We love reading the stories of our 30-Day Suburban Smackdown participants.  They are inspiring and keep us motivated as they remind us of our own experiences during our original 6 month Suburban Smackdown.  It’s been our privilege to share some of these stories with you. Each piece features raw, often unedited quotes from the participants themselves.  You will see the good, the ugly, and the sometimes excruciating because the challenge was never meant to be easy peasy. It was designed to make us take a hard look at our habits and challenge the status quo of the waste and over-consumption in our everyday lives.

We sincerely hope you will give the challenge a try, like this family.  Just considering diving in is a step in the right direction!  We aren’t looking for perfection….just a solid effort. 🙂 And now, we are excited to introduce you to the Durnbaughs of Savage, Minnesota and their experience thus far.

Durnbaugh Family

“At the midway point things were going great. My biggest challenge had been getting my husband to bring back his lunch containers as well as keeping up with laundry from cloth napkins and non-paper towel towels.  However, by the end I was getting a little antsy to spend.  My son turned 13 on 1/31 so I bought him a couple of books at the science museum gift shop which I felt very guilty about because I had made it so far.  THEN, on 2/1 I bought myself a new shirt that I absolutely did not need just because it was on sale and I felt even worse about that.  I couldn’t believe how much I had spent just on groceries for January!  I even refrained from my usual Abe’s Market “fun” order that I typically place about once every other month for stuff that I really don’t need but will use eventually.  And then, a splurge at Costco where I bought TWO huge containers of dark chocolate (so stupid because now it’s in my HOUSE!!) and some super bowl goodies. 🙂 So, I decided to start over again on and keep going for another month.

For February, I plan on de-cluttering as much as possible.  My two daughters both have birthdays coming up this spring and try as I might, I cannot convince the extended family that they do not need any new toys, etc.  So I will work on clearing out “stuff” that we don’t use any more to make room for more.  I did put out a list of theater shows and museum/zoo memberships that the girls would appreciate more than toys so hopefully we will get some of those instead of more stuff.

Thanks again for this opportunity.  It’s been very eye-opening for me.” ~Maria Durnbaugh

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