OK, it has actually not been bad at all. While this past week hasn't made much difference in our bank account on its own, I think a few more like it could.
Where we saved
- We made a pretty concerted effort to eat out of our pantry this week, and use ingredients that we already had. So this week we've had tacos, fish soup and bread rolls, homemade lasagna, pizza, chicken alfredo and one night of leftovers. We bought the pizza, the vegetables for the tacos and the cheese for the lasagna, but that was pretty much it. We'll be following through on this trend as much as we can in the future, because it felt good to put the food that we already had to good use.
- We also made the switch from Blockbuster Online to Netflix. The six dollars it will save us every month isn't a huge amount, but by using their "Watch Instantly" feature and streaming movies to our Wii, we now have easy access to a lot more movies without even leaving our house, which will be nice now that Espen is going to sleep at 7 P.M. And having something to entertain us at home will make us a little less likely to spend money elsewhere. Bonus: We got a free trial for the first month!
- And we laid off the unnecessary spending, in spite of entering two different Costcos (they always get my money!)
Where we didn't
- On Friday night some good friends of ours were in town from Ohio, so we all went out to dinner. Eating out is not generally a good saving strategy, but friends are important, which is why we have the "only eat out with friends" rule. Friday night also marked Espen's first time with a baby sitter, which was a pretty big step for all of us, I think. I even asked Stepper (who was kind enough to take care of him) to text me periodically throughout the evening so I wouldn't lose my mind, which she did so I didn't.
- Saturday marked the annual celebration of the Norwegian Constitution day in Salt Lake City, which we had to attend, especially seeing as my mum knitted Espen his very own Norwegian national costume, which caused my mother heart to burst with pride and delight every time I looked at him. In terms of saving money, it was a bit of both: The event is free, so didn't really cost us anything, but we did drive for 45 minutes to get there, and spent $3 on raffle tickets to raise money for the celebration. And of course we had to have pølse med lompe to make the day complete.
- And finally, we went to see some friends who have just found out they are having a baby girl. This naturally called for a little baby gift, so I got to scratch the itch a bit with a spot o' shopping. Did you know how cute baby clothes are? You should be extremely proud of me for making it out of the store without anything for Espen.
And so that wraps up week one! Some of you have already told me that you're on a spending hiatus of your own right now, and I'd love to hear from anyone who might be interested in joining us. Where is it hard for you to save money?