So let's talk about some things you might want to cut out.
1. Paper towels
I've made so many videos talking about paper towels and why I hate them. My mother, it drives her nuts. She brings rolls of paper towels to my house and leaves [them there?].
Now I will be honest with you and tell you that I bought a pack of paper towels before Jessie was born a year ago. And when I say "bought," I had a bunch of credits from Grove and I ordered a package of paper towels a year ago. I have 3 rolls left. They're 6 in a pack. So, in one year, I only used 3 rolls of paper towels. And I have 3 children and 27 chickens.
I found that I don't like paper towels. They gross me out, like when you wipe stuff up, it gets all over your hands. And then you're just throwing them in the garbage can. So it's like throwing money away. I do believe in things that make your life easier sometimes because we all go through really intense seasons of life, and maybe you need something to lighten that load. The thing is, we really didn't use them because we'd gotten so out of the habit. There's a whole video on how we do our paperless kitchen, so I'll link to that.
But I will tell you how easy it is, when you re-introduce something, to become wasteful and to fall into those wasteful behaviors. I caught my husband, who is the most wonderful husband ever, taking paper towel and folding it up and using it as a coaster.
I realized that paper towels aren't really going to be the thing that gets you out of debt. I don't know why I've spend so much time talking about them. When you consider that a pack of paper towels costs $8 and maybe you go through an entire pack in a month, that's $96 a year that you spent on paper towels.
2. Pre-made meals
Now the exception to this is pizza. We will buy a pizza every once in a while if they're on sale. Sometimes I just buy the ingredients and make one because my kids think it's fun. But we do have movie night every Friday night and pizza just kind of facilitates that because it's my children's favorite.
But oftentimes, prepackaged meals are so expensive. If you are trying to get out of debt, just stop buying them. Instead, buy ingredients and you can make multiples of these meals that you like. You can make a lasagna far cheaper than you can buy a frozen lasagna. Make two and stick one in your freezer.
Now that we're out of debt, there are some things that we do every few months. If I know that we have a super busy week coming up, I will buy, like, a HelloFresh box and have it sent to my house so that I can skip the grocery shopping and my meal planning for that week. I found that that is cheaper for us than eating out. But if I were still in debt, that's not something I would do.
3. Beauty counter makeup
There, obviously, are some products that are just better, but there are some that are not. And you cannot tell me that your $25 Anastasia Beverly Hills concealer is better than my $5.99 Maybelline Under Eye Circle Corrector.
I went to you guys because I got a free Marc Jacobs mascara and then I looked at how expensive it was later. There's no way I can buy this. I can't spend that much money on mascara, but it made my eyelashes look so great. And you guys were like "Go get that L'Oreal Million Lashes." 8 bucks. Thank you.
I'm not telling you to not wear makeup because I don't want to look like an extra from the Walking Dead, just totally what I look like without makeup, but there's no need to go and spend a ton of money. You can look great on cheaper brands.
I heard a really great rule, though. That if you're going to spend money on makeup, make sure that you have a 2-week sample of that before you go out and pay full price for it. I heard that on The Financial Diet and she said, "I don't care if you have to walk into Sephora wearing a fake mustache, just ask [inaudible 04:46] and they'll give it to you."
4. Higher-end shampoo and conditioners
Really compare ingredients. Like, hold the high-end shampoo up to the lesser high-end shampoo and look at it ingredient to ingredient, and you might find that you're actually paying a fraction of the price for the same thing.
Particularly if you're buying "women's" shampoo, I think they call it the pink tax, like, ladies' products cost more for whatever reason. Now I know that some cheaper shampoos have things in them that are terrible for you, that are not things that you want on your skin, but you can find high-quality natural products that aren't going to break the bank, that aren't super expensive.
I know people who do the "no poo" method, which is baking soda and vinegar, and they by it. I know not everyone wants to have a science experiment in their shower every night, but it is a good alternative. Their hair looks amazing.
5. A cleaning product for everything
Here's the thing: I like cleaning products. I want my house to smell good. Back to what I was saying about the vinegar, some people just use, like, vinegar to clean everything and I think that's great. (I cannot smell it. It makes me ugghh.)
I don't think it's necessary to have one thing for your tile and one thing for this and one thing for that. In fact, I use the same thing for my mirrors, my toilet, my countertops, everything. One product that I use for everything. I use different rags. I use different things to clean them all, but one product. This saves me money. This saves me time. It's just not necessary to use a bunch of different things that all serve the same function, and to spend all that money when you could just buy one product and you're good to go.