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In this post, I will share with you 20 things I stopped buying in order to save money this year. I’ll share what I’m buying instead and why you should make the switch!
When I left my job in December, I had no backup plan. It was unexpected and an ill-thought-out decision. As a result, there were things I stopped buying in order to save a little bit of money. I just didn’t know what needed to go.
All I did know was that I was miserable. I was sick of being tired and stressed, and I wanted nothing more than to be home with my children.
Unfortunately, that meant giving up my salary and turning into a one-income family.
This caused me to take a hard look at how I could make extra money, where I was actually spending my money, and what I could cut from my budget to start saving.
What I found was that some of my purchases were not only costing me huge amounts of money, they were also quite wasteful.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of depriving myself of things that I enjoy. I wanted to find a way to be more intentional and mindful about my spending, but I still wanted to feel happy and fulfilled…that was why I left my job in the first place!
After a lot of thought, these are the 20 things I stopped buying in order to save money this year!
So here it is…20 Things I Stopped Buying to save money in 2019!
Below is a list of things I stopped buying to save money quickly. Most of these items are extremely wasteful and once you cut them from your budget, you could save thousands this year! The best part about this list is that it won’t make you feel like you are restricting yourself or your family.
If you are looking to save money fast without depriving yourself, keep reading!
1. Make-up Remover
I used to be a huge make-up junkie, so that meant buying expensive makeup removers to take it all off at the end of the day.
Those expensive removers did absolutely nothing to improve my skin! If anything, they dried out my skin because of the harsh chemicals in them! They also had to be replaced very often, so I was throwing away money on something that was actually hurting me!
After searching for cheaper, natural alternatives, I found that coconut oil removed my makeup better than any commercial makeup remover!
All I do is take a bit of coconut oil out of the jar and rub it between my fingers to warm it up. Once it has melted I just apply it to the skin in circular motions and watch the makeup melt away! Since you only need a tiny bit of oil to remove your makeup, it lasts so much longer which saves you even more money!
Since I started using coconut oil, my skin texture has softened and I haven’t had a breakout in forever! The benefits have been amazing.
I have never been a huge jewelry or accessory fan, so this was easy for me to give up. I no longer purchase my own jewelry and I stick to two purses: a small one for quick errands and a large one for a long trip.
Any jewelry I own was given to me as a gift.
3. Trendy Clothes
Ever since going minimalist, I stopped buying trendy clothes and opted for a capsule wardrobe instead.
Here are a few tips to save money on clothes:
- Shop secondhand! Don’t be afraid to shop at thrift stores for basic clothing. You could end up finding high-quality brands at cheap prices!
- Buy fewer clothes. It really is that easy! See how you can mix and match the pieces that you do have!
- Buy higher quality clothes that last a long time so that you do not have to repurchase as often. It will be an investment at first but will save money in the long run since you won’t be buying low quality, cheap clothing.
4. Manicures & Pedicures
I used to spend about $40 dollars every two weeks on a gel manicure at my local salon. That adds up to almost $1000 a year!
Sure my nails looked beautiful, but at what cost? This wasn’t even including the occasional pedicure, eyebrow wax, or haircut!
My solution was to just stop doing my nails in general, which works well for me because I just stay home with my kiddos.
This is the only product I use to keep my nails healthy and looking nice!
However, if you can’t quite give up manicures completely, consider investing in a gel manicure kit! It’s roughly the price of just ONE visit to the salon!
This kit comes with the UV/LED lamp, a base and top coat, four nail polish colors, and the manicure tools you need to prep your nails! This is a great kit for the price!
I used to love buying cutesy pajamas to wear to bed, but I would get so hot during the night I would just take them off.
I was spending money on something I might wear for two hours a day.
To be completely transparent with you, I have stopped buying pajamas completely and just wear my husband’s t-shirts to bed! I do have a couple of yoga pants I wear during the day if I don’t feel like wearing jeans, but I don’t wear them to sleep.
6. Single-Use Toys
Whenever my kids were behaving, or my daughter did well in school, I always felt the need to reward them with toys.
They would play with those toys for two weeks and then either break them or completely forget about them. It turned out to be a huge waste of money and I was at my wit’s end with the constant toy clutter.
Now when and if we do buy toys, I opt for open-ended, multi-use toys such as standard building blocks, cars, or animals. This saves money and encourages my children to be imaginative, creative, and grateful!
7. Greeting Cards
This could be the number one thing to stop buying and save money. Greeting cards are ridiculously expensive and I can almost guarantee the person you are giving it to will read it once and put it away, only for it to never be seen again.
You could be saving hundreds of dollars a year by forgoing greeting cards.
If I am being completely honest with you, I never get anyone a greeting card. I will get them the gift and let them know it’s from me.
If you would still like to do something extra, try these money-saving alternatives instead:
- Get your kiddos to make a card for your loved one. This doubles as a fun activity for the family!
- Use a cheap book as a card instead if the gift is for a baby or child.
- Make your own card using cheap craft supplies from the dollar store.
- Forgo the card completely and use the tag on the gift bag (this is my method).
8. Gym Membership
My husband would die if he knew I was telling people to cut their gym membership from their budget, but oh well.
When I learned that my husband was a total gym freak (going five times a week!) I figured, “Hey! I’ll go! What a great way to spend time together.”
Spoiler alert: I went like…twice.
Yet I kept my membership going because I kept telling myself, “Oh I’ll go next Monday.” And then Monday would come, and I still wouldn’t go.
So it was time to say bye-bye to the gym membership.
If you aren’t using your membership, or if money is tight and you can’t afford the extra cost, cut the membership. There are so many free resources to use such as walking around your neighborhood and the abundance of workout videos on YouTube.
Helpful tip: I like to add resistance bands to my home workouts to make them more effective! Check out my favorites here!
9. ATM Fees
If you are using ATM machines not provided by your bank, that is money down the drain! Most companies will charge you anywhere from $2-$4 dollars to use their machine! It may not seem like a lot but those tiny costs add up quickly!
Always try to use your bank’s ATM machine if possible. If you know you are going to need cash that week, take out what you need at your own ATM or get cash back during your weekly shopping trip.
10. Cable TV
Cable television has increased in price every year, and more and more people are opting to cut cable completely in favor of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Why pay hundreds of dollars per year for channels that you don’t even watch? If you are looking to save money then consider cutting cable from your budget. I have never paid for cable and do not feel like I’ve ever missed out on anything!
Consider these cable alternatives for your binge-watching needs!
- Netflix. This streaming service costs anywhere from $9-13 per month and you can stream Netflix original shows or entire seasons at once without commercials.
- Youtube. YouTube is free and has an abundance of TV shows, movies, tutorials, and funny videos.
- Library. Check out your local library to rent movies and tv shows for free!
- Hulu. Check out Hulu to watch original shows or shows that are currently on-air soon after they broadcast. Hulu has plans starting as low as $5.99/month!
- Amazon Prime Video. Access thousands of videos of tv shows and movies with Amazon Prime Video. It costs about $9 a month for an Amazon Prime Membership.
11. Convenience Foods
Giving up take-out food has been one of the hardest ways to save money, but hands down the BIGGEST money saver I have tried.
My family used to eat out every day for at least one meal. We told ourselves it was worth it because it was saving us time and energy we just didn’t have.
After looking at our monthly statements, we found out we were wasting literally THOUSANDS of dollars eating out!
We knew it was time to start meal planning and eating at home more often. This has actually been wonderful for us because we were getting so sick of fast food and eating the same things over and over again!
If you don’t know how to meal plan or just don’t have the time or energy, I highly recommend looking into $5 meal plan! A service that will save you time and money? You’ve got to check it out!
$5 meal plan is a weekly meal plan service that sends you yummy meal plans that cost about $2 a meal, sometimes less!
You can finally stop wasting hours in the kitchen and start spending time with your family for only $5. Start your 14-day trial by clicking here! It’s 100% risk-free! Cancel anytime if you don’t like it without spending a cent!
12. Impulse buys at the grocery store
You would be surprised how much extra money you are spending by not writing out a grocery list and sticking to that list!
When I would go to the grocery store without a list or plan, I would end up buying things that I didn’t need or couldn’t use before the expiration date. That was a lot of time and a lot of money wasted!
Try to have some kind of plan before you go to the store and you’ll find yourself saving so much money!
Helpful tip: Save money every time you go to the grocery store by downloading the Ibotta app on your phone! Ibotta is a great way to save money on groceries that you are most likely already going to purchase.
Simply look up offers that you may be interested in before you go grocery shopping. Once you get home, upload your receipt and claim your money!
13. Pre-made Spice Packets
I stopped buying pre-made spice packets years ago when I realized you could make your own seasonings! These spice packets tend to be pretty cheap but can add up quickly if you use them often. Any time I need a good taco seasoning, I simply make it myself with the individual spices I have on hand. Check out this website to find some homemade spice mixes!
14. Pre-cut Foods
Buying pre-cut foods or bagged salads can be convenient, but the price is not!
It won’t take long to cut up your own fruits and veggies, I promise! Set aside time after buying your groceries to cut up your own food for the week!
15. Paper Towels
If you use paper towels daily like most families, you are throwing away hundreds of dollars a year! Paper towels can get extremely expensive, especially if you have a large family or clean as often as I do!
Instead of using paper towels to clean, I use microfiber cloths instead. They have completely transformed the cleaning game and saved my family a ton of money! They are washable without losing their quality, meaning they can be used over and over again! This is my ALL TIME favorite cleaning product and I couldn’t run my home without them!
16. Baking Foil
Baking foil isn’t terribly expensive, but it can be bad for your health and bad for the environment.
Ever since studies have shown how baking with aluminum can be bad for you, I have preferred not to use it. Instead, I asked for these silicone baking sheets as a wedding gift and haven’t looked back. They are cheaper than constantly buying foil and have made clean up so much easier! If you are looking for a cheaper version, try these instead.
17. Bottled Water
Please stop spending money on bottled water.
WATER. IS. FREE!
Not only is buying water a huge waste of money, but it is also terrible for the environment. I’m not the most environmentally savvy person in the world, but even I know the harmful effects of plastic waste caused by water bottles.
Consider investing in an affordable watcher pitcher like this one to filter out the chlorine taste and any other yucky stuff that may be in your water.
Helpful tip: Invest in a water bottle like this one and keep it with you everywhere you go. This will help keep your water cold and prevent you from grabbing a plastic water bottle. It’s just as convenient and better on your pocketbook and the environment!
My daily glass of wine was hard to give up. At the end of a long day, all I wanted to do was unwind with a glass of wine and some TV. I looked forward to it.
But let’s face it — alcohol is expensive! Some brands may be cheap but depending on how often you’re purchasing it, the cost can really add up.
If money is tight right now, you have two choices: Reduce how much you drink or cut it out completely.
19. Women’s Toiletries
Did you know that women’s toiletries such as deodorant or razer’s can cost more than the men’s version of the exact same thing? It’s called the pink tax and it is 100% real and 100% ridiculous.
Many toiletries marketed towards women can cost up to 30% more than they do for men.
Next time you shop online or go to the grocery store, compare the cost of these items and opt for the cheaper version. If the men’s product is cheaper, don’t be afraid to buy it instead! You will save money and I guarantee you will not notice the difference!
Helpful tip: You don’t need to buy shaving gel again. It’s a waste of money when you could use a cheap conditioner or coconut oil instead and get the same results for less!
20. Travel-Sized Toiletries
If you are someone who likes to travel a lot, you may be purchasing those tiny travel-sized toiletries so that you don’t have to carry on your full-sized products.
Or maybe you just enjoy buying little things that make you feel like a giant. Who knows. I’m not here to judge.
Even though these items seem inexpensive, the cost can really add up, not to mention the plastic waste.
I suggest investing in these reusable travel bottles! Now you can use your own products instead of buying multiple trial sized products. You also won’t have to worry about these containers leaking and getting all over your luggage!
Final Thoughts on Things I Stopped Buying to Save Money
I know this list can seem overwhelming, so don’t feel like you need to tackle everything right away. By implementing only a few of the changes, you will start to see results and finally use your money for the things that matter most.
Something important to remember are these are simply things I stopped buying – you can buy or not buy what you want! There are no hard and fast rules 😉
It is completely possible to save money, especially while living on one income. All you have to do is be mindful and intentional about your purchases. Stop wasting money today!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you plan to stop buying to save money this year. I’d love to hear from you and learn from each other!
Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more saving money tips and making money ideas!
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