I’m always looking for ways to trim my spending down a little bit in the spirit of not only frugality, but also simplicity. Since there are some things that I simply won’t compromise on quality, I had to trim some things entirely out of my budget. As it turns out, it wasn’t as hard as I thought.
Here are 10 things that I’ve basically stopped purchasing and, as a result, saved a few hundred dollars every paycheck!
When I was in high school and college, I drank a lot of soda. We’re talking three or more cans a day. And although it might not seem like much, you’d be amazed how quickly soda adds up if you drink it like I did. When I moved, I had to cut costs and soda was one of the first things to go. Instead, I do ice tea, which is much cheaper. I can buy a box of 40 tea bags for less than $2, and it lasts me a month or more. By comparison, a 12 pack of soda costs around $4 and I’d go through it in less than a week; especially if I had friends over.
2. Shaving gel
Although shaving gel is nice, you really don’t need it. Instead, I simply use some lather from my shower gel and then moisturize when I get out of the shower. Since moisturizing is something I would have done anyway, this saves quite a bit of money.
3. Frozen French fries
I love French fries, especially with some cheese and bacon. However, I’ve found that it’s way more economical to simply make my own instead of buying them frozen. I usually have potatoes on hand for baking and other purposes, so this was yet another thing that I could completely cut out without really sacrificing anything. Also, homemade fries taste way better and are healthier. Double win!
4. Pre-shredded Cheese
I used to always purchase both a block of pre-shredded cheese and a block of cheese because I thought shredding cheese was a pain. How wrong I was! You’d be amazed how much you can save by simply shredding your own cheese, and as a bonus it tastes better as there isn’t any of that powdery stuff they add to keep the cheese from sticking together.
5. Paper plates
I used to use an embarrassing amount of paper plates, because I hate doing dishes. However, this is merely a convenience thing that I’ve since learned to cut down on. My goal is to eventually stop using paper towels and napkins, but I’m not there quite yet.
6. Flavored coffee creamer
Don’t get me wrong; I love my coffee and I’ve got to have cream in it. But a bottle of the fancy flavored coffee creamer will run you $3 or more. Instead, I spend $1.50 on half and half and actually enjoy the natural flavor of the coffee. I have a friend who makes her own flavor extracts to add to coffee which is also a great idea!
7. Chemical cleaners
Really, you can clean almost anything with a combination of bleach, vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, and water. For the few things that you can’t clean with those things, I use an all-purpose cleaner. This cuts down drastically on the number of chemicals I have to keep under my sink. You can also follow Mary’s examples and make your own cleaners.
8. Prepackaged dinners
Prepackaged dinners, especially the kind from the freezer aisle, are as expensive as they are quick. I have never been a big fan of the way they taste and as it turns out, most freezer dinners are not only more yummy but cheaper when you make them from scratch. It does take a bit longer, though, and the initial stocking of the pantry will cost a pretty penny… but trust me, in the long run, it will definitely save you money.
I have never really been the biggest fan of cookies, so this wasn’t as hard for me as it was for the rest of my household. So, instead, every once in a while I make some simple homemade chocolate chip cookies to offset the cookie craving. As a bonus, you get in some quality family time during the baking process, and it’s something cheap to do on the weekends!
10. Magazine subscriptions
I already have internet, so paying additional money for a magazine that I’m going to read once and throw away is simply a waste. Instead, I spent some time looking for good blogs on the same topics. It’s free, and by checking a blog you’re supporting an entrepreneur, which is pretty cool!
What did you stop buying to save money? Share with me below!