How to Prepare for a “No Spend” Period

If you’re interested in taking a deeper look at your spending and identifying how you can cut back, a No Spend Period is a great exercise!

Find out what kinds of things you’ve been spending your money on, how you can make do without, and how many different things you can do without spending a cent!

How to Prepare for a No Spend Period

A No Spend Period is all about taking a look at what you normally spend money on, and seeing how you can really do without. It’s about getting creative with your spending and making do with what you have. It’s also great for recognizing how many things you typically spend money on in a day, week, month… that are actually a want instead of a need.

A No Spend Period can be any amount of time you feel comfortable with.

A couple suggestions for a No Spend period:

  • No Spend week: try it out for a week and see how it goes, you can always stretch it out
  • No Spend month: this takes a little preparation because you are bound to run out of some fresh items in this time, but it can be done!
  • No Spend day: pick a specific day of the week or month that you commit to focus on not spending


There are a few things you can do to make sure you have a successful No Spend Period. It’s all about planning ahead.

Take Inventory

A No Spend period forces you to get creative with what you have. Since you can’t run out to the store and grab something something whenever you need it, it helps to take an inventory of what you have and how you can make it all work.

It’s a great time to make it to the bottom of your freezer, make bread instead of buying it, or craft something instead of buying it.

I mainly do a no spend period when our freezer has gotten too full. I find that I have a habit of buying the same food each week and these no spend periods get us out of our same old habits and start getting creative.

How to Prep for a No Spend Period - plan ahead with food


Spend a little

Make a plan before you start. Spending a little before your no spend period begins will help you stick to it and feel successful.

The key is to not go overboard.

I make a plan to fill up on gas and buy milk and eggs. I almost got bread as well, but I thought I’d see if I would actually make our own bread like I always talk about doing.

Find things you can do that don’t cost money

A No Spend Period is a great time to get back to basics and see what you can do without spending a dime.

It’s a fantastic time to plan trips to the park or the library, go for walks, find out what’s happening in your town, etc.

How to Prepare for a No Spend Period: 20 Things to do during a No Spend Period

These are just some of my ideas off the top of my head. I also found this list of 25 Free Acts of Kindness to do with Children from Sweet Tea and Saving Grace and this other great list of 75 Things to Do on a No Spend Weekend from My Debt Epiphany.


We really enjoy each time we do a No Spend Period. We’ve done No Spend Weeks, and a No Spend Month, which ended up a No Spend three weeks.

This month we’ve decided to do a “Clean Out the Pantry” No Spend Period. Since it’s November, we’ll definitely be spending on Christmas presents, but it is time we get to the bottom of our freezer and the back of our pantry.

A No Spend Period is a fantastic exercise. However you choose to do it is up to you.


What do you think? Ready to give a No Spend Period a try?

Kristin - Exploring Domesticity

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6 thoughts on “How to Prepare for a “No Spend” Period

  1. Cara @ Fashionably Frugal

    Great tips, thank you for sharing all the ideas of things to do instead of spending money on entertainment. I am just starting my no-spend November since I already have my Christmas shopping done and my poor pantry is overflowing. I can during the year so I have plenty of canned fruits and veggies. I am looking forward (sort of) to having to be creative in making supper with what we have rather than running to the store when I run out of something.
    Cara @ Fashionably Frugal recently posted…Stocking Stuffers for WomenMy Profile

    1. Kristin, Exploring Domesticity Post author

      I totally get it! That’s what we’re doing. It’s so easy to get in the habit of buying the same things from the store and letting a lot of stuff sit in the pantry/freezer. I love forcing myself to use it up, and often try new recipes. Thanks so much for stopping by, Cara! Checking out your site now!

  2. Jenn

    Thanks for the inspiration. The only problem I run into when I try this is that I seem to get excited when I can spend again and go overboard. I’m still trying to keep that in check. Though my overboard is usually ‘We are out of TP, Deodorant, Dog Food and other necessities”.

    1. Kristin, Exploring Domesticity Post author

      Haha! Yep, it can feel like that because we run out of everything. However, I love the feeling of getting to the back of the pantry or bottom of the freezer. It forces us to use the things we forget about, but we do definitely have to restock a little bit when we start shopping again. Thanks for reading, Jenn!!!!

  3. Charlotte

    I really need to get creative with my cooking and finally use up some of the frozen veggies in the freezer. I do the same! And it would be nice to have a no-spend period… Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s a nice reminder of all the free resources we have available to us (that some of us (ahem, guilty) don’t take advantage of 🙂

    Stopping in from SITS Sharefest and hope you’re having a great weekend!
    Charlotte recently posted…Friday linky 11/11My Profile


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