So instead of coming up with New Year's resolutions that we know we won't keep we have decided to embark on this challenge for the entire month of January. We are going to halt all spending unless we deem it an absolute necessity. Necessity for me means RX, utilities and gas. We will not be going out to eat, no renting movies, no shopping, no $1 ice-cream cones. Our goal is to use $1.00 per day to get groceries if we need them. Thankfully I have a freezer full of food and a pantry full of canned fruit and veggies. This will be a huge step for me since I typically budget $500 a month to feed my family of 6 and I have a difficult time staying under that. This will be a good way for me to clean out my stock pile of food and all the meat and fish in my freezer. I can start fresh when the challenge is over.
Aside form cutting the grocery budget to $1 a day the kids and Will and I sat down and came up with a number of other ways to reduce our spending. We are willing to try all of them and see how it goes. Some of these ideas are things that we already try to do on a daily basis, and some of them are going to be difficult for us to implement. Some are just common sense. Here is the list we have come up with. If you think of any other ways to save please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.
Turn music, TV, radio and lights off when leaving the room.
Lower our heat to 65 at night and 67 during the day. (Right now it is 69 all the time)
Each person gets 1 bath towel per week.
Keep wearing clothes till dirty (with the exception of socks and underwear, those must be changed daily)
If cold wear sweatshirts, slippers, or use blankets.
Put blankets over windows to keep cold out.
Use draft stoppers in front of doors.
Make sure to close doors tightly when coming in from outside.
Open garage doors at a minimum. (Our garage is heated)
Know what you want before opening the fridge or freezer.
7 minute showers.
Only flush toilet when necessary.
5 gallon buckets in shower to use to flush the toilets.
Multiple errand running into one trip.
1 cup to drink out of in 1 week. Reduce dishes.
Turn heat cycle off dishwasher, allow to air dry.
Don't leave water running while brushing your teeth.
When we explained the challenge to the boys Tony was very excited and came up with a lot of the ideas above. Jake on the other hand is not too happy about it. Will thinks it shouldn't be a problem. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I am already feeling the urge to spend to stock up on the things I will need for the month ahead, knowing that I can't buy anything. I think this experiment will be very exciting yet extremely challenging. I already consider myself pretty frugal, but I must admit if I want something I typically go get it. I will be blogging each day of this challenge to let everyone know how we are doing. Wish us luck and feel free to join in on this adventure!