This no spend year has been much harder on the Mr., instead of myself. He’s is the spender and I am the saver. I was so proud of him for not buying me expensive stuff for my birthday! He even reused a gift bag that I had saved! ❤️
As a gift, I got a grab bag of seeds, compost thermometer and a new pair of sanuks, since mine were getting holes. (Btw, MIgardener has these grab bags for only $10!) Phenomenal deal!
I also decorated the house for Fall with what I grew. Everything is from the garden and I spent a whopping nothing!
I have also been saving lots of seeds, so that I don’t have to buy more next year! So far I have put up several types of beans, dill, cosmos, ground cherries and I’m working on fermenting cucamelon seeds.
Speaking of hike, we enjoyed going out to a local trail. We stopped at a comic book store that my boy loves along the way. So, it was a great family day!
I also enjoyed raising some monarchs that were on the milkweed! It was free to do and so much fun! The whole family enjoyed searching for the tiny caterpillars on our plants!
We were able to start paying more on the house since I am back to work and are planning on becoming debt free in less than 5 years, pending health and staying accident free! Keep pushing on and thinking twice before buying those wants!
Does anyone else have some tips for saving more? Please share in the commmebts! 😊
How in the world have I not gotten around to updating about our no spend year? Well, the main reason is that it has just started to become a norm for us. And, I can officially say that we made it through the summer without dipping into the savings. That’s a first! Getting a paycheck was sooo nice!
Since the school year started, we really didn’t buy much for the beginning of the year. The only things that the boy needed for school were a new pair of shoes (which we do splurge for since that is all that he actually cares about), and a binder. As for me, I only bought a new pair of sandals, because mine completely broke! However, I had a gift card and got a great deal!
In August, we went on an end of the summer getaway. We took the camper and the pups and headed to the Chesapeake Bay to enjoy a beautiful weekend. We used our KOA rewards card (from our camping trip this summer) and saved some money and packed all of our own meals. So, lots of savings!
We have also been harvesting lots more from the garden. The boy and I have had way too much salsa in the past month, but we still had more last night! I know that technically it doesn’t save us money, if I calculate in how much time and effort I put into it. However, since I love gardening, that also gives me a free workout and yummy food!
Another way that we save money is finding things around here that we enjoy doing that don’t involve leaving the house. Have I mentioned before that I don’t really like going out in public? It’s not the people, it’s just that I have talked all day to little people and I just want to stay home and relax. So, one thing that I have loved doing here lately is raising the monarch caterpillars that are on my milkweed. I collect the little caterpillars and feed them and keep them safe until they come out of their chrysalis and then release them to nature. It is fun for me! Heck, I even have the rest of my family looking for the tiny creatures.
The composting service that we provide for 12 families has been a nice addition to the food for the chickens. They love the extra fruits and veggies and also kicking around in the compost looking for bugs. Double win!
The garden produced so many tomatoes this year! I have sold some, given some away, chopped them for salsa and this weekend I have canned a lot of them for ketchup and pizza sauce. They will give us some delicious fresh food in the winter!
I was also able to put up some zucchini for future zucchini cake this winter and took a few pie pumpkins that we grew and turned them into a yummy pumpkin pie. The boys said that it was delicious.
It’s so weird how you just get used to not really spending money. I won’t lie and say that we haven’t had any take out this year, but it has been a very rare occurrence! My husband and I have been packing a lot more for lunch and eating up the leftovers more often. So, that cuts back on waste more too. This year of saving has made us realize how wasteful that we can be.
I really am hoping that we can continue to find more ways to save, and would love to hear what else that you all do! Any tips that we can try in September?
Last week was a long one! Going back to work means prepping for a new school year and SO many meetings. (And sitting in seats made for 8 year olds during those meetings!) I am absolutely exhausted by the end of the day! But, everything will be ready by the first day for my students!
I have been able to get in the garden several nights this week and had a few nice harvests! I need to make so much more out of tomatoes!
We also had our stand set up this weekend! We had lots of customers!
We finally had to take out the trash. Our goal for the year is to only make 6 bags, so I am thinking that we should be ok!
We also did the compost pickup today. It takes a lot of scrubbing and cleaning, but we only upcycle unwanted containers for the compost. The regular buckets are from a company’s laundry detergent and the left are kitty litter containers.
And check out how much we have composted so far:
And last, but no least, we found 13 more monarch caterpillars that we will be raising and releasing!
And our last 2 were ready to be released on Thursday! 1 girl and 1 boy! (The girl flew away immediately!)
I’m looking forward to getting myself back in the work routine and hopefully having a great school year! Keep blooming! 🌱❤️
July used to be a tough month for us, since I don’t get a paycheck from June until September. (Teacher problems!) We normally had to dip pretty heavily into the savings. However, we haven’t touched it yet!
I was able to score a brand new pair of shorts from the goodwill for a whopping $4. Since my sandals broke, I was able to use the remainder of a gift card and only owed $5!
We have also been selling off our extra produce and we will be putting that money towards seeds for next year!
I have also been able to make lots of food from scratch with the ingredients from the garden: salsa, dill fridge pickles, salads, tomato sauce… and that means fewer trips to the grocery store!
And we have even been able to put up some for winter! (Which will save me money eventually!)
To keep the garden cart sales rolling, I have started my fall garden seedlings! It looks like there will be more beans, spinach, lettuce and kale!
Instead of spending tons of money with entertainment, we spend the days relaxing, walking/working in the garden and my favorite, hammocking with my Sherman!
I am hoping to be able to stay away from the savings in August too, which is hard with back to school time. I don’t need anything new and the boy only needs new shoes and basic school supplies. And no, I don’t think a kid needs a whole new wardrobe because it’s the start of another school year!
So, how has your budgeting been going? Are you paying anything off, or have some major financial goals? Whatever you do, keep blooming! 🌱❤️
I’ll start off with how we were able to go on such a nice trip this summer, while saving money.
1. We haven’t been on a big vacation in 3 years. Only little weekend trips. (But still very fun!)
2. We camped all along the way in the camper that we could double our money on, if we sold it today. (Because we upgraded it so much!)
3. We saved up all year to make sure that we wouldn’t have to dip into our savings for our trip! (By choosing to not eat out, buy things that we don’t need and limiting our spending for the holidays!)
4. We rarely ate out. Because we were camping, we made a majority of our meals in the camper. It was so nice having that stove and our fridge!
And remember the adorable toaster oven/griddle/coffee maker combo for the camper?
It was amazing! We were able to have morning coffee from our campsite and… the thing holds a freezer pizza perfectly!
It was so nice to be able to have some of my boy’s favorite food available for him without ordering out! We ❤️❤️❤️ That toaster over! (We got it on amazon FYI!)
5. We were not big souvenir buyers. The boy and I got a shirt and we took lots of photos that I will be turning into a scrapbook at some point.
Now on to the rest of the month! We have been working really hard at paying down the house! And we are down below the next $10k! We enjoy seeing that number fall!
We also have been eating more from the garden and saving up on our grocery bills. Since I love gardening, it’s a win-win!
We have also sold a bit of our produce and will use that money to buy plants and garden supplies next year!
June was really a blur, due to school finishing and our trip all at one time! The summer is a time for us to focus on saving (since I don’t get paid again until September!) I’m looking into more ways to save, and would love hearing any suggestions! Thanks for reading along and keep blooming! 🌱💚