No Spenduary Update: Generosity on a Budget

We are two weeks into our No Spenduary Challenge and so far so good!

I did want to clarify a few things- we ARE buying groceries every week, which include things like healthy fresh produce, milk and lean proteins.

This is important to our family. And in all honesty our grocery budget is something we do need to workout because since the birth of Issie, it's kind of taken a backseat. I have just been trying to survive and keep my head above water with a baby who doesn't sleep. (Pray for me, will you?)

So we are still on track with our spending and I will tell you it's made balancing the checkbook each Thursday SO MUCH EASIER! 

Last week, however, my sister-in-law had a sweet baby girl and my husband wanted to meet that niece of his. So we looked at our budget and decided to take little road trip to his hometown this weekend. 

We packed our own snacks and only payed for gas. 

But I wanted to take my sister-in-law a care package. New mom care packages are a great way to bless mamas. Watch the video above to see how I put it all together. 

Let's be honest, people go crazy over a new baby and forget mom, who did all the work. 

I had $6 in ExtraCare bucks to my local CVS that I needed to use. I knew with my savvy eye I could get a pretty good amount of stuff for that. I brought the $5 to cover my tax. 

And I brought my little red-haired shopping buddy. 

I got hand soap for $.88

And body wash for $2.07. 

I got chocolate for $1.99 and some lip balm for $1.50. 

In total: I spent $6.44. 

$7.01 after tax. So really is cost me $1.01.

I supplemented my care package with some homemade bath bombs, Crystal light packets, hand-painted note cards my friend, Elizabeth, makes. I threw in some detergent samples (because breast milk stains and spit up make no one feel special.)

And I included a light-hearted read I enjoyed (from my bookshelf) and a devotional I love. I was up front with her that the books were used. She didn't care. 

Generosity and kindness do not have to be expensive.

It truly is the thought that counts. Leslie's face lit up when I gave her the care package. It was just for her. Just for mom. And she didn't have to share!

You can do little things to help out a friend or neighbor. If you know a family struggling, add an extra jar of peanut butter or gallon of milk to your grocery cart.

Bring a single mom's garbage can in from the road on trash day. Offer to babysit for free for a family with a special needs child to give those parents a little respite. 

Or pray! Praying does not cost you a penny because that debt has ALREADY been paid! 

What are some things you've done to show someone you care? 



How I save cash on groceries- without coupons (Free Printables)

Let me start by saying, I actually love coupons. I am not a coupon queen, by any means, but thanks to Laurie over at Passionate Penny Pincher, I have learned the coupon basics and saved quite a bit of cash. 

But I am not a faithful couponer every week. I know a lot of people who are and save a lot of money. But I have a few reasons it doesn't always work for me. 

1. The local paper won't deliver to my house. Yeah, as a former newspaper reporter I would LOVE to subscribe, but they won't drive the extra 1/2 mile to my house to give me the paper. So, I get busy on Sunday and forget to buy it. 

2. I love my computer, but Smart Source and Redplum don't always like to print and I get tired of updating my software ever two seconds to make those programs happy. 

3. I have a baby and run a business and even though there are A LOT of really great websites that do matchups, sometimes I don't have a spare minute. 

So I thought I'd share how I save BIG bucks on my groceries each week WITHOUT coupons. 


1. Shop the sales, meal plan accordingly. Every Wednesday the sales papers arrive in my mailbox. I am a faithful Publix shopper. So I grab the Publix sales paper, and I use my Pantry and Freezer inventory (Free Printables here.) and I plan my weekly meals. 

For example if I have a whole chicken in my freezer and brown rice and vegetables are on sale, that's a meal one night. Or if ground beef is on sale and I have lasagna noodles and sauce, that's a meal!

And no, I am not loading up my cart with cheap, processed foods. In fact, you'd be surprised how little processed foods we eat at our house. Since I make 95% of our food from scratch I save a lot by just buying the fresh foods I need for one week. 

2. Organize your list in sections. Organize your list like your store is set up. I organize mine like this: produce, protein, dry goods, dairy. 

That way my list is already set up and I don't wander around the store looking for things I put on the list out of order. This means I also don't walk past a tempting looking "sale" item I don't need. 


3. Ditch the debit card, carry cash. I tell myself I am only going to spend $65 a week on groceries. That makes us seven dinners, breakfasts, and lunches. We always have leftovers! 

I will use that sales paper I just talked about and figure out the price of things I need. I also keep a running talley of the cost of my staples like milk and eggs and I factor that into my budget. I only spend what I say I am going to spend. I even use my calculator in the store to make certain I don't go over budget before I get to the register. 

4. Grab a smaller cart. Ever noticed how much bigger shopping carts are these days? Yeah, the supermarket has caught on and they make those baskets bigger for a reason. Don't fall fool to this. Grab a smaller cart if you can. 

The carts with the "cars" for children attached to them often have a smaller basket, use that. Or line your shopping cart with the small baskets. 

5. Don't buy meat every week. I only buy meat once a month. I store it all in our deep freezer and I have a list of what is in there. I buy things like chicken, pork and ground beef when it goes on sale each month and then I don't purchase it again. 

I also roll my leftovers into new meals. For example, last week I used one chicken to make three meals (18 servings) for only $23. 

A few more ways to save: 

Dollar Tree- I buy our toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoos) as well as cleaning supplies (bleach, pinsol) at the Dollar Tree. I can get a pack of five toothbrushes for $1!

Banish name brands- I don't buy a lot of name brand items, I buy store brand and my husband can't tell the difference. If you swear you can, give yourself time you'll adjust and your pocket book will be happy. 

Amazon- I buy my toilet paper and the occasional diaper we use using Amazon subrscribe and save. 

Don't forget to hop on over to Romance on a Dime for Take it On Tuesday