No Spend January Update

In an effort to save some money, we’ve been making a mess.

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This room originally was clean and quite empty, but we decided to get all the rest of our items from the storage unit we were renting. So, into this room (and all over the rest of the house, too) the stuff went. The picture was taken a few days ago, and I’ve been working on going through everything. I found a couple of tubs full of old paperwork and cards, and found two $10 bills in the cards!

We are glad not to have to pay for the storage unit anymore, and we got our deposit back, which was a nice bonus. We don’t have any shed or garage at the place we are renting, though, so it has been a bit of a struggle to figure out what to do with all our yard/garden/tool stuff. I now have a table saw sitting in my kitchen:

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My husband found a board to fit the top of it, so I can use it as a work surface for now, which is quite handy for cooling racks and groceries.

Due to having to pay a mortgage and rent right now, we will be continue our “No Spend” challenge into February out of necessity. We haven’t seen any huge savings from it, as we weren’t big shoppers to begin with, but it has still helped motivate us to do anything extra that we can. We sold a few things on our local Facebook yard sale site, got everything out of storage, and have really made use of the few pantry items we had. We’ve eaten a lot of oatmeal this month. It has definitely stretched my culinary skills to the max, which leads me to another little challenge I’ve made up for myself for February- “The Month of Potatoes.”

My husband and Em love potatoes, but I don’t seem to think of cooking them very often. While I ate them growing up, it wasn’t super often, and they aren’t my favorite food. I would like to have more ways of using potatoes under my belt, though, because they are: inexpensive, easy to grow, and beloved by the rest of my family members. We were a part of a gleaning club when we lived in Walla Walla, WA and ended up with quite a lot of potatoes one year. I struggled with what to do with so many potatoes, and sadly many went to waste. I don’t want that to happen again if we grow our own and get a bumper crop. For all those reasons, I’m challenging myself to cook potatoes once a day for the next month. I got an early start and have already made some potato chips, roasted potatoes with pepper and onions, potato wedges, and a frittata with potatoes. I plan to make lefse, mashed potatoes, my family’s “cheesy potatoes,” hashbrowns, baked potatoes, hasselback potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and potato bread.

Anyone have other (preferably vegan) potato ideas?

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