Things We Bought That Helped Us Become Debt Free

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Now that I have stepped out of my comfort zone and posted how to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 13 years, I wanted to share some of the different things that got us there. To become debt-free is not just about paying bills. There is more to it. It is a plan – a lifestyle that you subscribe to when you set this goal. Becoming debt-free is a lot about saving money – finding ways you can save money and use that saved money to pay down debtToday, I am talking about the things we bought to become debt-free. Yep. The “things we bought” helped us become debt-free without feeling like we were sacrificing to do it. 

If you goal is to be debt free, this post will give you all the things we bought that helped us get out of debt fast.

Things We Bought That Helped Us Become Debt Free:

{Affiliate links are used in this post. You can read my disclosure HERE.}

1. Milk Frother: 

This thing is a game-changer for making homemade lattes at home and staying out of coffee shops. Gone are the days of spending $5 for a drink. When I started drinking Chai Tea Lattes at Starbucks, there was no way I could justify paying for them while we were trying to get out of debt. Of course, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too so I needed to find a way to get a chai latte when I needed that fix without spending the money to get it. I am happy to report that after a lot of trial and error, I came up with a copycat Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe that only costs 50¢ to make and it only has 100 calories! Saving money and calories? #winning

2. Keurig: 

Matt is a coffee drinker so we invested in a Keurig so that he was not spending money at the coffee shops. He drives 45 minutes to work every day so if he takes a cup of coffee with him in the car, he is not tempted to stop at a coffee shop when he gets to work. We waited until we found the best deal before we purchased one. Always do that. If you are thinking about purchasing something that you know will save you money in the long run, wait until you can find the best deal on it.  

3. Newspaper Subscription: 

A newspaper subscription will pay for itself when you consider how much money it saves you. Where we live, we can choose to get a full week of the newspaper delivered or only the weekends. To save money, we got the weekends because that was when they were stuffed with coupons and also had all of the yard sale listings in them. I have preached and preached about how much yard sales have saved our budget and I became a couponing machine when we started this debt-free venture.

There were times when I wanted to search for yard sales during the week so I would stop at my parents to look through their paper for that. If you get a newspaper subscription, it is cheaper than buying it in-store and the money-saving benefits it brings you are worth it.

3. Deep Freezer: 

This was a big one. With a deep freezer, I was able to buy in bulk when things went on sale. Gone were the days of me paying full price at the store for something I needed. I stock-piled enough in the freezer to last us until the next sale. I would also double recipes so I could freeze them. The deep freezer saved us TONS of money.

4. Internet: 

I know some people don’t want to pay for internet service, but for us, it was a necessity. Not only is my work done online, but for things like coupons and Craigslist, we saved a ton of money. I don’t have a ton of luck finding things on Craigslist to buy, but we have used it to sell a lot of things. Instead of always donating items we didn’t use anymore, we would try and sell them first. There are many other online sites that do this same concept too. YouTube alone has saved us so much money. When something would stop working, Matt would YouTube it and find out how to fix it. He did this with appliances, our cars, and plumbing issues. Internet was not only a necessity, but it also saved us a lot of money.  

Things We Bought That Helped Us Become Debt Free

5. Cricut: 

This little machine has saved me so much money in decorating our home. I have created tons of DIY signs and decor (you can find some HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

7. Tools:

Investing in tools has enabled us to create a home we love. Tools have kept us on our tight budget and have grown the My Creative Days community with the budget-friendly projects we share. I could spend so many posts on tools alone so I created a page dedicated to our must-have tools. You can find it HERE.

8. Cell Phone/Apps:

I can’t believe how much money we save by using our cell phones. There are tons of FREE money-saving apps I used like iBotta and Checkout51. I saved so much money with these two apps alone. I would use the money I saved for Christmas gifts or add it to my grocery budget to free up more money to pay down debt. You would be amazed how many companies reward you for using their app. If you are going out to eat, check to see if there is an app. We got so many free meals and treats using different apps this way.

9. Small Car: 

I am proud of Matt and me for this part. We have always bought used cars and we have been smart with the vehicles we buy. We know what we need to get us around and even though all of our friends were buying new cars every few years, we stayed the course and bought what we needed. I talk about the wheel falling off Matt’s car on the interstate in this post HERE. SCARIEST THING EVER! We didn’t plan for it, but during our debt-free endeavor, we had to buy him a new car.

With all the driving he does every day, we found a small car (that can still fit the entire family) with low miles that would work for him until our kids are old enough to drive it. We could have bought a bigger car with horrible gas mileage, but we kept our debt-free end goal in mind.

10. Sams Club Card: 

To be able to buy in bulk because you have a deep freezer is so smart. We don’t have a Costco close to us so Sams Club was our warehouse store. You have to be smart and diligent when you shop at these stores because you can get sucked into a lot of things you don’t need. Figure out your price points for different items (toilet paper, milk, meat, etc.) and if buying in bulk will save your bottom dollar then go for it.

We still have our “route” that we take in Sams to make sure we don’t get side-tracked by all the other stuff we don’t need. For us, the inside of the store was not the only reason we invested in the card. Their gas station saves us TONS of money on gas. Matt drives so much for work every day that we needed to find ways to save on gas. Sams gas is always cheaper than other stations so Matt fills up there. Our local grocery store started a gas perks card that I use when I fill up.

You save money on gas when you purchase certain things each week. The other day, I filled up the van for 59¢ a gallon!!!! (I literally do a happy dance outside the van when this happens.)

11. Thrift Store Loyalty Card:

 Yep! Not kidding. Some thrift stores have a loyalty card that you can purchase every year. Then, they have special sales only for loyalty cardholders every week or month. The most I have paid for a loyalty card is $15 FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR! You make that up in your first few purchases.

12. Pressure Cooker/Slow Cooker: 

These are great for making a few recipes at a time that you can freeze. Freezing meals to have on hand for the times I didn’t feel like cooking saved us a ton of money from spending money going out to eat.

13. Buy From Farmers: 

One of my biggest challenges, when it came to saving money, was on meat. MEAT IS NOT CHEAP!!!! I was always looking for ways to save on meat. One way we found was that if we bought from local farmers and went in with other families. Going this route meant we were paying less per pound than what was in the stores. Again, you need a deep freezer to store all the meat because you will be buying in bulk.

*UPDATE: I just found out about Zaycon and I am hooked! I just took advantage of their latest deal – chicken breasts for 99¢ per pound!!! What?! The thing with this service is that they bring the meat to a spot in your city and you go and pick it up there. We will be making our first pick-up for the chicken in March. The other thing is that you buy in bulk. We will be picking up 40 pounds of chicken breasts! That doesn’t scare us because we invested in a deep freezer.

They run coupon codes and sales a lot. If you haven’t heard about them, HEAD HERE and check it out. I wish I knew about them a long time ago. 

14. Shop Vacuum: 

Don’t pay for car washes when you are able to do them at home! Invest in a shop vacuum that will not only clean your car out but your garage and any other places with bigger messes.

15. A Good Cooler:

We saved so much money at so many different places by bringing our own food and drinks! Think amusement parks, outdoor festivals, ball games, etc. Whenever you are able to bring your own food and drink, DO IT! This way, you will be eating healthier and you won’t be spending outrageous money at the concession stands or food trucks. We would also pack our own food and drinks for all our road trips and vacations. Big money saver!

16. Water Bottles: 

Don’t pay for bottled water. EVER! Invest in good quality water bottles and bring your own.

17. Containers For Lunches: 

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the new containers that I am obsessed with. Great containers for lunches are extremely important to us because Matt packs his lunch every day. Does he like to? No. Does he do it because it saves us a ton of money? Yes. You have to do the things you don’t like if you really want to become debt-free.

18. Discounted Gift Cards: 

One way I found to save money on gifts cards is through If I knew we had birthdays or Christmas coming up that would involve gift cards, I would check here first. If I knew we were going to purchase something that I couldn’t use a coupon for, I would check to see if there were any discounted gift cards for it so I could save whatever money I could. Also, if I ever buy anything online, I make sure to go through EBates first to get my money back.

If you are ordering something online anyway, why not go through Ebates and earn some money back on what you are buying?

19. Coupon Binder: 

A coupon binder will make your coupon process easy and organized. Once I started getting into couponing, I was finding that coupons were everywhere and I needed to get more organized. Once I got the coupon binder, every coupon was easy to find and I was able to keep them up to date a lot easier. This is a game-changer if you use coupons. 

Phew! That is a long list. It is a good list though. It is the list that made our goal of becoming debt-free a reality. We couldn’t have done it without these things. We didn’t buy all of these things at once. Over time, we bought these items as we could. This list saved us thousands of dollars that we turned into paying off our mortgage. 

I want to encourage you right now. If you want to become debt-free, you can do it. No matter how much debt you have, you can conquer it. Look over your budget (find our budget spreadsheet HERE), see where you can save money, and invest in some of these things if you can. It won’t be easy.

Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Buckle down, write your end goal down, and put it all over so you keep it in mind at all times. I am so excited for your journey and to see you on the other side, my friend. 


If you goal is to be debt free, this post will give you all the things we bought that helped us get out of debt fast. These items are not things you would typically think of when you want to get out of debt, but they made our goal a reality.

To see the budget spreadsheet we came up with to help keep you on track, sign up HERE

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