Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Frugal Challenge Update-No Spend Days

If you are trying to save money, one of the best tips to save money is to implement no spend days.  I have seven tips to help you plan and keep no spend days. Try and have several a week. Literally all meals come from home and you do not pull out your wallet. You will get much satisfaction from finding and using what you have at home and getting through until your next shopping day.

Do you ever add up all the little things you spend money on everyday and realize how much it has added up to in a week? Well, I have, and it is a lot. I was shocked. I took the challenge to log in a little notebook every time I spent any money when I was out. A coffee here, kids lunch there. I mean, I knew I was spending money but to add it up and realize if I had just had my coffee at home and the kids made lunch or ate before we left, how much money would still be in my wallet.

Now, I am not advocating never spending money out as that is sometimes impossible but a more planned approach to my mad money. If say you saved $20 a week and ate at home and just planned more carefully, that would amount to $80 in a month.

Along this vein, I am really liking the idea of "no spend days". Purposeful planning  ahead to have days where I will not spend any money. I may have to use gas, but no cash spent or atm card swiped. I don't think this will be too hard of a challenge but one I will embrace. Just some planning ahead to bring meals or a drink along because when you think about it, I can buy almost a whole bag of good coffee (with a coupon of course) for the price of one coffee at Starbucks. I will not deny myself totally but will keep those purchases for planned outings. If you love gourmet coffee, learn to make them at home like my poor man's white chocolate peppermint mocha, a great homemade version of Starbucks peppermint mocha latte.

I truly love days when my car never leaves the driveway. I seem to get so much done.  So less days out driving and spending, more time at home getting things done and more importantly, more money saved.

So to save money with no spend days try:

  1. Staying home
  2. Planning ahead for meals. Eat before or take with you.
  3. Make your own coffee and breakfast.
  4. Make freezer breakfast burritos for a quick hearty breakfast on the run.
  5. Plan shopping trips and make lists so you buy what you need in one shopping trip.
  6. Make do with what you have at home, keeping a stocked pantry and menu planning.
  7. Just say no. No to your kids, no to requests that will cost money. Plan free activities.


  1. Hi Elaine-I've been trying to post photos too, but guess it's a Blogger issue. Of course the day I'm trying to join a blogging party!!! I've only done one before! Anyway, I love the days I stay home and save money-no gas used, no odds and ends bought that I didn't plan on. If my daughter and I go out and pass the sushi place-she'll want it for dinner, even though dinner is planned or made. I only give in once in a while. Money goes a lot quicker now that the kids are teens! I do plan my menu, grocery list, use coupons and my grocery store gives cents off per gallon of gas. I've saved a $1.10 per gallon!!!!!! I Have to buy the food anyway. Oh, and I get cash back on my credit card.

  2. I love this post!

    I was trying to upload an image to my post this morning, it did it, but acted pretty quirky in doing so. I say keep trying :-)

    As far as no spend days. I love them! Unfortunately I am so bad about spending money on Sonic drinks during happy hour, grabbing a quick bite for lunch when we are in town running errands, etc, as well. We only have one vehicle and I love the days that I can send the van with my hubby to work and stay home ALL.DAY.LONG. Yes, I get a lot done, as well, but love not having to leave the house or the temptation of spending unnecessary money.

    You are so right! $20 a week saved in petty spending is $80 in your pocket at the end of the month.

    Stop by my blog and say howdy!

  3. I often have no spending weeks...and I am not kidding. Now that my husband is the only one working, it has definately cut into my fun can be done..I don't necessarily think it is fun, but it can be done!

  4. Thank you for this post! It makes me realize that our family isn't the only one trying to be money-wise.

  5. What a great goal! If there is anyone that can accomplish this goal, it's you!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and that the whole thing is FREE :)

  6. Love this post. Have you read "Your Money or Your Life" by Dominguez and Robin? It's interesting to me how so often thrift/frugality, health, and sustainable/green living intersect.

  7. Blogger is having serious issues, but you can still post photos through the HTML tab. It only took me a couple hours to figure that out! haha!!

    Love the idea of no-spend days and just may have to pledge myself to 2 or 3 of these a week!

  8. I was able to upload photos by 1) clicking on Upload, 2) COPY the picture (right click, copy), 3) PASTE the picture into my post. Ha! that's one time blogger didn't stop me! Hope this helps.

    Mary @ Redo 101

  9. what a great post,, we all need to do this and more often,, if we buy less there is less production, then there is less polution, great post,,

  10. Hummm, you are talking to me aren't you? I have had this awful feeling that I need to do the very same thing. I spend way to much money on Etsy...lots. Shaneful. You have inspired me to shake myself in place and get wise. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! It is amazing how $$$ comes and goes. I want it to stay, I really do! LOL!


  11. I am a stay at home housewife and I really love not having to crank my car or go anywhere....However, this seldom happens...To many grandkids that need something..
    I blogged today about the cost of groceries...Way too high...Went back to the store today and my bill was $78. My grandson worked 12 hours last week and made 96.00. I explained to him that he would have worked at least 6 hours to pay for the groceries...
    When we get down to it and figure up the amount of time it takes to make the money we spend on frivolous things like cokes, snacks, coffee, and so on, it makes me think twice....Good post.

  12. When I have trouble adding pictures I usually sign out and then sign back in again and it works. Maybe I've just been lucky, but give it a try and see if it helps.

  13. Sorry you are having such trouble loading pictures. That must be really frustrating. Mine seem to be fine here.
    We have lots of no spending days here. Little bits add up fast to become big chunks.

  14. Pictures are loading fine now. Happy Dance!!!

  15. Great post! I keep planning on writing down money spent, but I think I'm afraid to! I know we spend way too much on eating out, cokes, and craft supplies. I WILL set a goal for no-spend days!

  16. I love this! I so need to stay in once in a while. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Val I know exactly. It is like we become addicted to the running around and have to step back and wean ourselves off of it.