Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"No-Spend" Month Update Week 3

*If you're not familiar with my No-Spend Month Challenge click here to get up to speed.*

This no-spend thing has been getting a little tricky lately. My husband has already compiled a short grocery list for all of the things he wants once No-Spend Month is over!  I've had to get a little creative to use up some of the ingredients in my pantry for my Pantry Clean-Out efforts. 

Last night, I put together an impromptu chili in the crock pot.  I unfortunately didn't take any pictures, but the ingredients were: black beans, kidney beans, fingerling potatoes, carrots, onion, chilies in adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, and lentils (which I didn't put in the mix until this morning so that they don't fall apart).  I cooked it all overnight, so I haven't tried it, yet, but I have high hopes for this protein-packed spicy chili soup.  It was partially inspired by a recipe I got from Happy Herbivore's meal plans, but never got around to making since it's a little more time intensive.  Her version has quite a few different ingredients, though, such as a sweet potato instead of fingerling potatoes.  I love sweet potatoes, and her recipe sounded more amazing, but I just used what I had on hand.

I've spent $17 and some change so far.  I spent $15.20 on groceries last Thursday, and I let my husband order two items off the McDonald's dollar menu on Saturday.  He came to a Ragnar Relay Race running event that I'd been looking forward to and didn't complain when I parked us 1.8 miles away so that we wouldn't have to pay to enter the park. (Yes, I'm cheap, but it's No-Spend Month and I had to get in 8 miles on Saturday anyway.)  We jogged there from our car. I joined the 60 minute running group, and my husband did the 30 minute group.  One of my awesome friends from my Tuesday night running group luckily offered us a ride back to the car.  It was freezing out, but it was a good time, and I made some new friends who work at my favorite running store, Potomac River Running, who hosts my weekly Tuesday night running group each week.  Except yesterday it was cancelled because of the horrible weather/snowstorm we had here in Northern Virginia. :(

On the way home, my husband said, "Man, I'd really like to get some steaks right now."  He's an omnivore, and he ran out of meat and cheese in the first week or two because he only asked me to get one thing on my pre-No-Spend Month grocery-shopping trip, despite the fact that I asked him what he wanted and even asked: "Do you want anything else?"  (I actually got him two items and some eggs and shredded cheese.)  So anyway, I took pity on him and offered to get him some dollar burgers from McDonald's on the way home.  (I didn't want anything because I don't really like McDonald's, plus the only vegan options there are fries or a salad without the meat and most of the toppings.)  It was actually still breakfast time, so he ordered two burritos and still ate 3 or 4 of the blueberry pancakes that I made for myself.

I'm planning on going to the grocery store again today to pick up some cheap spinach, canned (or dry) beans and anything else on sale.  Probably bananas and carrots because last time I went they were only $.79 and $.69 per pound.  The only things I really want are produce, and I don't think they usually have coupons for those.  Last week I got lucky and they were having a two for one sale on salad, so wish me luck with that!

Receipts from this week/weekend:
Mickey D's for my husband as a reward for sticking with me on this challenge and coming out to run with me on a super cold morning! 
Update: Groceries from Wed. night
We have spent a grand total of $21.90 so far out of $31 for the entire month. (I got cash back because I felt really silly using a debit card to pay for less than $5 worth of food.)  Pickings are getting slim, my stockpile of canned goods and grains are being used up, and I plan on giving the fridge a nice wipe-down this weekend while it's still pretty bare!

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