Need vs. want plan…for January

Turns out lots of folks are doing their own versions of the ‘need vs want plan’ for the New Year. Besides Samantha’s version I’ve been documenting, Mrs. Green on  Little Green Blog is doing it for a month! She’s been amazingly dedicated. Check her out.
This is how we’ve done so far…

1) I’ve been using more of my dried goods in the pantry and working recipes around what’s left in the garden. +$

2) I bought restaurant food 4 different times (meaning, just a sandwich, really at $5 a pop) the past 3 weeks, which is pretty bad for me, but my man was out at sea and there was absolutely NOTHING left in the fridge. I ate cereal and raw cabbage for days straight because I did not want to have to go to the store!! When I get into my writing mode or my burnt-out mode, I have no desire to leave the house. But, I’m back in the kitchen and making large messes of food and freezing it to keep that from happening again.

3) I put back two songs on Itunes. +$3

4) I pulled over on the side of the road to call my mother to talk me out of buying sugar-free candy (which she said if I wanted so badly I should just buy, but I turned the car around and didn’t do it). +$5

5) But I did buy beer. My latest chili recipe called for dark beer. Yeah, one bottle of it. Guess where the other 5 bottles are going? In my tummy. But then how could I purchase a pack of dark beer (that I like) and NOT grab a pale ale pack for my husband (who is the one that likes beer in the first place.) I’m telling you, I could talk myself in or out of anything! -$17

6) The day my husband arrived in from sea, even though steamed broccoli, baked butternut squash and BBQ chicken waited in the fridge, I told him I was in the mood for pizza. -$13

So, I saved $8, plus the food I used from the garden and in the pantry,  but spent $50. That’s HORRIBLE!

P.S. My husband thinks food shouldn’t count in the need vs want plan. Though take-out isn’t a “need” in my book, he says it’s still food and should count as a need. Hmm….we need a middle man on this one!!! 🙂  What do you guys think?

(Oh, and I bought a map for $5.30 when I was lost, but it didn’t really help me, so was that really a need? I’m going to say yes. It’s always good to have a state map in your car of the state you reside in, right?)


1) My husband was mostly out at sea and couldn’t buy anything if he wanted to. He’s also working 7 days a week and says he hasn’t had time to go to the store except to pick up milk.

It’s ironic. I always think I’m going to do so much better than him because he’s a bigger spender. But when it comes to tightening the belt, I’m the one that has the difficult time! Augh!


12 responses to “Need vs. want plan…for January

  1. ok, if you must tally the points on want-vs-need–then this referee says good. you phoned your familial support group (mom) turned around and did not buy several items…
    matt, pizza and beer can indeed be nutritious release valves on very special days. decide on a loose allowance for treats-for-two as a control measure to the austerity plan.
    the one stuck on land will have a harder time than the one stuck in a boat; be kind to yourselves, you are a wonderful inspiration to us all; as is my long time read Mrs Green of my zero waste site.
    good beans to you and enjoy your rewards (savings + self esteem)

  2. Thanks Nadinesellers! Your comment made me laugh. And so true! The one stuck on land has more options to buy!! 🙂

  3. You might be setting the bar too high for yourself. I can see no computer card binges. No late night carb run. But pizza with your man? That’s marriage maintenance stuff. My rule is Love and laugh in excess, spend in moderation, waste not at all. You’re doing great!

  4. That’s not bad, that’s good! I could go through my January spending and show you bad! Lol I was just going to do a post on my shopping! Lol And food is a need, although take out costs more…so I think only part of it should count, since you have to eat anyways. 😉 And you gotta eat more than cereal and cabbage! Although, when I am lazy I live off cereal too. I don’t know how many times I have come home from work and I am so tired I just pour myself a bowl of cereal. Im trying not to do that anymore though!

    • Beth, you’re my kind of girl! Me and cereal, we’re like peas an’ carrots.
      Do a post on your shopping. You’re going on a trip. I’m just being extreme. I don’t think “normal” folks share many of my opinions! Ha! But that’s okay. According to Nadinesellers, those “weird” looks are to be treasured. It’s funny. I never felt like I fit in in American society, but when I went to Brazil, I’d found my home. A Brazilian girl told me once, she never felt she fit in in Brazil, but when she came over here, she did. We decided it must be because we’re foreigners and therefore everything we do is “accepted” because we’re supposed to be “different.” I always liked that!

      • Hmm…yeah I know that feeling. I never felt like I fit in until I got to college- although that was because I finally found quirky people like me- who *gasp* think reading is “cool” and fun and stuff like that! lol 😉 Yeah, in Germany, once I adjusted and opened up more I think people were a lot more open- and you can be weird and people just go, oh well she’s not from here! Oh those strange “Americans”! haha

      • @ Beth! I know, right? I LOVE being foreign!!

  5. Oh my goodness, cereal and raw cabbage and you’re STILL beating yourself up? I love that you stopped to get some moral support from your Mum LOL! I think you did brilliantly. I need to do a final post on my thoughts on my ‘no spend’ month because today I went out and just wasn’t really interested in buying anything, so this new habit is kinda in place which I’m delighted about as it all happened so effortlessly. I’m not ‘no spend’ but I’m definitely ‘less spend’ and that’s all good 🙂

    • Yeah, I was only eating the cereal and cabbage because I was too lazy to go to the store, not because I was trying not to buy anything! LOL!
      Thank you so much for the support. And yes, you must do a post about your new “attitude” on spending. I guess 30 days does create new habits….! I’m so proud of you!

  6. Pingback: New appreciation for moms | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

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