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Welcome to the third week of 2017! If you are already having struggles and stress, don’t worry- you’re in good company! I mentioned last week that my husband and I began our long planned kitchen remodel, and to be honest I was seriously doubting my ability to stick to the No Spend January Challenge because I haven’t had a stove or dishwasher this month. Anxiety over my ability to stick to the plan came to a climax when we received a surprise 8 inches of snow last Tuesday!
If you haven’t been to the Pacific Northwest, you have probably heard about how much rain we get, and we are no stranger to flooding or erosion throughout the year. We have beautiful scenery; painted desert, old growth rainforest, majestic mountains, gorges, oceans, and volcanoes. We have it all in this incredible portion of the world, but one thing we do not have is tundra, or much more than a couple inches of snow for the whole winter!
Needless to say, between the snow limiting my mobility and lacking a stove or dishwasher, I have had to get creative about meals. Most of the week, my husband bought food or brought meals home from his parents restaurant, which really helped the budget- for him and the kids at least. I have been struggling with allergies to soy and wheat lately, so food from a Chinese restaurant, even thought they use only fresh ingredients and make each dish from scratch every time, does not agree with my angry allergy symptoms. Fast food is out of the question as well, and many gluten free snacks and entrees have soy in them.
So what HAVE I done this month??
Despite how bleak and challenging my dietary restrictions and lack of a kitchen sound, I have found a dear friend in pinterest and AIP (auto immune protocol) crock pot recipes! Slow cookers have become so affordable recently, and of you don’t have one or if you need a replacement or an extra crock pot, I highly recommend making the small investment! You can find a 1.5 quart slow cooker for as low as $14 on Amazon. If you remember from my initial No Spend January Challenge post, grocery shopping and regular bills are not off limits, so I did some meal planning and alternated slow cookers each day.
Washing the stoneware inserts in my bathtub wasn’t exactly glamorous, so I did invest in disposable slow cooker liners. My local dollar store has them from time to time, but they only come in a 2 pack for $1 and my husband has an Amazon Prime membership, so I ordered These liners for $11.49 for 30! That comes to only $0.38 per liner instead of $0.50 each.
This week has been more challenging than the first week, but with a bit of brain power and some fierce pinterest skills, I have spent a whopping $11.49 more than I expected. If I could make it through this past week, I foresee a strong second half of January!