January No/Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge – the final Review

This is my overview of Carla’s January No/Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge – I was a bit of a late starter but tried my best and overall I accomplished quite a bit – the main thing being a new lower budget for our weekly shop and my weekly allowance.  Thanks to Carla for all the hard work in keeping us busy and motivated – the month has flown by.


My De-cluttering goals

My original goal was to have the Kitchen and Dining room ship shape and de-cluttered… and I partly did this but also took a bit of a diversion because I had a few days holiday to come and it seemed the perfect time for going through some of the boxes that we have.

Decluttered food cupboards

In weeks 1 and 2 I cleared and cleaned the food cupboards and the Fridge and Freezer, but after these were completed the de-cluttering of the kitchen stopped as I got quite involved in the ‘Reducing Food waste project and have spent quite a lot of time planning meals, shopping for bargains and using up old foods that I found in my cupboards.

Christmas Decorations

Week 3  – I spent time going through all my Christmas decorations and removing anything that I felt we could pass on to someone else to use.  I repacked everything carefully ready to store them in the loft again until next year, making sure even with new additions this year that I didn’t exceed my 6 box limit.  – I think this might equate to Carla’s mini challenge of cleaning out a closet.

Toy Declutter

Week 4 – I moved onto the Toy boxes which I keep on hand in case of little visitors.  Again I set myself a limit of not exceeding the four boxes that I have.

Treasure Box Declutter

I also spent time going through items in my Treasure boxes and again my limit on these is four – one containing items including my dress from our wedding day, one similar of my daughters mementos, one for cards, letters and keepsakes and one for school reports, certificates and items of historical interest. – So I guess this probably applies to Carla’s Week 1 goal

My Financial goals

My goal was to begin cutting my weekly allowance down to £10 and taking lunches to work from home.  We aim to only buy absolute necessities and just enough food to add to the items stored in our cupboards and Freezer to make enough meals to cover January.  I decided to aim for a weekly spend of £50 on groceries rather than the £70 average it had crept up to.

  • Week 1 – I was still on holiday from Christmas so did not spend very much at all probably only £10 in all on a few fresh vegetables and milk.
  • Week 2- I came in well within budget for both my weekly allowance and weekly food budget.
  • Week 3 – I just managed to scrape in under budget by £1.15p after luckily being offered a £2 off coupon at work.  Weekly allowance also came in under the £10.
  • Week 4 – a rather large overspend of £22.22 – I spent £15 to stock up on items on offer and I had run out of a number of basics all at once.  My weekly allowance though was well under the £10

As well as my goals – I manage to take on board some of Carla’s mini goals –

  • Doing without to save money – I have not bought any magazines either with my £10 allowance or in with my weekly shopping.
  • I gave £5 to a homeless person who had just been lucky enough to find a flat.
  • I did knock 20% off my food bill but not in the week Carla set that particular challenge
  • I also brought in extra income each week by only allowing myself £10 allowance rather than the usual £20-£30

So there you have it – some good and some not so good but all in all quite a challenge and a few achievements.


7 thoughts on “January No/Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge – the final Review

      1. anexactinglife

        Rom and I tease each other because we are both “exacting” but about different things. I tend to apply it to the household, and he is meticulous about his hobbies.

  1. ournewlifeinthecountry

    You did really well, as ‘anexactinglife’ says you paid attention and knew what you were doing at all times, which is really half the battle. It’s when we take our eyes off the spending that it can all go so horribly wrong. Well done on the month.

    Sue xx

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      Thank you for your comment – I feel it is praise indeed when you and ‘an exacting life’ say well done as you are both further ahead of the game than me. Having a blog and also taking part in a challenge sure makes you feel accountable for your actions – in a good way!
      I am really looking forward to doing even better in February. xx

  2. Anny

    This month has been quite an eye-opener for me. All I’ve really done, is to have a rolling meal plan and shop accordingly, and cut out the impulse buys. I’m still using up the contents of the store cupboard and freezer, so this type of overstocking is obviously a factor for me. Oh, and I’ve baked a few cakes instead of buying snack foods for the girls. I’m not stopping now – I want to see what happens if I keep it up, lets say for another three months. I guess then the want/need issue will kick in and I’ll see how I respond.


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