3rd Week of No Spend Month

The third week of No Spend Month felt like a blowout when we spent $55 on food, and $54 on gas.

We invited friends over for dinner instead of going out to eat.  We fixed chicken, brown rice, and homemade rolls, and our friends brought a great salad with leafy greens and mango.  For dessert we snacked on fresh blueberries and cherries.

I thought about quitting No Spend Month once I realized how great the cherries are this season.  I bought a big bag, and they’re already gone.  Maybe I will buy more this week.

We finally bought gas, and I think that will be the only time this month.

Cooking dinner at home and washing dishes together can be pretty nice.

Purposeful and Deliberate

I’ve been receiving a few emails from people who want to try a No Spend Month, but think they will miss the goal because of an unavoidable expense.  So let’s clarify:  the goal isn’t to avoid spending any money, because that’s impossible.  Money is a tool, and it’s main purpose is to spend it.  If you didn’t spend any money, there would be no use for it at all.  And there’s nothing grand about being miserly or cheap.

The true goal for No Spend Month is to practice making expenditures planned and purposeful, rather than impulsive and temporarily satisfying.  Because it’s not about the $250, or whatever the budget may be, it’s about good habits and a clear perspective.  As Nancy said, it’s a good feeling to plan for expenses and then come in under budget.

And here are more good ideas:

Denise is getting resourceful with meals and selling stuff like crazy on craigslist.

Tisha made a creative envelope for a cash-based budget (a plain white envelope would just not do).

TwoFish is dedicated to her new commitment to compact.

Laura takes short-term steps for her long-term goal to pay off her mortgage and move to Portugal.

Taste of Summer

After admiring everybody’s backyard gardens, I took a trip to the produce market and came home with enough fresh food to cure any lingering trace of garden envy.  The peaches were irresistible at 40 cents a pound, and I bought enough to cause snickering in the checkout line.

I also came home with six pounds of tomatoes, some nectarines, broccoli, cilantro, limes, and three pounds of ripe cherries. (For all of it, the total was less than $20!)  I wanted to take advantage of the good seasonal produce while I had the chance.

pestoThe peaches are going to be sliced and frozen for smoothies.  We’ll make roasted tomato salsa, and I’m hoping there will be enough salsa for canning.  If we have time and the cherries last, maybe we’ll have cherry cobbler too.

From my container garden, I gathered basil leaves and made pesto with toasted pine nuts.  There’s so many different ways to make pesto —  you can vary it with cilantro or spinach and try different nuts or cheeses, but I prefer traditional basil pesto the most.  I love how the leaves smell.  I spread the pesto over a slice of homemade bread, and then had even more with pasta later.

Goodness, I love summer from starnorth.org