Budgeting is one of the biggest challenges for families these days. Frugal is the new normal and everyone is looking for ways to save. Here are 8 Things to Stop Buying today to save money.
Hi! It’s Keri from One Mama’s Daily Drama and today I’m sharing one of my biggest passions: saving money. When couponing took off a few years ago, I jumped on the bandwagon with zeal. I spent hours browsing circulars, clipping coupons, and chasing every deal possible. It didn’t take long for me to get burned out.
I think a lot of people feel the same way. We want to save money, but time is valuable too. I hardly use coupons at all anymore, but I’m spending less than I was five years ago. What’s my secret? I quit buying silly things I didn’t need!
These eight things to stop buying will save you a ton of money and you won’t even miss them.
1. Gendered shaving cream
Okay, why do we even need his-and-hers shaving cream? If you think about all the scented things you’re already using, it’s really unnecessary. I buy a giant can of unscented shaving cream from the dollar store and it lasts me and Hubby six months. Compared to the price of your favorite name brand, that’s a great deal!
2. Paper napkins
Paper napkins are convenient, but the impact on your wallet (and the planet) isn’t really worth it. Invest in a few sets of matching cloth napkins. I picked mine up at my favorite thrift store in like-new condition and have also made my own napkins. Guests are always amazed at how “fancy” such a simple thing feels and it really doesn’t increase my laundry load because they’re small.
3. Window cleaner
Although I like natural and homemade cleaning products, I’ll confess that I still use the strong stuff on our most germy places. Windows don’t need to be sanitized though. Just mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and wipe the windows down with a cloth.
4. Dryer sheets
I’ve never used dryer sheets because they make my clothes smell weird. (I know – I’m crazy.) My mother-in-law sent me a set of wool dryer balls though and I love them! They help the laundry dry faster and will last forever. You can purchase them from natural retailers or make your own with 100% wool yarn.
5. Canned beans
I use a price book to keep track of what my most common grocery purchases cost. When I realized that I could get a 1-pound bag of dried beans for about a dollar and make 6-8 cans worth, I was shocked. The trick to using dried beans is planning ahead. I’m terrible about remembering to soak my beans, so here’s what I do. Buy a pound of beans and cook them in the slow cooker. (Soak overnight and then cook on low for about 8 hours.) Divide the cooked beans into 2-cup portions and freeze them. When you need cooked beans, it takes just a minute to thaw.
6. Coffee filters
I cannot go a day without coffee. Coffee filters aren’t too expensive, but I go through at least 365 per year. Yikes. I bought a gold coffee filter for about ten bucks and it will last indefinitely.
7. Bread crumbs
Bread crumbs are one of those things that I never really thought to make myself, so I have to credit my husband with this idea. Save the heels from your loaf of bread and just toss the bags in the freezer. When you have several bags, take the heels and dice them into chunks. Toast them in the oven until they’re nice and dry, then pulse them in a food processor. Let them cool and store them in a covered container in the pantry. They will last a few months and are a great way to use up something that was probably being thrown away.
8. Cooking spray
Cooking spray is necessary for keeping your food from sticking to the pan. (Scrambled eggs, I’m looking at you.) Even the generic store brands cost a few dollars and don’t last long. After making the switch to a refillable spray bottle, I’ve noticed not only am I saving money, my food tastes better too. I use mine with regular olive oil. I use the Misto, but any refillable sprayer will work.
My biggest tricks for saving money are kind of lazy. That also makes them easy to stick to though. Which of these eight things to stop buying today do you still use? Do you think you could make the switch?