20 Things We Quit Wasting Money On To Save Over $500 Every Month
Not too long ago we took a good long look at our budget and decided we were wasting so much on things that were completely unnecessary. We decided to make some changes in the hopes of creating better habits and having more money for the more important things in life…like travel!
We decided to share our list because we can’t be the only ones out there wasting money!
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1. Greeting Cards – I think my blood pressure literally rises when I see the price on the back of a greeting card. I think they are a very large waste of money. I get the sentiment of them, however, I do not think you have to spend $7.95 on a piece of fancy paper to tell someone how you feel when there are so many other options, like having your children make cards for parents and grandparents.
2. Cable – Our cable bill was $189 per month. We still pay $59.99 for internet (because who could live without that) but we cut the cord on the rest of their services! We bought a digital antenna for our local channels and pay for Hulu and Netflix. We also already have an Amazon Prime subscription so we get TV shows and movies through there as well!
We also subscribed to SlingTV for all of our live television. The hubby likes to have something on in the background…ALL THE TIME…like even when he leaves the room! Drives me crazy…makes me think maybe I should focus on our power bill!
Seriously though, college football season is around the corner and the digital antenna does not give you ESPN like SlingTV does!
3. Magazines – They can be very entertaining but are a complete waste of money. I love flipping through Elle Decor and Better Home and Gardens but who needs that when you have Pinterest? We’ve quit buying any magazines at all!
If you’re interested in learning how to make some extra money from all of that time you spend on Pinterest check out this post!
Related Post: 17 Genius Tips to Save Money on Back to School Supplies
4. Books – Go to the library! This was a hard sell with my daughter because she is such an avid reader. There was a whole lot of “what if I want to read it again one day” but now she loves knowing she has such a large selection. Also, a lot of libraries offer the option to check out books online so if you have an iPad or a Kindle you can read them on there. This is perfect for families that aren’t that close to a public library because it saves gas money as well!
Tip: If you have Amazon Prime you can borrow Kindle books! If not, sign up here!
5. Starbucks (or any other expensive coffee on the way to work every morning) – We save our Starbucks coffee for road trips and vacations now. Which happen a little more often since we are saving so much money around the house!
Tip: We ordered this 2 pack of Contigo travel mugs to take our coffee (made at home) with us to work.
6. Bottled Water – Most bottled water is simply filtered water which you can do for yourself at a fraction of the cost. You can purchase a whole house filter like this one or one that just fits onto your kitchen faucet like this one.
Tip: We purchased these reusable bottles for vacations or events where you need bottled water in a cooler.
7. Manicures and Pedicures – This turned out to be one of the easiest things for me to give up! I bought the Jamberry starter kit and a few half sheets of Jamberry nail wraps all for the price of one trip to the nail salon! I could get a few uses out of it by doing accent nails with a solid color. Also, there are so many cute designs for every season and holiday. I quickly fell in love with Jamberry…as you can see by my collection of designs!
Tip: I have since found that you can order large lots of them on eBay that sometimes even include retired designs and full sheets for deeply discounted prices!
8. Paper Plates – This one broke my heart because I am all about convenience at meal times! Not having too much clean up after meals allows us to get back to things that we enjoy more quickly. In this house, that is karaoke and board games!
10. Dryer Sheets – These are not only a waste of money but also are not good for your skin because of the chemicals. Bounce Dryer Sheets have ingredients in them that I’m not even sure how to pronounce!
Tip: Katie over at View From The Fridge has been making her own and shares her method with everyone wanting to save money and live with less chemicals! Grab a sealable glass container, vinegar, fabric scraps (or even washcloths…I used these) and your favorite essential oils and head on over to learn how.
11. Fabric Softener – It is super affordable and easy to make your own fabric softener at home and this way you know what goes into it.
12. Laundry Detergent – Making your own laundry detergent is easy, economical and safer for your family.
Tip: Get some bar soap (Kirk’s Castile Soap, Ivory or Fels-Naptha), Borax, and Washing Soda and head to over DIYNatural where Matt and Betsy tell you everything you need to know about making your own laundry detergent.
14. Name Brand Groceries – This was huge with a couple of major exceptions. You will never find generic cereal in my house. Also, I am a baker so you will never find generic butter or cream cheese. They just don’t mix as well and I have no idea why…that’s a question for a food blogger!
15. Name Brand Medication – Motrin really is just Ibuprofen. There is no need to pay four times as much for the one that says Motrin on the bottle. Same goes for others such as Tylenol and acetaminophen or Pepto Bismol and Pink Bismuth. Get past the name! It took me a good long while to be comfortable with this but it saves so much money!
Tip: We buy the 500 Basic Care Ibuprofen tablets from Amazon for less than $10!
16. Eating Out – We use to go out to eat whenever we felt like it then money got tight (wonder why…lol)! We set ourselves a budget of $80 per week and once we learned how to deal with that we cut again to $40 per week. Now we eat almost every meal at home.
This was really difficult for us because we haven’t always lived close to town or work or anything really. It was so much easier to decide to grab dinner before the 30 minute drive home than to go home and try to figure out what we were going to make once we got there.
17. Shredded Cheese – When you buy shredded cheese, you are paying for convenience…not just cheese. If you have the time and ability buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself.
18. Frozen TV Dinners – These are expensive and typically unhealthy. Instead, try meal planning and portioning out single servings to freeze. This Etsy shop offers some very cute printables for meal planning.
19. Pre-cut fruits and vegetables – this was a hard one because when I walk into a grocery store on a hot SC day in August I just want to buy one of those $10 fruit bowls in the produce section and eat it on the way home! After making all of these changes though it is easier to decide not to pay for convenience. Now we purchase our fruit and peel and slice it right away. We freeze our smoothie fruits in Ziploc bags and put the rest in containers in the fridge to eat for the next few days.
20. Alcohol – I needed to lose weight anyway!
Do you have any suggestions for us? Have you cut something out of your shopping trips that drastically saved you money? If so, we’d love to hear it in the comments below!