The month we decided not to spend any money.

Y’all, I need to clean out my pantries. I need to clean out my refrigerators. And I need to clean out my freezers. All of them! I have 2 pantries, 2 refrigerators, and 4 freezers. And they’re all a mess! I love the extra storage space because I like to stock up on good deals and I like to make meals ahead and freeze them. But mostly I like to be able to just open the door and see exactly what I have. I can’t do that if everything is squished together in a small space.

My shame. And this is only one of them!

But it’s to the point in all of my food storage locations that I’ve become a little overwhelmed. The more overwhelmed I get, the more I tend to just open a door and throw stuff in. Then it becomes more of a mess, and I throw more things, and buy things we already have because I can’t find them or forgot we had them in the first place.

It’s a terrible cycle.

So it’s time to clean them all out. I don’t want to throw things away, so I decided we just won’t spend any money on (most) grocery items during the month of July.

Hmmm…

And then I took that a step further in my mind and decided…

No eating out during the month of July!

And then, like I do with most things, I ran with it…

No spending money during the month of July!

We’ll be bleeding extra money in August for back-to-school supplies, new shoes, and clothes. So why not take a month to reel it all in? It’s more than a cleaning binge…it’s a challenge! And I like a good challenge.

The rules I’ve set for my family for July are simple:

  • No eating out.
  • Extremely limited grocery trips.
  • No Amazon purchases.
  • No new clothes.
  • No unplanned outings that cost money.

Because I don’t want to quit this challenge by July 3rd, I did list a few exceptions for things that are okay to purchase:

  • Monthly bills. Obviously.
  • Fresh produce and other grocery necessities that will spoil, such as milk.
  • Gas for the cars and lawn mower.
  • Wine
  • 4th of July Fireworks: J can spend $10 on fireworks of his choice.
  • Medical, auto, or household emergencies.
  • Insanely good stock-up deals that I know, without a doubt, we’ll use up in less than 2 weeks that we’ve been waiting for sale prices on. This includes things like baby food pouches, yogurt, and school supplies. Everything else waits.
  • Events already planned on our calendar. For instance, we’ve planned a 1-day road trip to Botanical Gardens to see their very cool dinosaur exhibit. This will require some eating out and expenditures there. However, I’m going to pack our meals for the most part.

All these rules!! But here is my list of potential benefits:

  • Clean and organized pantries, etc.
  • A little extra money in the bank
  • New spending habits, since this will probably help us identify unnecessary money leaks.
  • We’ll find more things locally that we can do with the kids for free.
  • More space to pile more stuff in my clean pantries!!

I’ll be updating throughout the month, but check back in August for a final report on how this goes. Or if you want to, play along with me. I’d love to have some friends to play with, encourage me, and hold me accountable!

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