Can Your Family Survive a No-Spend Weekend?

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When I was asked to participate in the Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge, requiring my family and me to attempt a no-spend weekend, I straightened my necktie and put on my creative beret (they’re making a comeback) and got right to it. My approach? Creating games, making things and treating everyone to a little cheer – or as some call it, “chocolate.”  Who’s in?

Friday Night

Make a game of the night.  Begin by jotting down a list of 10 to 20 things you’ll all keep an eye out for in the neighborhood.  Things such as a red front door, a black cat, a blue recycling bin with broken lid, a water bottle cap, a broken mailbox flag, a car that hasn’t moved in several years, an elm tree, etc. Then, give each family member a copy of the query and see who finds the most items on the list during a family evening walk.  The winner gets to choose the movie that everyone will watch later that evening.

Saturday

Since I’m such a scavenger for junk, anyway, this makes a no-spend weekend project enormously FUN! FUN! FUN!  Kind of like solving a riddle.

The impetus for this came while at a friend’s wedding where this adorable sign hung in the entryway. (Sweet, right?)

Anyway, I got to thinking about how it would be fun to have a similar style sign at our house. I thought about which shape worked best for our family, and since I’m a fan of directional signs, I decided we’d make an arrow-shaped sign.

Here’s how my family approached the project:

  • Dumpster Diving: I find (re)usable stuff in all kinds of places; on the side of the road, at yard sales, even in my neighbor’s dumpster (spied during my morning walk with my dog, Bernie, of course).  The piece of wood I found for the arrow was taken from the floor of my neighbor’s guest house which was being demolished. I especially loved this plank because of its deep texture, the natural holes and knots and the chalky white (presumably) drywall compound which coated the piece.
  • Technique: First, using a pen, I drew the shape I wanted in the wood.  Next, using my handy jigsaw I cut out the shape.  It took all of seven minutes. Of course, I wore safety glasses and clamped the board to the table while using the jigsaw, so as to avoid losing a finger or an eye from flying debris.

With the arrow done, I evenly spaced out the globe lights (which had been safely stored in Ziploc® brand big bags) and drilled holes using a ¾” wood drill bit.

Then came the fun part… putting the lights into the holes and turning them on—voila!

The three things I like about doing projects like this are: 1) nobody else will have the exact same thing in their house, 2) it was doable in one afternoon, and 3) it was free.

Sunday

Everyone loves cookies, so my family and I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies to take to our next door neighbor.  Since our neighbor wasn’t home when we stopped by, we wrote them a note that we left on the doorstep, containing a quote by Charles M. Schulz that said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.  And, all photos were taken by me, myself and I!

 

 

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