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Spending Strike – Week 1 Wrap Up


spending strike

It’s the start of Week 2 of the Spending Strike. Are you striking with me and Kelli? You can read Kelli’s progress over on her blog, The Sustainable Couple. She’s getting ready to head off on vacation and not spend any money…? Think she can do it?!

Before I can share my progress with you, I thought I’d define what exactly the spending strike is because I’ve gotten a few comments about how I’m paying bills if I’m not spending money. I’ve been doing a strike like this is some fashion for the last three years. For me, it just makes sense. We’re coming off a huge giving and getting and spending frenzy – you could say a bit of gluttony. Don’t get me wrong: I love December. But when January rolls around, it’s time for me to take stock of what we already have and USE IT UP. So three years ago, in conjunction with Life as Mom, I started eating from the freezer and pantry during January instead of buying new groceries. It actually works out really well because I have a TON of food.

Sort of unrelated to the Spending Strike…I once heard that people with more than a two week’s supply of food can be found on the terrorist list. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but if is, I’m definitely on it. My pantry’s not quite as huge as my Mormon and prepper friends’ pantries, but I think I’ve got a big enough food store to keep my family of 6 fed {albiet not that well}, but nonetheless fed, for at least 4-6 months.

Since most of the money I spend each month is for groceries anyway, a total Spending Strike is not all that far fetched for me. So basically, I resolved during January to stay out of Goodwill and Jimmy Johns  {and off Amazon} and eat up what I already have. Of course we’re paying our bills!! You have to pay your bills or bill collectors come after you. Truth be told though, we are debt free except for a small mortgage. We own our cars, our land, and have no credit card debt. So we’re doing ok in the bill department. 


And Sara’s  hip surgery and the weather have definitely been in my favor so far this January. I have zero desire to strap my three year old in a 1/2 body cast in my van and head out anywhere – even to the grocery store. She’s harder to maneuver than a baby for sure.

brutal cold

It’s 10 degrees right now as I type which is a huge heat wave! Yesterday it never got up to zero thanks to the polar vortex swirling above a significant portion of the US right now. Brrr! So no thank you on going outside. 🙂


So, what have spent money on in January? Well, I sent my mom to Aldi on Christmas Eve after butter and a few other supplies. Some great people in Iowa City gave us a dozen farm fresh eggs a couple days ago. Other than that, I haven’t bought anything. Not even wine. 😉 I do plan to head to the grocery store one day this week though. I’m out of fresh milk {though I do have some frozen milk, dried milk powder, and buttermilk powder as well}, I’m down to the last few apples and grapefruit and totally out of lettuce and all greens. I do have frozen peas and green beans in the freezer, potatoes and onions still from my garden, whole wheat berries {for grinding into flour}, rice, and beans safely stored in these awesome 5 gallon buckets and sealed with gamma lids, and I have a huge stash of meat, cheese and butter in my fridge and freezer. So I haven’t had to buy any groceries since December. I’ve been saying all along though, that, my goal is to limit my grocery spending to $100-150 during this January Spending Strike because I will not sacrifice nutrition for the sake of a fun challenge – and I think fresh fruit and veggies are a huge part of good nutrition. 🙂

To wrap up: I haven’t spent any money in January and haven’t been tempted to spend any money. I had $8 of my grocery budget left over from December and we got a surprise check in the mail from a lawsuit we had no idea about from our very first home mortgage company a few days ago. We got a whopping $25 from that settlement {which I promptly put in my wallet}. So I’m actually up $33 so far in January. I do look forward to spending it at the grocery store in the next couple of day. 🙂

So Kelli ends each of her posts {she’s posting daily about her strike} with a running total of her spending and saving:

Money Spent Today: $0
Running Total: $0
Money We Didn’t Spend: $0

Have you entered the giveaway yet for The Spending Strike book and workbook? If not, go here and enter – we have 4 copies of each to give away! Stay tuned Friday for Ally’s guest post on how her family paid off $12,000 in debt in 13 months! And if you’re a blogger and also blogging about your progress – we’ll have a linky party that day, too, so get your posts ready!! 

Linda Kinsman

Thursday 9th of January 2014

Wow. I am simply amazed at your ability to do this! It shines a light on the fact that we spend a lot of our earnings at the grocery store.

I may not be ready to join your spending strike, but I am certainly ready to put a pan of action to slash our grocery budget.


Thursday 9th of January 2014

Trying to spend freeze as well, staying out of Goodwill and not eating out unless we use our Gift Certs. With all our short checks this month, hoping to free up some cash and I am with you on the not sacrificing good health. We have some gluten issues here. Glad you dtr is doing so well, she's so cute and strong.

Michelle Marine

Thursday 9th of January 2014

Thanks, Tonya! Glad it's going well for you, too!! Thanks for commenting. :-)

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As an Amazon Associate Michelle Marine, SimplifyLiveLove, earns from qualifying purchases.