“Your going to be on beans and rice, rice and beans for the next 2 years.”
Blast you Dave for your financial wisdom and practical advice! How dare you even suggest such a humble diet to a nerdy food snob such as myself. Yeah there are kids in Africa that would love that meal but what does that have to do with me? There is no way I am going to give up my grass-fed meat and hemp-seeds just to pay back what I owe. What a terribly responsible thing to do! I mean come on, only poor people eat carbs. I can make the monthly payment so I’m not really poor. How will I function without my daily wheat-grass shot and raw cacao nibs!
Well y’all, a girlz gotta do what a girlz gotta do. When you are trying to pay off debt, the reality is that it ain’t pretty. We have had to give up stuff. Stuff we really enjoyed.
And for the record, if your net worth is zero, your POOR.
A little humility can do us all good.
Here are some things we had to cut out to be able to put as much as we can toward debt.
1) Organic Products : I feel like staying healthy is very important. But there comes a time when you have to think, are organic bed sheets really necessary? Or is it just a marketing scheme that prey on gullible paranoid people like me. Trust me, there are a few things that I am going back to once our debt is paid off but my eyes have been opened to a few things that are just plain silly.
Things I gave up:
- Organic laundry soap
- Organic cleaning products (I just use vinegar/ water with essential oils now)
- Expensive organic toothpaste (I was just using the fluoride filled one from DollarTree but recently found a good clean one for about $4)
- Organic shampoo and conditioner
- Organic lotions (coconut oil works just fine)
- Organic makeup (It is only going to be 2 years, I’m pretty sure I won’t develop cancer using non-organic makeup during this time)
2) Organic Food: Whenever I find an awesome deal on organics, my heart sings. But, I look at the price first. I still buy clean stuff but my budget just can’t withhold everything organic. Honestly, I don’t think eating some things non-organic is a big deal anyways. Is there anything truly “organic” anymore? According to the USDA, food only has to be 70% organic to be labeled as such.
Things I gave up:
- Organic meat (unless on sale or not that much more in price)
- Organic produce
- Organic snacks like chips, granola bars, cereals etc. (This is a big one. Organic or even “natural” snacky stuff adds up fast! By the time I gave each kids a $1 granola bar each, it cost $4 just for one snack.)
- Organic grains
3) Trendy Diets: My hubby and I have been on pretty much every diet you can think of. Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian, Ketogenic etc… they all can get pretty pricey. We have learned that the best diet is focused on real unprocessed whole foods and that’s what we focus on. (Beans and rice are whole foods!)
We were gluten free for about 2 years but recently went back to using whole wheat flour. We have had no problems. I don’t know if it’s because our bodies took a break for those 2 years or we just didn’t need to be gluten free in the first place. Who knows, but I am enjoying the cost savings! We joke around saying we are now on the “Dave Ramsey Diet”.
Things I had to give up:
- Paleo Baking (This one hurts! I will occasionally bake with almond flour but I have had to severely limit it. When we get out of debt, you better believe I will be posting more paleo goodies!)
- Paleo snacks like grassfed beef jerky, Larabars and coconut wraps
- Gluten free pasta, bread and flour mixes
- Large amounts of nuts and seeds (They are so expensive!)
- Large amounts of meat and dairy (We limit our meat greatly now. I only spend about $20 on meat a week, sometimes less.)
4) Supplements: I have mentioned before that we budgeted about $100-$150 a month on supplements and alternative medicines. That amount has been reduced even more. Some months we don’t even purchase anything at all in this category. Some months we purchase about $50 worth. We have just been consuming supplements we really need and nixed the rest. (We have also found other things to use instead of expensive supplements but that is another post.)
5) Gym Memberships: Not only can gym memberships themselves be expensive but the gas to get there really adds to the bill. Our gym membership was one of the first things to go when we re-examined our budget. We now enjoy going on walks and doing Youtube video workouts from home. There are also some great programs for free called FIA and F3 check them out. They are pretty amazing.
What are some dietary changes you have made since the Dave Ramsey plan? Anyone have great frugal healthy meal ideas?