the dollar store and other ways to pinch a penny

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

DanO and I are on a no-frills budget.

Great, here she goes again.

No, but really. We have our student loan debt in our cross-hairs and we have decided to stop living a lifestyle that pretends we don’t have debt. Paying off those loans is our number one financial objective right now and as a result we have changed a lot of things around here. Some of the changes have been so easy that I insist you try them, too. For example:

Price check your monthly payments. It seems silly to have a bidding war with the garbage company, but one morning I decided to do it. I made a handful of phone calls while the boys were eating breakfast and  what do you know? Next year we will save $7 a month, or $84 overall. Given that it took me less than an hour to do, I’d call that a good hourly rate. We have also switched life insurance companies and looked into our internet costs, too (but decided not to switch).

Make an “approved purchases” list. At whatever store it is that you find yourself justifying impulse purchases (you know the one) make – as in write down in pen – a list of the items that you do need to buy at that store and then don’t buy anything not on the list. We have done this for Costco because everything there seems like such! a! great! price! and all then suddenly we were coming home with ground beef, eggs, and a toilet. (True story. Toilet in our ground floor bathroom? Costco.) For you it might be Target or Amazon (not a store, but you get me) or Walgreens.

Rethink where you buy it. I don’t do the extreme couponing thing, but simple store changes have saved us a good amount of money already. We now shop at Aldi for the vast majority of our groceries, ThredUp is the source of most of our boys’ clothes, and Target has been replaced by the Dollar Store.

The Dollar Store?

Yes. The Dollar Store, y’all. I have come to love it.

It is amazing what swearing off Target can do for the budget. That place has a seemingly magical ability to make me want want WANT and need need NEED! On occasion I would take the boys there just to swing by the in-store Starbucks and blow an hour (O, and about $50).

Now when I feel The Bullseye’s pull, the boys and I grab a 5 dollar bill, hop in the car, and go blow it at the Dollar Store. Seriously, even $5 feels like a shopping spree there, and it was eye-opening to see the kinds of things they carry that I always assumed I needed to hit up Target in order to purchase (e.g. toothbrushes and paste). And just in case you are unfamiliar, everything at the Dollar store is… wait for it… a dollar (or less, sometimes).

Now that I know I can buy them for $1, I cannot justify buying the following things anywhere else:

  • gift bags, tissue paper, wrapping paper, ribbon
  • kitchen utensils (spatula, cookie cutters, ice cream scoops, cookie sheets)
  • kitchen wash cloths and rags
  • bleach and ammonia
  • toothpaste and toothbrushes (name brand!)
  • hair binders, bobby pins, headbands
  • coloring books and crayons
  • tea lights and candles
  • office supplies (envelopes, manilla folders, paper clips, etc.)
  • small storage (non-food tupperwares and bins)

Believe me, I realize that a cookie sheet from the Dollar Store is not going to be of the same caliber as one from Bed Bath and Beyond, but seeing as how the caliber of my cookie sheets falls actually quite low on my priorities list, I’ll take the $7 in savings over a name-brand cookie sheet any day. If you are a cookie aficionado and a dollar store cookie sheet won’t do, I totally get it. I’m just not, so the Dollar Store fits my purposes fine.

We have goals for our debt in 2012 (namely paying off and extra $__,000 of it) and I am confident these little changes will help us get there.

:: :: :: Let’s chat. :: :: ::

How do you pinch your pennies?

41 Responses to “the dollar store and other ways to pinch a penny”

  1. Susan

    I wish you great success on your financial journey. I think you are right on target (no pun intended!) with your attitude. For myself, the attitude makes all the difference in meeting my financial goals.

  2. Natalie

    I started making our laundry detergent. It sounds crazy, but it’s easy and cheap, and when I spend 20 minutes on Saturday morning putting together two gallons of liquid detergent (rather than buying it at the store for $15+), it feels like I’m making money.

  3. Rachel

    I love the conversations about how to save money – I recently asked the same questions of my facebook friends and got many replies. One thing I do is use a website called pocketyourdollars.com. It lists what’s on sale at various stores (mostly grocery stores) and also what coupons are available that week. I’ve found that with checking the sales and couponing, I’ve cut down our grocery budget by quite a bit – even more than just shopping at Aldi. It takes some effort, that’s for sure, but I feel like it’s really been worth it. Nothing like leaving the grocery store with stuff you know you need for upcoming meals, and realizing you’ve saved nearly 50%!

    • AllisonO

      Nice! We’re down to $300 a month for the 4 of us and I’m pretty happy with that. I know Carrie of Pocket You Dollars from a blogging conference where we spoke on the same panel (she’s here in MN, too). Smart woman, that Carrie. I’m so glad her site has helped you in your frugal endeavors!

  4. Abby

    We started with Dave in June and have gotten $10,000 paid off so far. You can do it! I started clipping coupons and using strategic shopping but I found a local blogger who does all the coupon matches and I just have to write down what we need and go find the coupon from the stash. Time consuming but when I can get razors, toothpaste, and cleaning products for free it is totally worth it. I can also get detergent for super cheap as well as kitchen staples.
    We totally stunk at sticking with our budget the last 2 months. It is all about my attitude (seeing as I am the one that does all the buying) and planning ahead. The biggest thing for us was using cash for blow money and when it is gone it is gone. No more coffee shops, lunches out or impulse buys until it is time for more blow money. We have not yet been able to go cash for gas or groceries because I am just not that organized and we both have jobs that require driving so can’t really not go if we are out of gas & gas money.
    Good luck with the journey. I love reading your updates on how it is going, keep them coming! I also forget about the dollar store so it is a great reminder to me to go there if I can’t get a good buy else where.

    • AllisonO

      WOOO!!!!!!! $10,000! That is freaking fantastic, Abby. I am so excited for you. When you do your I’m debt free yell, please come over here and do it, too. I wanna hear it. :) :)

      • Abby

        Sounds awesome until we realize that is less than 10% of what we owe from school & grad school, but hopefully we will continue to whittle away at it and in 3-5 years we will be realize it was all worth all the sacrificing to get rid of the debt!

        • AllisonO

          That number is our goal for 2012, too, and it will be ONE SIXTH of our debt. Depressing, isn’t it? But! Slow and steady, snowball method! You can do it!

  5. Laura P

    We too are working on reigning in our finances. My penny pinching ways are:

    ~I’ve just started shopping at Aldi within the last couple of months.
    ~Making my own laundry detergent.
    ~Using coupons for filling up our vehicle (holiday sends coupons about once a month).
    ~I try to sell my son’s clothes and toys that he has grown out of on craiglist. What I cannot sell I give away through Freecycle.
    ~Redbox for stay at home date nights.
    ~Make a full recipe and freeze the left overs for future use (after leaving out enough for next day’s lunch).
    ~I am a clearance shopper. (has to be 50% or more though for me to buy it)
    ~We have a home phone (w/internet bundle) rather than cell phones.
    ~No cable, just the good ole rabbit ears. :)

    • AllisonO

      Those are all really great ideas. I especially like the selling things on craigslist. Great reminder. Thank you for sharing, Laura!

  6. rachel

    o how I understand a no frills budget. I was/am a stay at home mom when my husband lost his job and couldn’t get unemployment for over a year (praise Jesus he found a GOOD job this week). Boy have we learned some important lessons. We had no savings and our parents supported us and our 2 boys (3 and 1). I learned how to make $50 a week cover groceries minus meat plus paper goods and other household items. I started couponing and have become fairly extreme with it. I no longer pay for toothpaste and brushes (or pay less than a dollar), I have a stock pile (5 or 6 bottles) of dish soap that cost $0.25 each. And I price match like a crazy person at walmart. We also now only pay with cash. It ia amazing how much you don’t spend when the only way to pay is the cash in your pocket. As we get back on our feet and get caught up, we’ve already talked about how we want to continue what we’re doing to save money. Now that we know how much I can save on every day stuff with coupons it seems wasteful not to do it. We also get most of the boys’ clothes through hand me downs and goodwill and clearance racks. And at the store my 3 year old always wants something, but at walmart they have a machine game that he can put a dollar in, get 3 plays and it’s play til you win so he can win 3 times for a dollar and thinks I’m splurging. O! I also use vinager instead of fabric softener. The clothes don’t have the scent you get with softener (but they also don’t smell like vinager) but it is so much cheaper! And our clothes are just as soft. Good luck with your changes. It’s hard to get started but once you figure it out it becomes a lifestyle.

  7. Heather

    I started living on a budget nearly 2 years ago (Dave Ramsey, holla!) and it has truly changed the way I look at nearly everything in my life. I don’t extreme coupon either, but I did make the switch to Aldi and haven’t looked back (seriously, Aldi’s #1 fan here!) I also started shopping the sales papers, using coupons for things I needed like diapers or cleaning supplies, and waiting until something I wanted went on sale or I had a coupon code to purchase. Buying full priced anything anymore makes me feel sick to my stomach.

    I have also found that physically writing out my budget (I do this twice a month, with each paycheck) helps. I write down what my bills are, what my budget for spending money, gas, and groceries will be, and if there is any overage it goes immediately towards any debt or then into savings. I’ve found that “extra” money that hangs around tends to disappear in places like the bulls-eye store. I carry cash now, so I have a good handle on what money I have to spend.

    I was always bad about impulse shopping, so if I go into a store for one or two things, I don’t get a shopping cart. I’ve found that if I can’t carry it (particularly while wrangling my 2 year old at the same time) I’m less likely to browse or pick up things not on my list.

    Lastly, I’ve found that my motivation ebbs and flows. Sometimes I become frustrated or am busy and I start to slip with my frugal habits. I’ve learned to let myself off the hook, to learn from those mistakes, and to start fresh with each new pay period. You can’t be perfect all the time, and years and years worth of spending habits and consumer mentality can be hard to break.

    I love that you are on this journey and hope that I can pick up some new tips as I read along!

    • Kasey M.

      I’m on team Dave Ramsey too! I’ve been using a budget for the past three months and it’s already made a huge difference (oh my word I had two emergencies -vet bill – vet bill – that required spending and I STILL have a savings accoung?). Just last night my boyfriend and I mapped out our budgets together.

      I’ve been working off the same budget for the last several months but Chrismas and unpaid time off from work taught me that I really need to prepare a new budget each month. A month to month budgeting system also helps me save for bigger purchases (a new design for my blog background, a sewing maching) without hurting my normal savings.

    • AllisonO

      Number one fan here, too, I agree! I told someone that I “preach the gospel of Aldi” the other day. He looked at me like a crazy person AND I LIKED IT. :)

      • Heather

        I joke that its my personal mission to convert everyone I know to Aldi. Except I’M NOT JOKING. Bring your quarters and jump on my bandwagon!

  8. joie

    I’m really looking forward to reading the chat responses on here! We switched car insurance this year, and already have saved ourselves $600. And I’m trying o.so.hard. to take all the Christmas and birthday money I just got, and put it towards debt – instead of going to Target. I’m with you on that one. If I simply avoid setting foot in that store, I feel like I just made money hand over fist!
    I also play the “how little can I spend on groceries” game. I’ve made the decision to save driving and just go to a regular grocery store instead of Aldi’s or somewhere cheap, but as a result I try to buy off my list. Mostly, it works – as long as my husband stays home! He is not so good at staying on the list.
    And, I agree with Susan – attitude makes such a huge difference. As long as I can avoid manufacturing wants and needs, I’m pretty good at staying on point.

  9. Hannah

    The past 8 months I’ve had to readjust my brain on spending having gone down to one income. Just recently my mom convinced me to start doing my grocery shopping at Target vs. mega food store. I have saved so much on groceries! especially cereal. They don’t have EVERYTHING – like swiss cheese, but they pretty much have everything else needed. And their store brand stuff is actually quite good. A coupon gets clipped and used every once in a while, but I often forget to use them. But I agree, Target is a money trap, especially if you veer off the main aisle… but now you have me convinced to try out the Dollar store… Aldi would save more, but I am one to read ingredients and am somewhat brand loyal in that way.
    We are soon going to be switching car/house insurance to save a bit more. Thankfully we’ve been blessed with many hand-me-downs for clothes for baby girl, and she’s pretty well set for a few years. When I do need things, I check out the kids resale shops. (Is there a Children’s Orchard near you? Great prices!) Fleecy warm coat for $1.50? Okay!
    Good luck on your journey. It can be done!

  10. Jen

    we have been cutting corners as much as we can. i, like you, have gotten items from the dollar store. i even do simple things, like making sure our heat it turned down at night & when we are not home. I pride myself I a very low heating bill on a very cold {chicago} winter last year! i am mindful of showers & laundry for water. i will even shower at the gym to help lessen a little bit of the bill, even one shower a few times a month can make a difference. i have called our satellitte, internet & phone providers to bundle and reduce our costs. i use coupons as much as i can. we also don’t buy anything (i.e. clothes, cameras, shoes, etc) unless absolutely necessary and/or saved for (my camera). we also ask for gift cards for birthdays & christmas. we switched car insurance just after the beginning of 2011 when we purchased a much needed new car. between the two cars, we saved over $800/year! woot! woot!

    and, like others have said, changing your attitude makes a huge difference.

  11. molly

    As I’ve mentioned before, we began Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in September. We were at our wit’s end with our frivolous spending and the debt piling up. It has been SUCH a release. At first, when we did the spending freeze, I was not doing well with it at all. I went into Target and was literally shaking because I wanted to buy things that were not on the list. I find the BEST way to not buy unnecessary things is to NOT get a cart when you first walk in. This can be tough if you’ve got kids with you. But if you’re ever on your own – DO NOT get a cart unless your grocery shopping.

    We buy Target diapers. Do you know how hard it is to go into Target and JUST buy diapers? Holy crap. I do not go into Target except for diapers.

    We started meal planning and we shop primarily at Aldi. If you had told me a year ago that I would be shopping at Aldi while sticking to a list I would have laughed in your face. Now? I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out sooner. My grocery bill is ALWAYS under $100 and that is for all meals for an entire week, sometimes more. It is amazing the money I save. As a working mom I don’t have time to cut coupons and plan out savings at each store so Aldi is the solution for me!

    We have already paid off three credit cards in 4 months. 2012 is THE year to pay off all of our credit card debt and one student loan. This time next year we will be FREE from credit cards and will NEVER have them again. They are already all cut up. I love our new life living within a budget. Come to find out, I am much happier and fuller without buying a bunch of crap every month.

    Good luck to you on your journey. It is a tough one but SO worth it.

    • AllisonO

      YES! I went into Target with DanO a couple weeks ago and walked out with JUST diapers and a couple of baby food packets that I had a coupon for, BUT. BUT, at more than one point I put something else in our cart. Shoes for OBoy, something else I don’t even remember (so obviously we NEEDED it), etc. etc. DanO was my rock. He talked me down and made me put them back. That store, man. That store is a drug.

    • Jessica

      Are they Target brand diapers, or something like the Seventh Gen diapers? Seventh Gen you can get on Amazon Prime. (I stopped using them when they changed the Chlorine Free to “Free & Clear” and now they stink).

  12. Jessica

    Last year my husband and I were able to pay off all of my significant credit card debt and put $10,000 in savings towards buying our house (which we did!). We did it by cutting out things like going out for dinner (we limited it to twice a month) and other compulsory purchases. One big thing that helped was cutting out TV – we were paying $140 for TV & Internet, and I called to cancel the TV and got just internet at a FASTER speed for only $35.

    To add to your savings the most important thing you can do is put the money in there right away and consider it untouchable. My bank charges for too many withdraws from a savings account so there was an extra incentive NOT to take out $100 at a time for extra purchases. If you automatically assume you will have 10-25% less money, you will find ways not to spend it.

    We used “cash” only (a debit card) and paid all bills as soon as they came in, and waited to buy more stuff (like groceries) until everything else was paid. If we needed something like milk we’d get it but NOTHING else.

  13. Alison

    We have just tried to cut back in areas that we realized we were spending frivolously. Less date nights out (because we have a paid babysitter), fewer trips to Starbucks (on my part. This was a hard one for me), fewer take out dinners, purchasing more store brand foods rather than name brand (and I really haven’t noticed a difference in any of them). Not eating out as much has made the biggest difference. It seems like a small amount at the time, but $10 here and $15 there really adds up at the end of the month!

  14. Cat

    WHAT IS ALDI??? I live in TX, so I’m afraid we don’t have that. How in the world are you doing $300/month for the 4 of you? I’m really trying to cut down our grocery budget but I’m also really trying to eat healthy (I’m pregnant with #2!) and it just doesn’t seem to be working! I don’t know where it all goes! I shop at WalMart cuz I understand it to be the cheapest, but still… Well done!
    To save money, we buy the store brand for most items. We don’t get cable or have a landline for the phone. I’m about to start making our own dishwasher detergent. I cook meals that will feed our family for at least 2 nights. We have lots to learn but are glad to be on the journey!!

    • Jessica

      Where are you in TX? We have ALDI in Dallas. It’s super cheap groceries because they have limited brands. Want toothpaste? Ok, you can have toothpaste for cheap, because you have no choices :) It’s great if you’re not picky!

      Target and Walmart are about equal in price for grocery items.

      • AllisonO

        I love that a conversation like this is going on here. YAY for community and chatting over virtual chai at a coffee shop!

  15. Jessica

    I think that this is hilarious that you posted this today. I started searching for ways to save money online this morning and then got your blogpost in my email. I am going to start making my own household cleaners (laundry detergent, all purpose cleaners etc) I live in VT so no Aldi here…whatever that is. The closest Walmart even is an hour away so its easy to not shop for what we don’t need. I do a lot of Amazon shopping though. I’m also going to look at cutting back the cable bill, as well as hitting up the dollar store more frequently for necessities! I’m also going to start hang drying 90% of our clothes, which maintains the life of them better also. I love the conversation going on here and all of the tips! I’m working on a weekly meal plan EVERY week! I also found a meal ideas for 30 meals… its the same 30 meals only rotating all the time so you always have what you need in the house, I think that is a pretty great idea.

  16. angie

    I used to do the extreme couponing (well- fairly extreme I would say), but now that I have a 1 1/2 year old and I am pregnant again I don’t have time for it. On the other hand when I see my grocery bill at 80.00 and I know I could have gotten it for 40.00 with coupons and a little bit of planning ahead it makes me sad. I was really sick at the beg. of my pregnancy so we got a lot of easy to prepare or already prepared food. I justified the money because I didn’t have the energy for anything else. I’m so glad you talked about Target, because for me too it is a money pit:) Thanks for the good tips and reminders that money does not grow on trees, and it is easier to save than we think.

  17. Helen Davies

    Sounds cheap but I keep a box of unwanted gifts to re gift during the year. That way I don’t keep stuff I don’t want but equally it doesn’t go to waste.
    Frozen Aldi chicken once a week- cook in slow cooker. Makes 2/3 meals- roast first night, pasta next night and use stock to make yummy chicken noodles the third night!
    I do online surveys that earn me points and they add up to vouchers. It takes a while but surveys are short and easy ( plus I am one of those sad types that enjoy filling forms!) same companies also do product testing- 2 weeks ago I got paid $60 to taste wine for 40 minutes on a Friday night. Was a great bonus!
    I find it so hard to decide when a want becomes a need. My hubby is a bit of a spender so he doesn’t help! I tend to balance this by being too frugal. He had to persuade me to buy our son new trousers the other week- the old ones were round his knees!! If the kid would stop growing we’d save heaps!!!
    Enjoy the frugality!!

  18. Stephanie

    You’re totally speaking my language! I love to pinch the pennies! We recently paid off a crap ton of debt. Please forgive my colorful language, but that’s what it was: a. crap. ton. Not only did we pay it off, but we made the majority of our headway once we switched to one income! Figure that one out. It had to do with changing our lifestyle as you’ve been talking about. But now? We’re in a better place financially than we’ve ever been and it’s so freeing to be without debt! We did a lot of similar things, I think the most important is to set a realistic budget and stick with it.

    We didn’t cut out ALL eating out, but we did go from doing it far too often, to doing it 2x/month and we always use coupons. I too stopped going to Target because that place is a money suck! We pretty much cut out “extra” purchases, impulse buys, etc. I started buying my husband bagels to take with him to work rather than him popping over to the bagel shop downtown every morning, we both eat leftovers for lunch, I started using DIY/natural cleaning products (Hello, vinegar! Cheap, safe, and effective!). I love shopping at Aldi for my staples and save a lot of money that way! I stockpile things like toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo and food staples that don’t spoil quickly like cheese and butter when it’s at its rock bottom price so I’m not stuck paying full price when we run out! Also small things like setting the heat a little lower and the A/C a little higher (or not using it at all when possible), air drying dishes, line-drying clothes, etc. ALL adds up to savings! Also, don’t forget, if you’re dealing with any consumer debt call up your credit card company and try to negotiate a better interest rate, we did this and it helped because when you’re dealing with a TON of consumer debt, those finance charges are KILLER. That and shop around, maybe you can find a different credit card with a better deal if you do a balance transfer, just make sure you’re smart about it and read the fine print!

    And the great part is, we had a very strict budget for a year and yeah, sometimes it’s no fun to pass on going out with friends, or to miss buying new clothes every month, etc., but now? We’re SO SOOOO much better with our money! We’ve paid off our debt and are now able to loosen up on the budget a little, we increased our grocery budget, we can buy an expensive coffee every now and again without feeling guilty and it’s an AWESOME feeling! So worth it to just buckle down and get ‘er done!

    It’s amazing that you guys are making this a priority! Buckle down, pinch your pennies, throw everything extra at it that you can, know that even when it seems futile and like you’re not making progress that you ARE and that in the end you’ll come out the other side in a much MUCH better place and be so proud of yourselves for what you’ve accomplished! Good luck!

    • AllisonO

      That was an incredibly encouraging thing to read. Thank you so much Stephanie. Good to hear that there’s a light at the end of the debt tunnel!

  19. Patty

    LALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU…. That red bullseye sucks me in every time. One way I have found to save is I go through my cart when I think I’m done and put like half the stuff in whatever random area of the store I happen to be standing in (Sorry target employees). I have a hard time with money. It’s a sore subject for me. I don’t have a good credit score and sometimes I feel like it defines me. It REALLY bothers me when they check my credit when I apply for jobs, and there was a study in the wall street journal stating that a low credit score does not affect how hard an employee will work. If i can’t find a job due to bad credit, how am I supposed to pay bills and have my credit get better, it just feels like an ugly cycle and I HATE it. Good luck to you and yours.

  20. Gretchen

    I’m trying really hard to only buy things new that we absolutely need at that moment. Most things, I’ve found, I can find used within a week or two for a ton less. For example, I needed some plastic storage tubs for my daughter’s outgrown clothes that I’m saving for #2 and instead of spending $7.99 at Target, I browsed my local Goodwill and found 2 tubs for only $3.99 each – WOOHOO!

  21. Rashell

    I agree with you about what a money suck Target is! I blew $117 one day on mindless things and then $57 the next day?!? Needless to say I made a returns trip after that and haven’t gone back since.

    I need to start shopping at Aldi, it’s literally right next to where I do the majority of my grocery shopping.

    I haven’t tried making my own laundry detergent, but I do use diluted vinegar for a multi-purpose cleaning solution (disinfect toys, wipe counters/tables, clean mirrors, mop floors, etc) and I get a big bottle of Dr Bronner’s castile soap and dilute it down in a foaming soap dispenser for hand washing.

    The biggest change I’ve made is I now make my own whole fat yogurt in my crockpot! Then we have yogurt for breakfast with homemade granola (also easy peasy), for smoothies with spinach and frozen berries and honey for a snack, or mixed with manuka honey for an immune booster and probiotic treat. Now I don’t have to spend money on over-priced, over-sugared cereals or probiotic supplements.

    I have also cut out all fancy Starbucks drinks. I remember you writing about how you make your own coffee drinks now. Good plan! I figured out my favorite drink is roma, whole milk (instead of buying half and half or cream I justify buying organic whole milk for my drinks and for yogurt), honey, and a smidge of hazelnut extract. (I’m off coffee/caffeine)

    But in all honesty there are areas I refuse to pinch pennies. I buy organic whole milk and eggs (but the milk is only used for yogurt and drinks) and I try to get organic produce off the dirty dozen list, mainly spinach. I buy manuka honey for medicinal purposes and especially during cold/flu season. And I buy really good prenatals (new chapter perfect prenatal-amazon is the cheapest I’ve found so far…) that I take during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and then the woman’s multivit when done with bfing.

    I hope I haven’t sounded uppity with this comment. Believe me when I say I have a lot of student loans and I still struggle with money control. I hope the best for all of us fighting our debt.

  22. Amanda

    Oh, I so need to get on track with money! I just hate keeping track of it. I’ve pretty much decided to quit Costco (oh, my heart!) because it’s a 20 minute trip for us, and we always spend too much there (even though I keep out of the middle!) :). I might just give Aldi a try… grocery shopping at Target probably does awful things for our bank account.

  23. rebekah

    Thanks for the Dollar Store tip. I usually pick up toothbrushes at our grocery store where they are at least $2.50 a piece (* family of four * two for the kiddies = lots). So anyways, we have been eating beans and rice litterally eevery night. The grocery bill has gone down so much. We’re doing Dave Ramsey, too. Good luck!

  24. Kelly

    Considering we live in a society that chronically lives above their means, I think it’s awesome that you and your hubby are making it a priority to get out of debt– and now! Our generation gets pretty lost in the idea that money they borrow (student loans or not) will need to be paid back at some point and minimum monthly payments add up quick when real life hits and they have other bills to pay. So many people can benefit from your example, so thank you for writing this! I bet it feels good!!! :) Happy holidays!


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