You may recall at the end of August I had a no spend week.  The goal was to not spend more than $25 for the week on food, entertainment and gas.  I was also going to try to sell some stuff around the house and make some extra money.

Here is how we did on both parts:

No Spend Week

This part was a success.  We spent $18.74 for the week.

We bought 3 packages of flour tortillas and a 3 pack of Romaine lettuce for food.  While we started the week with a full drawer of fruits, it was completely empty at the end of the challenge and we had used up any canned fruit we had in the pantry.  I knew we ate a lot of fruit, but this challenge made me realize how much we really do eat every week.

The other $10 was put on my Starbucks’ card.  I have been getting up at 5 a.m. and working at Starbucks for 2 hours before I take my kids to school so I can get some work done.  I buy the cheapest drink I can.  I could stay home and work in the basement, but our kids (and daddy) can be a little noisy in the morning, so I get more done in the quiet at Starbucks.

You might recall that I had almost a half a tank of gas.  I did walk my children to school several days of the week, but I still drove to Starbucks in the morning as well as to pick up our CSA baskets and take my son to dance class.  By the time the challenge was over, the light was on because our gas tank was empty.

Selling Stuff

I spent several hours on Saturday listing stuff on Craigslist, but nothing sold.  I don’t know if I didn’t time it right or if I priced items too high, but I wasn’t too aggressive about relisting because I knew I was leaving to attend the Financial Blogger Conference.  When I get back, I will relist and try to sell more aggressively.  I will also try to sell some of my kids’ clothes on eBay.

Did The No Spend Week Make a Difference?

Some argue that a no spend week really does nothing.  Sure, you don’t spend for a week, but you overcompensate by spending more the next week.

I will say that the week after the no spend week, I did spend more on groceries because we were out of basics like fruit, but I still spent less than I would typically spend for two weeks of groceries.  Also, I made due with substitutions.  One recipe called for spaghetti sauce, which I did not have and did not want to buy.  I made my own with canned tomatoes I had on hand, and it tasted so good, I don’t think I’ll buy canned spaghetti sauce again.  Also, I was out of spaghetti but had pasta shells, so I used those instead.

Overall, I think no spend weeks do save us money.  In fact, we plan to have another one after I come back from the Financial Blogger conference.  Also, a week is enough time to save money, but it is short enough that I don’t feel deprived as I do with a no spend month. For us, no spend weeks might just be the way to go.

Which do you prefer?  A no spend week or month?

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