Thursday, January 11, 2018

Use It Up: No-Spend Low-Spend January

Our family and friends "group" has done well with the No-Spend/Low-Spend January challenge for the first 10 days of January. 

In fact, I'd say we've all gotten pretty good with the "Use It Up" portion of Grandma's favorite quote!

Use it up, Wear it out,
Make it do, Or do without

Five households are participating in our group. We've been creating menus from what we have in our cupboards and freezers, packing lunches, making our own coffee drinks as much as possible and trying to buy only necessities like basic staples and cleaning supplies. 

Eating down the cupboards and freezer this month also provides an additional benefit of reducing the possibility of food items going bad soon and needing to be discarded. 

The first thing I did this month was check the "Use By" dates on all our boxes and canned goods up in the cupboard. Items that have expiration dates within 4 months were put on the lowest shelf to be used first.  

In our house, what we don't eat on that shelf during January will be donated to a local food bank as -- if we don't eat it this month -- we probably won't eat it before it goes bad.

Reducing waste pays off! One of the daughters commented to the group that she had used a package of ground turkey in her freezer that she had been avoiding. 

A while back she bought a couple of packages of ground turkey, cooked one, but found she didn't particularly like ground turkey. 

Because of the challenge to reduce buying during January, she cooked a meal with the ground turkey and used up what probably would have gone bad.

What if you don't like the taste of something? There are alternate ways to use up food if you think about it creatively. 

I think our daughter said she made Lettuce Wraps with her ground turkeyOther ideas to use up ground turkey (or meat that's been in the freezer a while) would be browning it for a soup, or mixing it equally with ground beef, bread crumbs and spices to make meatballs or a meatloaf. There's always some way to use it up!

So for us this month, as far as spending far so good! How about you? Are you avoiding spending this month too?

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Yes....and not just in January :)
    I consider myself quite experienced in using leftovers creatively. I tell my husband and father who lives with us, "Expect to see this tomorrow, but in disguise!" Today, I'll be using left-over leftover chili (that's right - 2x) on French bread with cheese atop. Broiled.

  2. Yes, like you I have had a sort out of the cans/packets and am eating out of the freezer in a bid to cut down on the spending.

  3. espero que temga un feliz año nuevo y que este 2018 llegue cargado de bendiciones para usted y sus seres queridos

  4. I'm trying to do this, though not particularly following it consciously. It's just that after christmas and with taxes due in February, it makes sense! Although, there are a few things in my freezer I think might be better off in the trash...

  5. For years I did a "no shopping" January, but I let it slip.

    Good luck for the rest of the month.

  6. I told my husband this idea of using it up in January. I thought of you when I threw a box of something from my pantry away. He said..."we can buy fruit and yogurt tho..." Yes, we can. LOL

  7. We've been doing the same thing around here...we have too much of everything and don't need half of it! Fun to follow along...

  8. not particularly trying not to spend, but trying to make room in the cupboard and freezer. We tend to plan or over plan for the holiday season, and buy too much. We had a very elaborate meal last night, I needed to use up some cream and smoked salmon. It was kinda romantic, only a little wine left in the bottle... you get the idea.

    1. woo hoo! Sounds like the Salmon wasn't the only thing smoking last night Irene!

  9. I don't usually keep a lot of food stocked up. We go shopping often and usually eat up what we buy before we go again.