Goodbye, July, make room for August 2017! We are on the final day of the Frugalwood’s Uber Frugal Month Challenge: July Edition. Our newfound frugal muscles are now warmed up and ready to workout a bit more often as we move forward.
What was the Uber Frugal Month Challenge?
The Uber Frugal Month Challenge outline can be found here, but essentially, it is a frugality boot camp month aimed at pushing your limits and assumptions, challenging everything and trying to find a sustainable, long term frugal lifestyle. Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwood walked the participants through the month with daily email challenges, mantras and a Facebook group for collaboration, discussion, support and inspiration.
What did I learn from the Uber Frugal Month Challenge?
Lesson #1: I have a tendency overspend based on deals
I have a tendency to overspend when there is a deal or coupon. I’ve known this for awhile, but the Uber Frugal Challenge brought this to light for me in a new way.
This month, I had one particularly humorous situation. I was shopping for groceries though the grocery delivery app, Shipt, when I found a “Buy $15 in this category, Get $2 off!” deal. I started to browse the qualifying items, adding random, unnecessary cans of this, bottles of that and a package or two the the other thing. I got to a total of $12.57 and thought, “Ok- only $2.43 until I get $2 off, what else should I buy?”
Suddenly I stopped, looked at my list, and laughed. Why the heck was I trying to force myself into wasting $15 on unnecessary, unneeded items for a mere $2 off my next purchase? I quickly deleted the “deal items” and proceeded to the checkout with a cart $15 less expensive than it had been. Frugality for the win!
Lesson #2: I have room to improve in the “plan ahead” arena
I often like to be prepared for whatever may come our way. If I am heading to town for errands, I will also pack my running shoes, swim suit and a book so I am ready for an impromptu adventure. But I often forget about the planning ahead for food… Sure, I might remember to throw an apple or granola bar in the car, but I am often setting myself up for a “quick stop for a coffee” or “a bite to eat” at the local sandwich shop.
This month, I relentlessly packed pre-made cold brew coffee, PB&J sandwiches and snacks in a stubborn effort to cut down on the “situational eating out”. It was actually quite freeing and fun! I didn’t need to waste my time and money because I didn’t plan ahead, I was all set!
Lesson #3: I need to clean out my pantry more often!
It is amazing how many meals I had sitting on our pantry shelves or in our freezer. It was amazing! Mr. Adventure Rich and I decided to get creative and use up some of the pantry excess. The result? A delicious pork and veggie curry, homemade pizza, taco night and even a mexican pizza night! Lesson learned, I need to use our pantry and freezer food more often…
Lesson #4: Opportunities to Spend (and Save!) are everywhere
Enticements to spend are everywhere! Buy this! It won’t last long! Blowout sale on patio furniture! Or just the plain ole boring grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. It is incredibly easy to spend without even realizing it.
But guess what? I started noticing the opportunities to spend (and therefore, the opportunity to save) more! During the Uber Frugal Month, I thought twice about the necessity of the purchases I was making, the activities we were partaking in and the money we spent. Yes, I did still spend money, but I pressure tested each purchase and asked myself if the benefit truly outweighed the cost.
Lesson #5: Frugality is incredibly joyful
I knew this, I really did. But this past month was an excellent reminder of how joyful frugality can be. The Uber Frugal Challenge made it easier to just say “no” to so many seemingly insignificant purchases that sucked my time, energy and happiness. It sounds funny, but by being “bound to not spend”, I felt free to just use my time as I pleased! Forget that extra shopping trip or stopping for food, we’re all set! I’ll go to the beach instead 🙂 We had a blast throughout the month of July and I hope to keep the momentum going into the next few months.
Well, there you have it. Five things I learned during the Frugalwood’s Uber Frugal Month Challenge (Thank you, Frugalwoods!)
Did anyone else take part in the Uber Frugal Month? Did you learn some of the same things? Any other lessons?
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich
p.s.- The Frugalwoods are now offering the Uber Frugal Month Challenge at any time (no need to wait for a specific month!). You can sign up here (scroll down to an email input box mid-article).