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Are you living paycheck to paycheck? It seemed like every month that was exactly what I was doing. No matter what I did, it seemed like my husband and I never had any money. Where was it all going? I really couldn’t figure it out until I sat down and took a good hard look at our finances. I hate to admit it but I was throwing money away left and right.
I was spending so much money on convenience items that it was adding up to thousands a year.
I wish I could go back and put that money into my savings instead of Starbucks Frappuccinos once a week.
So I made it a point to start watching where I was spending my money. Instead of aimlessly throwing my debit card around I became a bit more intentional and thought about my purchases first. I’ll admit it wasn’t easy to cut out some of these purchases, but it also made me realize I truly didn’t need a lot of the things I was wasting money on.
These are the 10 Things I Quit Buying To Save Money!
This one was easy. I have always known it was a waste to buy paper towels and I was also very wasteful when using them. So instead of spending another dime on paper towels, I bought a pack of commercial towels. They are super absorbent and hold up so well! I have washed them over and over again and they never wear down. We use them for cleaning our hands at dinner, wiping down our counters, cleaning up spills, and cleaning mirrors and vanities.
Bottled water is one of the great conveniences of the world but every year it gets more and more expensive. Even cheap Kroger water was costing us $3.95 a week. That’s almost $200 dollars a year! When I sat back and look at the big picture I realized giving up our convenience water would give us enough money to pay off a small credit card or take a family outing to the zoo. Instead of wasting our money we now fill up water bottles before work and use the water fountains at work.
I use a super cute Simply Southern Tervis I got at the beach and my husband uses an Ozark Trail from Walmart.
This one was hard for me. Sometimes eating leftovers for lunch just doesn’t sound very appealing. And it is so easy to run to Subway or Wendy’s. When I looked at our expenses though I realized we were spending upwards of $600 dollars a month on food (for 2 people).
Yes, you read that right!
And yes that is insane.
We were literally spending 1/3 of my paycheck on food. It was unacceptable and I am ashamed.
This couldn’t continue, for my wallet’s sake and my pants size.
So day by day we made it a point to pack breakfast and lunch before heading out to work, and actually eating the PB&J even if it didn’t sound great. Now we save a $150 – $200 a month.
I’ll be honest, it’s a sacrifice, but it is worth it to have that money in our pockets.
No, I didn’t give up makeup altogether! That would be a poor sight to see. But I am a bit more cautious on how much money I spend on makeup. I used to be a die-hard Bare Minerals and Urban Decay user, and I still love their makeup but I also can’t justify spending $50 – $80 dollars every few months. There are drugstore products that work just as well. I traded in my Bare Minerals foundation for #7 foundation, and use L’Oréal eyeliner and mascara.
Brand Name Foods
I used to do all of our grocery shopping at Kroger, and yes I love Kroger but I typically cant get out the door without spending $100 dollars. My husband has a chip obsession and we always buy 3-4 bags when we go shopping. But those bags are $3 – $5 dollars. That’s $20 dollars on chips, A WEEK! I never realized we were spending such a ridiculous amount of money until I really looked at or finances. Now we shop at Aldi’s and buy chips for $1.50 a piece (bonus – My hubby says they have more flavor than brand name chips). Plus we save so much on all our other groceries as well!
Toilet Paper In Small Quantities
Toilet paper is expensive no matter what kind you get. But I have found that buying in bulk from Sam’s saves a ton of money. A bulk pack from Sams is typically the same price as a regular pack from Walmart. We head to Sam’s once a month to bulk on items like toilet paper and laundry detergent.
I have a problem. Every time I step foot in Walmart or Tj Maxx I buy our baby a new toy. For some reason, I feel the need to spoil him since he is so cute and I’m crazy about him. But he’s 9 months old. He doesn’t need another teething toy or bath toy. He would much rather chew on a Tupperware container or splash his daddy in the bathtub. Plus I don’t want to teach him that every time we go out he should get a new toy (this would be bad parenting). I don’t want to raise a spoiled kid. Plus I was spending so much! Sure, a teether is only $3 or $4 dollars but I was buying a toy a few times a month. It was really adding up and most of the time or little boy didn’t even like his new toy. Now we only buy toys for special occasions and save or money for trips and experiences instead.
There is nothing better than a Starbuck Frappuccino to start your day. They are my absolute favorite! But they are also $3.49 and that’s not terrible but I was buying one every day before work. That’s $18 dollars a week on coffee! Plus, I would stock up on snacks for the day while I was at the gas station, spending even more money. For my health and my wallets sake, I had to cut it out. Now I buy French vanilla cappuccino K-cups and make my own in our Keurig before work. They are not as great as Starbucks, but it saves us so much money spending $5 dollars on a box of K-cups that last a month instead of $70.
Here in Ohio we call it pop but you may call it soda or coke. Regardless, we go through it in our household (of just 2.) One week after buying three 12 packs of Coke it was gone. I asked my husband “how did this happen?” How could we go through 36 cans in a week? That’s $12 dollars in drinks a week if it’s on sale.
I really couldn’t justify spending almost $50 dollars a month so we added in substitutes to keep our cost down. A box of Sweet Tea and Kool-Aid goes a long way and saves us money we would have otherwise spent on pop.
Clothes Just Because They Are On Sale
I have a shopping addiction. I just can’t resist a good sale. Unfortunately, Jane.com and Groopdealz.com are my kryptonite. I used to start my day checking out both sites and it was so easy to make a quick purchase. They have awesome sales on adorable boutique clothing. But even a small purchase once a week was really starting to add up. Some months I was spending $100 dollars just on extra clothes that I truly didn’t need.
To keep myself in check I have a specific email that I use just for online shopping, and I don’t check it each day to avoid seeing ads. I only shop online when one of us really needs something or for gifts.
These are the 10 ways I choose to save money each month. They work really well for my family and will hopefully work for yours! Do you have other ideas on how to save money each month? Comment below and share with me!
What can you stop buying to save money? Comment below!