Replacement-basis challenge: How have the first few days been?

replacement basis challenge supermarket shopping

I’ve challenged myself to live for a month without buying any unneccessary items, and only purchasing things that break or run out. Here’s how the first two weeks of the replacement-basis challenge have gone.

What have I actually spent money on?

This challenge only covers material goods, and so far I have paid my regular monthly bills and bought the following:

  • Easter chocolate – Creme and Caramel eggs and two small bags of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs (some of these were gifts, but I’ve eaten some Mini Eggs myself)
  • Two standard weekly groceries shops – both within budget, with no out of the ordinary things added to the basket
  • Two replacement shirts and a replacement pair of gardening trousers – second hand via Vinted, and old items donated to charity
  • Four LED lightbulbs

The Easter eggs were a seasonal treat, but I probably shouldn’t have bought them during a replacement-basis-only challenge. Really, I should have thought ahead before the challenge started and added them to the Little Extras list, or factored them into the groceries somehow.

We also had to replace LED lightbulbs in three rooms, as several of them gave up the ghost in a short period of time. Why do they always seem to go ‘ping’ within a week of each other?

You can’t safely ignore a lack of adequate lighting in a kitchen or bathroom, or on a landing, so they were purchased quickly too.

replacement-basis challenge LED lightbulbs

Things that need to be replaced soon…

Items we all use in everyday life inevitably suffer some wear and tear, however careful we are with them. We’ve recently noticed that our admittedly very old salt and pepper grinders aren’t doing a good job any more – they’ve been used many, many times over the years and although they’re well made the internal mechanisms are wearing out.

We’ll have to shop around and find a new set fairly soon, or at least a new pepper mill as that’s what’s used most frequently in our kitchen.

I’ve also noticed that our everyday dessert bowls and wine glasses are getting chipped here and there, and we don’t have a full set of either of those any more. Perhaps there’ll be a sale somewhere in the next week or two, but if not we can perhaps put that off until next month.

I’m running a bit low on my favourite foundation but think it’ll probably last for at least two or three more weeks. Apart from that, we’re fine for everyday toiletries, cleaning products and so on, so the next grocery shop should be under control.

What I *have* been allowed to spend on

As it’s only physical goods and a one-in-one out policy for this challenge, most social events have been allowed. That’s included going out for teas and coffees, a slice of cake, a couple of cocktails in a new bar, a one-course dinner, and some theatre tickets.

The tickets were a stroke of good luck – we won a TodayTix lottery draw and got them for less than £20 each. They were some of the best seats in the house, and the show was completely sold out as well as being recently nominated for a range of theatre awards. Bargain.

It’s been a very pleasant start to the month, and I’d much rather meet up with friends and socialise than spend lots of time shopping on my own. The budget’s still modest for this sort of thing, and it hasn’t crept up, which can sometimes happen if you’re cutting back elsewhere.

I can see this replacement-basis only type of spending becoming more of a regular habit. So far, so good.

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Would you prefer to do a short and strict no-spend challenge, or a longer replacement-basis only challenge?

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