Wednesday, January 29, 2014

No-Spend Month Update: The Final Stretch! (And partial failure)

I have something to admit: We failed!

We were doing so well on this challenge. Yeah, it's been hard, but I've planned ahead, cooked every meal at home, packed lunch every day, made very careful shopping trips to stay under budget, turned down invitations from friends, etc. Unfortunately, yesterday morning my husband made the executive decision to spend money on some chicken sandwiches for himself on his way home from work. This was very disappointing for several reasons: A) We only had four days left of the challenge! Four days! B) I had already made dinner for him. Yeah, it wasn't meat, but couldn't he have waited just 4 more days?!?  C) I knew that I would have to tell you (my readers) that we had failed to complete the challenge, D) We've worked so hard and made sacrifices all month!, E) He didn't even call me before he purchased them! I believe that I could have talked him out of it! and also F) He didn't get anything for me! Okay, maybe I should thank him for that last one. If he had brought home some delicious General Tso's vegan chik'n from Whole Foods (or something else pre-made), I probably would have been powerless in the face of such delicious prepared food!

Anyway, regarding C): My husband said that I didn't necessarily have to write on my blog that we failed because you wouldn't actually know that we screwed up. Also, he said that I haven't failed. He slipped up, not me! I have avoided spending money like the plague and have made very careful trips to the grocery store weighing my produce to make sure that we don't overspend!

I disagree with his first point because that's dishonest to myself and to my readers. I feel like for the sake of my own integrity, I should tell you about any slip-ups that we may make.  Also, by telling the truth it might help you to understand that it's not so easy to spend less than $1/day on food (and it sure isn't simple, especially as we near the end of the month and our pantry and fridge are emptying out)!  However, I kind of agree with the second part of what he said. Last night, I battled with myself over whether or not to just scrap the entire challenge for the remainder of the month since he'd already messed it all up. I came to the conclusion that : "It's just three more days, and just because he couldn't make it doesn't mean I can't!" The delicious-looking dark chocolate-covered raisins in the produce section tried to convince me otherwise, but I stuck to my guns!

Last night, after my running group, I went to the grocery store. We needed dog food (essential, not included in the $1/day budget for people food).  I spent $2 and some change on 1 lb. of collard greens and 4 bananas. I'm used to eating so many more fruits and veggies, and all we have left are some frozen mixed veggies, prunes, and dried cherries. So collard greens and bananas will have to help me through the rest of the week. For dinner I made the last of my udon noodles with a sauce that was a mixture of both tahini and tamari (which is basically gluten-free soy sauce). It was actually a pretty delicious combination! I also made popcorn with nooch. I'm all out of tahini and peanut butter now and running dangerously low on nooch (only about 2 tsps. left) and popcorn (my favorite foods)!

For dessert, I used some accidentally-vegan frozen pastry sheet that I purchased ages ago and made a chocolate filling out of powdered sugar, cocoa, and melted earth balance. It was delicious! I loved it so much that I made another chocolate pastry for breakfast. I also tried one with mango preserves last night. Yes, so I ate half of the package of pastry sheet, but I was super hungry after my run in the cold! Also, I haven't had a proper dessert in the past two weeks due to the limitations of my steadily-emptying pantry, so no excuses necessary. I can eat whatever and however much I want without justifying it!

Our pantry is looking pretty cleaned-out and so are both the fridge and freezer! There are actually only three items left in the freezer: non-vegan mochi ice-cream, which is off-limits for me, 1/2 bag of mixed vegetables, and 1/2 package of frozen pastry sheet (which I'm probably going to finish off for dessert tonight)! The fridge still contains quite a few condiments, pickles, cooked chickpeas, carrots, collard greens, and a few containers of leftovers. I cooked some extra quinoa and mixed veggies and put them into glassware to bring for my lunches this week since there isn't any quick and easy lunch food left in our apartment. The pantry is down to mainly just baking ingredients (flours, powdered sugar, etc.), rolled oats, brown rice, jasmine rice, lentils, spaghetti noodles, and a few odds and ends. It's slim pickings in our humble abode! I've been making meals out of whatever we have left, which means the food's been a little bland and my diet is heavy on the grains and light on the veggies lately.

I'm so looking forward to going back to the grocery store on Saturday! My friend suggested that when I return to the store I should make like Supermarket Sweep and just dump everything off the shelves and into my cart. :) Does anyone remember that show?

Wish me luck! Only 2 1/2 days left, and I think I can power through it (with or without the support of my husband)! The thought of my epic Whole Foods trip on Saturday, February 1st is helping me deal with the absence of delectable food and fresh produce at the moment.

Also, here's a picture of what I wore to stay warm while running in single digit weather:

I'm a crazy running ninja bandit! 


  1. Looks like we both had our screw ups but guess what, we are better because of it. You still did an awesome job I would have failed when the first weekend hit or I ran out of wine lol. Keep going you are almost there. And if you do do a Supermarket Sweep PLEASE video tape that. I really loved that show.

  2. I'm leading a group run on Saturday morning, and it's right next to a Whole Foods store. We're going to grab brunch there afterwards, and you know I'm gonna grab pretty much everything in the store and put it in my cart. I'll need to recruit someone to take a video or just take a picture of the wobbling piles of food in my cart.

    You know it's sad when you're excited about eating fresh berries, salad and apples! Also, chocolate! I'm gonna treat myself to some fancy vegan chocolate bar and some WF hot bar food!


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