Retraining the mind from “let’s shop!” to “using what we have”.


Time to brew that coffee! I woke up this morning with a list of things I needed to “buy” at the store. I needed meat to cook for the dogs as I add vegetables, eggs, or meat to their kibble and, I must say, they are healthier and happier and will live much longer. I needed thank you cards for all the goodies people have been sending me. I needed more yarn.

Then I had my coffee and rethought the list. I have a bag of yarn and don’t really need more at all. I can make thank you cards (I have no artistic talent but even I can do hearts and flowers) and I made a big batch of steel-cut oats for the children, my human ones, and my three furry ones. All the critters and boys gobbled it up. Trip canceled, money saved, gas saved, carbon emissions avoided and I’m still on tract with the No Spend.



I’m in the middle of making cards right now and it’s very fun. These are the boy’s art supplies and paper. They were kind enough to share. Actually, some of these pens are mine for my adult coloring books.

Another thing I’m doing; using up lotions and creams that have just been sitting on the shelf instead of buying new stuff.


I did some trading of garden seeds for these homemade masks.


Now, here are some things I purchased long ago but want to share because they were a great deal and are serving us well.

Here is a bed frame we found at the thrift store a couple weeks ago for $99. It was missing a slat and little legs under the frame. It was also much too long as it was for a California King and not an Eastern King. It didn’t fit in the room and had a foot of space from mattress to footboard. Bali took it apart and rebuilt it with new wider slats and legs, shortened it, and voila! For the first time in almost 6 years I have a bed off the floor!


I’m not a Dollar Tree person unless I’m trying to stuff Christmas stockings but I found some charming kitchen towels and a splashboard for the back of the stove that was a stick on (and it really sticks, I’m afraid to remove it as it will probably take off all my paint).



What I also like to load up on at the Dollar Tree are those Composition books for Arjan and Sam’s art and writing and I use them for journaling, to-do list, and writing out our budget or ideas for the channel. Other than that, I try not to buy junky stuff that winds up in the landfill.


We got our big bag of books from the library and I’ve been enjoying my huge Stephen King novels. We didn’t get a chance to get cards in our new town as the quarantine was started when we moved here. Fortunately, our old library is doing curbside and welcomed us to order through them until our libraries up here open up again. We have been book hungry for weeks!



And yes, the couch is off the porch and reunited with its mate. I loved the couch on the porch but Bali wasn’t so keen on the decore. I redid the living room and fixed up the guest room with the other Indian blanket. It looks better on the guest bed than the couch. The painting looks better in there as well. I just keep playing with the furniture and paintings to get that look. It keeps me busy.


Another thing that keeps this lady busy and out of the stores is baking. I’m baking my hand made super wheat bread (I add wheat germ and wheat bran) and French white that I make in the bread maker. By making bread by hand and one loaf in the bread maker I have three loaves for the week. I’m getting back into bulk cooking. Lately, I’m a little burnt out on cooking but we have been loving our little table filled with variety. I run out of ideas. I’m working on simpler foods. We like to sit down to little plates of this and that and we’ve taken to eating from salad plates. We don’t eat as much and we get more variety and vitamins. I showed our table and dishes in the last blog.


I find making to-do list for the home and garden is a great way to stay busy, creative, and improve the home and yard. On my to-do are these cabinets that Bali promised to help me with. I’m also going to start painting the house and adding some color. A scavenger trip to the little shed out back and I found all the paint from our old house. I think I have enough yellow to do the kitchen. I don’t know that I have enough white for the front porch railing and trim and I don’t have red for the door. I do have blue. Lots of blue and burnt pumpkin…that might make things very interesting.


This is our bathroom window. I didn’t have curtains for it and you could see right in to watch a person doing their business. I found some of this faux stained window sticker from the old house. We trimmed it down and now I feel like I have some privacy and enjoy my fancy window.

So, how is everyone else doing with your no spend or in the planning process of the no spend?






22 thoughts on “Retraining the mind from “let’s shop!” to “using what we have”.

      1. LOL, June 1st is the plan! Thank you for your kind words. I forgot I have two “graduates” (1 kindergarten, 1 heading to middle school) and I promised them little gifts. I’ll buy those and then I’ll be back on track! I’m now inspired again and psyched for next month ❀️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Another wonderful post !!!
    Well, I think we will start June 1st…….
    Husband needs a new hose to water garden ( the other one burst )
    We need chicken fencing for the coup ( keep those chicks safe ) Plus
    4 grandkids birthdays …..
    So we have a few needs
    BUT come next month NO SPEND !!!
    Looking forward to your next blog & just watched your new You Tube video….try to rest every day so you don’t get burnt out..
    You are Amazing, Strong, Beautiful & and an inspiring writer.


    1. Aw, thank you, Karen. I am taking a lot of down time right now. The vlogs are from a week or more ago so there was some intense work and then I had a week of burn out. Now we are in the playing stage. I’ll be painting and just doing fun stuff.πŸ˜Šβ˜•


  2. June 1st for us. Truck is getting two new tires and oil change. I’ve blessed with many plants and shrubs I wanted from people who no longer want them. I posted on Facebook and all but a few left to get. I’m upset because I’m having no success with my butternut squash right now so I may have to retry. It’s one of my favorite. I really like the DT back splash behind the stove.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I made some grow bags out of shopping bags for tomato plants that I started from supermarket tomatoes, and put some Romaine lettuce stems in water to re-grow. It’s more fun doing a no-spend when you know other people are doing it, too!


  4. Since we had to have the floor replaced in the master bathroom this month, we had very little extra money to spend, so I had a no spend month sort of forced on me! But it’s all good, the Lord provided everything we needed, and He threw in a lot of surprises as well. Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You know that first drink of coffee you blissfully sit down to enjoy and then right as the mug is lifted, a child comes running? I try not to utter the words, ‘No Spend’ lately, as every time I have said those words to my husband a child comes running, telling me they have 79 things that no longer fit them. May has been a busy month for us even though we are on our debt free journey, but June is right around the corner. I will embrace the new month when it comes πŸ˜‰


  6. Hi Kate, I am new to your channel and blog, and am loving both. I love how you are willing to share all the ups and downs of frugal living. I am so with you on the Use What You Have thing. I have been banging on about this for years. Most of us already have houses full of stuff and there are so many ways to repurpose what we have, or reuse, or think creatively about how to mend something or make it beautiful. I love that you decided to make your own cards. That is on my list as well. I always used to get my kids to make cards for me, because it’s ok for kid art to be kid art, right? But now I am going to woman up and start putting my own card art out into the world..
    My wins this week were finding some gold-spray painted wooden pegs in the back of the Christmas craft cupboard and popping them into the clothes peg bucket. I now get to hang up the socks with gold spray painted craft pegs! I also cut up some old fitted sheets and saved the elastic and some of the fabric for future sewing projects, and now have a useful stack of rags from the worn bits.
    I look forward to your further adventures in no-spend and using what you have:)


  7. Hi Kate !! I wish I had followed your blog sooner. Been doing online on my phone too much, going to spend more of my online time on the PC. It is hard to do a lot of stuff on the phone.
    I had just done our June budget a few days ago and decided to do a no spend indefinately so we can save up money to both pay off our home in a few years, and to fix it up. So, your post and video were perfect timing for me. I have a separate account for grocery money and I will put a minimal amount in there per month for the things we have to buy , like produce and unexpected things as well. Make it a game to save as much of it as possible.
    We have been blessed to have an income during the shut down and we need to really start saving for the future. We also have an almost 100 year old house that needs a lot of updating. I am looking forward to seeing what you do to save money. I used to be good at it but not as good lately. Got to get back on track !!! Going to go read some of your blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Kate,
    Instead of a no spend month, I do a no spend week and try to to it every week. Small bites. Most times, I do pretty well and occasionally I break but that is ok. I make sure to do better the following week. I am loving your posts and the “jambalaya” style in each video. The variety mixed in one video is fun to watch and works for some who has a short attention span like me. Lol. I am learning to use, enjoy and make do with what I have. All inspired by you. For groceries, we are buying less each week to avoid food waste and I make a small addition to my stockpile each time. Another thing that I’ve started doing is checking the expiry dates of items more often and putting things that need to be used soon on our counter so that it is visible. A lot of fun things in life are free and by living simply, we save more money and if we do splurge on something nice it makes it extra special because we waited and saved.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I keep attempting a no spend year and then I give up. I am totally a shopping addict. I get bored or I get lonely or I feel bad about myself and I either run to a store for something fun to do or I shop online and max out every credit card that I can. I know I have to stop I know that it’s up to me to take control of the situation and I really want to do that. I put a shortcut to your blog on the home screen on my phone and I totally plan on utilizing all your great advice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rebecca!
      Having no spend days (and now I do weeks) works for me and I used to be a shopaholic. At this point in my life, still having a hard time sticking to a no spend month but getting better. Maybe one day I’ll be ready for a no spend year. Also, I leave things in my cart for a while (days) and think about the cost per use ($/# of times I will use it) before I purchase anything and ask if something is a need vs want. I also have budget for fun money and when I don’t spend it it goes to my savings and it keeps me motivated as I see savings slowly increase. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep trying until you develop a system that works for you. Wishing you the very best!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Kate,my name is Norma. I love watching you on YouTube, you and your family have gotten me through some tough times. I don’t understand people some times, I know you have explained yourself many times and some people just have to say something back (maybe they are just alittle jealous that you are doing so well). I wish you all the best,and a big You Go Girl,and good luck with your no extra spind month to month. Your quite friend from Indiana.

    Liked by 1 person

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