Saving Money & Living Frugally – NSC Series

Saving Money & Living Frugally

Saving money matters to us. So does living frugally… That’s why, this January, my wife and I will be attempting a No Spend Challenge in order to help us learn about saving money and living frugally. The question now is: how are we preparing for the No Spend Challenge?

This past week my wife and I have been working a lot of extra hours – at work, online, and catering (I’ll write about this one soon) to earn extra money for Christmas. Christmas is a big expense, but we knew that we had to pay for it all without breaking our budget. We decided on certain people who we wanted to purchase gifts for and earned extra money to pay for these gifts. For others, we decided to create homemade gifts.

Related Post: DIY Christmas Gift Guide for Friends and Family

However, as we are saving money for Christmas, we are also thinking about our No Spend Challenge quickly approaching. Here are some steps that we are taking to prepare for the challenge (and that you can take too!).

saving money


If you are new to our NSC Series, start here!
If not, you can skip this section.

As some of you may know, we are preparing for our first every No Spend Challenge (NSC), starting January 1, and holy cow, it is approaching quickly.

The short story is that my wife and I racked up a ton of debt (read how HERE) and want to pay it off as quickly as possible so that we can live our dream lives (read about our goals HERE). This challenge will help us learn about living frugal, saving money, and paying off our debt faster.

The basic concept is that for the month of January, we are not allowed to spend any money. There’s more to it than that, but regardless, we would absolutely love to have you join us. Visit our post, Frugal Living at its Finest: the No Spend Challenge, to view why we are doing the challenge, what the challenge entails, and the rules.

The hardest thing about budgeting and frugal living is doing it alone and that’s why we want to invite you all to join us on our NSC. Sign up below to opt-in to our email community, filled with exclusive tips and tricks for saving money to survive living frugal during your NSC month.

Follow our rules or make your own! Join for one week or the entire month! We know that not everyone is in the same situation we are in. Stick with the No Spend Challenge for as much or as little as you are able in your situation and don’t be afraid to hop on after the starting date (it’s never too late to join in on the fun!).

We’ll be taking the challenge right alongside you – with daily blog posts, encouragements, and exclusive email information and communication: this will be the single, greatest choice you make to jump start the New Year.




Steps to Prepare for the No Spend Challenge

no spend 2

Saving Money & Making Things from Scratch

First of all, we are learning how to make things from scratch as much as possible. The problem with having a $0 budget for the entire month of January is ensuring we have enough food to get through the month. However, we know that if we can make foods from scratch ingredients that are easy to keep around, we won’t starve. So, we are learning how to make as much as we can now so that we can have the ingredients ready for January.

You may remember our post about making homemade pasta from earlier this month? Not only was it delicious, but we did the math and found out that by making our own pasta for an entire year we could save over $100 on our grocery budget! Once we learned that, we were PUMPED to figure out what else we could make ourselves.

Related Post: Homemade Pasta can help you to save over $100

We starting thinking about other ways we could use homemade foods for saving money. The first thing that came to mind was bread. Bread is a simple thing to have around to eat and can be very costly in the store. My mother-in-law was gracious enough to gift us with their old bread maker (which we are getting at Christmas) and now my wife and I are researching recipes for homemade breads and pizza crusts using the machine!

My wife thought of canning and how if we grow some veggies in our garden over the spring we could start canning them to save some money this coming year, so her parents will be teaching us a little introduction on canning over Christmas as well.

Other items that we are working on learning are soups and desserts. More on that as we progress though. Don’t worry, we’ll be posting daily throughout the No Spend Challenge and sending exclusive emails so that you all can get all of these recipes and how-tos. Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter to get exclusive updates!

Saving Money & Keeping Clean

We are also thinking about how we can keep ourselves and our house clean during this month of a $0 budget. The problem with hygiene items is that when you need them, you can’t necessarily put them off for another day. So, my wife and I are looking into two differing ways to make cleaning and hygiene items while saving money.

First, we found that we can fill our pantry for FREE and earn money on the side while using ePantry. ePantry is this great organization that focuses on creating environmentally-friendly products for hygiene and cleanliness. We will be taking in our first free order this month to stock us up for the month of January.

Related Post: Money saving tips to fill your pantry – MMO Series

Second, we’ll be looking into how to make our own soaps and cleaning products. It’s certainly not impossible and there is so much information available. The best part of creating your own products is that you know exactly what goes into you and your family’s bodies with each and every product. Creating your own products keeps your home safe and clean. We’ll share what we learn as we go along in our posts and exclusive emails, so don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter to keep in touch!

Saving Money & Having Fun

The No Spend Challenge could be easy, if you didn’t have so many aspects to consider. Not only will we not be allowed to spend money on groceries, cleaning, or hygiene products, but we will also cut our fun spending money down to $0. Saving money means learning to enjoy what we already have and for the most part, we do this already.

However, my wife and I love to have the occasional restaurant meal, eat out at fast food, and splurge on new things to try and enjoy. For the No Spend Challenge, we’ll have to find new ways to entertain ourselves. Therefore, I compiled a list of 20 Free Things to do to Make You Happy and you can read about it HERE.

Related Post: 20 Free Things to do to Make You Happy

Saving Money & Living Life to the Fullest

As you all know, our motto for DIY Jahn is “Living life to the fullest on a frugal budget” and we are doing our best to do just that. Saving money in January doesn’t have to mean a strict, unenjoyable time. Each and every day is important when it comes to living our lives – because every day is a gift and tomorrow is never promised.

For this reason, I will be posting an inspirational quote for each day throughout the No Spend Challenge in January. I hope this helps to cheer us all along as we work toward our goals and live our lives to the fullest. Remember, being happy is a choice you make – it is harder for some and some days are truly difficult, but we can all work to make the choice to find at least one happy thing each and every day.

What is your happy moment for today?

Saving Money TOGETHER

Now, my wife and I are busy preparing for our No Spend Challenge to begin, but we would love to have you all join us. Visit our post, Frugal Living at its Finest: the No Spend Challenge, to view why we are doing the challenge, what the challenge entails, and rules.

The hardest thing about budgeting and frugal living is doing it alone and that’s why we want to invite you all to join us on our challenge. Sign up below to opt-in to our email community – filled with exclusive tips and tricks for saving money to survive frugal living during your No Spend Challenge month.



Follow our rules or make your own! Join for one week or the entire month! We know that not everyone is in the same situation we are in. Stick with the No Spend Challenge for as much or as little as you are able to in your situation, but don’t be afraid to sign up and come along for the ride!

We’ll be taking the challenge right alongside you – with daily blog posts and exclusive email information and communication, this will be the single, greatest choice to jump start your new year.

Don’t forget: sharing is caring! If you think any of your friends or family members would benefit from taking a No Spend Challenge, saving money, paying off debt, and frugal living – guide them to DIY Jahn! We would love to be in contact with the. Share our posts with them by visiting our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/diyjahn

Finally, leave comments below or email me at thejahns15@gmail.com – if you have any questions at all about saving money (or anything else). I respond personally to every single comment and email sent. Thank you for reading!

Follow the Frugal Friday Linkup HERE!


Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through online companies (as I have shared in my posts) and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions about the companies are 100% honest. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

25 Replies to “Saving Money & Living Frugally – NSC Series”

    1. It’s certainly going to be hard, but I’m hoping we can make it through! If you want to try again, feel free to join us! 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment and support

  1. One of my biggest goals is to pay off most of my debt by the end of next year because I plan to be working from home come Jan 1st and I want to have debts paid and money in the bank before I start. Often people ignore the fact that new income can take time and that one of the best ways to save money is to stop spending it (it seems simple but gets overlooked,) Good luck

    1. How exciting! Buying a house is a big purchase, so I definitely recommend working on saving money. You should join our challenge to save a little extra in the new year while you work toward your house. Good luck! Thank you for commenting 🙂

    1. That’s great, Kaz! I’m so glad that they’re helpful for you!! 🙂 It’s hard to save, but there are some simple things you can do to save some extra money. Thanks for commenting!

  2. this will not be easy but good luck with it. I do not feel home made bread is much cheaper than shop bought, nicer maybe, but a faff for the taste.
    Love the idea of learning to can and wow that you have somebody that can teach you that skill. e

    1. Thank you, Elaine. It definitely will be difficult. I have no idea whether homemade bread is cheaper yet or not, but I know that I save over $100 a year making homemade pasta so that’s nice! :)I’ll be doing the calculations once I learn a recipe or two so we’ll find out soon. I’m also excited to learn how to can things! 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

  3. We are toying with the idea of living frugally to pay off our mortgage so I find your ideas very interesting. I’ll be a regular visitor if we decide to go ahead 🙂

    1. That’s great, Sonia! Paying off your mortgage earlier makes it so that you can spend more time enjoying your life and less time worrying about the bills. I hope you decide to go ahead with it! 🙂 If not, I hope you’ll still follow along once and a while for ways you can save money for trips, school, clothes, books, etc. Thank you for your comment!

  4. Wow, that’s so brave! I hope you’ll have enough food in your fridge, and I can’t believe that you can actually get free food from ePantry. I can’t wait to hear how the challenge went 🙂

    1. Hey Juliana, thank you for your comment! I hope we have enough food too – it’s mostly going to be stuff from the freezer and the pantry that we’ve had for forever – canned food, frozen meats, etc. Stuff we need to use up. As for ePantry – it’s more cleaning supplies and hygiene products that we get free from them: toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, conditioner, disinfectant spray, dish soap, garbage bags, ziplock bags, and other assorted household goods. You should DEFINITELY check it out. It’s so worth it. Thank you again 🙂

    1. It’s hard to live frugally, that’s for sure, and it takes time to realize what you really can and can’t cut out. That’s why we’re doing this challenge. I hope the posts are helpful to you! 🙂 Thank you for the comment, Kara

  5. I am applying this usually weekly (to spend money one day per week), and sometimes for 2 weeks. It is easier to manage and less frustrating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *