Friday, July 20, 2012

Finances, Frugal Plans, and Lots of Links

Over the next four months I will have four of our debts paid off. I am so excited about this! I have diligently worked to eliminate as much debt as I can while Alfred has been deployed. 

If I snowball these eliminated payments onto the next debt and continue on like so, we can be completely debt-free (including the house!) in 5 years. So that's our goal.

That means I'll be using all of the frugal tricks I have up my sleeve to make this a reality and learning a few new ones too. I want to bless my hard-working husband with freedom.

Some of the ways I plan to do this are:

~ Make weekly menus based around grocery sales and combine with coupons where possible.

~ Cook and bake from scratch.

~ Make my own house cleaners, including laundry detergent.

~ Have Alfred put me up a clothesline and dry our clothes outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.

~ Learn to read our electric meter and try to keep our usage as low as possible.

~ Stockpile the pantry with baking supplies, meats, canned goods, non-perishables, and toiletries.

~ Plant vegetable and herb gardens next year. Freeze or can the extra produce.

~ Free/inexpensive family outings: community events, free museum days, nature trails, beaches, parks, zoo, etc.

~ Check thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard sales first for my family's clothing needs. Why pay retail when you don't have to?

~ Buy secondhand wherever possible.

~ Tracking our expenses to see where we can reduce or eliminate unnecessary expense.

~ Using a cash budget for shopping.

~ Starting a compost pile to fertilize the garden.

There are many ways to economize and I don't find this a hardship at all - not when we are working towards a big goal that will provide freedom and such stress relief.


Debra said...

My favorite kind of post! (Love the photo you chose, too.) You have wonderful goals and I know you'll be able to achieve them, Tracy. Keep up the great work! Blessings, Debra

janice15 said...

It's a great plan Tracy, I made a clothes line and when ever I can that's where are clothes go...It keep my bill down quite a bit..And I know the clothes aren't as soft but they sure smell good...a softener helps. You seem to have the right Idea with it will succeed I'm sure...You know I don't think I barely own anything new...I'm more excited to go to the second hand store than a new store. There more of a challenge to see what I can get...have a blessed day. with love Janice

Tammy @ The Northern Nest said...

Debt has always been a challenge for me...would love to know your secret!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

We are working on a very similar goal but it will take longer to pay our house off but we would love to have it paid off well before my husband retires. Housing here is so expensive. Good job. Isn't that the best feeling?

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I don't think my comment went through. Anyway in a nutshell great job and isn't that the best feeling? We have similar goals.

FlowerLady said...

Way to go Tracy. I know how good it feels to get out of debt. You are on the right path.

One thing we do is we are a member of SAM's club, and buy bulk from them. We also look for deals at several grocery stores in our area.

We have shopped thrift stores for years. There are also great things to be found 'curbside' that you can use in or outside of your home.

I have one of those 'solar dryers' that is on a pole and turns around. It takes up a lot less space. I love the scent of line dried laundry. I enjoy hanging up and taking down the laundry from the lines.

I have cooked from scratch since the beginning, (almost 43 years now), learning to read recipes and go from there. I love to cook and bake.

The feeling of being debt-free is priceless.

Happy living each day ~ FlowerLady

Terri said...

Tracy, I am so excited for you! That's good progress on the way to debt free living. John and I did this ten years ago and we worked at it diligently. We do have a 'loan' we pay ourselves for money spent on the newest car we have but I was shocked this past week to realize we've only had that car two years and we've paid off $8000 of the loan. One more year could well see us free of that payment as well.

The greatest thing about being debt free is that you will be able to pay yourself all those payments..right into your savings account where it will build for your future. Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Besides the information on Teri's {above} blog also look at : for tons of good recipes and information on canning and freezing good basic meals ahead. She is amazing. Keep up the good work and think of it as a game not a chore. One your family will win!! :) Sarah

Anonymous said...

See also: for inexpensive menus and recipes I bet you'll love+ ideas. ..also don't forget Brenda at Coffee Tea Books... has a recipe link. I see I go to many of the links you love too! Sarah