30 Day Challenge: Spend Less in May

by agirlandhermutt on May 2, 2013

Yesterday I mentioned starting a new 30 day challenge that I referred to as “No Spend May”. I really should have called it “Not As Much Spending May”. Lets be real.

I’ve seen tons of these types of challenges online where people limit their spending to just essentials (rent, gas, bills, etc) and then give a ridiculously small budget for things like groceries and other misc items you might have to pick up for the month.

I’ll be honest…that doesn’t seem like fun to me. Yes, I COULD do this, but I don’t really have to. I’m a single gal with no kids and a dog that is as cute as a button. So I decided to modify the challenge to fit me and my goals.

I want to appreciate the things I already have more. I want to be pushed to be creative with my food. I want to do things outside of my every day routine and get out of the comfort zone.

I’m a willy nilly spender. I’m an emotional shopper. Oddly enough, this matches my eating habits. Coincidence?! Riiiiight.

I have a few big events this month that I know I will be spending money at, but I don’t necessarily need to go overboard. So with all that in mind, my goals for the month are:

1. Spend $25 or less on groceries each week. I have lots of items in the pantry and freezer.  I want to use the items I have up and put everything to good use. That said, I must have fresh produce and that stuff is expensive. I have the feeling the majority of my budget will go to that area of the store.

2. Limit meals out to no more than 6 times the whole month. For some that may seem like a lot, but I’m a socializer and going out to eat is what we do. Don’t judge.

3. Cut out unnecessary purchases. No buying nail polish at Target because I was feeling bad on the way home from work and there was tons of traffic. No shopping for a new top online at Forever 21 because I saw some teenage girl at Target while I was buying nail polish wearing a cute top that I *must* have. No buying any of those “I NEED those shoes” from Zappos.com. My goal constantly is to get rid of crap in my house. I think a good start would be to stop bringing more of it in first.

4. Evaluate necessary purchases before actually making purchase. For instance, I might think I need Clorox wipes. But do I really need them or is a container hidden underneath the sink that I’m too lazy to dig out? Do I have other products that maybe I don’t like the smell of but  I could use up first before buying the wipes? Think before I buy!

5. Any spending done is done with cash. I want to use cash all month long. So basically, I’m putting away the debit card for the month! That sucker has seen some heat on it lately so I think it will appreciate the nap. I plan on tracking all my cash expenses on my phone. I even got a FREE app to help me out.

So those are the basics. Nothing fancy or outlandish. I’m sure a lot of you probably do these types of things on a regular basis. You fancy, huh?


In totally related news. I made dinner at home last night with things from my food stash. I had a few tomatoes that were on the verge of getting gross, but still tasty. I also picked up a bunch of Persian Cucumbers from Trader Joe’s a few days ago and I have no idea why. There also seems to be an abundance of goat cheese in my house.

Put them all together…

Originally I was just going to make a few of these up for a snack, but by the time I got motivated enough to make anything after spinning class it was dinner time. Obviously this wasn’t going to make the cut for dinner so I cooked up some frozen scallops I picked up at Target a few weeks ago when they were on sale. They are Archer Farms Wild Sea Scallops. Not bad actually.

To cook them I sprayed a pan with this fun Coconut Oil Spray I picked up at Trader Joe’s last week and sprinkled the scallops with some of the TJ’s South African Smoked Seasoning.


Super easy and really tasty!

I smacked down a scallop on each tomato slice right on top of the goat cheese. Hot scallop and goat cheese=Amazing.

I sprinkled a little of the TJ’s Everyday Seasoning across the top and called it a day.

One meal down, 25 more to go!


I hope you guys are having a good week. I’m gearing up for a busy weekend. I’m going to start it off with a trip to the Apple store to see what I can do about this.

Annoyed. This happened at Trader Joe’s. With the abundance of items I have from them and this cracked screen incident, I’m officially on strike from TJ’s.

See ya tomorrow with some type of workout update. Maybe a little complaining too. Fair warning. 😉

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Paige @ Your Trainer Paige May 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Ouch to your phone! I can’t wait until we get a TJ’s here in Colorado. I need that spray! And a bajillion other things.
Good luck with the not-as-much spend challenge! I should probably do that, too. Hrm.
Also, I’m the one who took Lynne’s Blend ticket. I’m looking forward to meeting you, Erin!


agirlandhermutt May 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I’m looking forward to meeting you too! Hopefully Trader Joe’s is on its way to you soon!


Noelle Reese May 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

OK Sister! I am with you! I rarely eat out so 6 times would be a stretch. However, May is HUGE for us: 5th our anniversary, 8th my B-Day, 11th Bryan’s B-Day, 12th Mother’s Day. I am not cooking on any of those days! HA! Plus lunch with girlfriends for my birthday.

Where I am really with you in grocery shopping and food. We are a family of 4. We have the kitchen fridge then we have the big kitchen fridge from the old house that won’t fit in our tiny new house kitchen and a free standing freezer that is so big I can’t reach the bottom and keep my feet on the ground. CRAZY! Bryan moved that one and didn’t realize he unplugged it. All the food GONE that was 2 weeks ago. Last week after his trip to Costco [I do not like Costco and have only been once] he packed the garage freezer so full it broke! We lost every thing but the bottom shelf! Now that it is all thrown away the ice packs on each shelf are frozen solid. I am thinking the door must not have been shut at all at the top.
So after throwing away a huge part of our grocery budget we are only buying vegetables, fruit and dairy until all of the food is gone! Then we can start fresh. You know how many times I have planned a meal and then not cooked it and that meat gets frozen that night? Why am I so damn lazy I can’t defrost meat instead of run and grab fresh? CRAZY!

Now I am not writing another novel about the 30 bottles of half used hand lotion in every room of my house. I am not going to Bath and Body even if it is my Birthday LOL And cleaning supplies, well I may even try to use some of them LMAO


Stina May 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I always think “I really should switch to cash only spending money” to help track my spending on random crap, but then I start thinking about all the benefits of my credit cards (5% off at Target, cash back bonuses on my Discover card) and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I pay off my credit card every month so I guess as long as I’m doing that maybe I shouldn’t worry so much…


Kelly @No Thanks to Cake June 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Last summer I declared July “No Shop July” — Love this post, and I relate!


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