3 Months, No Shopping!

by brenda on January 4, 2011

 3 months, no shopping!

This post is linked up at Frugal Friday on Life as Mom


I promised I’d share another New Year’s resolution today, so here it is: I’m on my 4th day of NO SHOPPING for 3 months! Yes, that’s right, THREE MONTHS! I mean no shopping whatsoever.


  • grocery shopping
  • online shopping
  • clothes shopping
  • misc. shopping
  • none. nada. zilch!


Admittedly, this took some careful planning (and a lot of freezer space ;)), but I worked on this from November through December, and I have my plan down. I made a menu plan for 3 months, made my list of groceries I would need, and stocked up. I thought of all of the things we would use in the house: toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, etc. I may be short on laundry soap, but I have materials to make my own. And I just remembered today that I forgot about shower gel and I’m not sure I’ll make it through 3 months–but we have bars of soap and samples from hotel visits that we saved, so we’ll survive! 🙂

Why am I doing this?

  • We have a lot of meat in our freezer, we said, "we could live a long time on this," so I thought, "let’s try it out!" 🙂
  • There’s not much growing these days, I figured, why not stock up on winter squash and apples, and frozen veggies and avoid buying anything "fresh" (shipped from other parts of the country or world for our convenience this time of year).
  • I figure, every time we go shopping, we end up spending more than we actually need to spend. These 3 months will be a good breather for our budget! (Right as we rev up for Spring and Summer, when we will have many, many farm expenses!)
  • I don’t like shopping. I am avoiding it for 3 months. 🙂
  • I want our winter to be a quiet one of homeschooling and no errand running–just staying home. 


If you’d like to join me, I’d love it! Try it for at least a week, or a month, or two months! 

First, I made my menu. My dinner plan is like this:

Mondays, Chicken

Tuesdays, Soup (using the stock from Monday’s chicken)

Wednesdays, Crockpot

Thursdays, Seafood

Fridays, Lamb or Pork

Saturdays, Beef

Sundays, Sausages (from New Seasons), home canned applesauce, other leftover foods or carrot sticks or dried fruit (I like an easy Sunday evening dinner after a long day of church & fellowship!)


For breakfasts, I use this plan:

Mondays, Baked Eggs & Yogurt with Honey

Tuesdays,  Fried Eggs & Fruit and Kale Smoothie

Wednesdays, Yogurt, Grain Free Granola & Breakfast Sausages (Applegate Farms Apple & Chicken)

Thursdays, Scrambled Eggs (variations) with Smoothie or Fruit

Fridays, Pumpkin Breakfast Cake or Banana Pancakes with Bacon or Sausage

Saturdays, Varies. Sometimes coconut flour crepes or waffles or pancakes, sometimes a salmon omelet or something like that.

Sundays, Sunday Breakfast Casserole with Orange Juice (I’ll share this recipe soon)


For lunches, I use this plan:

Mondays, Seed crackers with cream cheese spread (drained yogurt) and honey jello

Tuesdays, Cheese crackers with spinach artichoke dip with carrots (while we still have them) and dried fruit

Wednesdays, Homemade pepperoni sticks or Organic Prairie Summer Sausage with Cheddar Cheese and homemade granola bars

Thursdays, Varies (try new things)

Fridays, Sandwiches on homemade egg bread, applesauce

Saturdays, Soup

Sundays, Crockpot for church Shared Meal or for inviting people into our home



So, I made my menu, and then my big grocery list, making sure to cross of the things I already had in the house.  I bought 25# bags of whatever I could, because it’s cheaper that way (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, beans, shredded coconut, etc.)

Note, if you’re going to join me, before you go buying 3 months’ worth of groceries, please talk to your husband about it! If he’s not in agreement, don’t fight it and don’t do it! 🙂

Make sure, also, that you have the freezer space for what you’re going to be storing up! 🙂

I’m excited about this! No shopping! Yay! I’ll share our progress as we go! This is a BIG New Year’s resolution, but a fun one, I think! 


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie January 4, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Brenda- i love this idea! I am totally desiring to join you! Im going to talk to Isaac & see– it might tske ma a couple weeks to prepare, but sounds so worth it
Thanks for sharing


brenda January 5, 2011 at 7:23 am

Awesome Angie! It would be very cool if you joined me! Let me know if you decide to! 🙂


brenda January 5, 2011 at 7:22 am

I forgot, the 2 things we will still have to buy:

Animal feed (buying 3 months’ worth of feed when we’re going through about $500 per month wouldn’t be smart right now–and storing that much feed at a time isn’t wise because rodents could get into it)

Raw Milk–since we don’t have a cow, we go to a farm 1x per week and buy it. Next year when we do this, maybe we’ll be totally self sufficient! 🙂

And some people wil have to buy Eggs–on our farm, we get between 1 and 2 dozen per day. That’s sufficient for us, so we won’t need to buy eggs. If we didn’t have our own chickens, we’d need to buy some eggs!


Rhonda Traister January 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

Brenda, I too LOVE this idea….BUT…since I am working on our budget and watching all the sales…and stocking up when those items do go on sale, this probably won’t work for me. I still Love it though!


Michelle Tordoff January 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I love it!! We go every two weeks for big shopping. We also go on Thursday’s to our local Earth Fare (most of our children get to eat free) and I can get the milk and eggs to last another week. However, if I had access to my own milk and eggs I would love to give this a try. I probably wouldn’t be able to go once a month at this point because with our large family it wouldn’t fit our budget. I’m still very impressed!


tarena January 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

love it!!
I’m so excited to see how it goes! I’m sure it will all work out just fine as you are creative w/meals too!
I was wondering until I read the above comment about the milk/dairy how you were going to make your smoothies! haha!
That is so funny-I always thought you enjoyed shopping! I don’t like it either…not sure if it is just because if I take the kids I feel distracted or if it is just forking out $$ haha!
Keep us all updated!
Oh-and pretty please post the recipie you were making tonight w/the curry! =)


Living So Abundantly January 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

I like how you made a theme for each day and stuck with it. How do you make your Kale Smoothie? I love kale in Zuppa Toscana but have never had it raw. I’d be interested in your recipe. =)


brenda January 17, 2011 at 8:08 am

Hi, thanks for the comment! I just throw some Kale in my Vitamix with the fruit! 🙂 Last week I used: strawberries, peaches, yogurt, water and Kale. That’s it. Yummy and nobody knows how healthy it is! They picked out the kale in their breakfast casserole yesterday (2 of them did), but they had no clue when they were drinking it in a smoothie! 🙂


Noelle January 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Big kudos to you!
I was going to ask about milk, but then I saw the other comment here 🙂


The Saved Quarter January 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I’m totally fascinated by this and am looking forward to seeing how you can complete it!


amanda January 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

Sounds like a great idea! I wouldnt be able to do 3 months but I might try doing a month starting in feb. We normally do big shopping trips lasting us 2-3 weeks. so why not for a whole month?


brenda January 17, 2011 at 7:57 am

Awesome, Amanda! Keep track of how much you use in 1 month’s time. Then, if you want to do this for 3 months someday, all you have to do is multiply by 3! 🙂 Have fun!


Shannon January 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I have to say, this is a very inspiring challenge! I’ve decided that I’m going to give this a whirl for February. I’m scaling it back to just one month since I only have a couple weeks to be ready for it, and luckily for me, I haven’t done any grocery shopping for the 2nd half of the month, so I still have all my funds available to me to prepare for next month! Even better, my husband is totally supportive of trying this out. I figure that I’ll still need to shop for milk, eggs, apples and bananas during the month, but I should be good with everything else. I’ve already got my menu figured out, and am working out the kinks to my shopping list. Can’t wait to see how this goes – maybe I’ll be able to better prepare for a 3 month shopping hiatus in the future! I’m horrible about splurge spending, or forgetting to write everything on my list. So this will be quite a challenge for me. But I’m excited to try it! Thanks for nudge!!


Whitneyjcoleman June 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

This is so cool!


SM September 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I’ve tried this, but we end up eating everything way too quickly! And then spending more money than needed! We are always trying ways to stretch our food budget.


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