Reflections on My Cash-Only Diet


Over the last few days, I’ve felt like a sprinter racing those last few yards towards the finish line.  My DH and I stuck to our “financial fast” and this weekend, it officially came to an end. Good thing too, because I only have a few dollars left and we need groceries 🙂

The “diet” was a bit harder than I thought, but on the other hand, wasn’t as tough as I imagined it would be. I think one  of the hardest things  was bypassing really great deals on tot’s clothing or even something stylish for me (I still dream about those boots I could have had…sigh). I have to admit,  I did cheat a little. One of our rules was that we could not spend on any “wants,” only “needs.” But when a local bookstore was going out of business, and slashing prices to 60-80% off, I couldn’t resist. I bought my little girl a few classics for under $5 and myself a nice large tome to while away the winter night hours, for $1.50.

We did discover something rather interesting about our little family during this experiment, too. We eat a lot more fresh food than I realized (that includes frozen meats and fish, but not say, prepackaged frozen dinners or boxed ones). My fridge & freezer are nearly cleaned out, yet my pantry is still filled with rice mixes, tinned veg and soups. We’ll eat those but our taste buds are definitely more attuned to creating our own meals from scratch, from the sublime to the ridiculous (as in, homemade pasta sauce to sardine sandwiches w/ avocado!).

 I’ve also enjoyed making leftovers really interesting during this time period. What was last night’s roast chicken will become tonight’s chicken soup and chicken stock for a later use. I used the duck fat we collected over the holidays to sauté some potatoes (manna from heaven, I tell you!). Instead of tossing that last bit of steak out that no one wanted, I turned it into a steak salad for lunch the next day.  One serving of chili left became a topping for nachos…mmmm!

DH and I are going to keep up this lifestyle, using cash more and credit less. It really helped us to watch what we spend and stop spending on things that we don’t really need, no matter how cute or cool they may be. You should try it too, even if it’s only for a week. You’ll notice a difference in your spending habits and in your checking account!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Love these posts on finances. It’s so hard to remember what is important, when surrounded with what we think is important….I’m beginning to see how wrong I am, and my impulses have cost.

    Thank you for the thought provoking writing. It is such a service to me..


  2. Posted by yangmommy on April 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks for your comments, Alexandra! It is very hard to resist those impulse buys, especially when it’s “for sale!” But I’m honestly finding that sticking to a cash-budget each month has saved our family quite a bit. Yes, I still splurge now and then, but only if there is leftover cash in my wallet at the end of the month.


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