|Ham Sandwich courtesy of our kitchen. ©Bushel&APeck|
Well, it's uneventful to report daily, so I felt weekly would be more efficient.
Guess what? Whole lot a' shakin going on. Actually, I'm lying. There's nothing going on. Because news flash? 30 days of nothing isn't something - it's the opposite. It's nothing. Nothing to see. Nothing to report. There are no Friday night dinners with friends to weigh in on, or frozen margaritas and chips and guac on late summer night restaurant patios, or sushi date nights to wax poetic about. No, none of that.
There's some home cooking (AB...and all that). There's reheated leftovers. There's bread baking (again, AB). There's been weeping and gnashing of teeth (me and all that). And there was also the time in the past six days where my son was craving burgers from a popular burger joint and declared "I wish this was 5 days of nothing!" To which his little sister gave a hearty "yeah!"
So there's that.
Basically, we're weak.
I mean, we haven't caved. But we're undisciplined goons when it comes to money. Or at least when it comes to eating out.
I would be lying to you if I said we were as strict with ourselves as we were in, say...2011. When we wouldn't even buy groceries except for absolute necessity. I'd also be lying if I told you I didn't hate that particular year's challenge. Ugh. Cleaning out the pantry darn near killed me.
This time, we've been to the store. We've allowed ourselves to buy some of our grocery favorites. We've even had a quick dinner at our local grocery store (they have a small table area - we bought the food and ate there). I know that's not technically "nothing", but we rationalized that we were, after all, in the grocery store. (no stones)
Another day, a friend graciously provided lunch for me at a local fast food chain. I accepted greedily. Ugh. I'm like a junkie.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I can tell you that yet another day we met Keira's Kinder teacher from last year for an ice-cream social. Technically, that was full-on cheating. But we felt it was worth it and gave ourselves grace.
Outside of that, and who am I kidding - you might think we're pretty pathetic at this point - we've eaten all other meals at home or as left-overs for work, etc. The kids have not bought lunch at school. We have stayed away from Starbucks and $1 drinks in the drive-thru and buy one get one whatevers from wherever. We have otherwise abstained.
I'm here to testify: this is HARD. It is completely counter-culture not to spend in small and big ways all the time. I have had people email/text/message/even call me to say "I admire what you're doing, but we CANNOT do it." Like they literally cringe just thinking about it. They, like us, rely too heavily on the convenience of eating out or drive-thru or take-out or shopping.
Listen, I get it. We're trying to swim against the flow. Sometimes it feels unremarkable. Other times, it feels almost impossible. Like Saturday when we did yard-work for over eight hours in the sweltering Texas heat and I thought I would drop on the ground and die a long theatrical death if AB wouldn't cave and take me to a Mexican restaurant and let me have a margarita and tacos. Die, I tell you.
Instead he grilled steaks and corn and veggies and we had a wonderful meal in. It was just buckling down and making ourselves recognize that it's one day, one meal at a time. It's fighting the urge in the short-term so that we can afford other things in the long-term. So we can teach ourselves how to keep to our budget better and think before we swipe and measure what we've been given with what we expend.
It's hard. It's not really that fun.
On the other hand...none of our paychecks this month will be going to local restaurants. Not a dime. Instead, we get to keep all that money. And it adds up really fast with a family of four.
That's kind of fun come October 1st.