I’m going to be really honest with you.
My husband and I haven’t always been extremely responsible with money.
In fact, it wasn’t until seeing my sweet Roman that we finally started getting it together. I kick myself for every time we went out to eat when we could’ve eaten at home. All of the time and money we wasted when we could’ve had fun at the park.
But I’m not going to sit there and beat myself up. I’ve lived in guilt for too long, and I’m here to share with you how we’re going to make this work.
I will start by saying my husband and I are pretty young. Ian just turned 25, and I just turned 23. Comparatively to the ‘expected’ age to adopt, we are pretty young. Due to that, we were definitely young and stupid. We don’t have savings, and our credit pretty much went to crap after my husband’s work injury (that we were barely compensated for) that kept him out of work for almost two weeks.
Add in injuries, illness, bills, the annoying need to eat, and it just doesn’t add up to a lot in the bank.
And it just got a whole lot harder.
We have been swimming in bills that we weren’t sure we could pay off. Due to difficult circumstances, I wasn’t able to cook as much at home as I wanted, and we ate out a lot.
We had been talking about getting a loan for a while to help us get our son home. However, with really sucky credit, it’s pretty impossible to get a loan that doesn’t have a 12312% interest rate. Don’t get me wrong, my son is definitely worth that, but if we can avoid that, that’s what we’re going to do.
These past few weeks have been remarkably difficult. We finally decided to get disciplined and stop wasting time waiting for ‘tomorrow.’
Buckling down to save money is never fun. Buckling down to pay off debt is even worse. Buckling down to build your credit as fast as humanely possible? Well, pretty much say goodbye to spending any money the way you want to for a while.
I see everything in adoption dollars now.
Paid off one bill – well that was a passport.
Paying off another – that could have gone towards a homestudy.
Planning to get credit cards paid down – that is one of our plane tickets.
Seeing how much we owe on our car – we could be fully funded if that was just cash in hand.
This is ridiculous.
But it’s important.
Due to not being able to grocery shop, we didn’t have much food in the house, or so I thought. I barely ate. I made sure I sent something with my husband to work with him. He drives a truck all day, and I don’t want him to get in an accident from malnourishment. I make sure Axel has plenty to eat. If he’s hungry, then I feed him. I never ever want him to go hungry.
But eventually, your body can only handle so much of not eating. I was getting massive migraines and nausea and realized I couldn’t go on like this.
So yesterday, I had enough.
I dug through my fridge and tossed out the junk that had gone bad. What I had left didn’t seem like much, but after digging through my cupboards and freezer, I found inspiration.
I had lentils, beans, and veggies. In the crockpot it went for chili.
I found some packages of ground beef in the bottom of my freezer. I made burgers with one, and ‘taco stuff’ with the other. Taco stuff is a base of quinoa/rice, ground beef (usually turkey), beans, and a can of diced tomatoes. I also had some homemade beef broth thawed from the freezer, so I used that for extra flavor.
We had a LOT of steel cut oats, so I made 15 jars of overnight oats, which equals about 5 days’ worth of breakfasts for the three of us. I have a feeling that’s going to become a staple in our house. It was so easy to throw together, and it’s just waiting in the fridge to be warmed up for breakfast. I also boiled some of the eggs we had to add in some morning protein.
I had some cans of pineapple, coconut water, and lots of frozen fruit (both Ian and Axel could live off of frozen fruit). That’s an easy smoothie to go with breakfast or just as cold treat.
I also had some brown rice left (which I didn’t realize), and some quinoa. I made big batches of it, and later today I’m going to portion out single-serve portions and freeze them for easy meals.
I also popped a couple batches of popcorn and put it in separate baggies for an easy snack.
I got tired, so that’s all I could manage in one day. But I’m sure there’s some more I could come up with.
There were a few staples I was missing, like cashew milk, carrots, and I was really craving some chicken. I only thought I’d be able to pick up the milk, but I got my rebate from Fred Meyer in the mail. That as $14.80 of free food plus coupons. I spent a little more than I was planning, but I left the store with chicken, ground turkey, carrots, mushrooms, and a few other things. I truly think we’ll be good as far as food is concerned for at least a couple of weeks as long as we’re smart.
I’m not telling you this to whine and show you how hard this is. No way. This is something we should have done years ago, and especially now that we’re raising funds to bring home our son. I’m just sharing how we’re pinching pennies and making it work.
Trust me, this is in good practice anyway. Being a momma of all these kiddos is going to require me to get very thrifty very fast.
But I’m always looking out for new ideas. How do you pinch pennies? Even if it’s not for adoption, how are you saving money?