2011 was the year we decided to buy a house. This naturally meant that we needed to start savings as much money as humanly possible. We looked at our expenses from the last 6 months of 2010 and drafted a budget. Then we threw it away. Clearly, we didn't need a budget, we needed a spending intervention, we needed Two-thousand-poverty.

The basic concept is to spend NO money above the basic essentials. Easy huh??
Bring it on! I will kick 2000-poverty's butt! We are only 54 days into 2011 and I am already pretty much a professional money saver.

Every time I start to get too cocky about my money saving prowess I just take a stroll over to an old middle school buddie's blog deal-erity and read about his $1,000 experiment. He is spending a total of $1,000 all month on all his expenses. His rent is $550 so that only leaves $450 for all of his food, transportation, insurance etc. Holy cow. He is my idol.

This whole 2000-poverty thing has been good for us. I took it as my cue to return to the couponing of my youth (thanks mom). Yep, you heard right! I am now the annoying lady at the grocery store pulling copious amounts of coupon scraps out of my purse to save my $0.18 on avocados. Let me tell you, those bad boys add up! I saved $42 on a shopping trip to Safeway last month. This my friends was a very big win. I nearly high fived the checker- don't worry I didn't. What I did do is my happy dance as soon as I walked in the door. Have you seen my happy dance? It's priceless, trust me on this one.

Chris is now as shameless with the coupons as I have become. I mean come on- they give you the coupons so you will use them! Just to explain what little shame he has left, he recently allowed me to use my Entertainment card to get a buy-one-get-one-free entree when we went out to dinner with friends. Usually he would only let me use coupons when it's just us, but now he is using them out in the open- among friends! (Lets hope they are still our friends and are not too embarrassed to be seen with us now).

Oh and when I mentioned going out to dinner, I don't want you to get the wrong idea. This is only the 2nd time in 2000-poverty we have gone out to dinner at all! The 1st time we used a friend's Groupon (thanks Ryan) and the 2nd time we used a BOGO coupon. Don't think we are joy-riding around going to restaurants right and left- trust me we are not.

Now you may be wondering, do I miss my old life? Do I miss going out to dinner, seeing movies in the theater, buying wine more expensive than $10 a bottle, ordering take out pizza instead of eating frozen pizza? Yes....

BUT, I am so insanely excited about the new place and all the things we are going to be able to do there, that is makes it all worth it. Every time I save money I think of what I can buy with it. Like "oh, I can buy a gallon of paint" or "this will buy us one dining room chair" or "wow, now I can buy these knobs and this trunk that I love!!"

Yes folks, times they are a changin'. How long will 2000-poverty last? Well, we will just have to see. Once we move in, the list of furniture and home projects kick in. It may be 5 years before we buy $20 wine again.