11 Expenses to Stop Spending Money On
When we first started taking a hard look at our $17,000 budget, we realized there were a lot of things that we were spending money on that were just a waste. There were so many things that we could either cut out completely or find ways to cut corners on.
We live off of one low income, and every cent counts for us. When we made our budget that we could stick to (after years of trying!), we took a hard look at everything that we were spending money on. Everything from dishwasher detergent to toilet paper came up in our discussion.
Some things were worth keeping in our budget (like toilet paper) but there were others that either got cut out completely or just got a homemade frugal twist. All in all, when we were done revamping our expenses, we found out that we could save up to $700 a month just by cutting out 11 easy expenses!
So here’s what you need to stop spending money on today!
Everybody seems to be breaking up with cable. If you haven’t done it already, give it a try! That’s a really fantastic way to save a whole lot of money. And, don’t you already spend a lot of money for the internet…? Why not just get Hulu and Netflix? If you are like me and shop on Amazon a lot, you can get Amazon Prime for $99 for the whole year and that comes with Amazon Instant Video!
If you have Verizon, you can even watch NFL games for free from the NFL Mobile app! There are other subscription services that you can get for sports, but there are lots of limitations to them (like “blackout zones,” that are basically if you live in a certain area around the sports team’s city, you can’t get the game). They’re working on it, apparently. But until then, my favorite thing to do is watch the game at someone else’s house! Not to be a mooch, I just prefer watching the game with friends!
Related post: How to Get Rid of Cable and Still Watch TV
2. Water bottles.
It’s been proven time and time again that water bottles are no different than tap water. It’s a waste of money, and it’s bad for the environment! If you want to really have your world rocked, watch this movie for free on Amazon.
The best thing to do is to get a fantastic water filter and a great refillable water bottle to bring with you everywhere you go. This is the one that we use and it’s been amazing. It’s more money than a typical water filter, but if you’re concerned about the quality of the water that you’re drinking and are looking for a water filter that will last you until you have grandkids or great-grandkids, this is the one for you!
Related post: 8 Ways to Stop Spending Money You Don’t Have
I cut my sons and my husband’s hair at home. Just by doing that I wind up saving around $1,500 a year! That’s a huge expense! Especially for guys hair, you can really save a lot of money by cutting their hair.
If you are also looking to save money on your next haircut or hair color, check out your local beauty school. They have extremely incredible prices for all different kinds of services!
Related post: 10 Habits of Highly Frugal People
4. Dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets are full of chemicals and they’re expensive! It winds up being around $2 per box which might not seem like that much, but when they are completely unnecessary all together and they just wind up adding a lot of chemicals into your home, it’s time to find a safer and cheaper alternative.
You can use wool dryer balls with essential oils (this and this are my favorite essential oils for the dryer) dropped on them to get the same scents and even better results. Plus, they cut your drying time down, which also saves money. Double savings win!
Read more about how awesome dryer balls are HERE.
5. Laundry detergent.
I go through a lot of laundry. I have 3 active and messy sons and a husband who works in a steel shop. There are constantly loads of dirty clothes in my house. If I had to buy laundry detergent every month, I would be looking at more than $30 a month in detergent alone.
I started making my own laundry detergent. It is sensitive enough to use on my newborn baby’s skin and hard enough to clean my husband’s dirtiest work clothes. You can find the super easy recipe HERE.
Related post: Be a Laundry Pro; Never Get Behind On Laundry Again
6. Paper towels.
Paper towels can be really expensive and they’re very wasteful. It’s really just not good for the environment to have to use so many paper towels. You are literally paying for trash.
Before we stopped using paper towels almost 3 years ago, we were going through a roll of paper towels almost every 3 to 4 days. That’s a lot! When we realized that it was just too expensive, one day I just stopped buying them!
Since then, I have used old towels that I have cut up into rags. We use these for everything from cleaning the windows to using them to clean up the kids after a messy dinner.
(I’m not a heathen. I have a roll of paper towels and a packet of paper napkins on hand for when company comes! Don’t worry, I won’t make you use my rags if you come over for dinner!)
7. Disposable diapers.
I absolutely love our cloth diapers! They’re not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as I thought they would be, and they wind up saving me a ton of money! Not to mention, they’re much better for the environment than disposable diapers! Learn more about what you need to start cloth diapering HERE.
Related post: How to Make Cloth Diapering Affordable
Yes, I mean it! The average American household throws out 40% of all of the food that they buy. That’s crazy!
It’s also recommended that the monthly grocery budget for a family equals $100 per family member per month. So if you have a family of 4, your grocery budget should be $400.
Does that sound crazy to you? I know that it might, but there’s good news: you can makeover your grocery budget! The real key is planning your recipes and meals,
My 3 favorite cookbooks are More With Less, $5 Dinners, and Against All Grain (which is a Paleo cookbook for my family with our allergies). Each one of them helps you make delicious food for your family without breaking the bank or needing obscure ingredients that cost an arm and a leg.
A lot of times though, I don’t have the time or the patience to prepare a meal plan and a grocery list (just being honest here – life with kids gets a bit crazy!), so I have my meal planning secret weapon to save the day. Best money I’ve ever spent!
You’re wasting money in your grocery budget if you aren’t planning what you’ll be eating each week. By setting up a meal plan that works, you know exactly what you need to get at the store. If you stick to your meal plan, you won’t buy things you don’t need that will just die a slow, painful death in the bottom of the fridge.
9. Junk food.
Your wallet and your waistline will thank you for cutting out the junk food! If you’re like me and have always struggled in the kitchen, I discovered my favorite recipe site that changed the way we eat.
Get substantial food for your meals, and get healthy snacks for instead of junk food. Carrots and hummus are much more substantial and will fill you up a lot more than just a bag of chips. It’s so important to make sure you’re actually eating food fills you up! Here’s my favorite trick to stay on budget and away from junk food at the grocery store.
10. New clothes.
I haven’t bought new clothes for my family in… wait… how long has it been…? I can’t even remember! But you know what, my kids have grown, and they’ve had new-to-them clothing! I’m such a huge fan of buying second hand or at yard sales! 99% of all of our clothing is bought either at a thrift shop or yard sales. Why pay full retail when you can get something at a second-hand store for pennies on the dollar?
11. Fabric softener.
You don’t need it! The chemicals that are from fabric softener and the money that you spend on it are just outrageous. If you really want your clothes to smell like something, invest in some wool dryer balls, and some essential oils.
If you still feel like you need fabric softener, white vinegar is a shockingly good fabric softener substitute. Just add 1/2 c. to your wash and tada! your clothes will be just as soft as they would if you had used a fabric softener.
Related post: 8 Ways to Stop Spending Money You Don’t Have
None of these changes are earth shattering… but there’s nothing that is too small to make a difference in your finances.
But they all add up quickly! If you were to cut everything listed here out of your monthly spending, you could be looking at a monthly savings of around $700 or more!
Sure, cutting out cable might be a hard pill to swallow, or saying “no” to the chips at the supermarket might make you a little hangry, but Seven. Hundred. Dollars. Each. Month. Eyes on the prize!
Related posts and resources:
- 6 Steps to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget
- What Do You Do When You Get Behind on Bills
- How We Lived Well on $17,000 as a Family of Four
- 10 Reasons Why You Need An Emergency Fund
- Budgeting Books You NEED to Read
- How to Save Money When You’re Broke
- 30+ Real Ways to Earn Money From Home
- 7 Super Easy Ways To Make Your Grocery Budget Last
- How to Live on One Low Income
- Budgeting Allows You to Spend MORE
- The BEST Things To Look For at a Yard Sale
- Money Saving Hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate
What are the expenses that you can cut out to save big?