Thursday, February 1, 2018

What's New With You? Frugal February

Hi everyone and Happy February!  Today is the monthly What's New With You linkup, and today I'm going to be talking about a big goal I have for the month.

You all might know by now, but I am a very goal-oriented person.  Give me a challenge or rules to follow for a set period of time and I am GOOD.  In that spirit, I decided to make a challenge for myself (inspired by Ciara) and have a no-spend month in February!  I'm calling this Frugal February (cute, right?), and have decided on some rules that I'm going to follow for the month.

Luckily, I'm not doing this alone!  I'll have Ciara doing this with me, and also got Annette, Jessie, Steff, Jess, and Maddie to join in as well.  It's so much easier to have a support system when you're working on a challenge, so we already have a group Instagram chat going, and will be supporting eachother on our own No (or Low)-Spend Month!

Here are the rules that I'm going to be following, along with some ideas on how I can accomplish each.  All of the ladies who are doing this with me have different goals, so if you're interested in joining let me know what your goals for the month are.


NO buying breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, or snacks out.  I'm usually pretty good about not going out for lunch or dinner on a regular basis, but grabbing a $2 bag of chips or stopping by a coffee shop after my morning run for a $3 flat white adds up after a while.

How? I will plan out my meals at the beginning of the week and make sure I have enough food!  I only buy snacks at work when I'm really hungry, and end up making a bad choice (both money and health-wise).  So, I need to make sure I bring healthy snacks to work with me so I'm not tempted to buy something.  I'm also going to get a fun mix of coffee to make at work so I'm not tempted to go out (maybe even picking up some hot cocoa mix for a fun Friday treat?)


NO online shopping.  I've definitely gotten better about this, but I can still get better.  I'm definitely tempted by constant "sale" emails that stores send out, and end up buying way more things than I need.

How?  Unsubscribe from those emails!  I've been trying to do this manually whenever I get an email, but I might try to use a service (like unroll me) to get it all done with in one go.  I'll also avoid browsing websites that might tempt me!


NO Target!!  This is a big one for me- I have a Red Card.... and a Target problem.  I'm definitely one of those people who go in "just for toilet paper" and end up with a cart full of random stuff that adds up to $100.

How?  Avoid it completely.  I know that if I make a goal for myself to just buy necessities from Target, I'll still end up grabbing that one more thing.  So, I'm going to make it my goal to not go to Target at all in February!  There aren't any products that I can't find at other stores (or if I truly do need something that I can only find there and it can't wait, I'll have Dan buy it for me...HE has self-control)


NO Netflix and Hulu.  We got rid of cable years ago, but still use Neflix and Hulu.  Both of these services can be paused or stopped, so that's an easy way to save some extra money this month.  Who knows- maybe I'll realize I don't miss them and can eliminate one (or both!)

How?  Pause both services for the month of February.  For Netflix, you can stop service at the end of a billing period and re-start whenever you want, and with Hulu you are able to pause for a set period of time.


NO Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.  I'm not going to be super extreme about this no-buy (some people make it a goal to spend no money at all- including on bills, groceries, etc), but my goal for February will be to do all of my shopping at Aldi's.  It's not my favorite store, but they have almost everything I need (no tofu/tempeh/fresh herbs though...boo) and their prices can't be beat.  I also want to try to clean out some older products in my cabinets and freezer and spend as little as possible.

How?  Obviously by shopping at Aldi's!  I'm going to try Jessie's method of shopping the sales (going through the ad each week and planning around what products are on sale).  It'll be interesting to see how much money I can save (and how many old products I can use up).


There you have it!  I'll be checking in throughout the month with lunch ideas, free fun activities, and more.  Let me know if the comments if you're also joining in, and also be sure to link up with Kristen and me below!


30 comments:

  1. HOW do people not spend money on groceries? I definitely couldn't go an entire month without at least buying milk - my boyfriend eats muesli for breakfast and goes through so much milk!

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    1. I think they just use up what they already have or grow their own veggies? No clue..some people are really intense.

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  2. Those are some great goals! I recently unsubscribed from a whole bunch of stores so as to not tempt me to spend. Groceries and fresh fruit and veg are expensive though! I meal prep most of the time and still spend a lot on groceries! Looking forward to see how you go :)

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    1. It helps so much to unsubscribe. Not seeing "Everything 99% off!" helps so much!

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  3. you can do it! i've been on a no spend since jan 1 and been doing amazingly well...but now i've been looking at vitamin c serums that i need but is not part of my 'exception spending' list .... but I WANNNNTTTTT.... lol.

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  4. Oh gosh those darn sale emails! I almost had one get me yesterday but even after I saw the savings in my cart I said "no" and feel fine today. Not going to Target or not stopping by the tempting zones is my way of not using that red card!! Good luck, I can't wait to see you smash this goal!!

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    1. I do that all the time..make up a cart and then abandon it. Now stores are being smart and sending emails to remind you to check out. Can't win!

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  5. I think these goals sound completely doable. This year I've been on a spend less/save more kick (which is working so far), but I haven't been able to talk myself into a no spend month yet. I always think February seems like the best month to do this because it's not only cold (which means I probably won't really want to go out quite as much), but it's also a really short month. For some reason, not spending for 28 days (or 29 during leap year) seems easier than not spending for 30 or 31 days. It's not much different, really, but my brain seems to think it is.

    I agree with the sale emails. Last year I was horrible with those. It's like, "Oh, look ... Tory Burch is having a sale. I guess I should buy this purse/pair of shoes immediately!" I did that more times than I'd care to admit. Haha.

    Good luck with Frugal February!

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    1. Thank you! It's going pretty well so far but I'm definitely happy I only have 15 days to go instead of 17 or 18 :)

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  6. I had no idea you could pause Netflix - I'm going to do that. I've been unsubscribing from emails on a regular basis and that's helped my online browsing. I do like Aldi's but I have to force myself to remember it -- I've been going to Kroger for so long that I don't even think about Aldi's. My goal for Feb. is to meal plan and prep. I already do a lot towards no/low-spend but it's not enough. February is going to be my month to prepare meals from the pantry and freezer. Meals could get interesting by the 20th ...

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    1. Meal prepping saves SO much money. Crazy to look at my previous months when I would just grab lunch because I forgot to pack..it adds up so quickly.

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  7. I have the hardest time telling myself I am going to be good for a month with spending, because something always happens that makes me shell out money. Like tires or something I wasn't expecting haha. I have to give you props for no Target and doing all your shopping at Aldis. I do my grocery shopping at Target. I do like Aldi for a few things though, their prices cant be beat!

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    1. Same here...we're having car issues that are costing us :(

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  8. Ahhh I am in love with grocery shopping at Aldi! I think that's a game changer for us. I kind of like that they don't have a ton of the "trendy/new/cool" snacks and food that I get tempted to buy if I shop anywhere else, haha I'm weird. Good luck with this! You've got an awesome plan and you'll do great! You should let us know how you do at the end of the month:)

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    1. It is kind of nice to not be overwhelmed by choice..they usually just have one type of everything!

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  9. I was on spending freeze last month and it was tough. I had to delete emails that advertised sales and I kept away from stores. The only purchase I allowed myself was a book for my Kindle (I was just in the mood to read a certain type of book) and a new coat to walk in (because it was drastically marked down) and because the one I have been using is way too big. I was able to sell the coat I had to offset the cost of the new one.

    Good luck! May the force be with you!

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    1. Sounds like a great month :) Spending freezes are no joke because always forget about those little expenses.

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  10. I want to try a spending freeze some time. After reading this I thought about doing it this month but then I picked up the coffee I literally JUST bought. Plus we're on the road for work a lot this month and I don't wanna starve.... Hahaha.

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  11. Sales emails are hard to resist! I've had to unsubscribe from so many...

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    1. Same! so annoying..how did I even get signed up for all of them?

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  12. I really, really need to do a no-spend month. I have definitely curbed my spending since Jan 1, but I need to try harder, especially with going out to eat and Target! I'm going this weekend to stock the pantry, so maybe I can give it up the rest of the month, too. :)

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  13. I tried really hard to spend as little as possible in January and it went pretty well all told, so I think the next step is a no spend. I'm not sure about doing it this month as we're going on a short holiday next week, which kind of ruins everything. I think I'll try and not spend outside of it, though.

    I love your goals, and I'm definitely not buying any lunches myself this month. Not even one. We can do this!

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  14. i love that you are so goal orientated and wish i was more like that - or i wish i was better at accomplishing my goals. i am the same but a bit different with target - i rarely go to the actual stores but i have to fight myself to stay off target.com. free shipping and a discount? so easy. BUY ALL THE THINGS. we meant to do a no spend in january and we did really well, but not perfect. i want to try again in march. february is my birthday month so i want to spend everything lol. i didn't know you could pause netflix! very cool.

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    1. That's exactly why I post on here with my goals..so I feel more accountable! Otherwise I'm awful about sticking with them. I'm so happy I could share the power of the Netflix pause with everyone..I hope it doesn't hurt their traffic too much ;)

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  15. Ugh. Sale emails. I need to clean out my list! I also applaud you for staying away from Target. VERY difficult, because they also have so many "household items" for a better price.

    I wish we had an Aldi. I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe's (and don't consider it as pricey as Whole Foods), but I guess it can't beat Aldi.

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    1. I made sure that I bought anything that was about to run out in January, so hopefully I wont have to stop by :)

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