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Last Updated on October 16, 2022 by Diane Hoffmaster
It's no secret that the American economy is in a precarious state. More and more families are finding themselves struggling to make ends meet. Look at your bank account. Ask yourself which expenses are necessary and which are things to stop buying to save money.
One of the best ways to save money is by cutting back on unnecessary expenses. But it isn't always easy to see the path to financial security on your own. In this post, we'll discuss 10 things that you can stop buying to save money.
Don't Spend Money On These Items
Being frugal doesn't mean being cheap. It means being mindful of your spending and making intentional decisions about the money you have.
If you're looking to save money, there are a number of things you can cut out of your budget without sacrificing too much. Here are 15 things you can stop buying to save money.
1. Coffee from cafes
If you're spending $3-5 per day on coffee at your favorite coffee shop, that's $90-150 per month! Make coffee at home and bring it with you in a travel mug.
If you're looking for the cheapest way to drink coffee made at home, there are a few options. One is to buy in bulk. You can find coffee beans or ground coffee at a discount if you buy them in larger quantities.
Make your own coffee at home using a drip coffee maker or a French press. You can often find these second-hand at thrift stores. Buy a reusable coffee filter so you can stop paying for disposable ones.
Finally, look for coupons and watch for sales on coffee at your local grocery store. By taking advantage of these strategies, you can enjoy your morning cup of coffee without spending a lot of money.
2. Sodas and other sugary drinks
Stop spending money on soda. Not only is it bad for your health, but it's also expensive. A 2-liter bottle of soda costs around $2, which might not seem like much, but if you're drinking multiple sodas per day, those dollars add up quickly. Drink water instead and flavor it with fruit or herbs if you get bored.
How to give up soda
Wondering how to give up drinking soda? Giving up soda doesn't have to be as hard as you might think.
With a little bit of effort and some determination, you can finally kick your soda habit for good. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Get motivated. Make a list of all the reasons why you want to give up soda. This will help to keep you motivated when things get tough.
2. Cut back gradually. If you're used to drinking multiple sodas every day, try reducing your intake by one or two per week. Once you've gotten used to drinking less soda, you can then start cutting back even further.
3. Find a healthy alternative. If plain water seems boring to you, try adding some fruit slices or mint leaves to liven it up. Check out my post on making homemade cranberry soda. Invest in a Soda Stream Machine and you will save a fortune in the next few years.
4. Stay away from triggers. If there are certain times or places where you always reach for a soda, try to avoid those situations if possible. For example, if you always drink soda while watching TV, make a point of having something else handy to drink instead, such as herbal tea or seltzer water with lemon.
5. Be prepared for setbacks. It's normal to have slip-ups when trying to give up any type of addiction. Just don't let one setback discourage you from reaching your goal. Get back on track as soon as possible and keep pushing forward until you finally succeed in giving up soda for good!
3. Brand name clothes
You don't need to spend a lot of money on clothes to look good. There are plenty of stores that sell stylish clothes at reasonable prices, like H&M, Target, and Old Navy.
Don't think you can save money on clothes? There's no need to break the bank when it comes to clothing. With a little creativity and effort, you can easily find ways to save money on your wardrobe.
One simple way to save is to shop at thrift stores or consignment shops. You can often find gently used clothing for a fraction of the price of retail. Another way to save is to take advantage of sales and coupons.
By waiting for a sale or using a coupon, you can get clothes for a significant discount.
Finally, consider swapping clothes with friends or family members. This is a great way to get new clothes without spending any money. With these tips, you can easily save money on your clothing budget. If you have teenagers, check out my post on saving money on clothing for teens.
4. New books
Books are expensive, especially hardcover books. Borrow books from your local library or buy used books online or at thrift stores.
Want more info on how to keep your reading habit from breaking the bank? I wrote a whole post about it! Read my article on how to read more books for less money.
5. Gym memberships
A gym membership can cost anywhere from $30-100 per month. Instead of paying for a membership, work out at home or outdoors for free. Read my post about outdoor workout ideas for inspiration.
There are plenty of free workout videos online and exercise apps that provide great workouts without any equipment at all.
Maybe gym workouts aren't your thing but your family plays sports? You can also save money on sports equipment.
Any athlete knows that good quality sports equipment can be expensive. However, there are a few tricks that can help you save money on gear. One way to save money is to buy used equipment.
Most people only use their equipment for a few seasons before upgrading, so you can often find gently used gear that is just as good as new but at a fraction of the price.
Another way to save money is to buy multi-purpose equipment. For example, a pair of dumbbells can be used for weightlifting, Crossfit, and even some yoga poses.
Finally, don't be afraid to shop around for the best deals. Compare prices online and in-store, and look for sales and coupons. With a little effort, you can find high-quality gear without breaking the bank.
6. Cable TV and Subscription Services
Cable TV packages can be very expensive, especially if you're paying for premium channels that you never watch. See if you can get by with a basic package or see if there are any alternatives to cable, like Hulu or Netflix.
Also, call around to other providers. Many cable providers offer discounts to new subscribers. If you aren't locked into a contract with your current cable company, switching might save you money.
7 . Magazine subscriptions
Magazines are another expense that can add up quickly. If you find yourself not reading them anyway, it's time to let them go.
If you really love one particular magazine, put it on your Christmas list. That way, you get to enjoy the magazine and a loved one has a gift idea for you that you will really love.
Furniture is expensive and it's easy to accumulate a lot of it over time. The next time you need furniture, see if you can find something used first before buying something new.
Tips for buying used furniture
Looking for some tips on how to buy used furniture? Here are a few things to keep in mind!
First, take the time to Inspect the piece thoroughly. Check for any scratches, dents, or other damage. If you're buying a piece of upholstered furniture, make sure to check the condition of the fabric and look for any stains. It's also a good idea to give the piece a good sniff - you don't want to end up with something that smells musty!
Next, consider the piece's function. Make sure it's the right size for the space you have in mind, and that it will be able to withstand regular use. If you're planning on using the piece outdoors, make sure it's made from weather-resistant materials.
Finally, think about your budget. Used furniture can be a great way to save money, but make sure you don't overspend. Set a limit on how much you're willing to spend, and stick to it!
9. Decorative knick-knacks
Decorative items may make your house feel more like home, but they also add up quickly. Not only are they not a good use of your money, they also create clutter.
Before buying yet another thing to put on a shelf, ask yourself if it really means something to you. Your budget will thank you for it.
10. Extra phone lines
Do you really need multiple phone lines? If you have a landline and a cell phone, do you really need both? If so, see if there's a way to consolidate your services so that you're not paying for multiple lines.
Talk to your carrier about a cheaper cell phone plan. There are many carriers and many plans so do some shopping around to save money.
11. Bottled Water
If you are spending money on bottled water, stop right now. Invest in reusable water bottles instead and put the extra money in your savings account.
There are occasionally incidences where people HAVE to buy bottled water. If you absolutely need safe drinking water and can only get it in grocery stores, choose store-brand water instead of the expensive-sounding name-brand ones.
12. Disposable paper products
Paper products like napkins, disposable cleaning cloths, and paper towels are used once and thrown away. They are bad for landfills and bad for your budget.
Shop clearance sales or second-hand shops and spend a few bucks on cloth napkins, old washcloths, and old sheets. Use these to clean instead.
Reusable products are a great money-saving option, however, you will have to spend a little money before you start saving long-term. But, the money saved over the next 10 years will really add up.
13. Cleaning supplies
Stop buying fancy cleaning supplies and start saving money at the grocery store. Baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar, and other natural ingredients are great cleaning agents.
If you aren't a DIY cleaning kind of person, at least start saving money on cleaning supplies by buying store-brand cleaners instead.
14. Packaged and Prepared Foods
How much are you spending grocery shopping? Save money by skipping prepackaged foods. You pay for the convenience of that Hamburger Helper. Pre-packaged meals are also much less healthy compared to home-cooked meals with the same ingredients.
Make a meal plan while looking at the sale items in your grocery store flyer. Avoid brand items and choose generic food items instead. Stock up on frozen vegetables when they are on sale. Look for cheap products on the grocery store clearance shelves.
Fresh food doesn't last as long as prepacked food. Don't let excess food in your house go to waste. When grocery shopping, only buy what you know your family will eat before it goes bad. Food waste is just throwing money in the trash can.
And try not to stray from the meal plan unless absolutely necessary. I really think one of the biggest things to stop buying to save money is fast food. Because you save money NOW on the food and you will be saving money 20 years from now on your health.
15. Impulse purchases
It's easy to fall into the trap of buying things we don't need simply because they're on sale or we think we deserve a treat after a long week. But impulse purchases waste so much money because rarely are they things we really NEED.
If you want to save money, it's important to be mindful of your spending habits and avoid impulse buying as much as possible. Stick to a budget and only buy things when you truly need them and you'll see your savings start to pile up in no time!
The best way to stop impulse buying is to leave the credit card at home and start using a cash payment system whenever possible.
16. Random things we spend money on that we don't need
There are so many places in our lives that we waste money and don't even realize it. Do your own nails. Send a free electronic greeting card instead of spending several dollars on greeting cards at the store.
Money spent on bank fees, lottery tickets, and pet toys all add up. To really know where your money is going, invest in personal finance software and a budget planner with cash envelopes to help you get an idea of where you are spending money.
How to drastically cut expenses
Ok, so maybe you have done all the things you can think of and are still struggling to pay the monthly bills. Where do you go from here? You need to look at where you spend money. What are the big costs eating up your monthly income?
Need some drastic money-saving advice? Here are a few tips:
1. Get rid of your car payment.
If you have a car payment, chances are you're spending way more than you need to on transportation costs. If possible, sell your car and switch to a cheaper form of transportation, such as biking or taking public transit. You'll save money on gas and maintenance costs, and you might even get some exercise in the process!
If you have already put a decent amount of money into your car and absolutely need it for transportation, trade it in for a cheaper model. One you can pay for outright and skip the monthly payment.
3. Review your insurance policies.
Insurance is important, but that doesn't mean you should be overpaying for it. Take some time to review your policies and make sure you're not paying for coverage you don't need. You might be surprised how much money you can save by making a few simple changes to your coverage options.
4. Get a roommate.
While this may sound extreme, if you have the space, consider renting out a room in your home, a finished basement, or a garage apartment. That way, you get help with the mortgage and utility bills from another person.
More Money-Saving Tips
If you are looking for more ways to save money, create a budget, and organize your finances, here are a few more posts you might like.
Creating a financial wellness checklist: Financial literacy isn't something we are born with. Do your research with trusted sources and hire professionals when necessary.
Holiday budget tips and quick side hustles: Saving and earning extra money in the coming months IS possible if you start now.
How to plan for your retirement when money is tight: While finding extra money for retirement savings isn't easy, starting early will help you achieve your dreams later in life.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.