Shopping Ban September Review: Homeschool supplies, Costumes, and Soccer Cleats

For my own simplicity, my shopping ban reviews going forward will be monthly instead of every two weeks.

September was calmer and a little cooler here in Arizona….finally!!!

Most of our receipts each month are groceries. We buy the food, we eat the food, and we repeat.

But every once in a while there are things outside of food we need.

This month, those things were homeschool supplies, Halloween costumes, and soccer cleats.

Homeschool Supplies

I held off buying anything for homeschool the first month. I watched what materials we used and looked for things we lacked.

I wanted it to be clear we needed something before I bought it.

After establishing our supply needs, I headed to the Dollar Store.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Dollar Store.

I hate the cheapness of the toys, but love the cheapness of their art supplies, toiletries, and spices. And living in a small space, I love “right sized” things. I can buy a bag of 14 cough drops for $1 and not have a 60 pack lying around for months.

I understand that buying “right sized” might mean spending a bit more over time, but for items we don’t use often I am okay with that.

So I spent $29 total at the Dollar Store this month. I got all our toiletries (toothpaste, toilet paper, mouthwash, etc), and homeschool supplies (finger paint, tape, poster board, etc).


I love Goodwill. It is a thrift store where you can buy used clothes, shoes, furniture, housewares.

Giving items a second life and seeing them used to their full potential brings me immense joy.

The kids and I had the car one day and decided to search for 3 items: 2 Halloween costumes and soccer cleats.

We left with those three items for $18. One Spider-Man costume, 1 Pikachu costume, and 1 pair of soccer cleats.

I was planning to spend $20 on cleats alone at a sporting goods store, but instead got cleats and costumes for less.

If you are willing to buy used items you save so much money, and the planet.

Simple life, Simple Expenses

Reflecting on September, one of the things I realized was a simple life leads to simple expenses.

Most of our money goes to life’s basic needs. This makes calculating our monthly budget and expenditures easier.

We have only 5 categories on our monthly budget spreadsheet: rent, groceries/toiletries/gas, internet, basic cell phones, student loans.

This simplicity makes it easier to talk about money within our marriage. Most days it is a quick 10 minute conversation.

September was a better month than August for our budget.

We look forward to fall/winter in Arizona where we spend most days at free parks and trails.

And my coffee tastes better in 80 degrees than 110 degrees. 🙂



  1. I hear ya on the Dollar Store. 🙂 We feel the same way. I have a slight obsession with the Goodwill, or GW as we call it. The amount of money and landfill space saved is epic. However, I remind myself often that a great price on an item that I don’t need is still an item that I don’t need….
    Thanks for your posts Brittany.


  2. I love your budget! We shop Dollar General too. The only things we buy in bulk are papertowels, napkins and tissue. I was able to convince my husband to start using “cloth” napkins. I found a bunch of them in my linen closet the other day when I was cleaning it out. I told him DO NOT buy any more napkins. Come to think of it, we need to scale back on those papertowels.
    May have to revisit that Goodwill store soon. Been a long time since I’ve shopped there.
    Enjoying this FIRST cool day in Alabama.
    Love your posts!


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