I’ve always been pretty good with money but over the years I’ve realized that we have SO MUCH EXCESS in our home. I decided I wanted to simplify our lives a little bit and see what I could stop buying to save money.
It’s actually been a lot easier than I expected.
I’ll admit there are some things I won’t completely give up – like shopping for clothes. But cutting back doesn’t have to mean completely cutting out. I would much rather buy clothes than buy lunch every day so I’ve made the decision to stop eating out during the week.
Thinking back to some of the purchases I’ve made in the past actually makes me cringe.
I can’t even begin to think of how much money I could have saved on all the stuff I bought and didn’t actually need.
Not everyone’s decisions on what NOT to buy will be the same, but here are 10 items that I personally decided to stop buying to give you an idea of what you might be able to cut out, too.
10 Things To Stop Buying To Save Money
1.) Bottled Water – Remember how I said I cringe at the money I could have saved? This one has got to be number one on my list. I can’t even begin to imagine how much money we wasted on bottled water when we bought our first house.
We could have easily purchased a filtering system and water bottles instead. These water bottles are now my all-time favorite. I use them for the gym, for everyday outings and the kids use the kid’s version for school, sports, etc. They’re the only ones I’ve found that don’t leak and don’t get moldy.
2.) Coffee – I was never the “get up and go buy a coffee” type of person to begin with, but a few times each week I would grab a coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Now I stick to my Keurig and this tumbler for when we’re heading out.
It’s worth investing in a good at-home coffee system if you enjoy it every day. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a good coffee-maker either. This one has over 1,500 5-star reviews and is under $60.
If you’re looking for something extra budget-friendly this 12-cup coffee maker is a steal!
3.) Brand name groceries – If two items have identical ingredients on their labels there really is no reason to spend the extra money on the name brand variety. Unless you want organic vs. non-organic milk, for instance, there really is no difference from one brand to the next. I personally shop for groceries at Walmart and even Walmart has their own line of organic products.
You can also use Ibotta to earn money on all your grocery shopping.
4.) Sliced Fruit – First of all it’s usually sitting in a pool of sugary liquid but aside from that, the markup is insane! If you really love fruit grab your own and take the extra 10 minutes to prepare it and portion it out. These containers work great for mixing different foods! I also love these and these for the kids
5.) Travel anything – Although I’m pretty particular about my hair I still refuse to pay a crazy marked-up fee for something just because it’s in a special little bottle. These travel shampoo and conditioner bottles are squeezable and refillable making them the perfect travel accessory.
I would much rather fill these with the shampoo I actually love rather than buying a different one because that’s all I could find in a travel size.
6.) Expensive makeup – Ok ladies – HEAR ME OUT. I’m not telling you to give up ALL your favorite cosmetics. I’m just saying to at least try a drugstore brand. I’ve been using this mascara (read the reviews!) for years and it is just as good, if not better than SO MANY of the ones I’ve tried from department stores and high-end brands.
7.) Greeting cards – I stopped buying these a long time ago and if I do buy them now…they’re from the dollar store. I can’t justify spending $4-$6 on something that someone is literally going to put in the trash. Special occasions are of course the exception but that’s about it!
If your kids are headed to a birthday party let them make a card. Kids don’t care about cards anyway. Honestly, I don’t care about cards myself.
8.) Magazines – I finally quit all my subscriptions because to this day I still have magazines piled in a corner that has yet to be read. By the time I get around to reading them everything will be old news so there really is no point in continuing to order them.
Instead – if I want to look up something super important, like what Meghan Markle wore for her engagement photos, I can just go to People.com and read it there 🙂
9.) Eating out – This is a tough one for many. Eating out is sometimes unavoidable and of course, something most of us aren’t willing to give up. If that happens to be you maybe just try to cut back.
Instead of eating out 3x/week for lunch and dinner, try to eat out 2x/week for lunch and 2x/week for dinner. Even just by cutting out 2 meals/week, you’re probably saving $30/week which translates into $120/month or $1,440/ year!
Another easy option is to try the $5 meal plan. For just $5/month receive a meal plan where each meal costs roughly $2! It’s 100$ risk free and you can cancel anytime.
10.) Snack-sized anything – It’s no secret that buying snack-sized snacks is a rip-off. You’re paying for the convenience. Instead of doing this, buy your snack in the full-size bag and portion it out into to-go containers. If you have kids you could easily save a $100 or more throughout the year. These containers are great for adults AND kids.
One other thing I plan to stop buying this year is dryer sheets. I’m going to order these dryer balls instead. There’s no sense in purchasing dryer sheets over and over again when these will last forever! *
Update October 13, 2019 – I now use these instead of dryer sheets and love them! The money I’ve saved by not buying dryer sheets may not seem like much but definitely adds up over time!
Is there anything you decided to stop buying to save money that you found a great alternative for? I’m always looking for more ways to cut back in a practical way!
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