Friday, January 4, 2013

January Challenge update #1.

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Yesterday as I was working on some translating, my precious little netbook decided to crash on me, and I lost all of the stuff I was working on :( Wah wah wah...So I had to work till 11pm yesterday because I report on Fridays. Hence, no blogging last night :( Double wah...

But I thought it was time to report on January Decluttering and No/Low Spend challenge



You might remember that my original goal was to spend no more than $465 ($15 a day) on food, necessities, eating out, clothes, entertainment, gifts and miscellaneous. It's the 4th of the month, and I'm well within the budget still.

I did a little bit of shopping because we needed milk, yogurt, and some fruits and veggies. I also went to Rite Aid to take advantage of a nice deal on Pantene shampoo and conditioner ($1 a bottle) because I was almost out of shampoo. I used $2 in UPs rewards for it. But that's all the spending I've had so far.

Goal: > $465
Spent: $ 16.46

I will do some secret shopping tonight and have to make a purchase. But I will get paid for it (still will be part of expenses because I will only be paid in February). Then we decided to go to Applebbees tonight but we have a gift card and a coupon for a free kids meal (that Kid can't wait to use). So this will be free. We are running really low on cereal, so I see a shopping trip coming very soon. When you have kids, it's a lot harder to save...sigh..


A mini-goal that Carla gave us this week was to find what "thing" clutters up our home the most. And it's definitely papers. One of the things we noticed (that has everything to do with finances too) is that its sometimes hard to keep track of all the receipts- or to see what we spent money on- because we tend to lose them, forget them in pockets (and then wash them), throw them away and so on and so forth. So I decided that I needed an assigned space just for receipts that will be easily visible (especially for my husband). So a week or so ago I bought this ugly green (but cheap) container from the $ store:


As much as I love green, it absolutely didn't match anything in our house. So I spray-painted it with leftover chalkboard paint, and now it has a special place in our kitchen. I love it:


Now it's all visible and easily accessible, and all the receipts go in there. Then once a week we sit down together with Hubby and do our budgeting.

Another thing that I really needed to organize was my coupons. I haven't done much couponing in a while but I thought it was time to come back this year (at least somewhat). I keep all coupons and other discounts in an ottoman in the master bedroom. And that's what it looked like before:


What a sad picture...Most of this stuff expired months ago too. So I cleared it all out and organized it. That's what our bedroom looked like for a couple of days while I was organizing:


But now it looks so much better! I have a nice binder for coupons and some old photo albums to keep rebates and some need-to-be-used-soon coupons:


Aww, much better. Now I just wish I could keep it this way...That's going to be a challenge in and of it's own :)


  1. Wow! Great job on the blackboard painted container. I keep mine on top of the microwave and every Thursday morning put them in the computer on a spread sheet, then staple them together and file them away.Works for me. I would dream to have those coupons! Where I live they are hard to come by. I scan the computer for coupons and spend so much time on it I wonder if it is worth it in the long run. Time/money???
    Great post

    1. Couponing saved us a lot of money before but lately high-value coupons are few and far in between. I want to track how much money it will save us this year, just out of curiosity.

  2. Well done, Lena! It looks fabulous! :) Love that chalkboard paint!! And yes, keeping it up is definitely the hard part!! lol!!

    1. Oh, I love the chalkboard paint too. I already have another project in mind to use up what's left :)

  3. Holy Moley you got so much done!! Love the recipt container, coupons can be a bugger to keep up with. I am running low on some things around the house so its back to major couponing this winter to stock back up

    1. Thank you Debby :) But it's only the beginning...I still have TONS to do!

  4. I too used to be great with coupons, but got out of the habit. However,since I found Aldis, I don't know if I will start again or not.

    1. I wish we had Aldis here :( The only nice place we have here is a Hispanic local store. Their prices on produce are hard to beat! But for the rest of the things I have to hunt sales :(

  5. Wow Lena you, as always, have done another fantastic job of everything! I love coupons but but the time I need something they have usually expired. I try to share the ones I don't use with someone else as we don't use enough with just the two of us sometimes.

    1. I used to share coupons all the time. But then I got lazy :)...


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