9 Things I Stopped Buying to Save Money
When it comes to saving money, how we shop is the biggest factor that needs to be considered.
It’s easy enough to think we’re saving by chasing discounted items. Or simply, by remembering to stick to the monthly budget.
All that is great, except for the fact that most of the money putting a hole in your pocket is usually related to small purchases that add up over time to hundreds (even thousands) of dollars in debt.
I never believed this until I sat down and made a quick list of the non-essentials we purchase in our family regularly.
Then, I added up the cost per item over a full month.
Yep, you guessed it! I was shocked at how much we were spending unnecessarily, and the amount that it all adds up to by the end of a twelve month period.
Save with a purpose
People that are the wealthiest are the ones that know how to make their money serve a purpose.
When deciding to cut out non-essentials from your grocery list, it’s helpful to have a purpose for the money you’re going to end up saving.
This is because it’s tough to save money and be diligent about it especially when it comes to cutting out items you’re so used to buying.
Try to write a goal for how much you will save and what that money will be used for. It can be anything from saving for an emergency fund to saving for your next family vacation.
Bust the myths
Sometimes, saving money and being frugal is a mindset game. If your perspective about saving money on small purchases is that it seems stingy, you’re going to feel shame about actually saving in this way.
The truth is that being frugal is not the same as being stingy. Frugality is not being the friend that always tries to get someone else to pay for their own coffee.
It’s about being mindful of what you spend money on, no matter how convenient it may feel to buy a snack on the drive to work. It’s about doing what you know will help get you ahead financially in the long run.
So without further ado, here are the 9 things I quit buying to save money consistently.
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9 Things I Stopped Buying to Save Money
Coffee on the go
The thing about buying your coffee on the go is that it’s usually accompanied by baked good or snack to go along with it.
Even if you don’t do that, a coffee or two a day can really add up to at least $100 a month.
If you think about it, spending just $5 a day on anything (including coffee) is going to take you back $150 a month, which equates to about $1800 per annum.
My solution is to simply make my coffee at home. I mean, sure that did require purchasing a coffee machine, coffee, and maintenance cost. But I still saved hundreds of dollars after making all of those purchases.
You don’t have to go for a fancy coffee maker either. A simple French press is the cheaper alternative that will make your coffee just as good as the ones from Starbucks.
Our favorite is the high-quality Secura Stainless Steel French Press (it’s popular for a reason!).
The one thing I learned to do once I hit 30 is cutting out the ridiculously unnecessary beauty products I used to love buying.
It’s great to finally wise up and think creatively about using natural and cheaper alternatives.
Shaving gel was one of those unnecessary purchases.
There are so many ways you can replace shaving gel – really! Think natural items you have in your pantry like coconut or olive oil. And even a little dab of your hair conditioner.
I love to use coconut oil for shaving because it’s completely natural and for its added moisturizing benefits for the skin.
I usually don’t need to moisturize when I shave my legs using coconut oil.
So although it may seem more expensive to buy extra virgin coconut oil, a little goes a long way and a full jar lasts months!
And it serves the purpose of moisturizing the skin extremely well without leaving it greasy.
Buying lunch at work
Similarly to buying coffee on the go (but probably much worse!) is to buy lunch from the cafeteria most days.
I was terribly guilty of this since I never really planned ahead when it came to having something to take with me for lunch.
Since I started meal planning, I have been making simple meals and lunch bowls for the week ahead.
Plus, we also make extra when cooking dinner so that there are leftovers to take to work for lunch.
Another tactic we have been using it to make multiple meals for the week ahead and leave them in serving size portions in the freezer.
Greeting cards and gift bags
Some of the cheapest greeting cards are found at the dollar store and that’s usually a great option.
However, most some greeting cards are usually as expensive as $15 each – a little too much to pay for a piece of cardboard paper that will be thrown out or stashed in a junk drawer for months.
If you are already buying a gift bag with the tag intact, write your message in there and forget the card. Trust me, no one will care.
But usually, gift cards are just as unnecessary and wasteful. The best method is to wrap your own gifts and make a simple card yourself.
Besides a DIY card is so much more thoughtful than one that’s store bought and it shouldn’t take very long to do either. Here is a great video tutorial for a simple greeting card:
There is not much more to say about this part. Bottled water is truly the best way to throw cash away fast.
Besides, plastic bottles are neither environmentally friendly nor health-conscious item to use.
Instead, invest in a good glass or stainless steel water bottle. I’d much prefer a glass water bottle.
Why did we ever stop using cloth napkins?
They’re elegant, reusable and much more practical and effective for use at the dinner table.
And don’t get us started on paper towels. Surely you have some old t-shirts you or your kids never wear and looks too worn out to donate.
Those types of clothing items should never be thrown out since they’re useful for cleaning around the house.
Bagged salads and pre-cut fruit
Sure, bagged salads are convenient and so are those tubs of ready-made fruit salads. But do you really need to purchase them like that? Nope.
Buy your fruit whole and salads in bulk. Then, you can do the washing and prepping yourself.
You will be surprised what a little vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can do. Many simple homemade cleaning solutions can be made with these ingredients.
It’s natural, nontoxic, good for the environment and good for your wallet. Homemade household cleaning products usually work just as well as the storebought ones if you use the right recipes.
This video by Living With Leah shows you how to make natural everyday cleaning and household products such as all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, fabric softener, and air freshener.
Wrapping it up!
We hope you found these tips on saving money a little insightful in helping you reach for your ultimate financial goals whether that be saving money or paying off debt.
Don’t forget to let us know the small changes you’ve been making to save money.
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