked at the total price for the year. Brickseek and Mealime are marketed as $10 and $3 per month, respectively, and it successfully tricked my mind into seeing the expense as cheap. Over $200 in subscriptions, especially some that I barely use, is not very cheap.