Debt Reduction Strategy #1: The Peanut Butter Jar

I recently read that the best way to limit the use of your credit cards, save cutting them up, is to not freeze them in water and place them in the freezer as people sometimes do, but rather to stick them deep into a jar of peanut butter.  While it is relatively easy to unthaw credit cards if you freeze them in water, it is rather gross to stick your hand deep into peanut butter to dig out your credit cards.

So, this week we have put our cards in the peanut butter, and, for good measure, we have put the jar of peanut butter in the bottom of the freezer, making it even more difficult to get to them.

In addition, I cancelled all of the recurring monthly payments that we put on our credit card such as our monthly delivery of diapers from Amazon using the Amazon Prime account with free shipping.  (It is a good thing that I cancelled too–I only had a few weeks left on my free Prime account before they would have automatically charged me $79.95 a year!)  Now, as we won’t be using our cards virtually or physically, there is nowhere for our balances to go but down.

What strategies have you used to stop spiraling credit card debt?


  1. Um, I’m thinking you will NEVER get your credit cards back! :)!

    Great strategy, for sure. I have faith that you will get those cards down to $0.00 before you know it!!

  2. Ha! I like this trategy a lot! Please update us if it worked. 🙂

  3. I’ll admit, we haven’t done anything this proactive to stop our credit card use, but I’ve never heard of this one before! The problem is, my husband loves PB, I’m not sure he’d be willing to give up a perfectly good jar of it for this 😉 I am cancelling all my recurring items from Amazon as well, it is just money I am not actively keeping track of.

  4. I just cut the cards up. It took a while to pay them off, but the best thing I ever did.
    Just hope you don’t have a PB&J day and have to use that peanut butter.

  5. I like the barrier you put into place with the use of peanut butter. What I do to stop overspending is follow a monthly spending plan and seperate fun money from money going to our goals

  6. Since I detest eating peanutbutter, this would work for me! I cut my cards but not soon enough.. . .

  7. What a waste of peanut butter! Just stop using the cards!

  8. There are so many methods to keep you away from your credit cards these days but the true problem is you need to create the mental barrier against creating more debt. If that isn’t there, no amount of ice of peanut butter will keep you from spending.

    • I agree with you. We have the mental barrier and the motivation to pay down our debt. This is just one more barrier to reinforce what we already plan to do.

  9. Melissa, I love this! Ha! Keep up the great work!!

  10. Its not so much as getting rid of the cards, it is changing your mind set. We record eveything we spend in a month and it must be less than or equal to what comes in. Write it down or track it in a spreadsheet, it works and it holds you accountable. We are able to live within our means and still have the convenience use and perks of credit cards.

    • I agree. I have definitely noticed a mind shift, but I also want to complement that by making the cards out of reach in case there is a moment of weakness. Once all of the debt is paid off, I’ll bring them out again and see if we can use them responsibly again.

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