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The easiest way to save money is to cut unnecessary spending. These 15 Things to Stop Buying When You Are Trying to Save Money will show you what purchases are wasting your hard-earned cash and what to do instead to stretch your money further than ever before!
We have already talked about Ways You Are Probably Wasting Your Hard Earned Cash. Now, we’re going to delve deeper into this topic with these 15 Things to Stop Buying When You’re Trying to Save Money to help you save even more!
For more smart finance hacks to help you live your best life, check out the following:
15 Things to Stop Buying When You’re Trying to Save Money
To save money and help the environment, trade in those expensive paper towels and napkins for cloth napkins, absorbent towels for spills, and microfiber cleaning cloths. I love eCloth brand anti-bacterial cleaning cloths for germ-killing, chemical-free cleaning (just add water!), and I use cheaper bulk microfiber cloths (not anti-bacterial) for spills and pet messes.
Since I use anti-bacterial eCloths for most of my cleaning, I don’t need to waste money on household cleaners like glass cleaner and disinfectant, which is great since many conventional cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can cause various health problems, including cancer! I just wet my eCloth with water for a germ-killing, streak free shine on any surface – including windows and mirrors!
If you prefer using spray cleaners, make your own to save loads of money, while still cleaning your home effectively and safely. I love making my own cleaners with water and vinegar. Need a little more cleaning power? Make your own cleaning solution for a fraction of the price with Dr. Bronner’s All Natural Organic Castile Soap!
My mom always used dryer sheets when I was growing up, so I thought they were a necessary item. Then, when I was trying to go green, I learned the chemicals in conventional dryer sheets like Bounce are really bad for your health, so I started looking for alternatives. When the weather is nice, I just hang my laundry outside to dry, but if you can’t do that, there are some alternatives you can try.
Right now, I’m using reusable wool dryer balls in the dryer to help fight static and dry clothes faster. They cost under $10 on Amazon for 6 balls, are reusable for up to one year, and they can even help you save up to 25% on electricity costs since they help clothes dry faster!
Sure, it’s a lot easier – and more fun – to go out with your co-workers for lunch every day, but if you’re trying to save money, eating out regularly is a huge waste. Pack your lunch, and be sure to keep plenty of snacks on hand at work and when running errands to keep hunger and temptation at bay.
Save money by cooking at home with these quick and easy meal ideas:
Greeting cards are a nice way to tell someone how you feel, but they’re getting seriously expensive – I’ve seen them for up to $7 for just one card!! And let’s be honest, how many of us keep these cards anyway? Most people throw them away soon after the event, so buying cards is basically like throwing away your hard earned cash. There has to be a better way!
I have mostly stopped buying cards because they’re such a colossal waste of money. One card might not cost all that much, but they add up fast over months or years. Instead, tell your friends and family how you feel, write them an e-mail, text, or Facebook message, send a free e-card, or make your own cards (an especially great idea if you have kids who enjoy making cards).
If you really like sending store bought cards, stick to the cheap ones – the dollar store is a great place to get cheap cards – or buy bulk packs and write your own thoughtful messages. You don’t need to be clever or witty – a personalized message from the heart is worth much more than that $7 impersonal, mass produced card no matter what it says!
FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS
It costs a lot of money to be a woman. Between the “Pink Tax” (see below) and products we have to buy just for being a woman – think pads, tampons, bras…), we can easily spend thousands more than men every single year!
Did you know almost 7 billion tampons and 13 million pads are dumped into the landfill every year?! Plus, conventional feminine hygiene products aren’t regulated and contain loads of harmful chemicals, including pesticides and chlorine bleaching chemicals, that we put in our most sensitive area when we use these products!
Try Reusable Menstrual Cups
For completely eco- and wallet-friendly periods, I recommend menstrual cups and period underwear. I love the Diva cup (get Model 1 if you’re under age 30 and Model 2 if you’re over 30 or have had a child) and Thinx and Knix brand period underwear. The Diva cup is so comfortable – it even reduces my cramps! – I’ll never go back to tampons. It costs around $30, but lasts a year or even more if you take care of it. You can leave it in for up to 12 hours, which I love because I don’t have to mess with it at work. I leave mine in for at least 10 hours on workdays because I have a long commute, and I have never filled a cup even though I have a heavy flow. Plus, since the cup isn’t absorbent, there’s a lower chance of suffering from Toxic Shock Syndrome!
Period Panties Are Another Great Option
Period underwear has been another life saver for me. I don’t have to worry about leaking and ruining my day-to-day underwear, and I find period panties much more comfortable than scratchy pads and pantyliners, which often seriously irritate my sensitive lady-skin. Plus, they’re not as messy and gross as you may imagine and clean up really easily – just rinse, then wash as usual.
Both the Diva cup and period panties take a little getting used to because you have to deal with your mess a little more directly instead of just throwing everything away, but remember, period blood is natural and not gross at all. I really think this experience has allowed me to become more comfortable with my natural body functions, and the money and effort I save buying pads and tampons every month makes it all totally worth it.
If you prefer using pads and tampons and don’t mind the waste, at least switch to an all-natural brand to avoid those nasty chemicals.
FEMALE VERSIONS OF PRODUCTS
If it’s not enough that women already have to pay extra just for being female – e.g. pads, tampons, bras, etc. – we’re also subject to the “Pink Tax,” a phenomenon of gender price discrimination wherein goods and services marketed to women – think women’s razors, deodorant, clothing, dry cleaning, haircuts, and even mortgages and business loans – cost more than those marketed to men for no good reason (i.e. they don’t cost more to produce, so why should they be priced higher in the store??). These extra costs may not seem like much – usually only a couple dollars difference – but this “tax” can have you paying thousands more per year!
To save money, compare prices and shop in the men’s aisle when their products are cheaper. Don’t be afraid to buy men’s products like razors, unscented deodorant, socks, and more. They’ll work just as well for you, while offering significant cost savings over the long term. Try to buy brands and services that don’t participate in the Pink Tax. If enough women voted with their pocketbook, companies would be forced to change this discriminatory practice.
BOOKS + MAGAZINES
Books and magazine subscription costs can really add up, and it’s really unnecessary to buy these things. Take advantage of free books and magazines at your local library. Just be sure to return them on time to avoid late fees. Some libraries even offer electronic books, audiobooks, and more on Overdrive.com, so if your library participates in this service, you don’t even have to physically drive to your library!
If you’re a prolific reader or just don’t have time to go to the library, you can also try Audible, an audiobook subscription service. Try Audible free for 30-days, and get 2 books for free through this link. After your free trial, Audible costs just $14.95 per month for one book regardless of price. Read more than one book per month? Audible subscribers also get 30% off additional books, and if you don’t like a book, you can exchange it for free.
The average gym membership costs between $40 and $50 per year. Add in the initiation fee, and you might be spending as much $800 a year! Yet, unbelievably, around 67% of people with gym memberships never set foot in a gym.
Take an inventory of all your subscriptions. This includes your gym membership, magazines, TV services like Hulu and Netflix – all your recurring expenses. If you don’t get value from these memberships, cancel them. Do you only watch The Crown on Netflix, or simply don’t have time to watch TV right now? Why keep your membership active the rest of the year?! Cancel the subscription while you’re not using it. You can always join again later.
Learn more about saving money on your cable and phone bill here.
Prepared foods like bagged salad, TV dinners, and other grab-and-go items are far pricier – and often less healthy – than homemade. You’re paying for convenience here, but with a few lifestyle changes, you can easily break this habit. Prep a couple large meals over the weekend, so you and your family can have ready-to-eat meals all week long at a fraction of the cost.
Portioned foods like individual snack packs cost a lot more than their bulk counterparts. Instead of wasting money on those expensive food packs, buy snacks in bulk and portion them yourself.
I used to prefer name brands for everything from food and beauty care to prescription medications until I found out that generic brands are just as good – and sometimes even better! – than their name brand counterparts. In fact, many name brands and generics are made in the same factories, and the only difference is in the packaging! Now, I prefer generic brands for almost everything I buy and save loads of money (up to 80%) in the process.
Like generic brand foods? Check out these Aldi money saving tips to help you save thousands on groceries every year!
I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times before – most experts recommend making your own coffee at home instead of buying those expensive $5 Starbucks coffee drinks every morning. But, of course, that’s not always an easy thing to do. Cutting out every tiny luxury can get stressful, and you might start feeling like you can’t enjoy anything. And what about the Australian millionaire who said millennials can’t buy homes because they’re eating avocado toast – how tone deaf was he?! Having money problems doesn’t mean you can’t live like a normal human being!
But it is true that we tend to waste money on the small purchases without realizing how much they add up. If you buy just one basic grande sized Starbucks latte a week, that adds up to almost $200 per year! Go every workday? That’s almost $1000!!! And these figures don’t even include tax and tip.
If you can be just as happy making your own coffee at home and taking it with you, why not do that and save the money instead of buying something you don’t need? Just be mindful of what you’re spending, and cut costs where you can.
MANICURES + PEDICURES
I know, manicures and pedicures feel great, but they’re a luxury that can easily be replicated at home with just a few inexpensive supplies like a nail file, foot file, lotion, and nail polish. Plus, if you buy your own nail polish, you can touch up your polish any time. It may not feel as luxurious and relaxing when you do it yourself, but when you’re trying to save money, it’s a good idea to cut out as many unnecessary expenses as possible.
If you’re looking for ways to save money, these 15 Things to Stop Buying will help you tighten those purse strings and make the most of your income. Need to make more money? Check out 20 Easy Side Hustles You Can Start Today.
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