Things I’ve Stopped Buying to Save Money
Things I’ve Stopped Buying Or Have Never Bought to Save Money
I have always been a frugal-minded person. I’ve always been one to save and not buy myself elaborate items. I’ve never found getting my hair colored or buying name brand clothing necessary.
This made it easy for me to buckle down and really watch our family spending when we became a one income family. Staying home with my daughter became the priority, but it came with some sacrifices.
When I first started this journey as a stay at home mom I found that simplifying, minimalism, and frugal spending, all go hand in hand.
I really don’t need as much as I once thought I did. It’s refreshing to have a less cluttered home and it’s become easier to spend less.
If you are having trouble with impulse shopping I highly suggest decluttering your home. I know that doesn’t sound like it would help, but trust me it does. When you declutter you come across all of the things you have bought over the years that you never use.
It makes you very aware of what you have wasted your money on, which results in you being a more consequence shopper.
This page may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
This page may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
Since decluttering my home and looking over our budget every week, we have been able to live on one income and not accumulate any debt. Every bill is paid and we have plenty left over for the things we need and more.
Check out this list of 28 things I’ve stopped buying (or never bought) to save money. Then evaluate your spending and see where you can cut back.
#1 Name Brand Food
Buy the off-brand food. It’s really no different than the name brands. The biggest difference that I found is the packaging is made cheaper. There are a couple of things where the name brand really is just better, but for most items, that is not the case.
I personally like to shop at Aldi where nothing is name brand. I save a ton of money by shopping at Aldi and they have some great organic selections.
#2 Clothes for Myself
Of course, if I really NEED something I buy it, but I don’t buy new clothes for myself. As someone who mostly wears jeans and a t-shirt, I do not need new clothes.
I have been gifted new clothes and I have bought jeans from a second-hand shop.
In fact, I decluttered my whole closet and own 1/4 of the clothing that I once owned. It helped me learn my style and showed me all of the clothes I had wasted money on.
#3 Gas as Soon As My Tank Is Low
I now give myself a gas budget. As someone who doesn’t have a commute to work, I don’t need as much gas as I once did. I drive to the necessary places, like the grocery store, and I take my daughter to places like the park and the library.
If my gas tank is low and I spent my gas money for the week, we stay in town. Plus, if you are going on an adventure each day, you are bound to spend unnecessarily.
Staying home will always save you money.
#4 Shaving Cream
I have found that I can use anything for shaving cream. Soap, conditioner, and shampoo are great options. When I really feel the need for some, I buy it from the Dollar Tree for a dollar.
We used to go to the movies and out to eat often. Now we rarely go. We stay home and watch Netflix or play a game with each other.
We have been gifted date nights a few times and have gone out to celebrate a few occasions… but only when we know for sure that we have the extra money.
We have a very tight grocery budget. Cutting steak nights from the meal plan has helped our grocery money stretch farther.
#7 Dog Treats
We have two large dogs and I use to buy them treats often. I have not bought any in over a year. They have been gifted some for Christmas and I make those last as long as possible.
Now I give them table scraps and leftovers as a treat. This is also a healthier option for them.
#7 Dryer Sheets
It’s crazy how much you can actually spend on laundry. Most laundry items are not necessary or there are cheaper alternatives.
I make my own dryer sheets, you can find out how here.
I also like to use wool dryer balls. This really cuts back on the drying time which also saves you money. I bought mine from Grove Collaborative or you can find them on Amazon.
#8 Fabric Softner
I’ve never bought fabric softener, so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, but it’s really not necessary.
Plus, you can use vinegar as a natural fabric softener, which is also a lot cheaper.
#9 Cleaning Products
I can’t even remember the last time I bought cleaning products. You can clean anything with vinegar, water, and baking soda.
I make my own glass cleaner and use a solution of vinegar, water, and dish soap for everything else.
I do buy dish soap, dishwasher tabs, and laundry detergent.
Also, I am fortunate enough to earn free products through this blog. When you sign up for Grove Collaborative you get a free 5 piece set, plus I get a $10 credit. I use these credits to buy multi-purpose sprays and hand soap. This has been such a blessing for me and I am so thankful for readers who use my link to sign up.
#10 Toys Outside of Christmas and Birthday’s
We do not buy my daughter toys unless it is her birthday or Christmas. Toys really are an unnecessary purchase. She gets plenty on those two occasions.
She does get random toys throughout the year from grandparents.
Having fewer toys in the home has so many benefits. One, it’s easier to keep the house clean, and two, kids play more purposeful when they have fewer toys.
#11 Seasonal decor
I have to fight the urge every fall to buy fall decorations. This year, Christmas was also a challenge. We got a new Christmas tree at the end of the season last year and I really wanted to buy new decor for the new tree.
However, I’m always able to fight the urge and am always so glad when I do. That money is needed for more important things. Also, it keeps my house clutter free.
Not that we have traveled much since being on one income, but souvenirs are something I’ve realized you don’t really need.
Memories are worth more than a souvenir will ever be. Plus, you can take lots of pictures and keep the memories forever.
I used to love looking into music and finding bands off the beaten path. I still love this but I don’t find the need to buy every CD. While I do enjoy hearing the songs that aren’t on the radio, I can hear lots of new music from Pandora or Spotify, for free.
This has been one of those things I have rarely ever bought.
If you are a frequent pop drinker, do your self a favor and stop consuming it. You will save a lot of money and be a healthier person.
I use to love buying candles and had them all over my home. I haven’t bought myself a candle in probably two years.
This saves money and my health. A lot of harmful chemicals are given off in most candles.
This is another one of those items that I realized was cluttering up my home. I don’t need them. I have more space and more money in my pocket for the important things.
#16 Bath and Body Works Shower Gels and Sprays
One day I opened up my linen closet and took out all of my shower gels and body sprays. I realized I only needed one and that I wanted it to be made of cleaner ingredients.
I sold about 15 bottles of this stuff and never bought any again.
Now, I have one lotion (or I use coconut oil), my perfume, and no shower gel. I use oatmeal soap or whatever my husband is using.
There is WAY less clutter in the bathroom and I’m not wasting money on a product I only use a couple of times.
#17 Getting My Nails Done
The only time I have ever gotten my nails done, it was gifted to me. Other than that I paint my own or don’t paint them at all.
My sister in law, who is way more knowledgeable about fashion and beauty than I am, gave me some great tips for doing your own nails.
Use the Essie Gel Couture polish, and don’t forget the Top Coat. The top coat makes a huge difference. Then use a Quick Drying Spray.
This will help it dry fast so you can get back to your day. It will save you a lot of money in the long run and it lasts a long time!
I rarely buy Starbucks or coffee from a coffee shop. I don’t actually drink coffee, but I do love Chai Tea Lattes.
Make your own coffee at home. Even splurge and get some of your favorite creams or syrups. This way you can have what you enjoy but at a much cheaper cost.
Target (and other grocery stores) sell premade mixes and all you have to do is add the milk of your choice. It’s the same thing they use to make Chai Tea and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes at the coffee shop.
#19 Makeup wipes
Makeup wipes are something I once always had on hand, but eventually, I decided they weren’t worth it.
I already have a face wash and an eye makeup remover. I don’t need all 3. The face wash does a much better job than the makeup wipes anyway.
#20 High-end Makeup
I have always bought drugstore makeup and I don’t even buy much of that.
I do understand that some high-end makeup can really be worth it because it can last longer and does a better job than drugstore makeup. However, I have always found that what I buy gets the job done.
Mascara, eyeliner, and a BB cream are the things I wear often and buy regularly. I wear lip balm every day but prefer my own recipe.
On special occasions, I wear concealer, eyeshadow, and highlighter/blush. I have had the same eyeshadow palette for a couple of years now. How long do those things last? I realize mine may be expired, but I keep using it anyway. Oh well. 🙂
We have one membership and that is Amazon Prime. We order so much from Amazon that it saves us money in the long run.
I mentioned earlier that I get things from Grove Collaborative. At first glance, this can seem like a subscription service, but it doesn’t have to be. You can turn the auto shipment option off. This allows me to order only when I actually need something from them.
We don’t have a gym membership and we don’t sign up for any subscription boxes. I would love to be apart of meal delivery services like Hello Fresh and have used them in the past, but at this point in our lives, it is finically smarter for us to buy our own groceries.
#22 Bottled Water
Once upon a time, we bought bottled water from time to time. Now we never buy it. If you want filtered water just use the filter on your refrigerator.
If you are like us and don’t have that feature, buy a filter to put on your kitchen sink. I personally like this one from Pur. It may cost you a small amount now, but it will save you a lot in the long run.
#23 Food Not on the Grocery List
This can be challenging sometimes but it really helps us stay on track with the budget. I make a meal plan and a grocery list before every grocery store trip. I only shop from the list. The second you start impulse buying you blow the budget.
Meal planning used to seem like such a chore to me. It was time-consuming and I didn’t think it was worth it. Then, after a few times, it got much easier.
Have a list of go-to, easy meals, and a list of the staples that you need to buy during every grocery trip. Keep breakfast and lunch simple. Rotate through the same dinners, occasionally adding a new recipe. These things will help you save a lot of money on groceries.
You can read more meal planning and grocery shopping tips here and here. I also have some helpful printables in my free printables library.
#24 Precut Food
One way to save on groceries is to stop buying precut fruits and vegetables. This is so convenient, but it’s not really worth the money. I’ve also found that when you cut it yourself it last longer.
This is one thing we never bought, even when we had two incomes. We don’t watch enough television for it to be worth it.
We do have Netflix and Hulu. However, we don’t necessarily pay for these either. We share a Netflix account and the Hulu account comes with our cell phone plan from Sprint.
I used to buy all the t-shirts for all the reasons. I would buy them as souvenirs, or just because it had a cute saying. My collection of t-shirts from my days an athlete, teacher, and coach were out of control. I wish I would have counted how many I had and how many I have gotten rid of. After getting rid of soooo many, I told myself I wouldn’t buy any more.
I still get the urge when I see a cute graphic tee on Instagram, but I have learned to resist. I don’t need these things!
#27 Hair Products
I do buy hair products, but I have cut way back. I used to like to try all the different kinds, thinking I needed to see if one worked better than the other. Then I realized that I already had my favorites and that is all I needed.
I, of course, use shampoo and conditioner. I don’t allow myself to buy anything new unless I have used up the whole bottle.
This is the problem with trying something new… you might not like it, then you have a whole bottle of something you don’t like.
When this happens I force myself to use it up. This is why I just stopped trying new products and stick with what I know I like.
Along with shampoo and conditioner, I buy dry shampoo and a curl shaping cream.
#28 On Sale Items
As I mentioned at the beginning, I have always been frugal minded. This is why the sales rack used to get me every time. I would think, “This is only $10, I’m saving so much money.” In reality, I wasn’t saving money, I was still spending it.
After decluttering my whole house I realized how many of those good deals were going to waste. I now only buy things if I really need them. It’s a bonus if it’s on sale. I do not browse the clearance section for fun.
Minimal Tendencies Have Saved Me Money
After switching to one income I realized it’s all a mindset change. We are blessed with so much more then we could ever need. Practice being happy with what you have. You don’t need what someone else has. You do have enough!
The more I decluttered and let go of things in my life, the more I realized what was important. All the fancy things we can spend our money on are not always worth it.
Whether you live on one-income, are saving for a vacation, paying off debt, or whatever you finical story, could you be spending your money more wisely?
I hope these 28 ideas encourage you to find some way to save.
7 Unique Ways to Start Being More Frugal
12 Things I Buy In Bulk To Save Money
21 Tips For Saving Money This Summer
Pin this idea for later…
JoAnnOctober 20, 2021 at 12:41 am
Love reading about this , A charming Adobe recommend you, I love your site
KatiesKottageNovember 8, 2021 at 8:51 pm
Thank you JoAnn. I love A Charming Abode. She is so sweet. 🙂
Sharron CampJanuary 7, 2019 at 2:14 pm
Thanks for the encouragement. After decluttering one room and it was still filled to the brim with “necessities”, I declared “No more! I will never do this to others, either.” So this past Christmas no one got a gift that wasn’t absolutely needed or edible. I had plans all last year to straighten this mess out, but health problems kept getting in the way. I will be coming back regularly for more encouragement. Thanks again.
KatiesKottageJanuary 7, 2019 at 2:59 pm
I’m so glad that you found encouragement here. Thank you so much for the kind words Sharron. I hope you’re health is doing better. Reach out for help any time! 🙂