I caught a few episodes of “Extreme Cheapskates” on TLC. After watching just how intense these extremos were (peeing in a jar, homemade reusable toilet paper), I was surprised to hear of one of the money saving tips that actually appealed to me. One of the most extreme of all mentioned that he and his wife go on a financial cleanse 5x per year for one week where they cannot spend any money at all. He said it was a great way to ensure they ate everything in the fridge and pantry.
After a wild week filled with long hours at work where we probably ate 6 restaurant meals, I knew it was time to reign it in. Plus, I have a lot of things in my freezer which are about to scare me – so this SHOULD happen at my house. Time to face those items sitting around and get creative.
I also knew that I had 3 food events ahead in the next 7 days – so I wouldn’t be eating ketchup soup. A bit of a cheat, but hey – if you’re going to do it, might as well do it on a week that would be easier. Not spending money is not spending money. I also was stocked on wine (critical).
I have hubster a “heads up” so he could go and buy some milk at the grocery store. I once sang a song to him called “milk, milk, precious commodity” – so I knew he would crack after 1 day without his precious.
First night in convo goes like this:
- Hubby: “I really want some pancakes.”
- Me: “So make some.”
- Hubby: “We have pancakes?!?!”
- Me: “Yes, mix is under the oven. We really need to clean out these cabinets.”
- Him: “Yeaaaaa!” (sounds of pots and pans banging around)
Okay, so I cheated. A LOT. I couldn’t even make it a week with 3 food events. The lunch pre-planning threw me off after about 2 days.
I was able to curb my coffee runs to my favorite shop and make more at home. We did clean out some of our food storage. All in all, it was a worthwhile attempt. Even when you can’t make it work sometimes just the awareness factor of where you’re spending your money helps steer your decisions/guides you to make better choices.
Do you have a pantry and fridge full enough to supply you for a week? Want to give it a whirl?