All good things must come to an end (yes, this is the giveaway!)

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It’s over! You did it (and all across the continent, there is the sound of a collective sigh of relief)!

In some ways, this month has been a real stretching experience, and in other ways, it’s flown by and I barely even noticed that I wasn’t spending any money. It’s encouraging to know that life doesn’t seem deficient or lacking when I am not purchasing things. It’s also been wonderful to remind myself that I can provide delicious and healthy meals for my family, and be hospitable towards others, even when on a shoestring budget.

I promised that at the end of this challenge, I would let you know the percentage that we were able to save this month. Our usual savings every month is around 10%. With all the scrimping and saving we could muster (and a few unexpected little expenses along the way, because life is never, ever perfect and predictable), we saved (drum roll, please)…

32%!!!

(my husband asked me to mention that this is his late-night, quickly calculated number, but he thinks it is pretty accurate)

A few reflections and lessons learned (or re-learned) during the challenge:

  • Even when we are denying ourselves many of the things that we usually purchase or enjoy having, we still have such an incredible abundance- compared to so many people, we are truly rich, even when we are living off of the littlest possible
  • When you cannot just go and buy what you want (or think that you need), creativity abounds!
  • Just when I would think that the meager amounts of food in my house couldn’t sustain us any longer, I had the privilege of providing a meal for a family from church and making a snack for our homegroup- and God was faithful to guide me to use what I had to bless others as richly as possible
  • I never "need" a Starbucks, although I will thoroughly enjoy my first guilt-free latte!
  • My wardrobe isn’t really all that dire and pitiful
  • Borrowing is often much better than buying something
  • Fun is usually made, not bought
  • Not going shopping takes away most of the temptation to spend money!
  • It feels so good to be in control of our money, not the other way around

And now it’s your turn… If you would like to be entered into the draw for the Supermarket Savings eCourse (once again, thanks Crystal!), please leave a comment! Here are my only conditions:

  1. If you participated in the challenge, tell us how you did!
  2. If you didn’t fully participate, but tried to spend less, how did that go or what areas did you find you were able to save in?
  3. If you just found out about the challenge recently or just weren’t
    in a season where you felt that it was doable for your family, then let
    us know some saving/paying off debt goals that you have (no need for
    amounts, just general goals)
  4. Or if you just want to get in on a great giveaway, share with us one of your tips for spending less or saving more!

Thanks so much for joining me in this frugal adventure! I know that your families and especially your finances thank you, too! I hope that you found it valuable, and that it challenged you, as it did me.

Be sure to come back on Monday to find out the winner of the giveaway!

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. I didn’t participate as I just found out about the challenge. We have 10 in our family and I am always looking for ways to cut back on our costs. One thing we do is have our electric bill on a budget through the electric company as an equal payment plan. They adjust annually if needed. You have to talk to the electric company to arrange for a special meter, but it has helped us save as much as $200 per year.

  2. I just found your site so I didn’t participate in the challenge. My tip for spending less is to really watch your electricity usage. I turn off my computer and my DS’ electronic equipment at the surge protector when not in use, unplug all my small appliances and chargers etc when not in use, really watch the kids & myself on leaving the lights on. Doing this I’ve kept my electric bill for 1500 square feet below $100 in the summer & it was under $60 for this month (I have gas furnace, water heater and stove).

  3. I think I read about the challenge halfway in so I didn’t participate. Our only debt is our house so we’re doing ok on that. However our grocery spending has been going up like CRAZY! So I’ve proposed the idea to my husband of him preparing the menus and going grocery shopping for Dec. including a nice Christmas meal. So we’ll see how this goes! (I’ll help him out as much as he needs me to, but I’m really hoping to stay out of the stores as much as possible.)

  4. I just found out about the challenge, but one of our goals is to pay off a credit card(within 6 mos) and buy our first home. I have started using coupons more and stocking up on sales so that we won’t need to buy toiletries or dishwashing liquid for quite awhile. Yesterday, I got 4 bottles of Dawn detergent for $2.15(I combined a super sale with coupons)!

  5. I didn’t save a LOT (about 12% off the grocery budget), but I think the challenge prevented me from spending a lot more. We had many challenges and unplanned events this month and if I wasn’t trying to keep up with the challenge would probably have gone 25% over budget, instead of 12% under. So does that make a savings of 37%???