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Growing up my grandpa always told me “ Watch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves.”
How true is that? When it comes down to saving money a lot of times it comes down to the little purchase that one credit card swipe at a time can really add up! Building your savings can be as simple as finding a few things to stop buying to save money.
When you eliminate these purchases that you can live without (or looking for cheaper alternatives and solutions), you will be able to save money and work towards your goals.
Here are 10 things to stop buying to save money:
Aside from being bad for the environment, paper towels can also be a big waste of money. You can use old rags or cloths to clean up instead so that you can just reuse them. You can use a paper towel for those special cleaning jobs that you can’t use a rag for, otherwise – try to avoid using them.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying things “specially made for women” since it can cost less to buy the men’s version- and it works exactly the same! A few samples of these are razors, deodorant, and other body care items.
I’ve found that I liked using my husband’s razors much more anyways.
Books and magazines
Actual books and magazines are expensive so unless it is a special book or magazine that you would be reading over and over, it is best to get an unlimited Kindle membership so you can read as much as you want for a small fee.
There is something that is beautiful about physically turning the pages in a book so if you crave hard copies of books you can get a library card and check out books, head out to yard sales or a used bookstore to get good deals or you can visit your local library to borrow some books and other reading material.
My personal favorite way is to buy books online from Better World Books. The prices are much lower than buying new (check out their Bargain Bin!) + everytime you purchase a book they donate one to someone in need! How cool is that?
Instead of buying fancy branded and expensive cleaning products from the store, you can make your own cleaning products instead.
A vinegar and lemon juice mix can become an all-purpose cleaner, baking soda and vinegar can be used on toilet bowls and drains, and vinegar and water can be used for windows. You can also research other DIY recipes for whatever cleaning needs you may have.
A lot of people keep gym memberships but only go there once in a while. They can get really expensive so unless you are actively using your membership, it is best to just cancel it and try other fitness activities.
You can go for a run, walk the dogs, play sports, or even just use workout videos from home.
You can save a lot of money if you stop getting that daily Starbucks and just try to make your own at home or try other recipes. You can satisfy your caffeine cravings but save at the same time!
I know lots of my friends LOVE Starbucks (and I am a total sucker for their Peppermint Hot Chocolate), but they keep upping their prices. I know a lot of people have switched over to McDonald’s McCafe coffee and have been really impressed.
Small sized personal care items
For things like shampoos, conditioners, body soaps, washes, face cleansers, deodorants, toothpaste, and other things that are necessities, it is best to buy them in bulk so you don’t have to waste money and keep on buying more.
Watch the price per ounce when buying any products at the grocery store. Oftentimes, the larger sizes are less per ounce so you will save in the long run. You can also keep an eye out for when these things go on sale or use coupons to save even more.
Bonus Tip: instead of using shaving gel/cream, use your conditioner and you can save a few bucks! I always use way more shampoo than conditioner anyway so this helps even out how quickly you are going through them.
Related: The Ultimate Guide To Save Money On Groceries
This is a super easy one to stop buying to save money. You can save more if you use a filtered water pitcher and just use reusable water bottles and refill them if you need to grab one on the go.
We used the Brita pitcher to filter our water until we moved into our new house that had a built-in purifier and the Brita was great! Even if you invest in a good water filtering system, in the end, it will be worth it and you would also be helping to save the environment from all those plastic water bottles.
I am personally a Contigo water bottle junkie and I carry around my trusty bottle all day long.
Takeout/ fast food
Sometimes because of our busy lifestyles, takeout or fast food is a convenient thing to have. It can get expensive though and not to mention, unhealthy. Instead, plan and prepare ahead of time by doubling up a recipe so that you can re-use/reheat the leftovers later on or set some aside in the freezer.
Every once in a while it is nice to eat out. There are a couple ways that we save money when eating out:
1. I always look up a coupon before we go out to see if there are any deals or promotions going on.
2. Consider splitting your meal with your spouse or kiddos. Portion sizes when eating out, in general, are HUGE. When we split one we are always left satisfied and it allows us to eat out more often.
I rarely get manicures like maybe once every year or two. Instead of paying for a manicure, you can buy your own supplies from the drugstore or beauty store and you can save a ton.
And if you want to enjoy a manicure make it stretch as long as you can. Every spring my mom treats herself to a pedicure (usually for Mother’s day) and when she is paying she buys the color of polish that they used. That way here and there she can touch up and chips. This makes her pedicure last for months!
By trying to avoid buying the items above, you will be able to save more money. Not everything will work the same for everyone, and it is fun to splurge sometimes, but try at least a few on the list and see what you can stop buying to save money.