As I wrote here, I’m embarking on a No Spend Challenge. I promised to share the strategies I’m using to avoid spending, and when it’s necessary, to spend as little as possible.
A few things I’ve been doing so far for No Spend Summer:
1) I warmed up my coupon game muscles today. Two of my kids had a dentist appointment this morning, which happens to be next door to a Publix. So, I logged on to SouthernSavers to see what super cheap-0 deals there were to be had.
Thinking ahead is one of the most important frugality strategies.
The big girls are out of shampoo, so I snagged 2 bottles on sale at Publix. I combined it with a coupon (which I get free from a paper that’s delivered locally, I never buy the newspaper) and a Checkout51 deal, with the result that I made $3 buying 2 bottles of shampoo. Did you get that? Let me explain.
The shampoo originally cost $2.50 each, but it was on sale at Publix for $2 off (when you buy 2). Total: $3 for 2 bottles of shampoo ($5-2=$3). I had a $3/2 off coupon. That made it my total expenditure: $0.
Then I used the Checkout51 app to get $3 cash back. So I literally earned $3 and now have 2 bottles of shampoo.
While I was at Publix, I took a sneak peek at the clearance area. I found a box of LUVS diapers, 120 count, marked down to $10.50. Then I used the ibotta savings app to snag a $3 cash back deal, making the diapers $7.50. That’s less than .06 a diaper! A good deal on diapers is around .15 each, so this was a total steal. (As soon as I bought them, I cancelled my Amazon.com diaper order for the month.)
I would not have made a special trip to this Publix to snag the shampoo deal, because it would not have been worth it after the gas and hassle. But because I was already there, I took advantage.
2) I’ve managed to cut my grocery spending almost in half. Mostly by keeping a sharp eye on food waste, building meals around less-expensive ingredients and ZERO convenience foods. All of this saved money has gone straight into savings.
Dinner last night: zucchini flan, a French dish. I used zucchini and squash that was on its last legs, eggs, sour cream and a bit of cheese on top. With eggs at .69 a dozen at ALDI, egg-based main dishes are definitely on le menu.
3) Using up all the cleaning, health and beauty and personal care products I already have. Yes, this means I’ve been cleaning my kitchen with vinegar (ugh! something I don’t love using).
This has taken a bit of creativity. I ran out of laundry detergent, but happened to have several bottles of non-toxic Babyganic stain remover. Looking at the ingredients on the bottles, I realized they were quite similar. Guess what? It’s now my laundry detergent, and it works perfectly. I have enough for the next several weeks, plenty of time to find an almost-free laundry detergent deal to restock my stash.
4) I took a ton of stuff to two local consignment shops. If the kids (or I) do need a clothing item, I can “shop” from my credit for free.
5) I’ve been using microfiber cloths (which I already owned in abundance) to clean with just water. This is how they’re designed to be used and one of their benefits, yet I mostly kept using them with a cleaning product. Why? Habit.
ibotta and Checkout51 CAN save you money if you use them to get cash back on products you would have purchased anyway. It takes seconds to scan through the deals, and as mentioned above, can be combined with coupons and sales to get free products. Take a look! (We’ll both get a referral bonus if you do – thanks!)
See all the No Spend Challenge posts here