January/Winter Frugality Challenges!

tortoise

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Every winter (January and for as long as I can) I challenge myself with various goals. Sometimes realistic, sometimes ridiculous. I get into a spirit of competition and save money.

Every year I do an Eat Down the Pantry challenge. It usually lasts for months.

In 2017, I did a Spending Freeze on household and cleaning supplies other than toilet paper. I made it January until May, but I think I bought a box of laundry detergent. I had a ridiculous amount of household, hygiene, cleaning supplies stashed - they were starting to expire!

I attempted not going to thrift stores in 2017. I made it into summer before I needed a dress and was unwilling to pay $60+ to buy a new dress. Even though I didn't eliminate my thrift store shopping hobby, I successfully changed my overspending habit at thrift stores.

In 2018, I'm going to try a Spending Freeze on fiber arts supplies from January - July. I have plenty of supplies and projects in progress. I have no need for fiber arts stuff, but I am prone to impulsively buying fluffy fiber things. :love

My other big one for 2018 is capping my grocery budget at $160/month (for family of 4) from January - July or for as long as I can last. In 2017, I experimented and was able to keep it at $110 - $120 for 3 or 4 months in a row until I fell of the bandwagon from health issues.

I will likely add more smaller challenges for 2018.

Do you do frugal or financial challenges? What is your favorite? When do you start yours?
 

frustratedearthmother

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We need to do a pantry eat down challenge too, along with the cleaning supply challenge. There are some things that ya never want to run out of when you've got incontinent elders in the house - so I use lots of Clorox Clean Up Spray. Dad NEVER (unless you stand right over him) washes his hands after going toilet - YUCK! We go through TONS of hand sanitizer!

We are bad about grocery spending....I see it, I want it, I buy it. I am a great sale shopper... if it's on sale I stock up. But, that's why I need to do a pantry/freezer eat down!
 

NH Homesteader

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I am already pretty frugal, so I have to think hard about what to cut out! If I could get my DH to be frugal, that would be a real success! But I like the idea, and I'm sure there are things I could cut out. I would just have to think about it.
 

baymule

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We did a pantry eat down before we moved 3 years ago. We managed to pretty much empty the pantry and about half the freezer. Then I had to stock up again! Right now we have pork, lamb, beef and chicken in the freezer. I have corn, butterbeans, okra, greens, and a few purple hull peas in the freezer. I have scads of peach and wild plum jam/jelly. I have lots of tomatoes canned.

We go to the store and buy onions, cabbage, apples, oranges, celery, potatoes, milk, bread, butter, broccoli and cauliflower.
 

treerooted

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I used to like doing challenges like that, spending or other, but then I realized that I didn't really enjoy it too much and was causing more stress as I would feel like I "failed" if I didn't meet my own goals.

And like NH I don't really spend a lot to begin with, I rarely go shopping except for food.

But, I do still have that challenge mindset! I like challenges and goals which is why I need to watch myself if I'm setting up unrealistic expectations


And I would love to do a pantry eat down...but there's nothing in there!:(
 

Britesea

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We aren't eating down the pantry so much as readjusting it. I'm slowly clearing out the freezer by either eating it or freeze-drying it so it can be stored elsewhere, like under the bed. As I've said before, I don't trust these modern freezers- they are usually only good for about 10 years, and they go Flop-Bot at the most inconvenient times.
 

Mini Horses

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Once basic bills are covered, the $$ left is where I see a challenge. For me, it seems to help to make a list of what I am to shop for -- grocery or material things -- hang on to it a few days and attempt to "find" or repurpose things already here. Often the "hold out a few days" works to reduce spending.

I also like to see just how long I can NOT spend the five or ten dollar bill I may have in my pocket. Since I am often working (which means I go from store to store for assignments) it helps to have carried snacks, sandwiches, bottled water, thermos of coffee WITH me!! I usually have a box in the car & truck with non-perishables in there. These are great if you have a breakdown or kids in the car ---- for you guys out there toting kids. LOL
 

NH Homesteader

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My purse is a miniature grocery store. I pack 3x as much food as I need to go anywhere lol

The big money saver here recently was me buying a cooler, multiple thermoses and I pack DH lunch, coffee, and snacks every day. If I don't do it, he'll spend $10 on lunch and coffee every day. I don't think so!
 

frustratedearthmother

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It does get expensive to eat out. For awhile I had a morning kolache 'habit.' Donut shop a block away from work was soooo convenient to drive thru. I can bypass the donuts - but a sausage kolache calls to me! Now I usually have overnight oatmeal. Fix it the night before, grab and go, and nuke it when I get to work.

Lunch...another challenge. But, lots of times I'll skip lunch altogether and just go home an hour earlier. But, easy enough to fix a plate from dinner the night before and just bring it. Not too inconvenient because I have a fridge and microwave in my office.

On the days I go to lunch with a friend it's easy to spend $10 -12 bucks without even trying.
 
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