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Sunday, August 2, 2009

31 Days of Nothing

The Old Schoolhouse has a "writer"(as I understand multiple people really contribute) named Molly who shares tips on fiscally responsible homemaking. Her website is and one of the tips I picked up that really struck me was her idea of Thirty Days of Nothing. I decided we would give it a try and declared August 1st our starting day (since August has 31 days, we are doing 31 days of nothing). In the interest of keeping me accountable, I am going for (mostly) full disclosure about how we do on my blog. The idea is to buy ONLY what is absolutely necessary-groceries, stuff, it doesn't matter-ONLY what is necessary.
Yesterday was the first day. I didn't do so well. See, we found out that Sari's webkinz expires on August 6th about 9PM on July 31st. Webkinz has come out with Webkinz Jr. for ages 3-6. It is an educational site with full parental feedback and some parental control. I was impressed based on the short video we watched. Instead of a regular webkinz (which I could have given her for FREE, since I have some lil' kinz downstairs to give as gifts), I decided I'd get her a Webkinz Jr. and then she could actually do it on her own and it could be a "school" activity for her while the other kids are working. The problem? They are $25-30 depending on where you get them. The other problem? The only local store that Webkinz says carries them DID NOT actually have them. ARGH! So we ordered the one she chose via their in store ordering system, and because it was over $20 it will ship to our house for free. Oh, and it was on sale for $25 instead of $30, but still, that's expensive. So why did I splurge?
We did a lot of homeschool product testing last year, and I can tell you that online educational websites are about $20 a month. This one ends up being $25 for the year-so comparatively, it's not bad. And I'm not pawning off her education on available technology instead of ME, but the reality is that I have 4 kids, and each one will have some sort of work this year on the computer (Grammar Key for Scott, a Design your own Website DVD we are testing that Mimi wants to do, etc.) and this will be hers. And, I decided that I WOULD spend money on the school stuff I either a)needed or b) was cheaper right now than it would be in a month.
Okay, so with tax, that brought my "nothing" total to $27 before 10 am. Not the best start. I then spent $7 at Office Depot (laminating for our workboxes AND .40 worth of glue sticks) and $1.07 at Walmart (5 wire bound notebooks and a 24 pack of crayola crayons). As school supplies go, I am sticking with the "loss leaders". Those are things that the store sells as ridiculously low prices and they actually lose money on them. They count on you buying more stuff once they have you in the store to make up for the loss. I am trying to NOT do that. For example, Office Depot had 4 packs of glue sticks on sale for .20 a pack. I grabbed 5 of them this week (two yesterday). That makes 20 glue sticks for $1. I'm set for the year. Crayola 24 pack crayons for ,25 and wire notebooks for .15 each are loss leaders too, and that's ALL I bought at Walmart.
Still, to be fair, my total for yesterday was $35. I'm hoping to do much better today!
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DebiH. said...

Our brains must be on the same wavelength lately :)
I am to far behind on summer blog posts to blog about it but I have been thinking the same thing! I'll help you if you help me:)
As for the webkinz..did you check out the preciousgirlsclub. com ? It is free unless you want the premium membership and looks sweet and fun for girls. They earn charms for character traits and there is even a place for parents to award points for good actions at home. I'm going to let Abby try it this afternoon.

Melissa said...

Cool! I'm glad you're blogging about this! I thought I'd done so well on my spiral bound notebooks at Staples for 25 cents. Turns out, not so well!

Tiffany said...

Love this...makes me want to try it, maybe in September.
Thanks for the reminder to hit the school supplies sales!

Randi Sue said...

This sounds like what Dick and I have been doing and it is amazing how the money adds up. It is really motivating me to not spend any extra money.