Week 35: No Additional Purchases

This challenge may require a bit of an explanation. We have found ourselves increasingly making midweek purchases that were unplanned, unexpected, and potentially not needed. There is nothing particularly wrong with mid-week purchases; however, it was becoming a problem for us because it was adding additional trips to the store which required time and additional unexpected expenses.

We typically shop at the grocery store every two weeks. We do our best to purchase all of the grocery items we may need over the next few weeks. This has been one of the best decisions we made during the first few months of marriage. It forces us to plan ahead and think through our food and our finances. We really enjoy shopping like this.

There are times where we forget a certain item or decide that we want to make something special that was unplanned and we would run to the store to buy something to help round out our meal. We found this beginning to happen more frequently over the past several weeks. We were getting a little too comfortable with running out to grab dessert or just one item that we wanted that night. So we decided to enforce a ban on midweek purchases. Anything that needed to be purchased, be it food or other item, had to be picked up during our shopping time on Friday evening.

We were hoping this would force us to plan out our week and really think through the specific things we would need. We set aside some time to walk though the week ahead before we went shopping. This was very helpful to make sure we were on the same page and had all our bases covered.

The week was not easy. There were a few things that we neglected to pick up. Some of the items we simply forgot to purchase, other items we didn’t even know we would need them. We actually found that we were able to survive just find. We tweaked a recipe or two to fit with the ingredients we had. We chose to go without some things we developed random cravings for. It was tough to say no, but it was even more regarding to use what we had to satisfy our needs.

We are finding more and more often that we tend to have more than enough. Too often we give in to random urges and cravings and let that dictate how we spend our time or money. Please do not misunderstand what we are saying. Being spontaneous, or doing random things just for fun are FANTASTIC!! We firmly believe that unplanned adventures can be some of the best experiences of our lives.

What we are saying really deals with thoughtfulness and intent. Even “spontaneous, random adventures” can involve a quick moment of thought before launching head first into the dark unknown. Taking a moment to think, “Is this thing important or essential now?” or, “Will I be able to survive without this thing?” can really help when it comes to quick decision making.

We like to practice this type of intentionality because it helps us enjoy today’s adventure while stilling being wise and planning for the adventures of tomorrow. How frustrating would it be to spend money on something frivolous and have that choice limit you from doing something more valuable or worthwhile? That is really the concept we were attempting to challenge.

Overall, the week was a lot of fun. We sent a few texts to one another about an item we were missing or wanted to pick up to add some spice to our meals. Those messages sparked some really solid conversations with each other. It also helped us prep and plan for our next shopping trip.

For the sake of clarification, our limit was not only on midweek grocery purchases. We went without all midweek purchases. No lattes, snacks, or unplanned items were purchased. We got gas and went out to dinner with friends, but all of that had been panned and prepared ahead of time.

The challenge for this week may seem small to most people, but we love challenges like this that really force us to consider deeply the decisions we are so quick to make. The unplanned purchase can quickly add up. We are not recommending stopping all unplanned purchases forever. However, we firmly believe life is more deep and fulfilling when we take extra time to think through large and small decisions.

We challenge you to consider the decisions you make every day and see what would happen if you put a bit more thought and intentional choice behind each one. It just might change your life.

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