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When you are cutting your spending to save money you truly have to look at what you are buying!
Initially before our debt reduction we would be brand specific. We would eat out several times a week. I would hit up the coffee shop for a latté two or three times a week. We simply just weren’t watching what we were buying.
As a family we took a serious look at our finances and assessed where we wanted to be in the future. Our lives changed when we bought The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. As a couple we attended Financial Peace University and learned where we were faulting in our budgeting and our spending. If you need to get your finances, money and budgeting in check Financial Peace University is a great place to start.
We took a long hard look at what we were spending money on and I was surprised at the change it made in our budget and how much we were saving with just a few changes.
21 Things we stopped buying to save money.
1. We stopped being brand specific with most of our groceries and relied on store sales and coupons to guide our purchases. We also stopped impulse shopping, or last minute “let’s have this for dinner” shopping. Now we meal plan and it is life saver and an amazing money saver.
I will say we are brand specific to a few things. Such as TRESemme hair care products, I have naturally curly hair and I find their hair care products work great. I have also bought the same moisturizer for all of my adult life and it is amazing I look years younger than I am. Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel is multi-faceted in uses such as body lotion, sunburn cream, shave gel, hair gel and first aid gel, I simply love the stuff. We are a Celiac household so we are brand specific to a few gluten free companies such as Udi’s and Skinny Pop Popcorn.
2. We stopped eating out so much. When you add up eating out for a family of three two or three times a week the bill could be somewhere close to $150 to $200 for a week. This is when I started meal planning.
3. I stopped buying deli meat and sandwich supplies for my husbands lunch for a few reasons. One they weren’t being eaten so the food was going to waste. Two we purchased him an oven lunch box and this thing rocks. I can send left overs or soups or chili and he can have a toasty warm lunch on the road. No more cold wasted sandwiches, just warm yummy lunches. This helps use up the leftovers and decrease the food waste, which essentially is money wasted.
5. We stopped buying reusable plastic containers and switched over to glass food storage, jars and stainless steel lunch containers. We switched to long term reusable lunch and food storage and we love it.
6. I stopped buying individual meat portions and food portions. I started buying bulk, farm to table portions. I invested in creating relationships with our local farmers markets, bulk buy locations and invested in food division and storage.
7. We stopped impulse shopping and learned to say “NO”. We planned, wrote lists and stuck to our budget.
8. We decreased our mainstream big box shopping for appliances, books, toys and etc. We learned to look for sales, shopping online on Amazon, Craigslist, ebay and at local thrift stores.
9. We stopped buying stuff to impress people and started buying the things we need.
10. I stopped purchasing paper napkins and limited our other paper cleaning supplies. We switched to cloth napkins and cloth cleaning cloths.
11. I stopped buying small bottles of things we use regularly like shampoo, conditioner, ketchup and hand soap. We buy these in bulk and refill our current containers. This saves money and waste.
12. We stopped over buying food, there was so much food waste. Even though we were composting our food waste, we were basically throwing out money in the food we weren’t eating. Now we meal plan, we eat or freeze our leftovers and we freeze soup stock related foods.
13. I stopped buying smoothie additives. I was buying protein powder, greens powder, maca powder and much more. I researched a dairy free protein powder that met my needs and I now purchase Vega One for my early morning smoothie.
14. We stopped buying store bought cleaners, a little bit of vinegar and water will go a long way. You can learn more about frugal cleaners here.
15. In general we stopped buying “stuff”. We learned to live with less.
16. I stopped buying dryer sheets and invested in dryer balls. The money saved is great.
17. The whole family stopped buying stuff at full price when we could. We shopped sales, thrift stores, bulk buys and used coupons.
18. I stopped my magazine subscriptions which was a huge savings.
19 & 20. I stopped buying store bought dried fruit, applesauce and canned pears. Instead we dried our own fruit in season and canned vanilla pears and fresh applesauce during harvest season.
21. We decreased our entertainment spending, instead opting for No Spend Weekends.
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Have an amazing day,
Saving & Simplicity