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30 Day Challenge: Spend Less in May

Posted May 02 2013 8:30am

Yesterday I mentioned starting a new 30 day challenge that I referred to as “No Spend May”. I really should have called it “Not As Much Spending May”. Lets be real.

I’ve seen tons of these types of challenges online where people limit their spending to just essentials (rent, gas, bills, etc) and then give a ridiculously small budget for things like groceries and other misc items you might have to pick up for the month.

I’ll be honest…that doesn’t seem like fun to me. Yes, I COULD do this, but I don’t really have to. I’m a single gal with no kids and a dog that is as cute as a button. So I decided to modify the challenge to fit me and my goals.

I want to appreciate the things I already have more. I want to be pushed to be creative with my food. I want to do things outside of my every day routine and get out of the comfort zone.

I’m a willy nilly spender. I’m an emotional shopper. Oddly enough, this matches my eating habits. Coincidence?! Riiiiight.

I have a few big events this month that I know I will be spending money at, but I don’t necessarily need to go overboard. So with all that in mind, my goals for the month are:

1. Spend $25 or less on groceries each week. I have lots of items in the pantry and freezer.  I want to use the items I have up and put everything to good use. That said, I must have fresh produce and that stuff is expensive. I have the feeling the majority of my budget will go to that area of the store.

2. Limit meals out to no more than 6 times the whole month. For some that may seem like a lot, but I’m a socializer and going out to eat is what we do. Don’t judge.

3. Cut out unnecessary purchases. No buying nail polish at Target because I was feeling bad on the way home from work and there was tons of traffic. No shopping for a new top online at Forever 21 because I saw some teenage girl at Target while I was buying nail polish wearing a cute top that I *must* have. No buying any of those “I NEED those shoes” from Zappos.com. My goal constantly is to get rid of crap in my house. I think a good start would be to stop bringing more of it in first.

4. Evaluate necessary purchases before actually making purchase. For instance, I might think I need Clorox wipes. But do I really need them or is a container hidden underneath the sink that I’m too lazy to dig out? Do I have other products that maybe I don’t like the smell of but  I could use up first before buying the wipes? Think before I buy!

5. Any spending done is done with cash. I want to use cash all month long. So basically, I’m putting away the debit card for the month! That sucker has seen some heat on it lately so I think it will appreciate the nap. I plan on tracking all my cash expenses on my phone. I even got a FREE app to help me out.

So those are the basics. Nothing fancy or outlandish. I’m sure a lot of you probably do these types of things on a regular basis. You fancy, huh?

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In totally related news. I made dinner at home last night with things from my food stash. I had a few tomatoes that were on the verge of getting gross, but still tasty. I also picked up a bunch of Persian Cucumbers from Trader Joe’s a few days ago and I have no idea why. There also seems to be an abundance of goat cheese in my house.

Put them all together…

Originally I was just going to make a few of these up for a snack, but by the time I got motivated enough to make anything after spinning class it was dinner time. Obviously this wasn’t going to make the cut for dinner so I cooked up some frozen scallops I picked up at Target a few weeks ago when they were on sale. They are Archer Farms Wild Sea Scallops. Not bad actually.

To cook them I sprayed a pan with this fun Coconut Oil Spray I picked up at Trader Joe’s last week and sprinkled the scallops with some of the TJ’s South African Smoked Seasoning.

 

Super easy and really tasty!

I smacked down a scallop on each tomato slice right on top of the goat cheese. Hot scallop and goat cheese=Amazing.

I sprinkled a little of the TJ’s Everyday Seasoning across the top and called it a day.

One meal down, 25 more to go!

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I hope you guys are having a good week. I’m gearing up for a busy weekend. I’m going to start it off with a trip to the Apple store to see what I can do about this.

Annoyed. This happened at Trader Joe’s. With the abundance of items I have from them and this cracked screen incident, I’m officially on strike from TJ’s.

See ya tomorrow with some type of workout update. Maybe a little complaining too. Fair warning. ;)

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