It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.

L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I think November is my favorite month. We have birthdays, Thanksgiving, and it’s actually fall here in Atlanta (for a hot second before it becomes a cold and soggy winter). I feel like October is the band-aid between summer and fall, and I have just been waiting to rip it off and move on. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beginning of fall that we see in October. I love dressing up for Halloween and seeing the kids go nutzo as they go trick or treating. BUT. It feels BASIC. November though. Its the REAL fall.

I also love that November just leans into the holidays. I don’t feel like I can focus on Thanksgiving or Christmas until after Halloween, but oh man, come November 1 I am all in. I start planning my holiday meals, I start listening to Christmas music (in secret because my family will judge me), and I put on the Yule Log video on Netflix. This time of year is the absolute best!

In my excitement for November and the holidays, I so often get caught up and carried away. I want every meal to be a Pinterest worthy feast. I want my kids to have every gift under the tree. I want every pair of boots and cozy coat so I can look like all the influencers on the Gram. If I’m not careful, my favorite month and season can become a season of wanting, which inevitably leads to a season of discontent.

Enter the “No Spend November” idea. My plan this month is not to spend ZERO dollars. I feel like that would be like a super restrictive diet – unsustainable. I want this month to recalibrate and reinforce healthy spending habits, so that when the month is over I can continue those habits. And not binge shop at Target on December 1. One of the lessons we teach our kids early on is Wants versus Needs, and I feel like November is a great time to reevaluate that lesson as adults. So, I want to focus on 2 things – reducing spending and contentment. Since this is a food blog, lets focus on how I can do those two things in my kitchen.

  1. Meal Planning
    • This is huge for saving money for us. If I can plan ahead, I can manage only going to the store once, maybe twice, a week. The more I plan ahead, the fewer times I go to the store, and the less money I spend. I can also plan multiple meals using the same ingredients, which will save money as well.
  2. Budget Friendly Meals
    • As I’m planning my meals, I want to look at seasonal produce (cheaper and more flavorful), and what is on sale. Again, the more attention I put into the planning, the less likely I am to spend too much.
  3. Reducing Food Waste + Leftovers:
    • I hate food waste. Its something I have worked on for myself over the last few years. I find so much joy in finding an empty fridge because that means I purchased and prepared just the right amount of food, and nothing was wasted.
  4. Gratefulness:
    • Taking the time to see what is right in front of me, and giving thanks for it.

If you want to join me in my version of “No Spend November”, make sure you subscribe (link to the right) so that you don’t miss anything here! Also, go follow along with me on Instagram! I want to share our gratefulness and encourage each other to find contentment everyday this month!


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