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Operation Debt Free is still in full-effect. In fact, at the end of this month, we’ll be able to put a sizable dent in our debt snowball! It was a lot of little things that added up, and I attribute some of our success to these 10 things that we did to save extra money this month:
1.) Bought Stocking Stuffers Early. I caught some really good deals on items that fit the bill as stocking stuffers and did not have any clear indication of being sold during Easter. Definitely not food items; toys, craft supplies, those kinds of things. I was able to very nearly fill both kids’ stockings for just $12! I now have just three things left to buy for the kids’ stockings: body wash, toothpaste, and toothbrushes; I’m sure I can find good deals on these items, too. While yes, I spent the money early, it’ll pay dividends at Christmas time not just in dollar savings, but time savings. I won’t be scrambling to find good deals because I’ve already found them.
2.) Sized down meat portions. Rather than cooking an entire package of bacon for breakfast, I split it in half to cover two separate breakfasts. I also used 12oz of ground beef in a recipe rather than 16oz. So 4lbs of ground beef stretched into 5 meals (and some change) rather than just 4.
3.) Using the FoodSaver. We LOVE our Foodsaver. I am not exactly sure how much money this saves us off hand, but being able to portion and freeze meals, veggies, fruit, it definitely helps us out each month.
4.) Used Things up in Our Pantry. I got creative with canned beans (such as Crockpot Chicken Burrito Filling) and black olives (pizza topping!).
5.) Freezing Even More Stuff / Buying Frozen Fruits & Veggies. Did you know that you can precut onions and freeze them? Did you know that you can freeze greek yogurt? You can! I was able to save us some spoilage costs/money buy freezing both onions and Greek Yogurt. I also opted to buy more frozen veggies so we can cook as we go rather than risk veggies going band. I also cooked with frozen fruit to make a breakfast syrup for french toast.
6.) Avoided Big Box Stores. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an Aldi and Trader Joe’s girl through and through. Our family does go to Meijer for some things we can’t get at either of the aforementioned stores. We have a smaller grocery store a few minutes from us, but in the past I would steer clear unless I absolutely needed something and couldn’t make a trip to Meijer. Having avoided Meijer, we’ve actually spent considerably less on our groceries this month. I attribute this to a few things: no impulse buys, and no kids begging for toys or special food at the store. Whatever the reasons may be, I’m pretty stinking happy about it!
7.) Earned Interest from our High Yield Checking Account. Last month, we waited until the end of the month to pay our extra student loan payment and our tithe. As a result, we received extra interest dividends on our High Yield account. Then, we applied that earned interest right to our student loan debt.
8.) Used the Library or Bought Digital Editions of Books. I’ve been doing a ton of reading for launching my Etsy Business. I’ve checked my library for the books I’ve wanted, and if they didn’t have them and I absolutely needed them, I checked Amazon. I’ve found that the digital editions were much, much cheaper. In the case of Etsy Excellence: The Simple Guide to Creating a Thriving Etsy Business, the Kindle Version was only $2.99 (FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited), while the print version was $11.58.
9.) Make Due or Due Without. We normally get metal disposable pans for hams and turkeys on Holidays, simply to make things easier on me come dishes time. however, this year, I forgot one for our Easter Ham. Instead of running to the store, we used my dutch oven pan and it came out absolutely delicious. This is the one I have and love. Not a Le Creuset, but it’s still fantastic and is serving our family well.
10.) Sold a ton of stuff on eBay. We got rid of an absurd amount of stuff on eBay this week. Mostly electronics that were laying around the house that we weren’t using. That brought in just over $1,000 that we can throw at debt.
How did you pay off debt this month? Did you stumble upon any creative ways to save or make extra money?