UPDATE, ONE WEEK IN
Today marks the end of the first week of my experiment. As much as I would like to gloss over where I have failed, I am going to ignore the urge and tell you exactly what went right...and what went wrong. First up, we ate at Chick.Fil.A twice this week. It is a chain, yes...but I don't feel completely guilty eating here, for a number of reasons.
1. It is operated by a local family, and they receive a percentage of the sales.
2. It is a Christian company
3. It is a great place to find healthier options than McDonald's or other fast food restaurants
4. Gosh, darn it, I just like to go there!
Hmmm. Maybe I will do better next week. In better news though, other than my aforementioned mishaps, and the bagged salad we had to buy sunday night, I have not purchased ANYTHING 1. New 2. From a chain store 3. and most especially, from Wal.Mart. I have been much more thrifty this week, thinking more often about how to reuse things I already have, finding different solutions to problems, rather than heading to the store for a quick fix, cooking from scratch, etc. It feels really good.
Today, I went to the mall to return some things that have been riding around in my car for months. I was given a store credit at both places I went. After several minutes of searching, all the while remembering my desire to simplify my life, I couldn't find one thing that I wanted to bring home. As I am staying home more, simplifying my life, etc. I am finding that, very quickly, my actions are coming in line with my values. I was given the opportunity to spend today and buy and found that I lacked the desire. I am very glad because I worried that I would feel "deprived" by my own rather strict parameters. I am happy to find it is quite the opposite. I am liberated by a lack of desire for "things". It felt really good to walk into a store, and not immediately have internal battles of desire versus need.
...That being said, I don't think I am ready to brave Target yet. :)
All in all, I would say that my first week was a success. Bring on week two!
As an aside, I routinely spend about $400 a month, or $100 a week, on groceries. This includes all cleaning supplies, diapers and wipes for two children, all groceries and anything else you can buy at a super wal.mart (light bulbs, air filters, spray paint, shampoo, toothpaste, medicines, etc.). I don't think that is very good...it seems like a lot for a family of five (unless the boys were all teenagers), especially since we eat a lot of deer meat, which is free. Anyway, I wanted to document how much I spend every week during the experiment, to see which shopping method is most cost effective and if I really save as much as I think I do by shopping at Wal.Mart. This week I spent $12.50 at the produce stand, and $46.10 at the discount foods store (I found out that was the real name of the dented can store!) for a grand total of $58.60. That is a huge savings, but since I started out with a stocked pantry, I am not going to get overly excited yet. It will be interesting to see though! I am tracking my spending by week on the left hand side of my blog. I will update it there each week.