Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NSS Take 2

Yep!  Summer got away from me.  Life was busy and now it's even busier but in a completely different way.

Folks, it's time for ..........NO SPEND SEPTEMBER!!!  It being September 1st, I thought I better get back into blogging a little more, not to mention I actually have a teeny, tiny bit of free time this morning to do so.  Let's dive right in.

In a nutshell, No Spend September (NSS) is a full month where we don't spend any extra money.  Yes, we spend money on fixed requirements.  This may include; mortgage, car payment, utilities, cell phone (I hate paying this one, it pisses me off every. single. month.  Highway robbery. AND we don't even have two smart phones!), groceries, daycare...you get the idea.  What we don't spend money on (by we, I mean me because I'm the #1 offender in this house) is going out to eat, girls night out (or GNO according to a sweet friend of my S.C.), Target sprees (I swear to Pete that every time I go, I find TONS of clearance stuff that I just "know" I'll use or will gift...in all honesty, that is the truth),  family outings (with the exception of a couple that were already planned and budgeted for, like a Friday night football game for our school), no Starbucks or Caribou.  Seems pretty simple right?  We are a family that rarely eats out, but when life gets busy and you're out running around, it's just WAY easier to grab something rather than make it at home - just think, that's around $30-$50 for a family of 4 to eat out depending on where you go

Here are a few things that I do to try and simplify life and to get a little more organized.  In the process of doing these things, I really do inspire myself to do better.  Here we go:

#1.  UNSUBSCRIBE.  Just this morning, I woke up to about 20 emails, most of them stating that there was a "BIG SALE", or "END OF SUMMER BLOWOUT"!  It's easy to get sucked into subscribing to emails, mostly because they offer a percentage off your order or claim you'll miss out on a lot of deals and steals.  While this is true, it can bog you down.  I was feeling bogged down, so I cleaned house.  I didn't unsubscribe to ALL of them, just one's that I maybe purchase something from about once a year.  Plus, I get tempted to purchase all because they're having a sale, and I have a 20% off coupon and $10 in in-store cash...it's a black hole.  A swirling vortex that will suck. you. in. 

#2.  Pack snacks or a lunch.  When I have Peanutty or Sweet Pickle or both with me while running errands, I pack a bag full of snacks and drinks.  This alone saves me money from not having to purchase snacks while we're out and about.  Here's the little bag I use.  I will bet a GOOD CHUNK of you readers have a bag just like this...if you've ever purchased from Thirty One Bags...you have something like this:

Or do you have this:
How's about this one:
Yeah, pretty safe to say if you've been to a Thirty One party, you have one or all of these (327 more bags just like these were not pictured).  Anywho, back at it.  I use that top one that's an insulated bag to put snacks and drinks while we mosey around doing what we need to do.  IF, like today, we will be running around during lunch time, I will pack up lunches in something like this:

Thank you Target dollar bins!  I purchased this for $3 over a year ago and it's been a home to many PB&J's, Goldfish crackers, grapes, Veggie Straws, and yogurt covered raisins.  Sweet Pickle thinks this is just the cats meow.  Nothing that would need to be cold is packed in the lunch box since it gets toted around and/or left in the car.

#3.  Lists.  We pack Peanutty's lunch every day.  To expedite the sometimes grueling process, we sat down with him and got ideas for what he would like in his lunch each day.  I then typed it up, printed it out and it now has a lovely home stuck to the side of our fridge for a quick reference. 
Essentially, he gets something from each category in his lunch every day.  This list is completely unique to him, so we know he likes all of these items and is willing to eat them for his lunch.  When grocery shopping time rolls around, I ask him what he thinks he'd like for the following week so I can purchase the necessary items.  This year I made little packing stations for ease of packing. 
I'm not a huge fan of using so many plastic baggies, and I have a Pin (yes, that dirty bitch named Pinterest has poisoned my life again, drat!) for sewing my own reusable bags - just haven't had time yet.  It's simple to grab one of each, and throw it in a lunch bag and off he goes.  Last year we had purchased the GoGo Squeeze applesauce's - not sure if you've purchased those, but you practically have to sell your first born to buy them.  So, I started researching re-usable pouches, and we're giving them a go this year:
They've actually been quite amazing.  They are top rack dishwasher safe, we also hand wash them to make sure every nook and cranny is getting cleaned.  We've done applesauce and pudding in them so far, and I think it's worth the $12 for 4 off of Amazon.  I also purchased the collapsible funnel for $6.  So far, so good.  I highly recommend them.  BUT, keep in mind we've only been using them for about a week.  
Ok folks!  That's all I've got for today.  Kind of a doozie!!!  Whew!  
Summing it up:  Mission: Save My Family Some Money  - has commenced.  Please feel free to join me on this month journey.   It's actually kind of fun...until you're pacing in front of Starbucks because you're in dyer need of a caramel vanilla soy latte with whip.  

Happy Saving!!!  Until next time!!!

Side Note:  I'm not editing...I need to do some filing.
Side Note II:  I want to get my pumpkin decor out, but feel at 90 degrees I can't bring myself to do it!

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