Thursday, April 7, 2011

So far, so good and a little lesson learned...

We're a full seven days (a week!) into our now infamous Dollar Diet. A lot of our friends have asked, "No really, how's it going." Well...

It's going great! We've managed not to spend a single penny on anything (well, besides bills). No, really. We've eating the meals I've planned for on Sunday. We've eat lunches from our leftovers. I've even baked a fresh loaf of bread (which of course, was eaten in one night thanks to my husband). See:
I'm a regular Betty Crocker, I tell you!

I have to be honest though, as I mentioned on Monday, I totally expect these first two weeks to go by relatively smoothly. We currently have a lot of food and household goods in stock. I expect that things during Weeks 3&4 may start to take a downward turn. Possibly a downward spiral, even. As our supplies start to run out, and we're forced to get creative with things... I'm afraid that our patience with this experiment (and each other) may run out with olive oil.

But, that's two weeks away. And right now, this whole process has been strangely... liberating. I don't have to worry about finding time to go grocery shopping or coupon clipping or coupon planning because, well, there's no money to be spent! Instead, we get to spend our weekday nights as a family. Most nights, I've had dinner ready (or close to it) by the time Casey is home and we can eat dinner together, all three of us! Of course, that doesn't say much for the housekeeping...but overall it's been really stress-free.

I've also noticed in this first week alone, how much spending I did simply out of habit. Coming home from Stroller Strides this week, I had a compulsion to buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks or stop for lunch somewhere. When I'm pumping gas or out and about, I find myself nearly buying a pack of gum- only because that's what I'm used to doing. It's a little triumphant to be able to drive past it all, come home and eat what we have in the fridge.

If nothing else, it seems that this Dollar Diet may help teach our family some new habits. We can, in fact, live without a cup of specialty coffee every day. We don't need to spend money at Target, just because we're bored. Sometimes, raisins are a good snack and I don't have to stop for one at a drive-thru.

I'll be curious at the end of the month, how much money we actually saved by not indulging in the everyday, small things like coffee and gum. Spending it at the time, in increments of $2 and $3, doesn't seem like a lot. I have a feeling that it will add up quickly and we're in for a big shock when we see how much we were actually spending!

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