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Low spend week, attempt 2, Amish money,and

October 8th, 2013 at 07:44 am

This is my second attempt at a low-spend week.

Last week's preschool class treats, DS1's antibiotics, and my mystical diagnosis of walking pneumonia kind of blew low spending out of the water.

I feel more in the spirit this week.
Yesterday, I spent a mere $21 on groceries. I think it's a record low since having kids. We're making a lot of soups this week, using up leftover bits from last week's meals.

The weather is colder now, so soup and fresh muffins/bread are a perfect fit. Last night, I made "steak soup" out of leftover brisket, cauliflower, peas, onions, carrots, and barley. We had blueberry muffins with it.

Tonight, is corn chowder with leftover ham and the tons of potatoes I'm getting from my farm CSA.

Anyway... I read "Money Secrets of the Amish" by Lorilee Craker last night. A good quick read. The premise was good, (not so hot on the execution). It's not any advice we don't already know, but sometimes it's nice to get a refresher course, sprinkled with a few anecdotes from people who really DO know how to scrimp.

*****

I've also instituted a few new personal rules that should help reign in clutter, chaos, money, and much else.

I've given it some thought and my priorities are simple:
-A clean, well-ordered house
-No clutter
-Everything at home in good working order
-More money in the bank/ less spent on frivolities
-Healthy, homemade food
-more efficient use of my time and resources. Less running around!

So to meet those simple goals...


Time is always at a premium, and I feel like I spend a lot of it in the car running from store to store to pick up this and that. And, I'm in a hurry, so I forget something always. (a coupon, one thing I needed, etc.).

1. I've inserted a bright blue small paper in my weekly planner. On it, I have written down the name of each store I frequent, and the essential purchases that I need to make (i.e. light bulb for oven, Lampshade for thrift store lamp) from that store. The idea is , no more running to the store multiple times. Make a list, take it with me, get everything I need.

For more difficult to find items, I might try to buy online instead of going from store to store.

It seems simple, but I figure if I have it all mapped out over time, have a master list, and designate a certain day to do all of it, I won't run around as much, won't forget what I need, AND will hopefully have the time to look for coupons for that stuff/stores before I go.

2. I made a few adjustments to the clean-up schedule around the house to keep things running more smoothly. It's so basic, it seems silly.

-I changed when we unload the dishwasher. Now, it's first thing in the morning (instead of whenever someone feels like it.)Then I can just rinse and pop the dirty ones right in. Clear sink, less visual clutter, no heap of dishes waiting after dinner.

-One load of laundry goes in first thing, too. The goal is now to complete one load every day: washing, drying, folding and putting away. That should keep it from piling up.

-Each day, I'm also trying to tackle one cluttered cabinet or drawer.

- I am making a weekly stop at the Goodwill until all of the clutter is gone. We're making real progress here. We have essentially cleared and decluttered most of the basement, and it's working it's way around the house. Things are starting to have a 'place'.

I've also promised myself I'm not buying anything else for the house or otherwise until all of the clutter is under control. Nothing in until all the junk is out.

-My shopping list (see No.1!) is now about essential spending. What do I need to buy to meet the goal of a clean/functional house? For instance, the lightbulb to replace the burned out one in the oven. What do I need to buy to finish a project that is half-done around the house?

I want to focus time and money on repairing and maintaining what we have, rather than spending on something unnecessary and never getting around to buying the stuff that actually would improve our daily lives by keeping things working. It's my plan to reduce everyday annoyances.

It's a start!

On the savings front...
I'm hoping this pared down less hectic strategy might allow us to spend less and get more into savings. Savings have really taken a hit this year. It seems like one thing after another, and we've been taking money out instead of putting it in.

The goal is to return to 10 percent savings of take-home pay, then back to 20 percent eventually. Fingers crossed.

3 Responses to “Low spend week, attempt 2, Amish money,and ”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I have a semi cleaning schedule, I know when towels and sheets will be washed. I do two loads of laundry about every two to three days. Kitchen seems to stay pretty good. I still need to work on a bathroom schedule.

    All your goals and plans to meet them sound great. I expect they will make a huge difference. I do like the declutter plan the best!

  2. nhgirl1970 Says:

    I made a rule about a year ago and it has made a difference with clutter. For every new item that comes in, two items have to go (Sold on Ebay,Goodwill or trash depending on condition).

  3. snafu Says:

    I really like routines, it makes day-to-day chores easier and repetition makes it go faster. I read it takes 21 days of conscious repetition to turn an activity into a habit. We too have a new item in - old item out policy. It's unexpected benefit was the sums saved when it stopped impulse purchases.

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