The grocery fast is going strong! Weeks 5 and 6 found me spending more money than I wanted to–but my food stores are going down! I even had room in my deep freeze for two gallons of my daughter’s breast milk in dozens of 4 ounce bags! I was so excited to say that I had extra room!
Financially, it definitely got harder in weeks 5 and 6 than the first four weeks! I finally decided that the grandbabies’ food, diapers, and wipes that I get here for when I keep them each Wednesday would not be included in my grocery fast budget. When I needed to purchase these, they came up to an entire week’s budget, so I didn’t include them in my totals. (I am including all of our food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, but not eating out, which we aren’t doing as much as I would like to for empty nesters because we have so much food to use here!)
Well, I am at the three week mark in my grocery fast, and at the beginning of this week, I had only spent $35 (of the $50 I had budgeted for two weeks). (See Weeks 1 and 2 here.) I was encouraged about the dollar amount, but I was somewhat discouraged that it didn’t feel like any of our food stores were going down that quickly. That part didn’t really get any better during Weeks 3 and 4 as I went on a five day writing retreat and ate out each evening with my daughter (who was there for her master’s seminar) for my one meal a day. (Interested in OMAD–One Meal a Day??? Check out my Daily Intermittent Fasting videos, audios, slideshows, and posts here!). While I was gone writing, my husband did manage to use up veggies, broth, and tomato juice since he made himself vegetable soups every night! He didn’t use up any of the meat we had shredded and frozen the previous week, so our stores didn’t really get depleted. But…here is what we did use and do:
We are two weeks into my grocery fast (see the intro post here), and I already have unique situations and “special” circumstances to navigate. But like I always told my kids as I was raising them to do what they had to do every single day: “Every day is special, but every day can’t be a special day!” In other words, when we look at everything that comes up as an occasion to skip our school plan, not do our cleaning, or eat sweet treats, we will not be successful.
The same is true with my grocery fast. I could easily say a week or so in that I can’t keep it because we’re having movie night with the kids; I need to spend more because some of the kids are coming for Sunday dinner; I need to take some food to my step-mom; I need to make something for our ballroom dance; and on and on….
I am not big on “New Year’s Resolutions since 93% of resolutions are thrown out by the end of January each year. I have kept resolutions before—doing something every day, like reading aloud to my kids or doing a daily cleaning routine, etc. (I prefer to make life changes a little at a time, like monthly, as described in my Productivity Series.)
However, I decided over Christmas that my freezers and cupboards HAD to be reduced. My husband and I raised seven kids for thirty-four years, twenty-five of those years on one income. I prepped, cooked, organized, couponed, sale-shopped, and cleaned like a madwoman during those years in order to stay on budget and “get it all done.” I had one deep freeze that was collecting ingredients for my next freezer cooking day and another was filled with already-made mega cooking meals. My cupboards were the same.
Christmas is over. Time to turn our attention to New Year’s resolutions, back to school plans, and reorganizing from holiday messes.
For some of us blessed with parents who give us money for Christmas, it is also time to turn our attention to using that Christmas money on something we have longed for, wanted, needed, or drooled over. Here are a few things that I have found to be well worth spending that generous Christmas gift on.