One Month Down, 11 To Go…PLUS Our Expenses for the Week of January 31-February 9th — Buy Nothing New for a Year!

My second return of the year...I'm not afraid, ashamed or just too lazy to hit the guest service counter any more!

Procrastination has paid off nicely for me at times. Considering I’ve made it this far, I have no intentions on changing a thing. In my last post I listed out our expenses for the prior two weeks, in which I revisited the smoke detector saga of 2013.

Being an issue of personal safety, something that many customers, friends/family and readers were concerned that we had not yet purchased, the 2-pack would actually be our first new physical item purchase of the year (exempt, of course, under the home repair/maintenance category.) Due to my calculated procrastination, I’m happy to report, it will also be our second return of the year!

Like many people I’m sure, I always find what I’m looking for after I’ve purchased another one. Be it the multiple caulk guns I own, half a dozen or so tape measures, or various opened multi-packs of water filters, somewhere in the back of my head I knew this was going to happen with our smoke detector. Partly because it was the first new thing we purchased, but mostly because that is just my luck. Leave it to me to make a commitment for a year that I need to break within the first month. Now while I know I didn’t really fall off the wagon that is our New Year’s resolution, even walking through the area of the warehouse club store that has all of the new things made me feel, in some small way, like I was cheating. So I buckle and snatch up the irresistible 2-pack of smoke detectors. I mean, there’s an instant rebate, people!!! Not two days later I received this Facebook message from Melissa:

Facebook SmokeDetector


As simple as it sounds to retrieve your very own city-issued smoke detector in the Alderman’s Facebook post, it is even easier in real life. In less than 30 seconds I walked in empty handed and out with a brand-new smoke detector. Brilliant! My thanks to Alderman John Arena and the City of Chicago for providing that necessary safety item to their residents. The woman in his office remarked that nobody really comes in for them, and she was glad to see someone take advantage of the program. With what Chicago residents pay in property taxes, I’m more than happy to oblige!

Without any further procrastination, a full-detailed look at our expenses since January 31st:

January 31: Local Grocery Market

  • Food: $125.59

February 1: Nothing

February 2: Nothing

February 3: Nothing

February 4: Nothing

February 5: Local Grocery Market

  • Food: $55.35
  • This was our Super Bowl feast for the family, all homemade from scratch, not store bought, right down to the sauces!!! 40 chicken wings (spicy garlic, sweet teriyaki and honey mustard with fresh blue cheese dressing,) 2 pizzas (one veggie, one pepperoni,) 7-layer bean dip, French onion dip and Potato chips (which were the only things we didn’t make from scratch!) and ok…a 12 pack of Miller Lite. Tell me where you could get this feast for 5 made from scratch and top quality foods? I double dare you! And don’t call me out on the Miller Lite…at least they were in the aluminum pint football cans. All class in our house, all the time.

February 6: Nothing


February 7: Nothing


February 8: Grocery shopping, item return and gasoline

My second return of the year...I'm not afraid, ashamed or just too lazy to hit the guest service counter any more!

My second return of the year…I’m not afraid, ashamed or just too lazy to hit the guest service counter any more!

  • Local Grocery Store: Food $117.41
  • Warehouse club gas (20 cents per gallon cheaper than local stores): $65.52
  • Warehouse club return: Smoke detectors, CREDIT: $25.12
  • Warehouse club food: $60.79
  • Warehouse club supplies: Personal Hygiene, Vitamins, Ibuprofen: $38.72



February 9: Nothing

So there you have it, 7 out of 10 days with nothing purchased at all. Additionally, I think it is helpful to mention that while our grocery bills may look high to some folks, we feed 3 adults and 2 children in our home, and we do so using organic and/or sustainably produced food in general when feeding our extended family. Additionally, our food bill would be considerably higher if we did not take the time to shop at multiple stores, locally owned whenever possible, and typically purchase dry items from bulk bins and our organic fruits/vegetables from a locally owned produce market. We think that the time and (in certain instances) minimal added cost is worth it considering that it has largely been known that “you are what you eat!” We’ll cover off more on our food choices and how we make frugal choices to stretch our food dollar in future editions of the T&T blog.


What do you think?