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11 Things I Stopped Buying To Save Money


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I should start this out by saying that I’m not perfect. I still spend money on frivolous shit- don’t we all? But there are some things that I stopped buying purposely to save money.

Sometimes when I think of them I actually cringe- how did I waste so much money??

When we started having kids and I started working less- we realized we needed to save money big time. And the more kids we had- the more we had to save!

Kids are expensive ya’ll but here’s some real talk for you- so are all the completely unnecessary things we spend money on mindlessly.

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Gel Nails

I recently got gel nails again specifically as a one time thing to try to stop picking at my cuticles (it didn’t work- if you have a tip to help me stop PLEASE let me know!).

It cost me $50 plus a tip. I used to go and get my nails refilled ever 2-3 weeks which would cost around $45. Even if I pushed it to every 3 weeks that’s SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS A YEAR.


That is a lot of you money you can save by not having gel nails!

To-Go Coffees

Buying to-go coffees seems like a good idea at the time but really… if you’re getting 3 coffees a week and they’re around $5 a piece, that’s $15 per week.

That comes out to $780 a year spent on COFFEE.

Coffee Detective has answered the question “how much does a cup of coffee cost when I brew it at home?”

The answer is about $0.27 cents. And of course it’s better for the environment if you’re not throwing out 3 disposable cups a week. So having a coffee every single day at home for a year costs $98.55. That’s substantially lower than $780!

I LOVE coffee.

To reward myself for saving all that money, I got an Aeropress (this was invented by an engineer obsessed with making the perfect cup of coffee… it does) and a really nice travel mug that I was excited to drink out of.

The Aeropress was a reward but also it gave me a solid reason to actually stick to making coffee at home and happy to drink out of my travel mug!

Expensive Coffee Beans

Buying coffee beans from a coffee shop is amazing. But so, so expensive. I discovered a giant bag of medium roast beans they sell at Costco and they taste great too!

The bags of beans sold in shops are teeny tiny and cost upwards of $20. The kind I found at Costco are $15 for almost 2kg.

Sometimes, I will treat myself to expensive coffee shop fresh roasted beans but for the most part, I’m saving a ludicrous amount of money by buying in bulk at Costco.

Fast Food

This one seems kind of obvious but we’ll touch on it anyway.

It’s easy to get sucked into the thinking that fast food= cheap. And maybe it is for one person here and there. But for feeding a family of 5 one meal? It’s SO expensive!

I think our meals at A&W come out to $45 or $50 dollars- and that’s WITHOUT drinks and paring it down to 2 small fries for all 3 kids to share!

That’s craziness! Fifty dollars at the grocery store goes a long way when you’re not buying prepackaged food or meat. (We’re vegan and get our protein from lentils/beans/tofu.)

A Cleaner

I’m a little embarrassed to even admit this but for a short time (I think it lasted about 2 months), I really thought I needed a cleaner. Life felt crazy and like I couldn’t keep on top of things.

So I hired a wonderful woman to come in and clean for 2 hours per week. She charged $35 dollars an hour. Which I was happy to pay because she did such a good job.

I barely want to do the math because it makes me want to vomit but here goes…

$280 per MONTH.

I get wanting a cleaner. TRULY, I do. But spending that much money every month on it is not worth it to me anymore.

I’m actually glad I HAD a cleaner because it was necessary for me to realize that I DIDN’T need one!

I heard a quote recently and it went something like this:

You can have a clean house, happy kids or your sanity but you can’t have all 3.

It really helped me to realize that I could be OKAY with a certain amount of mess.

There are 5 people living in our house, 3 of which are under the age of 6. It’s usually pretty messy/chaotic and that’s OKAY.

If you are really struggling with mess/organization you might want to check out this free course– Hilary will completely change the way you think about your home with 5 words. It’s pretty awesome.

New Clothes

There are so many types of thrift stores but what’s really awesome is CONSIGNMENT stores. This means that the store BUYS used clothing to resell.

And what that means for us, as consumers, is that we are getting QUALITY used clothes.

Don’t get me wrong, you can find some real gems at regular donation thrift stores but sometimes that’s time consuming.

You can shop for consignment clothing online and actually, you can even sell your clothes online too! I was amazed when I learned about this.

Personally, I found a local consignment store that I love but with what’s happening in the world right now, you might want to check out this site.

RELATED: 12 Jobs For Stay At Home Moms (no degree necessary)

A Gym Membership

Gym memberships are notoriously expensive and if you happen to find a cheap one, chances are that it’s notoriously difficult to get out of your contract.

Have you ever signed up for a gym membership, stopped going after a month and then continued to pay for the rest of the year you signed up for? Painful my friend, painful.

Running is something I love to do because it’s free (aside from a pair of running shoes) and all you have to do is get out the door!

RELATED: How To Start Running (as a mom!)

Something that I did decide was one hundred percent worth the cost for my fitness journey-

BeachBody on Demand. I love being able to get fit in my own house, usually in less than 30 minutes a day. I never get bored of the exercises and sometimes my kids join in! You can sign up for a free 2 week trial to see if you like it.


Getting a brazilian wax was on my monthly to-do list. I had found a place that was inexpensive but with the tip cost $20 every 3-4 weeks.

I won’t get into my new grooming routine but let’s just say it works fine and is a fraction of the cost.

New Books

New books are kind of along the same line as new clothes to me- nice, but totally not necessary.

And with options like Kindle Unlimited (which you can get a month of for free!) they are DEFINITELY not necessary!

Books bought second hand or digitally are a lot less expensive than a brand new paperback.

RELATED: 8 Side Hustles To Bring In Money NOW

New Cell Phone

Did you know that you can buy renewed cell phones on Amazon? That means it’s backed by a 90 day guarantee – no shady Craigslist deals here!

I’m not an expert on cell phones but signing a two year contract for a brand new phone is EXPENSIVE. Why not find a gently used or refurbished phone that’s unlocked and doesn’t come with a high monthly bill?

I also switched to a smaller cell phone service provider- I had no idea there were so many options that were just as good as the big brand names for a fraction of the cost. This has been saving $30-$40 per MONTH.

Hair Coloring

To each their own. Hair coloring is a completely personal choice and you might be thinking I’m nuts for stopping that but it’s just something I don’t find necessary!

If you get it done every month or fairly often, can you progress into something lower maintenance?

Tips To Help You Save Money

Don’t Impulse Buy

Do you do a lot of online shopping? I LOVE leaving stuff in my online cart. Seriously, I mull it over and sometimes I even forget about what’s in there.

If I come back to it in 1 or 2 weeks and I still desperately need ‘it’ then I’ll buy it.

Sometimes though, when I come back, I’m like ‘why the heck did I need this again??’

It’s crazy. Let it sit and see if you truly need whatever it is you want.

RELATED: Realistic Work At Home Mom Schedule (free printable)

Meal Plan

We don’t meal plan- YET. The more I read about it the more I’m like WHHHYYYY???

It can save you so much money when you go to the grocery store with a plan to buy only the things you need for the meals you have planned for the week.

This article from The Penny Hoarder goes into more detail about how to meal plan and why it will save you money.


Starting a budget can feel scary. Want to know what happened the day I decided we HAD to start a budget?

I had a complete full blown melt down. In a puddle, crying on the floor. Because I thought we were overspending and I genuinely had NO CLUE how much money was coming in or going out each month.

It was scary as hell to sit down and put the numbers on paper. It was also totally empowering. I felt more in control with each entry I made.

How can you know what your situation is if you don’t have the numbers in front of you? You might be able to save more than you knew!

Or you might realize there is a totally unnecessary monthly expense that you can cut!

You can click here to do a budget for free online.

RELATED: How To Make $1500-$6000 Per Month (with POD)

Take Your Credit Card Number Off Your Phone

When you take away the convenience of an automatic credit card, it really makes you think twice about spending money on something.

Seriously, if you have to track down your wallet and enter your credit card number? Then you REALLY want whatever it is that you want!

Don’t Drive A Brand New Vehicle

I’m sure you’ve heard that a brand new vehicle loses a significant amount of it’s value just by being driven off the lot.

That’s true.

There is no reason to buy a brand new vehicle. Sometimes by buying used, you can also get a lot more features and add ons that you would never be able to afford on a new vehicle.

Save Instead Of Spend

Make a fun challenge for yourself!

I chose to do this with coffees. Everytime I thought I should go get a coffee, I took that money and put it in a savings account (easily, on my banking app.)

You might want to do this with something even more expensive, like take out. It is SUPER gratifying to see that money in your bank account instead of gone forever.

What are some things you stopped buying to save money? Anything significant?


how to save money monthly/how to stop spending so much