Category Archives: No Extras Month

Week 2 & 4 Update {No Extras Month}

I’ll be quick with these updates. Weeks 2 & 4 were definitely not as hard for me. Maybe because in Week 2 I started getting rid of/selling stuff, and it felt so good. 

Week 2

-once again we used 1/2 a tank of gas

-we did not go grocery shopping; we stretched our groceries from the week before

-I did however buy some sand toys (that were marked down 50%) from Target for the kids beach bags. It was a joint effort between me and my sister-in-law. I really must show you the bags.

-We treated some new friends to a local Cajun restaurant. I would have been more than happy to cook for them, but they are new to town and we really wanted to introduce them to this place- it’s really cheap and good!

Week 4

– we used a little over 1/4 tank of gas

– once again we did not go grocery shopping; we had a bunch of leftover food in Florida that we split with Mark’s brother so we made that work all week

– I continued selling/consigning/donating items.

Just a reminder, if it’s not obvious, that we did not participate in Week 3 because we were on vacation. Even then, we did not spend much extra. It’s hard to just “turn off” the No Extras mindset. I think that is a good thing. This month has been good. I can see how this is going to change our spending in future months. It made us more aware. More aware that even though we eat at home 90% of the time, the other 10% adds up. More aware that less is more. And more aware that when we have less, we have less to take care of meaning we have more time with each other and don’t need more toys/things to occupy the kids in order to “gain” more time to get things done. Make sense?

I think this will definitely become a once a year (at least) thing until we are satisfied with how we handle our money. And even then, think about how awesome it would be to grow up doing this as a family in order to give the money saved to some charity or foundation or a family in need or to save up for a family mission trip……oh the possibilities.

What do you think? Would you do it for a month? Would you consider making it a family tradition? Or did you grow up doing something similar?

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Week 1 Update {No Extras}

Well, we’ve made it through one week of our No Extras, Bare Necessities, Essentials Only, whatever you want to call it month. Here’s some stats:

– We used 1/2 tank of gas.

– We went big grocery shopping.

– We bought me some more vitamins and stomach medicine

– We bought replacement screws for 50 cents and some screws that double as anchors.

This is actually a lot of gas for us to use in one week since everything is so close to our house, but by the time July 1st rolled around it had been eight days since we had driven anywhere (except church). So we had several errands to run, plus we drove Mark to school in the morning, picked him up for lunch, drove him back, and then picked him up at the end of the day. We probably would have saved a little money by having his bike tire repaired instead of driving him, but by the time he was out of class the bike shop was closed. So…. Oh, and usually the kids and I walk just about everywhere, but I’m having a lot of pain in my left foot and leg and couldn’t even put weight on it a couple of days.

If not driving in eight days sounds long wait until I tell you how long it had been since we went big grocery shopping or actually grocery shopping at all for that matter. SEVENTEEN DAYS. And no, I did not buy food for seventeen days. However, we had something to eat every meal, and we ate up a lot of what was in our pantry. That being said, we had to replace a lot of staples when we went grocery shopping. I am hoping for a quick run next week to pick up a few basic items like milk, yogurt, and some fruit/veggies.

At this point in our life we have also decided that my vitamins and my stomach pills are an essential. I have a very irritable stomach that can’t handle dairy among other things. I’m probably allergic, but I’m holding off on testing because I really LOVE cheese. It’s such a great, quick, protein snack that tastes good. After several nights of waking up throughout the night for bathroom runs in addition to the times I was waking up to feed The Manon (Kanon’s nickname), Mark decided it was an essential and got me some the next day. What do I take? Tummy Tune-up from Beeyoutiful. It has worked wonders for me.

And we had to make two runs to Home Depot that I was secretly happy about. I love that store. One, because I stripped a screw trying to attach a knob to our dresser, and out of the 5 billion screws that we have not one of them matched. And two, because the grate over the air return upstairs (which is the kids’ room) fell of the wall exposing some spiky ends to screws. We didn’t have any anchors on hand, so the Mr. picked up those screws that double as wall anchors. I really love those things, but this time they didn’t work. The holes left behind from the screws ripping out are so big that the anchors just fall out. We still need to fix this problem.

Things I wanted to buy but didn’t:

– A $3 candle while at the grocery store. The only two we have are pretty much gone.

– Colored Duck Tape. Especially Red, White, and Blue to make this banner.

– Paper plates. Remember we don’t have a dishwasher.

That’s all I can really remember. I’m sure there was more, but I obviously didn’t need/want it that bad if I can’t remember it. All in all it was a pretty easy week. I’m sure having free Chick-fil-a helped. There is one thing that I really, really want to buy: a replacement klean kanteen for Mark, a 20 oz insulated one to be exact. He had one. We both had them. We loved them. Because they really do keep your drinks ice cold or piping hot. I loved it because he drank more water when he had it. I drank more water. He now steals sips from mine when he’s home. His kanteen was stolen. From seminary. I’m struggling with whether or not I should buy him another one. The whole point of this month is NOT to wait until August to buy everything we wanted to buy in July, but rather to evaluate how we spend our money and see what is truly necessary. What should I do? Should I buy him another one?

I’ve really enjoyed our first week into our little month-long program. Our house has stayed cleaner. I’ve made Kyrie a couple of shirts and dresses. I made a journal, sewed a pillow, played with the kids more, and overall have been a lot calmer. I’ll keep you updated on next week.

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