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January Spending Strike Day 2

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Happy New Year, Blogging Friends! I hope you had a great holiday season and happy new year’s celebration and are ready to kick off 2014 on the right foot!

spending strike

I announced waaaay back in December that I was joining forces with Kelli from The Sustainable Couple and embarking on a Spending Strike in January. I’ve actually done this the past couple of years – always in January – usually in conjunction with Life As Mom’s Eat from the Pantry Challenge. I have HUGE stash of pantry and freezer food and January is a great time to try to work through that stash. Waste not, want right. Right?

This year we’re stepping it up a bit – Kelli has challenged herself to spend NO MONEY in January. You can read her progress here. I have not pledged anything that drastic. But honestly, my husband and I already spend very little money on a regular basis. One of the benefits to living in the boonies is we are rarely tempted by Starbucks or Target because they just aren’t out here. We save a lot, but when we do spend, it’s usually big – like our trip to Paris last year.

On a regular basis, though, you will find me shopping for household items and clothing at Goodwill and Salvation Army. Granted, I can rack up quite the bill at Salvo and Goodwill – just ask my friend Robin. 😉 So, I will be staying out of thrift stores this month. Instead, I’m saving my money for all new household items for our Passive House that we hope to move into in August. I’m going on a huge shopping trip one of these days soon and I plan to spend an insane amount of money. But we’ve been saving for this moment for years. And focusing on the prize will help me add more cash to that stash at the end of January!

But back to the SPENDING STRIKE… To prepare for this month, I read Sarah Barker’s book The Spending Strikeblank. I found it interested to read through her daily temptations and successes. Barker is a fellow Iowan and community college instructor {like me} and wrote an interesting book about her experiences with her family’s first spending strike back in January of 2011. She also wrote The Spending Strike Workbookblank to help people keep track of their accomplishments and savings for each day of their strike. Barker’s hope is that embarking on a spending strike of your own will help you enjoy what you already have! Her strike forced her back into the kitchen and helped her enjoy more quality time with her three children. I enjoyed reading about family nights her family had and a cooking contest she and her husband had one night for a date night in. I hope to come up with creative family entertainment and food using what we already have in our barn as well!

I hope to update tomorrow and share more of my family’s goals for our strike. And Monday, I’ll share the menu plan I’m putting together for January based on what’s in my kitchen right now! So stay tuned..

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankLori R-M says

    My favorite cheap and frugal thing to do is use vinegar instead of fabric softener! I love the results and it saves a ton of money.

  2. blankBrittany says

    I coupon all the time. I always pick up coupon books when I see them, they have a ton for free at our Commissary. I keep a stock pile of the coupons that I think our family will use. Then you have them when you need them.

  3. blankstephanie says

    I like to coupon and try to match deals with coupons so I can stretch my budget out more. I also like to do Dave Ramsey and do the envelope system with cash so that way I don’t mess up my budget because I always forget something!

  4. blankKim says

    I am following along. we’ve been kind of on a spending freeze for a year trying to get things paid off to start to save to get moved out to the country & we do exceptional for a few months & then we act like teenagers w/o a care in the world for a month & feel like we pay for it for the next one … *sigh* like I said, following along..

  5. blankHarriet says

    I am doing the pantry challenge. It is my third or fourth time. But this year it takes on a new meaning. Hubs has been diagnosed with cancer. I am trying to get my mind around the fact that one day we may have to function off just my income. YIKES! If I prepare now both mentally and financially, then it will not be so hard to do. So, here I go 🙂

    • blankHarriet says

      Our son is 13 and loves coffee. He is in K-Cup withdrawal as we now make him use regular coffee (decaf) in the reusable cup.

  6. blankDianna Thomas says

    I mainly shop once a month with coupons– basic meals are planned for the month ahead of time– with one soup and sandwich night a week. So the only extra I pick up during the month is my husbands addiction– DARK CHOCOLATE.. Sure I could limit him, but this is the only real treat he ever gets, He is a disabled vet, that is stuck in a chair all day –so he deserves it

  7. blankJoni Caraway (trippygrandmaof3) says

    I save money by making homemade washing detergent, fabric softener and stain remover. I also use coupons and use left overs to prepare a meal using a different recipe when possible.

  8. blanknicki says

    My favorite frugal things are growing and canning a lot of our foods, making my own beauty products and laundry soap and cooking from scratch!

  9. blankBridgette Friedman says

    Try to have as many no spend days a week as I can. It encourages me to plan my purchases and decreases impulse spending.

  10. blankSarah Ann says

    My tip is to plan, plan, plan for everything. Plan ahead for meals and shopping. Plan ahead for children’s clothing, so you can buy on clearance the prior year. Plan for emergencies to arise and to have money put aside. Being ahead of the game puts money back in your pocket.

  11. blankRachel Russell says

    Several ways I save money is by canning or freezing leftovers, hanging my clothes on the line or in front of the fireplace to dry, bartering (exchanging some babysitting for 1/2 gal of milk and some deodorant, ha). This keeps me out of the store myself which saves even more money!

  12. blankAng says

    I know it’s just a small thing but I make my own wrinkle releaser. The store bought stuff is so expensive and I just do not want to iron all the time.

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