Looking for things to stop buying to save money and change your spending habits?
I’m not one of those very frugal personal finance bloggers but I am always looking for ways to save money for an emergency fund or just into my savings account.
In fact, I’ve picked up some awesome tips for you to start saving money and I will like to share those with you!
These tips showed me that there are some simple ways to save cash easily and you will see why I stopped buying things like these.
Live on less and use your money to obtain income-producing assets, this is the way to financial freedom!
All these tips may not apply to you but take your time and go through this post because you learn to stop buying the stuff you don’t need to start saving money!
Let’s get straight into it…
To clarify, I’m talking about eating out, not skipping dinner entirely. I’m sure you know that most restaurants have different menus for lunch and dinner, but did you notice that the prices are different?
Yes, dinner at restaurants is usually much more expensive than lunches!
According to an article by the Thought Catalog, this pricing is due to a number of reasons like food options, service, and competition.
I’m not saying that you should never go out for dinner again but you should consider going out for lunch most of the time to start saving money!
For dinner just set up a meal plan so you ensure you have dinner planned out every night.
This one is a given but it doesn’t make it any less true. Making your own coffee can save you over $1,000 a year!
According to Business Insider, a cup of coffee usually costs anywhere from $1 to $5 per cup (if you’re a Starbucks lover it’s definitely on the higher end) and making your own coffee costs around 16 to 18 cents per cup.
So if you buy one cup of coffee five days a week then you will end up spending somewhere between $240 to $1,200 a year and if you make your own coffee you will spend around $45 a year!
As you can see, coffee is one of the best things to stop wasting money on and it’s one of the things I stopped buying.
Now, of course, the savings depends on how much coffee you drink, what type of coffee you buy, etc… but it’s a great way to start saving money nonetheless!
Subscriptions are a killer because they come out of your bank account automatically and sometimes you forget about it but you keep paying for it!
So, check out what subscriptions you are currently paying for and cancel any that you don’t use or only use sometimes.
Doing this manually can be a pain, so sign up for Trim here which can find all the subscriptions you pay for so you can cancel ones you don’t really need.
Cancel those unused subscriptions with Trim and put an end to the unnecessary purchases!
Honestly, I am not the best source of cosmetic information but there are countless articles that say you shouldn’t always go for expensive name-brand products.
While some products might be worth the money, other ones are definitely not. So consider buying drugstore cosmetic items at times and save some money.
This is a great post by Money Crashers on comparing drugstore vs designer makeup products.
Also, the same thing goes for all those creams, serums, facials, etc… Look at the ingredients, and if there is a cheaper alternative with the same ingredients go for it and save that money!
Cosmetics are definitely one of the best things to stop buying as a minimalist!
Expensive Cleaning Supplies
In the world of DIY, there is no need to spend money on expensive cleaning supplies!
Cheap products like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, etc… can get the job done just as well or even better than these expensive items.
So consider taking some time to make your own cleaning supplies and save your money.
Check out this awesome list from Greatist with DIY cleaning products for all surfaces and appliances!
An awesome tip I learned about recently is to replace your dryer sheets with dryer balls!
First, dryer balls are reusable while dryer sheets are not, and second, dryer balls help to reduce drying time thus decreasing the energy used.
Dryer sheets are one of those things to stop wasting money on, you should invest in dryer balls instead!
Here is a great post by TruEarth comparing dryer sheets and dryer balls.
This is one of the simplest methods to save some extra cash!
Simply stop eating out so much and cook more often, you can cook in bulk and freeze food for your convenience.
If you are going out just start a meal plan and pack some food in sandwich bags and you are good to go.
I haven’t stopped buying take out but I cut back a lot and I recommend you do the same.
You should really stop wasting money on paper towels. Paper towels are costly and they lead to massive waste.
Instead, you should use cloths that can be washed and re-used.
This is a simple tip that you should implement right now!
This is one of the easiest ways to stop wasting money! Constantly buying bottled water can get really pricey and don’t even get me started on the environmental impact it has.
You should invest in a reusable water bottle and a water filter, while you have to spend money upfront, in the long run, you will save a lot of money!
Our planet will thank you too!
Who doesn’t love a good book to read? I mean I know I do but I don’t like spending money on books all the time.
So I found a few alternatives, the simplest one is to check your local library! Yes, libraries still exist and we should really support them. Check your local library for books you want and you will get to borrow the book for free!
Also, you can check out Audible for cheap audiobooks.
I know what you’re thinking “Why would I not buy items on sale to save money?”
I’m not saying that you should never buy sale items, you definitely should if it is something you need or really want.
Don’t buy items just because they are on sale! There are many people who buy items just because they see that big 50% off sign. The fact is, if you don’t want or need the item then don’t buy it.
You can save 100% of your money by not purchasing unnecessary items!
By canceling your gym membership and working out at home, you can save a lot of money!
If you love your gym membership and you spend countless hours in the gym then, of course, keep your membership and find other ways to cut costs.
If you only work out here and there to stay fit then consider investing in some equipment and work out at home.
There are so many cord-cutting techniques and one of the most famous ones is canceling your cable TV.
Name Brand Items
The markup of name brand items vs the generic versions is crazy high and I understand that there are times when it’s well worth it because you should never sacrifice quality just to start saving money but there are times where it just isn’t.
For example, let’s say one product costs $25 and another one costs $100. They both do the same thing and they both work the same way, which one would you buy? I bet it’s the cheaper one because it is a better deal!
Name brand items might be a better choice sometimes but for most items, a cheaper alternative can work just as well and save you money!
Here is a great article on CBS on generic vs brand name items!
There are many people who spend a lot of money on impulse purchases that they don’t even need or want.
The fact is that a lot of businesses use certain tricks and tactics to make you feel like you need these items when you really don’t.
According to a research paper done by the University of Missouri, impulsive shoppers are driven to make these purchases because of the pleasure they think they will get by doing so.
The fact is that even though some people might get some pleasure from these purchases, it is short-lived and not worth the money spent.
So, the next time you get that urge to shop think twice before doing so. Paying yourself first will provide more pleasure than an item you don’t need or want.
If you would like to know more about the science behind impulsive shopping check out this amazing research paper by the University of Missouri.
This is one of the most important things to stop doing to save money!
Checkout Line Items
As we went over in the last point, impulsive buying is one of the deadliest things you can do to your wallet, and items at the checkout line are the worst of the worst.
Items at the checkout line are things that you don’t need or really want, it’s a business tactic that stores use to trick you into spending more.
So, the next time you are at the checkout line skip those items and save your money!
Check out this great report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest on the psychology behind checkout items.
Female Version of Products
There have been many studies showing that female versions of products often cost more than the male version of products.
For example, one of the most used comparisons is buying deodorant. Female deodorant often costs more than male deodorant. Why is this?
Well, female deodorant has a different look and scent (maybe consistency also) than male deodorant but deodorant is deodorant and it shouldn’t cost more for women to buy it.
This is what many people refer to as the “pink tax”.
As a female, you most likely wouldn’t buy male clothes but for items like deodorant, razors, socks, lotion, etc… you can save a lot of money by buying the male version or gender-neutral version.
For more information on the “pink tax” check out this article by Psychology Today.
This is definitely one of the most shocking things that cost you money!
With so many free apps, there shouldn’t really be an app that you need to buy.
While there might be some situations where you have to buy apps, most of the time it is just an unnecessary waste of money.
I stopped buying apps because most of the time you can find free apps that can do the same thing as the paid version!
I know what you’re thinking, “this is a weird thing to put on this list”.
The fact is, most lip balms do more harm than good so why even use them?
It’s true, most lip balms contain ingredients that actually dry out your lips causing you to apply more thus repeating the cycle and costing you more money!
So, consider opting for natural ingredients like coconut oil or shea butter.
You can even make your own lip balm! Check out this awesome post by The Nourished Life on how to make your own lip balm.
This is one of those things you should make instead of buy!
I’m not telling you to stop being healthy, in fact, there are many studies that show vitamins can actually do more harm than good!
Listen, if you are eating a well-balanced diet then you can skip vitamin supplements because you are already getting the necessary vitamins for your body!
Here is a great post by Business Insider digging deeper on this topic.
You should definitely consult with your doctor before taking or cutting out any supplements from your diet.
This one is pretty much a given, you shouldn’t buy things just to throw away and then buy again! Just buy some proper dishes that can last you years.
Disposable dishes are one of the best things to stop buying as a minimalist!
Yes, you should use disposable dishes on some occasions but for everyday use, it is better to use ceramic dishes.
Whenever I go out to dinner I am surprised when I look at the prices for cocktails at restaurants (especially in NYC)!
Sometimes I see that the price is $20 for one drink! I just skip drinks and stick with water.
So consider skipping drinks and save your money! There is no reason to pay that much for one drink.
This just makes sense, you shouldn’t buy food that is just going to end up in the trash!
This goes for grocery shopping and going out. If you’re going out to eat order one dish at a time so you don’t end up spending too much money and end up with leftovers.
For grocery shopping only buy what you know is going to be eaten, don’t buy things that will end up being wasted. A good tip to help with this is to never go grocery shopping hungry.
I stopped buying food I think I want but don’t need because it’s a great way to save cash and avoid food waste!
When you have kids, of course, you want to make them happy and buy them toys that will make their eyes light up but the thing is that kids aren’t loyal to one toy.
Once you buy them the toy they want, in a little while they will stop using it and want another one.
So, take it easy with the toys. Only buy toys that will make your kids really happy but what’s more important is to teach your kids the value of money.
Signing up is free so why not?!
Brand Name Food
We went over the difference between brand name vs generic items already, food is no different.
There is some food where you can just buy the generic version and save money. This doesn’t always work though like I said you shouldn’t give up quality to start saving money.
Here is a great post by the Krazy Koupon Lady comparing some brand names vs generic food items.
This is one area where people spend a lot of money when they don’t need to at all!
For example, there are people who buy a new iPhone every year when their current phone works perfectly fine.
So, if your computer, smartphone, tablet, etc… is working then skip the upgrade this year and save your money!
You should definitely avoid doing this!
I’m a techie and love all the new tech but I stopped buying the latest tech gadgets because there is no need for them.
Also, if you’re a tech person who owns a drone or wants a drone then check out my post on how to make money with a drone!
If you own a car, house, or pretty much anything that can break then you will have to pay someone to fix it and these labor costs can rack up pretty quick!
But what if you learn to do it yourself?
Listen, I’m not telling you to learn to rebuild an engine or transmission but for things like a brake change or oil change you can definitely learn to do it yourself and start saving money!
So, consider learning to do some things yourself and save money on labor costs.
If you’re a pet owner, I know you love your pet and want to make them happy but there is no need to buy expensive toys that will get chewed on and damaged anyway.
So what can you do?
Well, create your own pet toys. They are extremely easy and cheap!
Here is a great post by Lifehacker with DIY pet toys you can make.
This is one of those things you should skip out on purchasing!
Also, if you are looking for other ways to save money on pets then check out my awesome post where I give you 20 ways to save money on pets!
Pet toys are one of those things to stop buying as a minimalist because you can easily make them yourself!
Most of the time you don’t have to buy clothes for your pet, most people just buy them as a fashion statement.
Unless there is a good reason to do so, skip the pet clothes and save your money.
This is one of the simplest ways to save cash!
As mentioned above, check out my post on 20 ways to save money on pets for other awesome money-saving tips!
We went over why you shouldn’t buy expensive brand-name products because the generic version can be just as good.
Well, you shouldn’t give up quality just to save money because it can end up costing you more in the long run.
For example, let’s say there is a brand name item for $100 that lasts 5 years but you opt for the generic version for $25 that lasts only one year.
In 5 years the brand name product will cost you only $100 but the generic product (if you keep buying it) will end up costing you $125.
High-quality items are things to buy to save money, so find out which product will give you the most bang for your buck and get that one!
You should already know that you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on clothes but you should never buy clothes just for one occasion!
I mean think about it, why would you spend money on an outfit that you will only wear one time? You’re better off buying clothes that you can wear on any occasion.
Stop spending money on unnecessary purchases. Save money and buy the right clothes!
Lotto tickets are a big waste of money! To be fair, it’s okay to buy a ticket here and there because hey you never know.
The odds of winning the lotto (especially the big jackpots) are so slim that you are basically throwing your money away!
So, take it easy with the lotto tickets because they are one of the things you should stop buying to save money.
Just like vitamin supplements (which we went over before), there comes a point where protein supplements are pretty much useless and can possibly do more harm than good.
According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, the body can only metabolize a certain amount of protein and extra amounts will be treated as waste.
There is also the concern of the burden this can have on your organs!
If you have a well-balanced diet then you are most likely getting the proper amount of protein in your diet. If not then consult your doctor for the proper amount of protein supplements you should be taking.
Expensive Cell Phone Plans
I know we are in a mobile world but that doesn’t mean you should be paying an arm and a leg for your cell phone plan.
If you are mostly in places with WIFI then there is no need to pay for an expensive unlimited data plan. Also, with all those messaging and calling apps there is no need for unlimited call and text either.
This is an interesting way to save money that I just learned about. You can make your own laundry detergent and save money!
For example, this awesome DIY laundry detergent from DIY Natural ends up costing you only $.05 a load!
Definitely consider making your own laundry detergent, this is definitely one of the most interesting that you can make by yourself to save cash.
This is one of the many things you should make instead of buy!
I don’t want to ruin your vacations, of course, they should be fun and carefree but that doesn’t mean you have to empty your wallet!
Don’t just book the first hotel you see, shop around to find better deals. Also, take advantage of travel-related credit cards, try traveling offseason, settle for less popular destinations, find freebies in the area, etc…
There are many ways to save money on vacation, you just have to be smart and plan ahead!
Also, consider using Airbnb to save even more money! Airbnb has some really great deals that can save you a ton of money. Plus when you sign up now with my link you will get 15% off your first booking!
I’m not telling you to buy used items all the time but for a lot of items buying used can save you a lot of money!
For example, a big one is buying a car, new cars are really expensive so why not buy a gently used car and get $1,000’s slashed off the price?!
Other examples include electronics, toys, certain furniture, books, tools, etc…
You can also check out thrift stores. By shopping at thrift stores, you can find good clothing for very cheap.
I understand there are some things that you just won’t buy used (like underwear!) so to save money on new items make sure you use Rakuten to save money when you shop.
Jewelry is honestly a big waste of money, especially diamonds!
Why would you want to spend $1,000’s on a stone that is useless and very overpriced! Jewelry stores have a really high markup for diamonds so you are overpaying by a lot for this little stone.
In fact, if you go to sell your diamond ring you can expect to get less than 50% of what you paid for it!
Diamonds just like other jewelry are overpriced and just bad deals. In fact, according to the International Gem Society mostly everything about diamonds is a big scam. If you would like to read more about this check out this interesting article here.
Stop spending money on expensive jewelry, there is no need to drain your pockets to show someone how much you love them.
I know what you’re thinking, “fast food? But it’s so cheap!” The fact is it really isn’t and it is really bad for you.
According to a study done by Harvard University, a very healthy diet only costs about $1.50 more per day than the unhealthiest diet.
Yes, it does cost more to eat healthily but think about all those health problems you are avoiding!
So, in the long run, you will save much more money on healthcare costs if you eat healthily and cook your meals with a meal plan.
I recommend you cut back on fast food because it’s a big money waster!
Do I really need to say much about this? Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body! It is one of the best things you should stop doing to save money.
Not only are cigarettes expensive, but they also do extreme harm to your body decreasing your life expectancy and increasing your chances of developing horrific illnesses and diseases.
According to Smokefree.gov, the average pack of cigarettes in the U.S costs $6.28. You might be paying more or less depending on your state but if you want to know exactly how much you can save by quitting check out this cost calculator from Smokefree.gov.
Along with the financial burden, think about the burden you are putting on your body and family. This is definitely one of those things not to buy to save money and they are one of the things that are a complete waste of money!
We went over a few name brand vs generic items on this list and medicine is no different! Name brand medicine has insane markups over their generic counterparts even though they have the same ingredients.
According to the FDA, generic drugs have to pass rigorous tests to ensure they meet high standards. Also, the FDA states that generic drugs cost less than name-brand drugs but work in the same exact way!
So the next time you need any drugs, go for the generic version. They work the same and cost much less!
With some simple changes to your spending habits, you can save some extra cash easily!
I always say you shouldn’t save money if you are miserable doing it but these are small changes you can make in your life to save money without even thinking twice.
You will learn to live on less and keep your hard-earned money to yourself! Now, of course, I’m not telling you to never spend anything at all but just be cautious about where you spend your money and if you can cut costs here and there, then why not?
Also, remember that you shouldn’t give up quality for a cheaper item because there are some high-quality things that will save you money in the long run even though they might be pricier at the moment.
One of the best places to cut costs is on your utility bills, we all know they can rack up pretty quickly, but luckily for you, I wrote a post on 25 ways you can save money on utilities, so be sure to check it out!
If you want to know the best way to save money, head over to this post.
Do you have any other things to stop buying to save money? Let me know in the comments below. Also, drop a comment letting me know your favorite item on the list!