Stacy Goes Storeless – A Summary

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WE’RE ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t have any doubt, but I know some people did….and no, we didn’t cheat. In all seriousness, I think we could go two months if I could get fresh produce. This is my AFTER shelves picture (go here to see the before). As you can see, we didn’t use much. I thought I would go through a lot more food – so I was pleasantly surprised. Guess we’re not wolfing down as much food as I thought. Notice that I am NOT showing you a photo of my candy stash afterwards. That’s between me and God. I realized that Annie drinks a lot more milk than I thought, but I made it with what we had…..and now I’ve cut her back to the recommended 16-24 ounces/day.  Mooooo! And I came to a very important decision. I buy entirely too much junk.

We did go through quite a bit of our freezer stash…..but we’re far from empty. That’s very pleasing, since the purpose of a deep freeze is to store extra food for upcoming months. It served its purpose. What did we miss? I can honestly say I did not miss shopping at the store. I thought I would, but I didn’t. I did however, miss shopping at Goodwill. Since I ripped my denim skirt, exposing all my front parts to Barry and Annie right before a coupon workshop, I realized that I like having Goodwill around for those times when I need a new denim skirt. We really liked having the time at home together and I got soooooo much organizing done around here. I threw away tons of crap. Crap. Let me tell ya, a girl can accumulate tons of crap without knowing it. But now it’s gone and I feel a deep sense of satisfaction. Rest assured, I’ll probably need that crap tomorrow.

After a month of no shopping, I went to the store to get our necessities for the week. This is what I picked up: milk, bananas, and reduced tomatoes. That’s it. I spent less than $10 and I giggled all the way to the car. And yes, I did run into one of you at the store. I knew I would when I went into the parking lot. “I hope no one sees me here….” But you did. Hi Shaye! Barry and I realized that we’re buying entirely too much stuff. We survived without it, and we didn’t miss it at all. Bye-bye, stuff! I feel like I’ve been delivered!

Barry and I both had lists. Here is what was on mine….I didn’t run out of salt, but I needed extra for a project. All of Barry’s list is stuff for a couple  home projects that I dreamed up while I was busy not shopping. I had a lot of time to read and think – and that usually equals stuff for Barry to do. “Honey, I’ve been thinking….” He always then says “How much is it gonna cost me?” I did have another list which consisted of a few books and some things for the house. But guess what? After both of us get the things on our list, we’re tightening the budget belt around here. “Stacy Goes Storeless” is going to become “Stacy Gets Stingy”. “Are you sure you really need that Kleenex? Just use your shirt sleeve.” One morning this month I woke up, looked at Barry and said “Ya know, I’m tired of this stupid house payment.” He said, “Me too.” I said “Let’s get rid of it.” He said “Okay.” And that’s what we’re going to do. That’s our goal now. We’re going to put every extra dime and nickel into this house and get it GONE. We had set a goal of two years, but now that’s too long. It’s going to be gone as soon as possible. And then you’ll be hearing a tape of me screaming in Nashville, “WE’RE DEBT FREE!!!!!”

Are you ready for this? Sit down. Looking at our income vs. what necessities we HAD to pay for this month (electricity, water, our minimum mortgage payment, phone, internet, etc.) we saved $1,325.87 of the money we brought in! I’m totally amazed. I had no idea we could do that well! We put most of that extra toward the house payment. As I said, we’re really kicking tail. I know we can’t do that much every month because we are going shopping again, but this month has really spurred us on to get rid of the last of the debt we have – our house. I realize most people think living with a house payment is just normal – it’s not normal for us. It’s a chain around our neck. And we’re kicking that chain to the curb. See ya, bye.

I told you there were going to be big changes around here. Our house debt it going bye-bye and…….so is most of our convenience food. Seriously. I had NO idea we were eating so much of it! Sometimes three times a day! That’s just crazy. When I started paying attention, I was shocked – and sick to my stomach. What on earth have I been feeding Annie? Yes, I cook a lot and make a lot of our bread – but I was still plugging us full of Toaster Strudels and Pop Tarts just because I could get them cheap. I became VERY convicted. Children make you stop and think about things. Barry is in total agreement with me. Things are changing in the Myers house. Instead of making most of our bread, I’ve decided I’m going to make all of our bread. All of it. Loaves, rolls, buns, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, etc. I will be cooking more from scratch and taking you all on that trip with me. More whole grains, fresh foods. I’ll become a regular at the Farmer’s Market. Less white sugar, more brown sugar and honey.  I’ve been throwing around the idea of posting our weekly meal plan on here – is that something you guys would be interested in? I would also provide recipe links when available. I’m excited about this change in our eating habits….but I still have a good stash of stuff to get rid of here. I <3 butter.

We are going to begin to focus less on coupons and more on frugal living in general. Stores keep changing their policies and there is really nothing you can count on. We’re embracing a frugal lifestyle. We’re “living like no one else, so later we can live like no one else.”

We enjoyed this so much that we’ve challenged ourselves to do it again this year – probably in September. I will have to put a different spin on it to keep you guys interested. :-) Maybe a different project each day? Hmmmm. I’ll do some thinking. Any suggestions?

I challenge you all to try this (or something similar) too! Think about how much money you could save! I’ve heard from a few of you already who are going to try it and I’m so excited! Let’s start a revolution and kick debt to the curb! DEBT IS NORMAL, BE WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!

 


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her two children, Annie (June 2009) and Andy (August 2012). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more to keep up with her daily antics.

Speak Your Mind

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Comments

  1. Stacy, you’re amazing! You are who I’d like to be if I could be your age again :) (Little chance of that happening :) You’re down to earth and yet very inspirational and motivational. Thank you for all you do for us.

  2. Good job!! Kick debt to the curb!! I look forward to hearing about the changes you’ll be making in your house because we need to do the same thing!! Hopefully we’ll see some posts about your weekly meal planning and cooking more from scratch! :)

  3. I would love to see your menu and recipes.

  4. I am with you, my friend! Scott and I are trying to get our house paid off too- we’re Dave Ramsey fans… and we are so looking forward to the day when the grass feels different under our feet!! Our goal is a year. I’m trying the storeless thing this month… and honestly, I know we’re only a few days in- but I’m not missing out on anything! My goal this month is instead of going to stores, I’m spending my month clearing out the basement for a huge garage sale the first weekend in May. Thank you so much for your inspiration- you are really changing lives! I’m with you on eating crap… we eat way too much of it. I would love to see your menu for ideas.

    • Erin, I would love to know what you’re putting in your yard sale! :-) I have several friends looking for specific things. Good luck on your storelessness!!! Keep me posted!

      • I will let you know once I get a good amount together. I can tell you that we’re going to clean out my little girl’s toys and clothes that I have been storing from Day 1. She’s 5 now… so it will be a lot!! HA!!

  5. Wow, Stacy – that’s awesome! I was just looking over our budget last night and was convicted of the exact thing about convenience eating. Since I work 30 hours a week outside of the home, it’s soooo easy to just go out to eat or feed the family “junk”. I’d love to see your meal plans! I’m going to start freezer cooking and doing more when I do have time so that we eat better when I don’t have time.

    I started couponing after your workshop last month and honestly have stockpiled enough during that one month to where I could probably take a whole month off without shopping too! I’ve decided not to do that completely…but to be really frugal about what I do buy this month to see how it goes.

    Thanks for your inspiration!

  6. Sounds Great! Since I started the couponing I have been trying to “figure” out a way to be frugal as well because I don’t have the money to buy because it is cheap…..so at times I feel like shopping has become a science – to get the best deal, that is. I am still working on a small stockpile 6-9 months max!

    but I love frugal :-) also, where did you get the Dave Ramsey bumper stickers I saw on one of your pics?

  7. Would love to see your weekly menu too! Would give me some fresh ideas …

  8. Just a quick ?, How does making homemade bread compare to the cost of packaged? Is there a favorite recipe? All I have made in years is sourdough and unfortunately when I make it, it’s like dessert and my husband eats until he can’t eat anymore! Just wondering………..

    • Kim, the cost comparison really isn’t HUGE. We just prefer homemade bread. I like feeding it to my family because I know what’s in it. It’s mostly about health for us.
      This is currently my favorite bread…..but it changes often. :-) I’m hard core sourdough, but I don’t make it often because I think this makes better sandwich bread. I like to switch it up with whole wheat flour and different grains.
      http://www.stacymakescents.com/yeast-bread-4-kitchen-aid-mixer-bread
      Thanks for the question! I’ll be happy to answer any more that you have. :-)

  9. Hey, Stacy, I have a quick question, what are you going to use to replace butter? We use butter as opposed to margarine or hydrogenated shortening, both of which have to endure a chemical change. I, too, do the wholesome, eat more natural, etc, so I’m curious to hear!

    • Leslie, I don’t plan on getting rid of butter. I just plan on not buying any more margarine. I read back over my post and I’m not finding where that was mentioned except I said “I <3 butter.” Which is TRUE. lol I have my non-butter stash to get rid of and then I’m a butter girl from now on. The “I <3 butter” was a random statement from me…..which you’ll see often in my posts because I’m random like that. Sometimes I might just throw in this statement “I <3 Snickers.” :-)

      • Christine S-P :

        Butter is not as bad as we were once convinced. It turns out that these fats (in moderation, I am not excusing you eating the whole batch of shortbread…unless you share with me!) is important for brain development and function. Butter makes you smarter! :)

        Hmm, I’m feeling like some smart on bread right now…

  10. Great job Stacy, Love the new direction you and your family are heading. I am looking forward to seeing more healthy meal choices on your website. Be blessed.

  11. I really love your website. I also coupon and CVS is one of my favorite stores. After reading you went storeless for 30 days, I have decided to go storeless for a month. Wish me luck.

  12. This is really stinking good stuff. I hope you will do LOTS more money posts in the near future. :) I need help.

  13. We do something similar. Each year in NO-vember our family gives up all forms of electronic/external entertainment.

    NO television
    NO movies
    NO computers(for kids – adults are allowed for work purposes only)
    NO sleepovers with friends
    NO eating out
    NO video games

    etc. etc…..

    You get the idea.

    Yes, we call it “NO”vember because we say “NO” for a whole month to those things which distract us from family time together.

    We spend time visiting, reading, watching the dust settle, working on crafts and projects, playing games, etc.
    I think it has been a smashing success and even the kids would (secretly) agree that they enjoy the month off.

  14. I absolutely love this post! Fabulous job! I think most of us spend entirely too much time shopping and in the grocery stores.

    Blessings
    Mrs. White

  15. Great post! I live an hour away from the cheap shopping, so I only go once a month. I bring home a lot of food, and have to stop someplace closer in between for a few extra veggies and fruits, but in general I find that I spend WAY less money only shopping periodically. Meal planning has helped me tremendously to buy what I need, and still not have to resort to the same 5 foods over and over. Back when I lived in the big city, I grocery shopped 3 times a week – every time I needed something for that night’s dinner. I LOVE not spending all that time driving back and forth to the store and shopping. It’s so freeing!

  16. I have been doing something similar as we are planning on moving out of state in September. So each week I try to make each day of my menu plan use something in the pantry/freezer and buy only add ins. Cooking is where I “suck” the most so I’m not to creative or I could have gotten it all gone by now. Even my husband can come up with a meal from things on hand when I would claim there’s nothing to eat. Can’t wait to start fresh! :D What a fun read. Glad to hear you guys are making some changes to your diet. Hoping you feel great because of it!

    • It’s been over a year now and we LOVE IT!!! :-)

    • Christine S-P :

      My mom says that if you can read, you can cook. Keep trying; you will get better. :)

    • Christine S-P :

      So you mention cinnamon buns Stacy and I have a few things to say about them. First off, I am the master of cinnamon buns. I use Saigon cinnamon because I prefer it and think it is yummier. Cinnamon is awesomely healthy (some fabulous new research about type 2 diabetes is really compelling!) so use lots. Also, if you want to knock the socks off your audience, add some chocolate chips into the cinnamon before you roll it (cut back quite a bit on the sugar). They go all melty and cinnamon-y and delicious. And really, what isn’t improved with chocolate?

      And to go with them? Cinnamon flavoured coffee of course! Cinnamon tastes sweet so if you normally sweeten your coffee, make a paste with 1/3 your usual sugar, a good sprinkle of cinnamon and a bit of milk or water, then mix in your coffee. Alternatively, if you use a french press or brew, just add a sprinkle of cinnamon in with your grounds. Divine (but be warned, the sludge at the bottom is something out of the black lagoon!)!

  17. Stacy, I think you are a hoot. Love your tidbits of info and your sense of humor. You are definitley one in a million. Keep up the good work. And GOD BLESS YOU.

  18. i am reading this for the first time and would love to implement all these same ideas. Do you mind sharing how much progress you have made on paying down your mortgage. Not looking for details, just an idea, i might be able to use to spur my husband into doing getting serious abt debt. it will be tough for us because we have two jobs and three kids in daycare. Any suggestion other than quitting a job?

  19. I recently stumbled upon your website…i say stumbled, as much time as I find myself spending on Pinterest I have no doubt that’s where I found you!! :) I’M LOVING YOU~ Reminds me a lot of…well, ME! I am so tired of having “crap”! I’ve been a stock-piler all my life (well obviously not my WHOLE life..altho come to think of it, as a child I did seem to always have a separate pile of animals as back-ups in case my “silkie” got holes haha)…then I got (RE)married 6.5 years ago to a 40 yr bachelor w/ a tiny ONE-bedroom cabin (I ALREADY HAD 2 KIDS) so the stockpile was DEPLETED :( Yes, sad, sad days…uh side note, I had almost 300 VHS movies, new hubby had DVD player, Goodwill got the movies I’d been collecting for years..then my eldest passed down her tv/vcr to my son and guess what..had to go to Goodwill and buy back some of the same ole’ movies for him). Started an Ebay store to get rid of my supply…only KEPT buying..now I’m burn out on Ebay! Sorry…where was I lol~ I’m disgusted by the amount of food I throw away. Over the last 6 months I’ve been trying to MAKE MY FAMILY HEALTHY (I’ve lost more than 40 lbs and gone from sz 16 to sz 6 Whoop Whoop). Our lil’ Princess/5 will pretty much eat what you give her (“you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit” is her new say’n) and son/13 pretty good about it but he’s the worst to go looking for processed and he’s the last one needing to as he has a TIC disorder & ADD (I firmly believe a better way of eating would HELP HIM!). Ok, ok, ok, I know, I’m a babbler…quite honestly I just wanted to say U R “the bomb” & I’m ready to go 100% FrUgAl so let’s do this! (Gonna be REALLY hard as my honey has reached an early mid-life crisis; recently purchased an electric guitar w/ amp and all the accessories, buying grass, plants & trees like crazy and keeps talking about 4-wheelers, boats and campers Ugggg…I just wanna new couch!) Thank you for paving the steps for ME ;)
    LOVE your Dave Ramsey reverence~