There are plenty of ways to save money but one of the most effective is simply no longer buying items. Many of us buy things out of habit and convenience but letting these expenses go can save a lot of money. Here are some things to stop buying to save money and get ahead financially.
Things To Stop Buying To Save Money
Saving money is critical to any financial goal from paying down debt to investing. To accomplish big financial goals you need money.
Going generic, collecting coupons, searching for deals, using cash back apps, reducing bills and cutting out spending can really help save you money.
Taking a close look at what you buy and cutting out things that you buy can make a huge difference for you financially.
This list includes things you should stop buying to save money and ways you can fill that need instead. It covers both services and material goods so hopefully it inspires you to cut just one thing from your list.
Laundry Dryer Sheets
Laundry dryer sheets can make your clothes softer and smell nicer but in the end they aren’t a great use of your money. These disposable sheets are also a bad thing for the environment.
With laundry dryer sheets you are buying them over and over again which adds up to a lot of money over time for something that is single use.
As an alternative you can purchase laundry dryer balls that are a one time purchase and work just as well. These laundry balls keep your laundry nice and soft but don’t require you to spend money over and over again.
Personally we purchased these dryer balls and I’ve heard good things about the wool dryer balls as well. For just over $10 you can eliminate the need to buy dryer sheets again which will save you money in the long run.
Lawn Care Services
Lawn care is one of those service people quickly outsource when they become homeowners.
The argument is often that the amount of time spent managing your lawn care is not as much as you pay. However, the other side of that argument is even more compelling. By not spending money on lawn care services you are able to save money that could be used elsewhere.
You also can consider lawn care to be a good source of exercise and time outside – both critical to good health. Your health is priceless and doing your own lawn care saves you money and improves your health at the same time.
Plastic one time use containers is a terrible use of money when you have so many great alternatives.
Instead of buying plastic containers for food storage that eventually wear out and get thrown away, you can spend a tiny bit more to get good glass containers that will last for years or decades.
We purchased a set of glass Pyrex food storage containers over 6 years ago and we continually use them to store food successfully. It’s been one of the best $30 purchases and has saved us a ton of money over the years.
Shoes You Don’t Wear
How many pairs of shoes do you own versus what you wear? Most of us tend to buy more than we actually need – shoes included.
In my personal situation I’ve continued buying cute high heels even though I rarely if ever wear high heels. I love the **idea** of high heels more than the reality. So I’d buy more shoes that I ended up never wearing.
Stopping yourself from buying shoes (or other clothing items) that you will never wear can save you a ton of money.
Fast fashion seems cheap when you look at the price tag but the costs behind it are immense. Not only will you be purchasing more and more items as they go out of style and wear out quickly, but you will also be supporting problematic issues like bad working conditions.
Because fast fashion items are not made well they often barely last a full season. This means you are replacing your whole wardrobe multiple times a year if you are continually buying fast fashion items. This can be expensive!
A better alternative to save money is to pay a bit more upfront for quality items that will last longer. Another idea is to shop second hand and purchase items at thrift stores. Either way you’ll be saving money by avoiding the continual new fast fashion purchases.
Do you buy your dogs a ton of toys? If you are like most dog moms and dads these days you do. People spending a lot of money on their pets.
However, dogs are more than happy with natural items as toys. You can also make dog toys out of household items or free items. Dogs don’t need to get a shiny new toy with an expensive price tag to be happy. They love spending time with their owners and going on walks more than anything!
Skipping out on buying your dog new toys all the time can save you a lot of money. Alternatively even just finding ways to purchase dog toys at a discount could help.
Cable TV Service
Cable TV is incredibly expensive and cutting this expenses is always on lists about how to save money. You can save hundreds or even thousands per year if you cut cable television out of your budget.
Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ are much cheaper and provide as much entertainment as cable tv does but at much cheaper prices. By switching to these services instead of cable you will save a lot of money.
One way we keep our streaming costs minimal is by switching out which services we pay for each month. We will go a few months using Netflix and when we get tired of that we will switch to Hulu and so on.
Movie Theater Tickets
Even before Covid I stopped buyiung movie tickets to watch a movie in theaters. The price was constantly rising without giving you a much more comfortable experience.
Now movie theater tickets are more expensive than ever in order to make up for losses while they were closed. For the same price of taking your family to see one movie you can pay for multiple months of watching the movies on streaming services. Buying movie tickets is often a waste of money due to the inflated prices and you are better served by paying for the movies at home than in a theater.
With kids especially it’s much easier and more fun to stream the movie at home where you can watch and pause in the comfort of your own home.
Disposable water bottles are bad for the environment and for your budget. They rarely cost under $1 and can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $5.00 for a single bottle of water.
When you stop buying water bottles you’ll be able to save that money instead. You can purchase a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated without paying for single use bottles.
Even factoring in the price of the reusable bottle and any filters you might need you will recoup that money in no time and then save much more over time. And as a side benefit you will feel great about also helping out the environment.
Coffee on the Go
I spend a lot of money buying coffee at Starbucks and various local coffee shops – and so do many of my friends. A coffee shop habit can cost more than you think. The convenience price of buying coffee on the go can be incredibly high
If you drink coffee in the morning five days a week, you’re spending a lot of money each month on coffee. Comparing this to how much it costs to buy the supplies to make coffee at home you can save a lot of money.
One way to break your coffee convenience spending is to tally up what you are actually spending each month on coffee outside of your house. You can get your bank or credit card statements to check these numbers. One month when I did this I realized I had spent a couple hundred dollars at coffee shops – that inspired me to cut back drastically.
Getting into the habit of making coffee in the morning can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
If you’re pressed for time in the morning, you can buy a coffeemaker with a timer. You can set the timer the night before to brew your coffee the next morning. If you want to make your coffee “fancy” like the shops do then you can buy the extra tools and syrups to make similar coffees.
Did you know certain light bulbs can cost you more money? The efficiency of light bulbs effects how much you are spending over time when buying lightbulbs.
Switching one old incandescent bulb with a new energy efficient bulb saves you more than $40 over the bulb’s life, according to the U.S. Energy Star program website. If you’ve got three old bulbs and you replace all three with energy efficient bulbs, you’re saving over $120 for just a few minutes’ work.
Not only do energy efficient bulbs last longer, but the bulbs also use less electricity, saving you money on your monthly utility bill.
This probably doesn’t apply to many people anymore, but stop subscribing to newspapers and magazines. You likely don’t even read these but they can be difficult to cancel.
Subscription renewals often become habits, but you might as well be throwing your money in the trash because very few people read these. Most publications have online editions or apps or social media where you can follow along and get just what you want.
Expensive Phone Plans
Phone plans can be incredibly expensive with all of the additions, fees, and upgrades. These plans often don’t offer any better service than a pre-paid plan that is a fraction of the cost.
In fact, I’ve used pre-paid plans for years now and have saved thousands of dollars each year.
Instead of paying $200 a month for our phone plan we pay $50 with Mint Mobile. Ditching a full scale paid plan at a major carrier will save you a ton of money. That $150 difference adds up and is more than enough to buy new phones or save the difference.
Save Money By Buying Less
The things listed here are just a few of the things you might want to consider not buying anymore. The things to stop buying to save money on this list are just for inspiration and you may have more ideas after reading this.
When you buy less, you spend less, and that gives you a chance to save more money. It also has additional benefits like clearing out clutter from your home and providing a calmer environment and lifestyle.
Most of us already have too much **stuff** in our lives and could benefit from buying less things. Saving money by doing it? Even better!
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.