Every mom should have an option to stay home with her children, regardless of income

Save Money Not Going to Stores Challenge

Okay, so there’s several feet of snow all around me (up to my daughters knees!) Schools were closed 3 days this week. The most ever in the history of our school district…and the snow is STILL going! Like stop already…we’re getting pummeled here out west.

It started me thinking, you know everyone has all these saving money challenges….
• No spend Saturday
• No spend month
• 52 week money challenge
• Power bill challenge- okay, that was mine. 😉

I was thinking…what if I have a no going to stores challenge! 

No Amazon Prime. No cheating. No going to stores for a month. Lemme show you how I do! Join me in this save money not going to stores challenge!

See, most of my shopping, I do online anyway (here’s 37 reasons to shop online!). With the free stuff I get from Grove Collaborative (formerly Epantry) and then shopping other places like Amazon (I don’t have Amazon Prime), and so on. I rarely shop in the stores ANYway.

It’s my secret weapon to saving massive amounts of money!

So I’m making a challenge for myself and I invite you to join me.

I don’t want to step foot in ANY store, at all, all month long (4 weeks, 30 days).

Not only will this challenge help save me money, but it’ll save me time and make me more self-sufficient.

As I’m thinking about this, I’m realizing how much more SIMPLER this will make my life.

Everything I need is brought TO me. No struggling with carts and kids in the stores, and traffic and rude people. No putting extra things in the cart that I see (hello, savings!) And it’s all CHEAPER online than in the stores. I never pay for shipping…like ever! And between Ebates (been with them for 8 years now and swear by them!) and my Paypal debit card (which I love- thankful for not having to balance a checkbook!), I’m earning up to 11% cash back to boot, depending on the store.

I think that saving money is just about thinking about the things you buy the most, and trying to find ways of getting THOSE particular items at their cheapest prices.

It’s not really that difficult. And while I still will go places, the stores this month (my ultimate goal is 6 months!!) is not one of them.

I wonder how much EASIER and SIMPLER YOUR life would be if you automated things. Automate with bill pay. Buy groceries online. Get your prescriptions online. How much easier are our lives with the internet. I know I wouldn’t be able to make a living from home without it. So, I’m feeling very appreciative, and wondering what ELSE I can do to automate my life and FREE UP MY TIME!!!

Think about it…what can you do in your life? Perhaps you could automate some things.

People always ask me how I balance my life…this is one way I do that. Most all my shopping is done online anyway. 🙂 Why not strive for 100% for a month. While this may not work for everybody, you may just be surprised how many things you CAN simplify!

Here’s the deal…you guys are gonna keep me accountable, okay. 🙂 Every week, I’ll bring you a new post about what’s been going on in my life without shopping in any store and the tricks and tips I’m using to accomplish that as well as what I’m working on and how I’m managing and balancing life. How does that sound???

I mean think about it…if there was a natural disaster and you WERE stuck in your home, would you ALREADY have the resources set up to be able to make it through?

Or would your family die of starvation or something? I feel like this is a really good challenge for us all on SO MANY LEVELS! I want to be more self-sufficient. I want to know that if there was a disaster, my family would be okay. I’m pretty sure, you’d want that piece of security too. So, I’m super excited about this!

No Amazon Prime. No cheating. No going to stores for a month. Lemme show you how I do! Join me in this save money not going to stores challenge!



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  1. I’m trying to imagine a disaster in which online shopping takes over and for some reason the terminator seems to come to mind lol. Makes no sense I know! I love this challenge and I hope it saves you a lot of money! I’d be interested to see how much you are able to save!

    • I’m beginning my first week now of the challenge and I CANNOT EVEN WAIT to tell you everything that is happening! We are snowed in for the second week now. No school for kids except one day last week (Tuesday) and now, it’s Tuesday of THIS week, and there’s STILL no school!!!!! Ugh! This challenge comes at a perfect time. I’m starting to wonder if my kids will ever go to school again. lol. But, I will give you a hint Lindsey, I AM saving money!!! YAY!

  2. Love the idea but will be tricky for me, live in a country where shopping everything online is not available, may be this could be good for some purchases, but not all

  3. Hi, my name is Lisa!! I love to shop online, in fact I just joined a membership with an essential oil company. Their products are all non-toxic such as: laundry products, cleaning products, soaps, lotions, hair products and lots more. Their products are made in USA! Gotta love that! The vitamins are awesome! They do not advertise, it is all by word of mouth for this awesome online store! I’m a preferred customer so I can get all nice discounts, but I’m trying to start to do business side….which is marketing for them…all I do is get people to switch stores and to join. This store is all about health and wellness and I love it! I totally agree with you, Sarah 100 % shopping online is the best!!!!!

    • That’s great Lisa! I’m with an essential oil company as well as a few other companies and it definitely saves money and I’m at the point of getting all my products free! 🙂 I love free! lol.

  4. I like the idea of the challenge. I think I would struggle with this though. Due to the fact that I’m a manager for retail/rx store. I try not to buy anything there when I can. Except what I get a good employee discount on. Any suggestions? Lol should I just not go into any other stores except mine?

    Sincerely, Nicki K.

    • Hmmmm….you could do that. Just shop the store you work for. 🙂 Even if life was a little simpler for you and you automated some things. Every little bit helps. I’m sure you are pretty tired after work and don’t feel like shopping! 🙂

  5. Wow, Sarah, this is an amazing challenge. I do not think I can do it this month, but my plan is to go to the stores less this month and do some of the prep work you talked about to be able to avoid stores and maybe do the full no store challenge in February.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Absolutely Tamara. That is a brilliant idea! I’m going to be sharing lots of very specific things, including what I’m buying and how life is going. It’s going to be SO exciting to do weekly posts like this for a month! I know many women can learn how to shop online to make their lives so much easier. 🙂 I’m so excited.

  6. I live in the country, have 3 children, and am introverted. I rarely go to stores. We don’t have the luxury of online grocery shopping but between our deep freezer and pantry, I usually only go every two weeks to stock up on perishables. I agree that it saves so much money. I also have a system whereby I fill my cart at an online store but then dont purchase it for several days, sometimes a week. That way I can really think hard about whether or not I need it, what is the purpose, and where will I store it. Drives my husband crazy as he is more of an impulse spender. lol. We balance each other out though as I would hoard money. He reminds me that, since we have our future savings already set up and automated, we should live a little in the now too. But my default is still to save instead of spend. lol.

    • Tessa, it sounds like you have a great system set up. 🙂 I would definitely just say improve where you can. It’s great you and your husband balance each other out. 🙂

  7. Great idea! I’ll be very interested to learn how to get free shipping without having Amazon Prime. Shipping costs often hinder me from shopping online.

  8. Hi Sarah,
    Can you tell me what resource you use for shopping for groceries online?
    I’m in for the challenge. 🙂

    Thank you!!!!

    • Detailed info. on that is coming in week 2 of the challenge, so stay tuned Lynne. 🙂 I don’t feel comfortable just saying a name without telling you all that you need to know when ordering from them because there are some tricks and things I’ve learned to make my experience much better as I’ve been ordering from them for several months now. Definitely a few pitfalls you want to avoid.

  9. Im disabled so the idea of not stepping in a store sounds wonderful. I steer away from online stores because of the shipping charges. I will be following you to see how you get around that.

    • Yeah, shipping can kill you. I never pay for shipping, like ever. I think this year, I paid like $6 for shipping one time and it was still cheaper so it was okay, but I am a person who refuses to pay for shipping. It’s like, my thing…don’t charge me for shipping or I won’t buy from you basically. lol. I’m excited to teach you guys how I do it in detail. 🙂

  10. A Costco membership representative told me when I was pregnant with my third baby that Costco would be even more beneficial with the growing family (not in a pushy way). I knew it really just meant I’d never find the time to go. I was right. Amazon doesn’t always beat their deals, but they always beat the half-day shopping and few extras find their way into the cart. I buy everything from diapers to lightbulbs online. I still go to the grocery store though. I’ve never found an economical way to buy dairy, produce, or even canned foods online. Has anyone else had success there?

    • I go rounds with Costco in my head. I absolutely LOVE them, great quality, good prices, but the membership fee….ack, and like you said, the busyness of the store, long lines, etc. So…here’s what I did. One day, I went around the whole store of Costco with a paper and pencil, writing down all the quantity/oz etc. and the prices of everything I buy. Then, little by little, over time, as needed, I found other places to buy those products that are cheaper! I have successfully been able to find absolutely everything cheaper at other avenues except for zipper bags. lol. I made a printable in MS Word of those prices and kept it with me in my purse. 🙂 For dairy, produce, and all groceries, YEP…I have a solution…several of them in fact!!! 🙂 I’ll explain more in a few weeks. By then, I’ll need groceries…right now, I’m good. 🙂

  11. While I applaud looking for new ways to save money I am not sure trading shopping in person to only online shopping is necessarily a good choice. Shopping in person allows you to build relationships with the people who staff the stores and I feel that is very important especially in smaller/rural towns. In a emergency situation it can make a very big difference. Have fun shopping online and I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

    • Thank you for sharing Nancy. I definitely respect your opinion and what is right for you and your family {{hugs}}. For me personally, I’ve lived in smaller towns (as small as 300 population) and it wasn’t about relationships because checkers changed so much. The store prices were astronomical. At the time, I literally drove 116 miles to a city that had more shopping options once a month to save money. But for those living in rural areas, not everything will work. I would say just do your best for the things you can order online, and maintain those relationships that are important to you in person. That way, you’re happy, but still able to save a little more. 🙂 And…if you order a lot in the mail, you form new relationships…with your mail carrier! 😉

  12. Hi Sarah,

    I just wanted to let you know how much I love reading your blog. You’re very inspiring and relatable.

  13. Hi, Sarah! I love this challenge and will be joining. We’ve done this before (except for buying groceries), and it saves so much not to be roaming in a store for recreation!

    • It can if you want it to Jodi. 🙂 For me, absolutely! But each family has different options, so definitely do what you can and don’t feel bad if you can’t do some things. <3

  14. I am curious as to what you do for groceries? Milk, eggs, etc. I can manage to avoid every other kind of store, but groceries are the one the gets me (and it’s the store I hate the most!)

  15. I am seriously going to try this, if I can get rid of the temptation than I am sure I can save more. We started our get out of debt journey in January and I am finding that we are still spending. Starting this in February!