Summer is a great time to plan a "Free Week". During Free Week, you do not purchase anything beyond the bare essentials. Here's how it works:
1. Do not buy any food except milk (if you drink it) and fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, get creative with your menu planning and use up your pantry and freezer food.
2. No activities that cost extra money. No movies, no Zoo trips, no coffees, no take out. Get creative and plan some free fun.
3. Limit your driving. Walk to the park. Bike to the grocery store. Both cost nothing!
4. Use up other resources at home to create fun. Break out a board game. Finish up a few coloring books. Paint on cardboard boxes. Read a whole series of short books out loud.
Here's how a Free Week will look at our house: We've got two muffin mixes waiting to be baked, two unopened boxes of cereal, and lots of yogurt so we're set for breakfast except for a gallon of milk. For lunch, we've got everything we need for bean burritos, quesadillas, peanut butter and jelly, and plenty of hummus and pita. Add some fruit and we're all set. Dinners will be pasta with veggies from the garden, tamales and chicken from the freezer, and waffles! Add some lettuce for a salad and we're good to go. We've got some snack stuff already on hand as well like pretzels, Triscuits, frozen fruit for smoothies, and popcorn. For free events, we'll visit the park, head to the library, go to the Farmer's Market (where we'll get the fruits and veggies), play in the sprinklers, do some art and play some board games.
It's just one week ... but think of how much you can spend in just one week when you hit Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Target, the Zoo, and the list goes on ...
I'm up for the challenge. Who's with me? What will you do with the money you save?