#NoSpendSeptember Week 4: Gluten-free, sugar-free baking, learning how to cut my own hair, new Clark articles, a free expensive gift and the final tally

It’s the final day of #NoSpendSeptember! 🎉 I have to say that I have been VERY surprised at the results. More on that later.

This week, I did a few things to enjoy the time I might have spent shopping online, and sent in two new articles to Clark.com!

Gluten-free, sugar-free baking

The above crater-looking chocolate mini-cake may not be much to look at, but it was TASTY! I wish I could tell you the exact recipe, but it was a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Here’s what I put in it, but not sure of the exact amounts.

  • Powdered cocoa
  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Stevia
  • Stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips
  • Vegan egg substitute
  • Applesauce
  • Water

I mixed everything together and added water until it was a pourable consistency. The oven was set to 350 degrees and I let it bake for at least 30 minutes.

That cake was awesome! Chocolatey, dense, and filling, it was a great, guilt-free snack with no blood sugar spikes. My favorite kind of treat!

Learning to cut my own hair

I know it seems crazy, but cutting my own hair was easier than I thought! I followed this YouTube video.

Clark.com articles

I didn’t think this would turn into an experiment I would write about, but we ended up earning over $4,000 in credit card rewards over 12 months, and we have been saving so much money shopping at BJ’s Wholesale, I had to write about that. For only 20 items we regularly buy, we save over $2,500 per year by buying them at BJ’s instead of another grocery store!

A free expensive gift

We couldn’t buy anything unnecessary, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t receive something. An awesome peep put a notice out on social media that they were giving away this bike, which was once $2,500. I love it!

The final tally

So, the question remains… how much did we actually save with #NoSpendSeptember?

Our rules were that we didn’t buy anything from Amazon, no going out to restaurants, and no takeout; basically nothing unnecessary.

Despite my husband not doing the same as me (he still got a few lunches out), we saved a ton. Like, I’m pretty flabbergasted.

I added up our previous months in the year and averaged out our spending, and this month compared to all the other months we saved $1,453.

Looking back, I can see that shopping at Amazon and eating out made our expenses higher in previous months, but also trying to keep our cat alive, (he took his trip down the rainbow bridge in February), Jasper expenses, medical expenses, some travel, home maintenance we saved up for, and donations made up the good bulk of our extra spending the other months of the year. We had virtually no medical or vet expenses this month. (In addition to his puppy shots and visits, Jasper ate a chocolate bar when I wasn’t looking one day earlier in the year, and it was over $100. That was an expensive two seconds of not paying attention!)

There’s something that happens when you slow down and get creative with how to spend the least amount of money that you can. Energy is focused on contribution and ideas versus the distraction of spending money. It was a lesson in self-discipline, and I think it was very good for me.

Moving forward, I am going to continue a modified version of this challenge with a little more leniency — the holidays are coming soon, and it’s a good idea to get gifts early due to supply chain delays. We’ll probably get takeout once a week at an inexpensive restaurant too.

If you’ve been doing the #NoSpendSeptember challenge, I’d love to hear how it went for you. If you’ve been following our journey, thank you for reading!

As this challenge closes, I want to leave you with one final thought:

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