Well, we made it through week one of NO Spend February. So far, we’ve done ok. I think lunches for the kids are what’s going to kill my budget a bit this month. On Sunday we went to the grocery store and purchased some skinny pop, granola bars and stuff for sandwiches. Most of my kids eat deli turkey, thankfully I have a punch card and after purchasing so many pounds of deli meat, you get a pound free. I saved my free punch for this month so our pound of turkey was free this week which helped but somehow we still spent $23 on lunch supplies. It’s still cheaper than if they all took hot lunch and I know feeding four kids is going to cost money but I really wish they could eat peanut butter sandwiches and be ok with it.
We hosted our annual neighborhood Super Bowl party on Sunday. One thing I’ve really wanted to focus on the year is simplifying our schedule and home. The party on Sunday gave me an opportunity to do just that. Last year we had games, contests and lots of yummy food. This year we had no games, no contests and ordered pizza for the main dish. I made buffalo chicken dip and purchased a giant cookie cake from Sams Club for dessert. We didn’t really need to do much cleaning before hand so Sunday was really kind of a relaxed day before the party when usually it would be spent running around cleaning, preparing for games and making a lot of yummy food. Simple was great, no one complained about missing all the food or games and we even had enough leftover pizza to have it for dinner on Tuesday this week which was a super busy night so it worked out well!
The extra bonus was because I didn’t make a ton of food, we didn’t have a ton of dishes to do afterwards. Clean up was simple, throw all the paper plates and cups away, along with the cardboard boxes from pizza and put a few things in containers and we were done!
Having an easy and fun night Sunday led to a relaxing Monday for me. I purposely cleared my calender on Monday so I could just be home. I sat in a chair and watched as much of the IF Gathering as I could.
It was incredible, such a blessing to hear from all these women who are amazing and wise, yet real and messy too. Angie Smith was hands down my favorite and she only spoke for 10 minutes but it was so powerful. I didn’t feel guilty or bad for spending pretty much an entire day watching IF. Soul refreshing and spiritually nourishing, it was definitely something I needed. It’s no longer available for free but you will be able to purchase and download soon.
My oldest daughter is hosting a Valentines Day party for her friends this Saturday and she needed me to drive her to Target so she could shop for the party with her friend. She is paying for all the food with her own money. Yes, I went to Target and I then I spent money. I really wanted the planner from Living Well Spending Less but didn’t want to shell out $50 for it. When I found the supplies in the dollar section I was super excited, for $12 I put together a planner that is working well for me so far. The $12 came out of my own money I had set aside from a job last month so I’m not counting it out of our budget but I did spend money and go to Target.
I am hoping it will help me be able to focus a little more instead of wasting so much time during the day. I am a fly by the seat of my pants person and too much stuff on my calendar or too much of a schedule makes me feel boxed in, I don’t like it. My husband calls it my calendar claustrophobia which is probably true, I want control of my time. Ugh. Anyways, I do need some focus and structure so this way I can structure my day the way that will work best for me, give me some focus but leave room for spontaneity as well.
Going along with wasting time, this week I decided to fast social media for Lent. God has been working in my heart a lot lately and the time spent on social media along with all the comparison, envy, joy-stealing distracting it does is just not what I need in my life. I shared this article from the Gospel Coalition last year and ironically facebook reminded me of it and it really hit home, you can read it here: Are You Fighting The New Greed. I’m also reading Hands Free Mama on my kindle app right now which if you haven’t read that either, it’s so good and I highly recommend it.
Last but not least, I was very thankful to receive a message asking if I would like a painting job for the next few weeks. Painting is something I decided I wasn’t going to do anymore but this was perfect timing and bonus, it’s a flip house so there’s no furniture or people to work around and I can do as much or as little painting as I want. Those are magical words for me, I get to decide how much painting I want to do. So if my shoulder starts acting up, I can take a day or two off or just not paint anymore. The extra money will be so helpful this month as we have some debt to pay off and want to replenish our savings.
I would say this week wasn’t wildly successful but we did save a good bit of money, groceries for the week were $35 with lunch supplies and a milk and lettuce run from Costco. I did fill up the gas tank in the van as well but thankfully with gas being so cheap it was only $23! I’ve tried to minimize driving but with the kids being a bit older and having band concerts, band practice and french club, I am driving to pick someone up almost everyday. This time has been more challenging than last time, the ages of our kids and amount of food they consume has increased. Here’s to hoping for a strong week next week!