January No-Low Spend Challenge 2014: Week 1

As you may recall, I am following along with Precious over at Frugal Makes Cents Two in her Money Saving Challenge for this year.  For the month of January I will be following along with Carla on her “Low-No Spend January Challenge.” I think this goes along perfectly with our family decision to go to all cash for expenses.
It is now January 8, 2014....time to check in and see how I have been doing on my challenges....

For January, then my goals for the No/LOW spend challenge are as follows and this is how I have done this week:
  1. $100 a week for both groceries, household and health and beauty products. Our freezer is pretty full, thanks to the ¼ hog we got for Christmas. I think this is totally doable. Our spending on groceries and household stuff skyrocketed in November and December with extra spending and impulse buying…time to reign it in. Whatever is left each week will be divided into ½ in savings and ½ to debt repayment. Well, this week we went over by $16. I stocked up on laundry detergent. If I would not have bought it we would have come in at $99. So I am okay with going over as I would rather stock up on something we need rather than just spend on something we don't need like chocolate or something. This was also a spendy week as I had to get diapers ($20) and toilet paper. This coming week should be much better and I am hoping to keep our groceries at or below $75. I did pay cash for the groceries...I did swipe my debit card, but then remembered I am paying cash so cancelled the transaction and pulled cash out. I had $120 in my wallet and came under. Have to keep better track though in the future as I normally would not have that much. 
  2. No eating out. We are putting this as a family goal. We have already warned the kids that we will not be getting fast food in January. We will not turn down eating out if someone is treating our family, such as my in-laws taking the whole family out, but we will NOT be spending money on eating out.)  This is a pass for the week. We have not gone out at all. We were supposed to go out with my in-laws but they couldn't come out because of the ice we got, so we are all good here. Not that it has been easy. Last night I really just wanted something out, but that is probably because I have been stuck inside for the past week with the kids because of the weather. And have you ever noticed how many fast food commercials there are on TV? Maybe I am being hyper sensitive to them, but man there are a lot! 
  3. I would like to have 15 no spend days. I found a resource that I will use to track our spending and hopefully help me get a better grip on where our money is going. I can say that I am on track for this one...I have had 7 No spend days so far! The only day I spent money was Friday when I went to the store and when I paid bills online! 
  4. I am going to try to do the 52 week money challenge. I am still trying to decide which version I would like to do. I will update when I decide. I am thinking that this may or may not happen. I am just not sure how feasible this is. 
So overall I am very pleased at how well this week has gone. Yes I went over my grocery budget but I still have plans to keep it under $400 for the month. Also I was able to pay ALL of my monthly bills except one this past week so that was good! I hope I can keep the momentum up. 

I also did several things this week that helped me to save money! 

  • On New Year’s Eve, Dear Hubby and I enjoyed a bottle of wine that we had at home, instead of going out and buying wine coolers or other beverages. We also had chocolate chex mix that I had in the pantry instead of buying other snacks at the store.
  • I redeemed Swagbucks for 2 Amazon gift cards.
  • I received 2 free 12 pack Coke products coupons in the mail from redeeming them when they were discounted for 30 points during a special back in November.
  • We didn't go anywhere except for the store on Friday and church on Sunday. It has been too cold to go anywhere else. 
  • I redeemed 900 points from Pincone Research for $9 in my paypal account.
  • I logged on to my Saving Star account to put a couple coupons on there, and found that I had $8.50 ready for payout, so I had that sent to my Paypal account. 
So, overall I would call this is a winning week! 

How did you do this past week? Any attempts to save money or keep from spending money? 


  1. You're doing awesome, Rachel!! Well done this week! And trust me, when it comes to reaching a weight loss goal, the less fast food the better!!

    1. You are so right about the fast food. I can make fast food like meals at home for much less and they are much healthier (baked fries instead of fried, baked chicken, etc.)

  2. My daughter Kazi and I took our "older" neighbour out for dinner tonight. It's an annual event usually at Christmas but postponed due to me having the flu this year. We had 2 gift cards and I used debit to pay what was left which was only $9.00!! A very frugal evening out!

    1. That is a very frugal evening and I am sure it was nice to get out for dinner :)

  3. Good for you every little bit helps. Do you think $100.00 is enough for a family your size? That seems too little to me, but maybe your kids are not big eaters.

    1. It is interesting you should say something...because this week I went over again. I am thinking I will have to raise it. The price of everything is going up... :(


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