Spending Strike: Day 17 - What About MILK?! and Link-Up {Week 2}

Happy Friday, friends! I have two great things to share with you today. First, Sarah Baker, author of The Spending Strike addressed a big question that a lot of you have already posed, and it has to do with dairy and fresh produce.

Also, welcome to the second spending strike link-up, where you can share your progress on your own spending strike thus far! Details are below, so read Sarah's words on fresh produce and dairy, and then share your work in the link up.

Here's Sarah:


One of the most common questions people ask when I talk about not buying groceries during the month of the spending strike is, “What about milk?”

The look of utter fear on people’s faces when they consider what it might be like to not have access to milk is actually a little comical. After all, the freshness date on cow’s milk is two weeks at best. Everyone knows that. And the thought of drinking it past its expiration date is, in a word, disgusting. 

To live a full month without buying groceries is actually pretty simple. You just have to think beyond milk. Most people drink milk because it is a good source of calcium. But, spinach, sardines, and fortified cereals are also good sources of calcium. If you are concerned about a calcium shortage in your diet then all it takes is a little research and creativity to ensure you don’t go without the vitamins and minerals you need. The month before your spending strike begins I suggest doing an inventory of your pantry and freezer so you know what you already have and what you might need. 

Items like fresh fruit and vegetables will simply not last a full month sitting on the counter or in the refrigerator. So, in addition to buying some fresh produce it’s also a good idea to pick up frozen vegetables and canned fruit. Mandarin oranges out of a can typically do not taste as good as those that have been freshly peeled, but by the last week of the spending strike you’ll be happy to have them. 

The point here is that you don’t have to eat boxed dinners every night to succeed in the spending strike. Toward the end of one of our strikes I was really craving lettuce salad. I knew I couldn’t go to the store to buy the lettuce so I invited some friends over for a potluck and game night. One of my friends asked what she could bring so I suggested salad. We had a great evening with friends, it didn’t cost anything, and I was able to satisfy my craving for lettuce. 

Even if you truly believe you don’t have enough food in your house to go an entire month without buying groceries, I encourage everyone to try. Challenge yourself and see how far you can stretch what you already have. There are numerous recipe websites where you can type in a few ingredients and it will display recipes with those ingredients. One of my personal favorites is allrecipes.com. 

So, even if you think you can’t make anything for dinner with what you already have in the house, resist the temptation to make a quick trip to the store and check out one of the websites. Look at dinnertime not as a burden, but as an exciting opportunity to find new recipes.

 - Sarah Baker
(LIKE Sarah on Facebook!)

Here are the numbers -

Money Spent Today: $0
Running Total: $75
Money We Didn't Spend: $0


  1. We as a family of 6 barely drink milk. We are the only mammals after 2 1/2 years old that still drink it. Our bodies need the calcium but they cannot properly digest the milk. A viactiv chew for each of my kids is all the calcium they need. (Said my pediatrician and other internet sources.) Crazy, right?!

    1. I never thought about that, Amy! My husband and I don't drink a lot of milk either (but we are cheese lovers!). Now I feel justified :)


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