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I’ve found myself spending a lot of money recently. I haven’t been making a lot of large purchases. It’s been a little here and a little there. It’s the spontaneous trips to the grocery store and Target that are killing me.

So, I decided to try something new.

This week, I am not going to spend any money.

I’m hoping that a conscious decision will work better than my previous attempts at “just spending less”. So, how am I going to do this and still make it an attainable goal?

Friday night and Saturday morning I spent a few hours going through my pantry and refrigerator. I threw out everything that had expired and I reorganized everything that was still good. This process took a while, but it allowed me to go through every item and really get an idea of what I had. You know how you have those random items in the back of your pantry that get forgotten for weeks (or months)? Through this process, no can of soup went undiscovered.

Once I knew what food I had in the house, I gathered all of my recipes, poured myself a drink, turned on a movie (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir), and made myself comfortable. It was time to go through my recipes and decide what I was going to eat for the week. I chose these recipes based on three things:

  1. recipes calling for ingredients I already had
  2. recipes calling for common ingredients
  3. recipes that would satisfy me

I’ll share the recipes I picked later, but so far they’ve worked out! Once I knew what I was going to eat for the week, I went to the grocery store and bought 27 items….to last the whole week!

After grocery shopping, I filled up my car with gas. This is one area where I know I’ll have to spend some money during the week. I can only put so much gas in my car, so I’ll just have to spend a little money to refill my car at some point. There’s just no getting around that.

So, a little meal planning, grocery shopping on Saturday, and filling up on gas for my car and I’m off to a pretty good start. Stay tuned to see how this experiment turns out. I’ll be giving you updates as I go along.

Have you ever tried anything like this? Any suggestions for me?

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