No Spend September :: So at ease

I decided to join my sister (find her over at Learning the Frugal Life) and I have a No Spend September.

What is No Spend September? It’s a spending freeze. I will allow perishables like salad to be purchased, but staples and meats will not purchased until my pantry and freezer are exhausted. I’ll see how long I can make it without a trip to the store.

Non-food wise, I have one event that I plan to purchase items at, and I’ve got a little stash saved up for that. Otherwise, I’m committed to not spending money.

No Spend September is what you make of it. For comparison, Sara is committed to spending $100 or less on groceries for September and not eating out. I will allow gift cards purchases because they represent money already spent (past events — mostly coffee shops).

This has forced us to plan meals on Sunday nights, a habit which I dropped a couple years ago. I have to say that this first week has me so at ease about dinner. I think you know what I mean — the daily question of “What’s for dinner?” is ever-present. Without planning a week’s worth of dinners, I might have one night with a brilliant dinner idea, but no time or ingredients to be brilliant. With a plan, I consider my time budget each night (so I can cook brilliantly) , who’s at the table on those nights, and the contents of my pantry. This gives me feelings of peace and comfort and less worry.

Want to know what I realized? What do I find silly about this practice? It takes only 15 minutes of examining the pantry and some talking between family members to figure out on Sunday.

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