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Penalties Cleared.

Thanks to the three items pictured below, my spend-free penalties have been cleared. I may not have donated to the United Way, but donations have been made to charities/nonprofits/schools in the Twin Cities so it’s just as good.

Item 1: iPad – bid on at the Holy Name Fall Festival silent auction. (I got it for a whole $50 less than I would have paid in an Apple store.)

Item 2: My bidder number at the DeLaSalle Oktoberfest Gala. I bid on kids – yay.

Item 3: A purse purchased at the DeLaSalle Oktoberfest gala.

(Other donations also made to the St. Paul Public Schools Foundation and the Greater Twin Cities United Way – the IRS will be so proud of me.)

Consider Yourself Fortunate

Just another infographic to make up for the fact that I haven’t had any spending/eating posts lately. (Well I do have spending/eating updates, just figure I should include pictures and I haven’t taken them.)

One thing I’ve learned doing this challenge is that I should be thankful for what I have.  Many people don’t have food or the opportunity to head to their favorite restaurant or eat their favorite food whenever they want. Many people don’t have more than one outfit in their closet. I do and I’m very thankful for that. When you make the most out of what you have, you realize how fortunate you really are.

I encourage everyone to attempt to go spendfree for a period of time.  It doesn’t have to be a whole year, maybe a month, a few months or just a week. You’ll thank me.

(via The Daily What and DeviantArt)

Food & Drink Spending by City

The average Minneapolis household spent $3,325 dining out in 2009.  (Saint Paul is slightly higher at $3,372.)  In 2010, so far, I have only spent about $150 eating out.  TAKE THAT!

(Source: Infographic: Food spending in the biggest U.S. cities)

Oh SWEETness!

Groupon delivered a little bit of happiness today with a deal for a 1/2 dozen cupcakes from Sweets Bakeshop for $9 (or 50% off).  My original thought was – ok fine I’ll donate $9 to the United Way because I LOVE cupcakes.

Guess what – Sweets Bakeshop uses local and/or organic ingredients (even says so in the Groupon ad – down there at the bottom)! Sorry, United Way!

After 2 months, United Way will get $71

I opted to use my “free day” of shopping to purchase Twins apparel – yep. I decided that I didn’t want to save it for a later day (sometime in the summer) and buy flip flops, t-shirts, etc., because really I’m supposed to be making do with what I have (and what I stocked up on). So, in honor of the new Twins stadium, I bought some new Twins stuff.

However, prior to my free day I purchased a pair of boots at Macy’s. Those babies ran me $54 (originally $180!). Added in with my food purchases, which have gone up to do poor meal/schedule planning, I now owe the United Way $71.00.

(For those keeping score, at this rate, I will owe the United Way $426 at year’s end. Ouch. I know it hurts the United Way, but, that WON’T be happening.)

Restaurant Week Spring 2010 | Promotions + Events | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine + mspmag.com

Restaurant Week Spring 2010 | Promotions + Events | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine + mspmag.com.

I’m just going to throw this out there….Restaurant Week is a Celebration.  How? Well, because my birthday is March 1, which is a celebration and right at the beginning of Restaurant Week and thus Birthday Week = Restaurant Week = Celebration.  Just go with it.

A Rules Cheat Sheet

Readers of the rules have asked, “Were these drafted by a lawyer?” Yes, sorry.  It was done in an effort to close loopholes and require strict “spend-free-ness” (not a word).  So, here’s a summary (this does not replace the full rules previously posted)…

1) No shopping for clothes, shoes, undergarments (YEP!) or accessories. Cosmetics and personal hygiene products are of course permitted.

2) No eating out except for legitimate celebrations or at organic/sustainable restaurants.

3) Gifts can be purchased for others (as long as it doesn’t or won’t benefit you in anyway). You can trade/borrow items.  You can have items repaired, mended.  You can spend money on entertainment, music, books, & hobbies (knitting, sewing, etc.) and the like.  Business/networking expenses are permitted. Vacations (outside the state) and purchases made on said vacations are exempt.

4) If you do make a purchase that is not permitted, you must make a donation to the Greater Twin Cities United Way in an amount equal to your purchase.

Have fun!