Month without Money Challenge – Day 1


So it’s January 1st and the beginning of a New Year and the first official day for the “Month without Money” challenge. On my FACEBOOK page and here on my blog, let’s share our successes, struggles and ideas and see how we do spending as little as possible on groceries (using up as much stuff we have languishing in our cupboards and freezers instead) and in every day life and “mend and make do”! Personally I’m pretty broke until pay day (and I’ve been very frugal over Christmas!) So every penny not spent will make a difference!

With working towards spending as little money as possible in January, I am using up veggies in the fridge (that have passed their sell by date and need using up), stuff that has been in the freezer for several months, and whatever pulses, beans and grains I have in cans and bags etc. I’m also on ‘toilet paper’ rations (does anyone know if toilet paper was rationed? I am thinking it was!) and seeing how little I can get by on so really being careful with what I’ve got!

Veggie mince with some frozen yorkshire puddings that had been in the freezer for several months. I also found an old packet of stuffing at the back of the cupboard. This is for work lunches…

Had a productive day…

For breakfast I had 30g of porridge oats with some ground flax seed and soy milk.

For lunch I had one a meal prep meal of chilli which I made this morning. I had run out of rice so luckily found some pasta and used that instead.

For dinner I had one of the meal prep meals from yesterday with the lovely root vegetable mash followed by a slice of ‘mock apricot tart’ that I found in the freezer when I defrosted it yesterday. I served that with some custard.

I found some slices of ‘mock apricot tart'(made with carrots) in the freezer so had some for pudding with a little custard

I’d imagine I’m now up to about 1500 cals for the day but I may sucuumb to some tinned peaches this evening!

How have you been doing? What triumphs have you had today?

Money spent on Day 1 – £0.00

C xxx


41 thoughts on “Month without Money Challenge – Day 1

  1. Hmm not had Yorkies in a while – ponders that with mince and onion gravy and veggies for dinner. Other than not being sure what to have for dinner the day has gone well (I suspect during the war meals were planned as soon as the Rations arrived!)

  2. On my way home from church on New Year’s Day I had quite a dispute with myself because I really wanted Eggs Benedict at a cafe for brunch, I deserved a treat, it was a special day, etc etc. But I resolutely went home and prepared a rather tasty savoury egg dish from ingredients I had available, saving myself some $17, and thanks to your inspiration! Best wishes.

    • We had the chance of going to the pub where they were doing all day breakfast – we figured by the time we were done it would have cost us £50 – so we stayed home in the dry and had Veggie sausages in a bun instead – much better for the wallet!

  3. The tart looks interesting. I’m going to do a freezer and cupboard stock take this week and I’ll probably find all sorts of things I’d forgotten I had. Apart from setting aside DH’s bus money for work, I’ve had a no spend day today. In the spirit of using things up, dinner was made from freezer and cupboard items and I made Caramel Slices for dessert to use the can of condensed milk I’d had on the shelf for weeks. I will need to stock up on eggs, milk and cheese tomorrow as Christmas visitors have practically cleared me out, but for dinner I’ll make a casserole with today’s leftover beef and veg from the fridge. Having spent a bit more than intended over Christmas I could certainly do with a low spend January. Have a great 2017, Carolyn. All the best, Helen xx

  4. Just used up the last of the mixed nuts I had to make a kind of satay sauce to have with some leftover chicken. I love cooking when I have everything on hand already. So, mixed nuts, honey, lime juice (got a couple of limes from the foodsharing place before xmas), dried chillis and garlic all whizzed up with some coconut milk. Fried up some sweet potato to go with it and even had some salad leaves on the side. Works out well since I wanted to make some pumpkin soup during the week so now will have a splash of coconut milk to add to that, too.

    • Haha! I think that came out wrong…literally I am trying to be mindful so instead of rolling off huge wadges of the stuff off the tube am just being careful. xxx

      • Happy new year guys, I also think it depends on what way you put the toilet roll on the holder, you save more toilet paper if the paper hangs closest to the wall.

  5. I made up a roast I bought last week on sale and simmered it in a chicken stock, tomato paste and paprika sauce. I mashed some potatoes to spoon it over. It will make several meals for me over the next few days. I also baked two loaves of bread to mop up all that sauce. Yesterday I made a batch of beans using some of the many cans I had in the cabinet. Sliced up some hot dogs, added some ketchup and brown sugar and mustard. So that’s lunches and snacks covered for several days. It amazing how much food we really have on hand. We’re very fortunate. I look forward to the rest of the month and hope to be better at being mindful of waste from now on. Thanks for starting this challenge!

  6. I did the weekly shop yesterday to kick off my version of the ‘month without money’. I did a complete stock take of the kitchen and veg patch and headed out to the shop with a tightly budgeted list (essentials only!) AND I was actually able to stick to the list! We haven’t done a proper shop since 4 days before Christmas – just milk & bread – so we have nearly cleared out the cabinets! I managed to get great value out of the reduced fruit and veg in Lidl this week. I also bought meat and fish (to suplement what little is left in my freezer), milk, eggs, toilet roll etc. as well as some gluten free items for my daughter who is intolerrant. And as everyone is still home from school/college this week the shopping will need to do 3 meals a day for all of us. I’m seeing lots of stews and soups in our future! Total spend was €62.47 – for 6 people (5 adults and 1 teenager). So that’s €10.41 per person for the week. Not too bad all things considered.
    After grocery shopping my husband treated us to our last take away coffee of 2016 at our favourite coffee shop. As a New Years treat for their customers they were giving away cupcakes with each coffee so 2 coffees AND a 2 tasty decorated cupcakes only cost €5! That was our last bit of indulgence as we know we won’t be having any take away ANYTHING for January!
    We spent €0.00 today as we had a leg of venison that we got as a gift from a friend (so free meat!) for our Sunday lunch with heaps of roasted veg and gravy. It was gorgeous! And there’s enough left over meat and gravy to make a pie for tomorrow’s lunch!
    Here’s hoping the week goes well for everyone!

  7. My grandmother used to tell me that in her family, when she was little during the war, the ladies of the house would use a flannel or cloth of some sort in place of toilet paper as it was very difficult to find and was an expense they couldn’t afford. This was only done when having a wee though and they apparently would just rinse it in the sink and leave it on the side for someone else to use. Not entirely sure how hygienic or not for that matter this method was but needs must i suppose and every little helps in those circumstances! I must also point out that she was the eldest of 11 children in her house 5 of which were girls so i would imagine a lot of toilet paper would have been used.

  8. Day One was a success with not a cent spent !
    Breakfast and lunch were courtesy of work, and dinner was yet more left overs from christmas cooking, home made sausage rolls, and home cooked chips, with still a kilo of spuds to go in the big bag. Heaps of carrots and bits of fresh veg left over. A veg casserole made which should do four servings between two of us. Freezer contains about a dozen meals easily with what’s in there and the cupboard….that should feed us for nearly a week, though the meals may turn out to be a little unusual at times.
    Would love any suggestions of what to do with two cans of creamed corn bought by mistake instead of corn kernels. Likewise what to do with left over home made cranberry sauce.
    Today, day 2 here down under saw no spending as yet, and i’m not going out of the house so should make it to day 3 without temptation. I’ve got my lunches made for the next four days away at work, just need to sort out breakfasts to take with me, as dinner will be provided by work.

    • KC… a thought here from the Pacific Northwest on those 2 cans of creamed corn. Throw them into a pot and add a few other vegetables… potato diced, celery, onion, some parsley if you have it or use celery tops chopped up. Heat up on simmer and makes a wonderful and easy corn chowder for a cold day! If you have any frozen mixed veg,,, that works well too or if you have some plain frozen corn to add….even better! Serve with some hot bread and you have a treat.. 🙂

      • Fantastic suggestion thanks Zane. Even though it’s Summer here, I love the sound of this. It’s on the dinner list for my return home from work on Friday.
        Now I just need to figure out what to do with the cranberry sauce.

    • Don’t know what kind of cranberry sauce you have but I’ve used a canned cranberry sauce mixed with apples (no extra sugar needed) and made a cranapple pie. It was fantastic!

      • Ann, my Cranberry and Apple Pie was a hit at dinner tonight…thank you for the idea. I have posted a pic on the facebook page. I was super excited as I discovered that I had a ball of sweet shortcrust pastry in the freezer from before christmas when I was making mince pies.
        So the base was super rich.

  9. day1 of not spending money in jan had for lunch gammon (a very large piece 5kg in weight so should last all week ) from the freezer and veg’s stored in the garden from christmas hubby made a rumble from fruit hanging a round all very tasty , and didn’t spend a penny

  10. I just finished up a holiday job that had me standing on my feet a lot. I had planned to get a foot massage and pedicure, but instead I soaked my feet in some nice scented water and did the pedicure myself(saved $50) I also needed tank chemicals for my RV(caravan). Instead of buying them($25) I followed a recipe I found online and made my own from items I already had on hand. Tomorrow is food prep day. Yay!

  11. Hi Happy New Year to you and your family. I like reading your blog. Loo paper was not rationed but was almost impossible to get hold of. Most people used old newspapers cut up into squares, then a piece of string was threaded through one corner and pieces could be torn off when needed – can you imagine? I think it’s enough to give me constipation. The mock apricot tart looks delicious. My Gran used to make a delicious “banana” tart using mashed parsnips and banana essence, sounds ghastly but was actually delicious. In our household we too are using up all that’s in the freezers and cupboards. It makes for some interesting combinations, but we are really enjoying that surprise element. I love leftovers. Good luck for the new year and may you achieve all that you want to. You are doing pretty darn well in my book. Regards Sue

    • Hahaha you made me laugh!!! I can remember my Grandparents in Ireland had an outdoor compost loo when I was growing up as a kid and I remember newspaper in squares hung up in the loo with string!! Xxx

  12. Great inspiration. I kicked off the challenge by making broth from the carcass of the turkey breast we had on New Year’s Eve. Soup later in the week. I also made pumpkin pecan muffins from items in the cupboard. Dinner was a heap of steamed veggies over leftover rice plus a big salad. I will be shopping for food each week as we don’t store a lot given a move in the not too distant future. Gave myself a manicure. Spent $8.41 on leaf bags (required for yard waste pickup) but we do the raking ourselves. 30 days to go LOL.

  13. Hi Carolyn, happy new year to you 🙂 … i was watching my 1940s house dvd the other day and im sure they had to use only one toilet roll a week so perhaps it was rationed? Joy x

    • Thanks Joy….Ahh yes that’s it! I knew I’d seen or heard it somewhere! Well I made a toilet roll last 4 days (normally I’d be using 1 up in 2 days) but not sure I can stretch that any further!!! Lol xx

      • C: do you know of the bidet spray available (at least here in Canada and US) which attaches easily to the toilet? works very much like a dishwashing spray … and is truly wonderful I believe (a little chilly in winter) …. and leaves one much cleaner with very very little paper needed. Save trees, use water instead!! Ann Lee S

  14. Off to a good start as New Year’s Day in Canada the stores are closed. The month without money is all I’ve been talking about. I also intend to keep a box of all receipts for the year so I can really see where we are spending our money.

  15. Today, I had your pancakes made with your #13 recipe (and raspberry jam). Lunch was leftovers. Tonight, I am aiming to make my boys lasagna (using ground beef I found in the freezer, tomato sauce I canned in the summer, and the half block of cheese I found in the fridge). I haven’t any cottage cheese, or ricotta… and I could have called hubby to pick it up on his way home.. but then I thought – I have Pinterest, perhaps I can find an easy recipe for it on there. So, now I have a batch of home made cottage cheese setting up! (my dinner will probably be whatever I can find in the freezer that contains no milk).

  16. Setback No’s 1 & 2.
    Day one of four days away with work, food bag taken. Now I’m having to buy food for breakfast and lunch…..grrr.
    Then a phone call advises that fridge at home is playing up, so gong to loose freezer load of food. And I think I can guess where any savings this month are going.
    But today I woke up and thought ” I’m going to try and last January without the fridge”. Just as my mum did when young because you didn’t have them to buy!

    • just out of curiosity, if you brought a food bag, why did you have to buy food? If that is too prying, just delete this.

      • Whoops! Sorry Jennifer, poor sentence structure. I meant that my food bag was taken off the aircraft by someone else. So all my packed meals were gone….
        Great pickup, thank you.

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