Low-Spend Winter Activities

In Minnesota, the onset of fall weather means that winter is fast-approaching. I just wrote about my plans for a No-Spend November, and shared a few things I'll be doing to occupy myself. However, I think it's time to make a more comprehensive list to hopefully keep myself more accountable, and inspire more folks to join me on my Low-Spend Winter efforts.

Improve Cooking Skills

I'm lucky insofar as my husband and I are pretty good at cooking. However, we've been kind of in a cooking rut since I started working further from home a couple of years ago. It seems like we've been making different iterations of the same few dishes for two years, which is a little boring. So here are some ideas I have for improving our cooking skills while also working within low-spend limitations:

  • Play "Chopped" in our own kitchen to use up overlooked ingredients
  • Learn how to cook other cuisines - we're in a Mexican-Italian-Chinese rut and want to learn more about French and Spanish food
  • Make a habit out of meal planning and prep so I'm less tempted to go out to lunch at work
  • Do some "kitchen sink" style cooking to clean out the fridge and pantry of odds and ends

Get Better Organized

I've said it before and I'll say it again: minimalism is a process. My house is pretty well decluttered, but some spaces still don't feel organized. Here's what I plan to organize:

  • Craft supplies - it's time to declutter them anyway, and I want to reduce how many different categories of crafts I've held on to supplies for despite not using them in a year or more
  • Home improvement supplies - I have tools scattered through the garage and basement utility room, and they're all begging to be better organized and moved next to like-items
  • Dresser drawers - for some reason I consistently have a disorganized pajama drawer that deserves some time and attention
  • Small personal items - I have a couple of trunks in the bottom of my closet full of personal items, and I want to consolidate everything into one trunk so I can use the other elsewhere
  • Jewelry - somehow I collect way too much jewelry I never seem to wear (maybe I'm a magpie), so it's time to downsize and reorganize

Recommit to Creativity

Creative expression has always been a necessary component of a happy life for me, but I've let some of my creative passions slip. It's time to recommit to my creativity by:

  • Setting time aside to draw, journal, or write every day
  • Finishing painting projects throughout the house
  • Baking and decorating cookies, cupcakes and brownies
  • Coloring pages of adult coloring books
  • Doing interesting manicures once or twice a week


I'm a security administrator for a healthcare facility, which I love, but it's a stressful job sometimes and I've never been the best at relaxing. My husband calls me "nuclear powered" because I keep going and going until a task is finished and I don't always take time to cool down when I truly need to. I kind of have to learn how to relax, and here's what I plan to do:

  • Read more books (and donate them when I finish reading, if I don't plan to reread them)
  • Take time for self-care with face masks, bubble baths, and healthy eating
  • Make time for a pot of tea every day - as a bonus I can bundle this with creative endeavors, reading, and other self-care activities
  • Exercise - while not relaxing in the moment, it does help me burn off nervous energy

And that's about it. To break away from the usual routine of watching movies or TV once I'm home from work, I'm going to be more mindful about how I use some of my free time during my low-spend winter and No-Spend November. I'm looking forward to resetting my spending habits and making  more time for myself. And if you join along, I wish you a warm and successful low spend winter!