Monday, February 1, 2010

The January Spending Diet and The Eat From The Pantry Challenge = SUCCESS

I challenged myself twice in January.

For the first challenge, we went on another spending diet in January. We had a successful spending diet in October and I decided that after the holidays we needed to diet again. I just wanted to let the dust settle from the holidays.

My goal with the spending diet was simple...avoid miscellaneous spending. I didn't want to spend any money except for essentials. I stayed out of the stores and only came upon one conflict with not spending.

My four year old has had a growth spurt. Most of the clothes that we got her back in September for fall and winter have now become too small and too short. If you remember I also challenged myself for 2010 to shop second hand for myself and if possible my kids. I looked in two second hand stores, with not too much success on things her size that looked in decent condition and that she liked and would wear. So, I headed to The Children's Place and Old Navy for their clearance sales. I spent about $40 on clothes for my daughter, at prices ranging from $2.99 for a new winter hat(even her head grew) and $9.99 for a 'shirt with a bow' that she fell in love with. One nice thing about spending money on clothes for my oldest daughter is that I can save them for my second daughter.

The second challenge was the 'Eat From The Pantry Challenge' that I participated in along with many other bloggers. It was hosted by Money Saving Mom and Life As Mom.

My goal with the Eat From the Pantry Challenge was to reduce our grocery savings to $300 from our budget of $400. I decided that the difference from our actual spending and our budget of $400 would be split with half going into our savings and half going to a local food bank. My freezer and pantry are not quite as stocked as many of the other women participating. I didn't have too much chicken or turkey in my freezer to begin with so I knew when those items were going to be on sale in January, I would have to take advantage of the sale and I did.

So how did we do...

Our grocery spending in January came in at $ 290.01 for the month. I came in under our goal of $300 with $10 to spare. Honestly I don't know when I have ever spent that little on groceries.

Our total household spending was reduced by $250, with $110 of that being from groceries. The balance was from just not spending on frivolous and miscellaneous stuff.

This week, I will write a check for $55 and send it to a food bank in our town. The other half I have decided to send to Haiti instead of putting in our savings account. I will find another way to fund our savings account, right now those people in Haiti need that money more than we do.

How did you do in January? Did you go on a spending diet? Did you eat from your pantry? I would love to hear about your month, your successes and your challenges.

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