Defining success and setting the right expectations

It is easy to label a failure when the expectations are not set appropriately. I have had a number of people asking my about the Spend Zero challenge I am taking part in this October through Ruth Soukup’s LivingWellSpendingLess site. I thought it would be best if I explained a bit more on my expectations for this challenge and what I hope to get out of it by the end of the month. I really believe that this is a great challenge for anyone, spender or saver.

  • I do think that my family can save by cutting out some of the extra stops and added grocery items.
  • I do think that there are programs and services that can be reviewed, maybe even call to renegotiate a better rate here and there.
  • I do not think that I am going to save tons of money this month, but maybe a trickle in through the next few months.
  • I do think that there are services we had a trials that carried longer than they should have and can be cut.
  • I do expect that this challenge will help me find new ways to save.
  • I do think that seeing others try to save will be an inspiration.
  • I do think we are going to learn about our spending habits and create great experiences as a family.

One place I am already learning is meal planning. I have always known that meal planning is a great way to save for many reason. I know that it helps with the grocery planning and budget but also saves on time because there are less decisions to make. I love the concept but always falter on the implementation. We are good for a week or even two but then waver quickly. I loved today’s challenge task for the freezer meals because it makes everything easier. I don’t love the idea of a bunch of crock pot meals though. I am NOT a crock pot cooker. I am away from the house for too many hours during the day that anything will inevitably burn or dry out and end up in the trash. I will say though I had to make note of the lettuce wraps recipe even though it is for the crock pot, I just noted for it to be a weekend only recipe, love the lettuce wraps!

Ruth’s email today offered many freezer meal recipes and many were not crock pot meals. I jumped all over that and wrote down all of the names to go back to. I plan on having a larger grocery trip this week because we are low on the staples and I hope to get some of these freezer meals prepped for the rest of the month. This means my grocery budget the rest of the month should be minimal.

We are just finishing up day 6 of the challenge so there is still time to jump in and catch up if you want, or just start on day 1. The great thing about this challenge is that it provides the ideas for you to try but you can alter them to suit you better or just skip some. One of the days was a meal swap and that doesn’t work too well for us right now so instead I am going to plan a double batch cooking day to come. Also since I am at work during the week I can’t always to the challenge tasks the same day, sometimes they are a day or two behind and I do more than one in a day.

Six days in and I am so happy to have started this challenge. I am really challenging myself more that I thought I would be. As long as you are setting the expectations up front and be honest about it, there is so much to learn.

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