Monday, April 6, 2015

Our Pantry is Empty! What We Learned From No Spend March

We survived a month of "no spending".  Overall we spent about $150 in groceries and only paid our regular expenses.  We didn't buy anything extra or spend any money on entertainment.  Although we weren't able to keep our weekly groceries under $20, we did pretty good.  Here are some of the things we learned through the month:

The Italian and Mexican shelves suffered the most!
  • Things last a lot longer than we thought.  The whole month I thought we were going to run out of ketchup and my facial cleanser but we never did.  Turns out I was really bad at judging how much is left in the container.
  • Meals can be easy, quick, and cheap and still taste really good.  We went back to our old favorite recipes and remembered why they used to be our favorites.  We didn't get bored at all although by the end of the month, I was craving more fresh vegetables.
  • You can survive a month without peanut butter and all purpose flour but not tamari.  We ran out of all of these the first week but the tamari is the only one we bought in March.  
  • The world doesn't end when you pull the last non-dairy milk carton from the closet.  I always have at least 4 or 5 cartons in the closet so that I never run out.  By the last week, we were on the last soy milk but it lasted and I didn't even have to skip a smoothie.
  • Speaking of smoothies, it is fantastic having a month's worth of greens and bananas in the freezer.  I'm going to buy those in month-long quantities from now on instead of every week.
  • Lemons and limes make your life happier.  We ran out of both mid-month and our meals suffered.  
  • There is something very satisfying about seeing the food in your pantry actually decrease.  It made me just as happy as when I would see it fully stocked.
Overall it was a really good experience and worth the time and effort.  We saved a lot of money and learned what to buy and what not to buy.  There are a lot of pre-made sauce kind of things still sitting in the pantry which we obviously don't like so I am determined not to buy them ever again.  Bill and Kayleigh were very supportive through the whole thing and very patiently waited for April to arrive!