A Review of my No Spend Month

It's the last day of March, which means it's the last day of my No Spend Month.
If I'm being completely honest with you guys, I stopped my No Spend sometime a couple weeks ago.
In hindsight, choosing one of the longest months of the year probably wasn't the best month to start a No Spend in.
March meant a whole week with the kids off school and planning for Easter - both which I had to spend some extra money on.
Although I technically stopped the No Spend mid month, I'm still calling this month a success. 

What I Learned 

  • Expenses always pop up unexpectedly when you have kids. (examples: birthday parties, school activities and projects etc.)
  • Once you get in the habit of making coffee at home, you don't even miss coffee out.
  • And when you to decide to cave and grab a coffee out for the first time in a long time, it becomes this wonderful and exciting treat instead of a necessity.
  • Being prepared is EVERYTHING. Meal Plan for the week and you won't be forced to order take out.
  • You don't need to spend money to do fun activities with the kids. 
  • The library offers so many free activities for the kids and you can take out your favourite movies and books for free! 
  • Doing a No Spend was great for sticking to the list while going grocery shopping. I'm sure I saved a couple hundred dollars this month just by sticking to the items on my list.
  • The No Spend isn't a fail if you slip up and spend some days. It's about forming better spending habits. This challenge really made me think before I took my debit card out. 

No Spend Month Wins

  • Out of the first 20 days I was keeping track we only spent unnecessary money 6 of the days! Considering I used to spend daily, whether it be on coffee or a new shirt etc I'm calling this a huge win.
  • We used up a lot of food in our pantry and freezer that we would've never otherwise touched. A great reminder to shop your home before making your grocery list!

Overall,  I really loved this challenge!
 I was planning to do another No Spend Month in April, but realistically, it probably won't work out as we have a lot of things to pick up for our road trip in May.
I am going to carry on the habits of only spending on Needs in April though, to help save up some extra spending money for our trip.

Would you ever try a No Spend Challenge?


Carrot Turmeric Soup

I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately, coming up with recipes with left over veggies I have in my fridge.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I'm trying to shed some weight which means I've been browsing for veggies while in the grocery store and trying to stay away from the potato chip aisles. 
It's forced me to become more creative in the kitchen, because I'm not about to let good veggies go to waste! 
The other day I had some carrots that needed to be used so I threw this soup together and it was DELICIOUS! 
It's super easy to make and makes a great lunch with a ton of nutritious ingredients. 


6 carrots 

2 celery stalks chopped
1/2 orange pepper
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 tbs ginger chopped 
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbs coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock

1. In a large skillet melt coconut oil over medium high heat.
2. Add celery, yellow onion, garlic, gingerand turmeric cook until fragrant.
 About 3-5 minutes.
3. Add carrots, orange pepper and vegetable stock.
 Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook slowly, about 25 minutes or until carrots are tender.
5. Stir in coconut milk.
6. Transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth.
7. Enjoy




Kid Approved Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

If you're a mom, chances are Chicken Fingers are a staple in your home.

I used to stock up on frozen chicken fingers when they were on sale and feed them to my kids at least 3 nights a week before we found out Luca was dairy/gluten intolerant, because it was one of the only meals my kids would actually eat! 

When we cut dairy/gluten out of our home I knew I would have to find a way to make one of Luca's favourite meals. I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect recipe on Pinterest.
We tried a few recipes and tweaked them until we found the chicken fingers Luca liked best! 

In the picture below I serve these with store bought Ketchup but you can totally make your own ketchup to go with them, or my personal fave - honey mustard! 


4 chicken breasts
2 eggs
salt & pepper
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tbs Italian seasoning 
2 tbs olive oil 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Cut chicken breasts into strips.
3. Crack eggs into medium bowl and mix with a fork.
4. Add salt and pepper to egg mixture.
5. In another medium bowl mix almond flour, coconut flour and Italian seasoning together.
6. Dip chicken strip in egg mixture then move to flour mixture to coat evenly. 
7. Place breaded chicken strip onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Repeat until all chicken strips are on baking sheet.
9. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes.
10. Enjoy! 

These are also super easy to make, so get the kids involved in cooking! 
My middle daughter had so much fun helping me prepare these for dinner last week! 


15 Things To Do During A No Spend Month

We are four days into the No Spend Challenge and so far so good!
I did slip up yesterday, which I wrote about over on this Instagram post.
I also had to spend today unexpectedly when I couldn't find any mitts for my son and my daughter told me last minute that her bathing suit was too small and she needs one for this Friday.
I've had a lot of people say it would be IMPOSSIBLE to do a No Spend because of things like the above popping up, but this challenge is all about forming better habits and being intentional with your money! 
I walked out of the store today with just the two items I went in for, where as if I wasn't doing the No Spend Challenge, I most likely would've given in to all the amazing sales around me, so I still count this as a WIN.

We tend to form habits of unnecessary spending, such as going to the drive thru everyday for coffee and often believe that we can't do anything FUN without spending, which isn't true at all.

 I've created a list of 15 Things To Do During A No Spend Challenge to give you some ideas.
Don't forget to Join my No Spend Month Facebook Group.
It's a place to be encouraged by others who are doing the same Challenge and it doesn't matter if you're starting today or next week! Do what you can.


NO Spend Month Challenge

Happy March 1st, Friends! 
I am so excited for March because it means Spring is around the corner and so is our 20 hour road trip!!
I'm also excited to invite you all to do the 
NO Spend Challenge with me starting TODAY!

Why Do A No Spend Month?!
The WHY will be different for each of you.
Maybe you are trying to pay down debt, get into the habit of spending less, or want to become aware of which areas you can be cutting back on - it will be different for each one of you.
Our Family of five ( and my mom ) are travelling to Tulsa, OK & Chicago, IL this May on a 20 hour road trip (I'll share more about that in another post).
We have already paid for our accommodations, but I thought it would be a fun idea to do a NO Spend Month for the month of March to help us save a bit of extra spending money!
So that is our WHY.

Haven't Heard Of A NO Spend Month?
No Problem! I'll explain it to you! 
Basically, for a WHOLE month you commit to NO unnecessary spending what so ever! 
Now this is going to look different for every individual and family doing this challenge, YOU make your own rules.

How Do I Start?
I sat down and came up with TWO lists and I suggest you do the same to get started.
You need a CAN BUY list that includes all the things you are allowing yourself to spend money on during the challenge and a CAN'T BUY list of all the things you will not be spending money on during the challenge.

Here are my lists:




Some people choose to go VERY extreme with this and only allow themselves to stock up on groceries before a NO Spend Month and only allow themselves to buy fresh produce, milk etc during the challenge. 
I am not doing this, but I did lower our grocery budget quite significantly and I'm going to stick to that new budget!
I also lowered my monthly GAS bill down from $200 to $80!
I believe I can do this by planning out my shopping better, and walking the kids to school instead of driving.


I have created a PRIVATE Facebook Group for anyone joining this Challenge with me as a place where we can share our journey, challenges and successes with each other. 

You can Join HERE.

Will You Be Joining Me This Month?
Use the hashtag #kelseydianenospend

And for those of you who have been asking, YES, I am still doing the 40 Bags In 40 Days Challenge.
I did take a few days off of it, but I will be back at it today tackling my front hall closet! 
I will share an update on the blog sometime next week with you all as well. 
I think the NO Spend Challenge goes perfectly with the 40 Bags In 40 Days Challenge as well, because it will keep me busy, and allow me to sell some items to put towards my savings! 

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