Chase and I decided we were going to get out of debt, and figured it would take about 9 months. We started by reducing our food budget and finding cheap meals.
In order to get out of debt for us we:
- Reduced our food budget to $100 per month
- Found lots of cheap meals
- We cut our eating budget to $0
- We cut our clothing budget to $0
- Paid minimums on all debt
So while we reduced our budget, we were also saving for IVF. It may seem like we were doing too many things, trying to get out of debt AND save for IVF. We had to switch our focus briefly so we could save up for IVF, then once IVF was paid for we could switch gears and focus on the debt.
When I first pulled our new $50 budget for food, I got really scared. Scared to think that it wasn’t going to work, and we would stay in our same situation. After pondering why I was scared about us doing something good, I realized my scared feelings were coming from Satan. Shortly after having this realization, my mindset changed, and I had more confidence.
In my mind, if we could go at least a year with living super cheap, and eating as clean as we could on that budget, it would be worth it in the end.
What’s a year of eating poorly compared to the years to come – with a statistical standpoint, it’s not very significant.
These are some of our meals that we’ve had:
- Oatmeal, PB and Brown Sugar
- Egg white French Toast
- Egg white omelet with salsa or sriracha sauce
- Sandwiches (like PB and Honey)
- Cottage cheese and carrots
- Top Ramen with frozen veggies and black beans for protein.
- Tuna sandwiches with apples, celery, and pickles. I’ve also added mashed chickpeas for even more protein.
- Mac and Cheese with chili and diced tomatoes.
- Bean and Cheese Burritos.
- Pasta and spaghetti sauce (adding in lentils) and frozen broccoli.
- Rice, beans and hot dogs or kielbasa with some butter, garlic, and salt.
- Brussel sprouts (or broccoli) with hot dogs or kielbasa. We add balsamic glaze.
I’d switch it up every few weeks and rotate through my Pinterest feed to find new cheap recipes, and add my own frugality to it. Mainly, by using beans instead of meat.
It has helped a lot to only cook 3-4 meals in a 2 week period and just repeat them:
Monday: Ramen with veggies
Tuesday: Tuna sandwiches
Wednesday: Mac N Cheese
Thursday: Ramen with veggies
Friday: Tuna sandwiches
Saturday: Burgers and veggies on the grill
Sunday: Beans and Rice
I try and buy fresh veggies and fruit when the budget allows. And I will use frozen which tends to be cheaper. Before we reduced our budget, we would spend $200+, now it’s between $100-$120.
Our determination to get out of debt helped us to save up all $12-14,000 for IVF on our own. We accomplished our savings goal of paying cash for IVF and are now back on track to pay off the rest of our debt.
P.S. Are you needing help paying for IVF? Sign up for my newsletter and get my free printable on “10 ways to pay for IVF.”
P.P.S. Read about our first IVF cycle and our second IVF cycle.
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