January Money Diet Day 2 – Shop At Home

Pantry image

Photo: Brad Hinton

Welcome to Day #2 of the January Money Diet, which features one of our most popular exercises.

Starting today and throughout the month, let’s do some “shopping” at home. This is the perfect time to go through the closets and drawers looking for those unused things we all tend to save for Someday.

Start in the pantry and freezer; do you have any forgotten goodies or gourmet items lurking back in the shelves?

What about those specialty kitchen appliances and gadgets gathering dust? For instance, we have a panini griddle, a waffle iron, a tortilla press and a bamboo steamer basket that I plan to put into service this month.

Another place to “shop” at home is the bathroom cabinet; are there shampoo samples, fancy soaps, loofahs, pedicure kits and scented bath salts languishing in your cabinets? Gather ‘em up and plan to use them. If not this month, when?

What about those unused craft and scrapbooking supplies? And home improvement materials? Fabric and sewing supplies? Yarn and knitting needles? Blank CDs? Office supplies? Candles? Art supplies?

Check your medicine chest, too; are there vitamins and supplements languishing there? Take a look around the closets and drawers of your home, and you might find a treasure trove just waiting to be used up and enjoyed.

Today’s Homework Assignment: Go on a scavenger hunt at home, and make a list of products you already have that you plan to use this month. Post some highlights from what you find in the comments section below. You know we’re all just dying to know what you unearth.

It’s a glorious new year, my friends – so wear your silk pajamas! Light the vanilla-scented candles, raid the liquor cabinet and drink the fancy brandy!


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

11 comments to January Money Diet Day 2 – Shop At Home

  • Julia

    Did a pantry inventory. Donated 2 boxes of food we won’t eat or don’t need to the food bank. Planned a weeks worth of meal from current food in pantry, freezer, and fridge with only buying a few bags of frozen veggies and cheese to round out the meals. I might have to pick up milk before the end of the week but not much else. I am working on next weeks meals which I will need to buy some shredded cheese for and not much else. My husband got a grocery store gift certificate from someone as a gift so I used some of it this week for my purchases.

  • Mea Johnson

    Well, I am getting a late start checking in, but here I am! I knew this was coming,so I began to clean out last month, I really paired down my home office space/studio space and got my pantry together. I began pouring over cookbooks and recipes to make super yummy stuff with what I have. I am creating a calender for self-care dates, art dates and museum dates. I live in a city that offers a lot of free museums and events, so going out should still be tons of fun. I have never done this with a group before and am excited to keep going! I have also prepared my son about this, and he is on-board…which at 13 is not always easy. I also cheated a little by ordering supplies for our homemade cleaning and pampering supplies at the end of December! Thanks Eliza, this is a great idea!

  • Heather

    We’ve been in the process of this one for a few months now due to finding out a difficult food allergy… so my pantry is very streamlined. But taking stock looks like it is going to be a bean month 🙂

    I am also using my peppermint sugar scrub that will be a nice treat once the kids go to sleep.

    Using some old scrapbooking material for my classroom this month as well- thank you for this assignment.

  • Carole

    Sorry to use so much “air time” :), but forgot to share one of the most important things…I rarely go to the movies, but was invited by my sister and am going over the weekend. Instead of purchasing a ticket at the door…I asked my husband if he would gladly share one of his four tickets he received as gifts…he said yes, and so the movie is FREE! 🙂 He’s enjoying this “no spend” January as well! 🙂 Thanks, Eliza!

  • I love hearing about how you’re tackling these tasks and what you’re discovering in the process. You all inspire me! 🙂

  • Carole

    Wow – enjoying this page! You inspired me to clean out the refrigerator. Found some items that totally needed discarded, while found some other items that I am using up soon before they spoil! We moved into our home two years ago, and at that time we downsized and took much stuff to local charities to rid ourselves of the excess, partially since we didn’t have the storage space in our new home, and partially because “stuff” does no one any good accumulating for the sake of accumulation! I wish to be a good steward of my possessions, and if someone can use that extra blanket that’s sitting in my closet, then so be it!

    Nice feeling to know my frig is all cleaned out and ready for the new year…:) Can’t wait to see what Day 3 holds! 🙂

  • Sara

    I have found tea candles, a selection of fancy teas, that I mostly use for guests, dried fruits, dried mushrooms, a small collection of nail polishes, silk scarves and skype and ice cream. Also there are a number of classes at my gym that I have not yet tried.

    I spent the evening going to a box class with a friend, and then an at-home pedicure with a hot pink nail polish.

  • Stephanie

    Had already done this over the holidays in some areas. Went through the bathroom cabinet and starting using up the travel sized shampoos/conditioners. Don’t have any left now. Went through cardmaking supplies and made 24 birthday cards using the supplies I already had. These are now filed in my card box with a little post-it note containing the name of the intended recipient. Loved how much money that has saved us! We don’t carry much food stock due to lack of storage – but will look through the cupboards and freezer and use up that large pork joint and frozen rhubarb we have this weekend!

  • Cheryl

    Felt this one might be coming, and also needed to start cleaning out my office. All of my yarn is organized, and I have knitted the world’s most hideous dog blanket out of scraps – I hate waste. Looking to knit through one part of my stash each month – this month is the cotton yarn. Hoping to make some useful items, and maybe get a jump on Christmas gifts this year.

    Also went through the freezer and fridge, and planned out meals for the next two weeks. Had to buy very little at the grocery store this morning; a little less than half of my normal bill.

    Loving the challenge so far.

  • Jennifer

    Hey, I have a head start on this without realizing it! I started doing his last year, with all the craft supplies. I pared down the stash big time, and in the process, realized that I truly don’t enjoy doing most of the craft projects I had in mind!

    I do plan on giving the cabinets and panty spaces a going over – it seems that food items seem to accumulate pretty quickly.

  • Anja

    Well, I will check out what is available at home once I get in from work. One thing that I already moved out of the cupboard was my food processer. I rarely use it but decided it needs some counterspace this month, and to start each morning with a lovely smoothie (seeing as I have way too much frozen and canned fruit around the house), healthy and nutricious for me, saving money by using my own stored fruits and reducing storage space at the same time.

    I also have some scented bath flowers that I only recived as a Christmas present a few days ago. They are already set apart to be used later this month.

    I can’t wait to see what else I find.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>