With the high cost of housing, food, medical care and utilities sometimes you have to seriously consider what you’re willing to dole out money on and what you absolutely refuse to pay for. There comes a time when you’re trying to cut corners and make ends meet, where the rubber hits the road, and you finally realize you don’t want to spend you hard earned dollars on certain items.
How do you determine what you willing to buy and what you don’t want to waste your money on?
Don’t Waste Your Money On These 15 Things
I remember having a conversation with a friend who thought couponing or not paying money for toilet paper was just ridiculous if you could afford it. I tried to explain to her that it had nothing to do with whether or not I could afford to pay full price for an item but rather how I wanted to spend my money. If I could get something for free, I had more disposable income to spend on things I wanted to spend my money on like saving for a trip, or being able to pay cash for a car.
Don’t get hung up on the fact that maybe you’re in a place in your life where you can afford to go back to your old ways. Saving money on everyday items ALWAYS means more money in your pocket!
At one point in my journey to get out of debt, I was a hardcore couponer, and I refused to pay for all sorts of items. Today, with more demands on my time and less time to do every deal that comes my way, I have scaled back significantly on the things I seek out for free.
But I do have my favorites.
1. Kids Clothing
Kids clothing is just plain ridiculously expensive. Mainly baby clothes. My grandson can grow out of a set of clothes faster than a comet flies across the sky, or so it seems. So I did my research and found several ways around paying for his clothes. You can read the full article here.
2. Dry Cleaning
Speaking of clothes, I don’t buy clothes that require me to have them dry cleaned. Saves me a ton of money on the dry cleaning bill! If by chance I have something from my older days still hanging in the closet that does require dry cleaning I use Dryel, and it comes out great!
3. Cleaning Products
First, I belong to Grove Collaborative, formerly ePantry
For every friend that signs up with Grove Collaborative, you get $10, and they get $10. It’s a win-win! The products Grove sells are amazing. They even have their line of products that are awesome!
With my YL Essential Oils, I can make a variety of homemade cleaners.
Finally, some cleaning products I purchase for the cleaning business I get for free by watching sales and stacking coupons and deals. This allows me almost never to have to buy supplies. More on what I get for free via coupons below!
4. Virus Protection
5. Office Supplies
Staples offers so many supplies I use for free that I never pay for pens or paper. Staples has Free After Rebate deals that mean you can save on everything from pens to paper, notebooks, markers. My cabinet is full of office supplies I didn’t pay a nickel for.
I have Amazon Prime, so I’m able to stream movies for free. I don’t much care when a movie comes out and so I’m ok with waiting until the film I’m watching is available to be streamed for free. You can also get movies at the library for free, although I don’t use this method myself, and sometimes RedBox has codes available for free movies too. You can find these codes by following sites like How To Shop For Free and Money Saving Mom.
7. Small Trash Bags
I don’t buy the small trash liners for my trash cans and instead, use the bags you get at the grocery store. No need to spend money on something that you’re putting trash into only put it in the trash. Wasteful!
8. Late Fees
9. Laundry Detergent
Some of the best deals I’ve gotten with coupons has to do with getting free laundry detergent. I have so much stocked piled it will probably last me at least a year. I don’t care if it’s the cheapest detergent or the most expensive, if it’s free, I get it. And here’s why. I use the cheap stuff to launder throw rugs, blankets, table cloths, and bath mats because I don’t need them to be laundered in the most expensive brand out there. I save the free expensive stuff like Tide or Wisk for my clothes. It’s a win-win for me.
10. Toilet Paper
I never and I do mean NEVER pay for toilet paper. I’m not picky about the brand, so I don’t particularly care if it’s one ply, two plies or the cushy-cushy brand. As long as I don’t have to pay for it, I’m happy.
11. Paper Towels
Again, I’m not brand loyal. As long as I can clean up a spill with them, I’m satisfied. I don’t use paper towels for any cleaning, but if you do and you’re trying to save money, I would suggest not using them and switching to rags instead.
12. Dish Detergent
I use different kinds of dish detergent for various reasons. But if you can get it at Target or Market Basket, I don’t pay for it. They’re so many brands you can get for free, even brands like Dawn and Palmolive. You just have to be on the lookout.
13. House Repairs
Many years ago when I had several vacuums as part of my cleaning business, I would send them to this guy for upkeep and maintenance on a regular basis. One day, I thought to myself, “how hard can it be to change this roller and belt” and decided to look on the internet to see if I could find a video that would walk me through the process. Lo and behold there was, and I learned how to do this task myself saving me on average $80 per vacuum! Since that time, anytime I need to make a repair, I look to YouTube for the answer and without fail can find what I need.
14. Energy Efficient Products
A couple of years ago I got a letter in the mail that was working with my local Home Energy Assistance Program offering an assessment to make my home more energy efficient. I said sure, why not make my home less drafty! So I signed up, and they came out with a boatload of freebies for me. I ended up with a free programmable thermostat, energy efficient light bulbs, water saving faucets and shower heads, free light fixtures, an insulated attic cover and they provided free energy sealing and covers for my hot water tank and pipes. I saved a ton of money not only on what I got for free but the cost savings to long-term in my heat and electric bills.
I never pay for bathroom items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss as well as things like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and healthcare items such as anti-itch cream and contact lens solution. Those are all things that I’ve gotten for free and then stock up on when I am combining sales and coupons at the drug stores.
15. Some Food Items
First, let me say that most of what you can get for free in food items I wouldn’t feed my dog (if I had one), so I refuse to feed my family everything from sports drinks to frozen pizza. Sure, there’s lots to be had for free, but I won’t do it.
Occasionally, something will show up for free that I will feed my family. It’s usually condiments and pasta and sometimes oatmeal and coffee. The list is very short, but when I do find a great deal, and I know I can save a boat load of money I do stock up and get as much as I can.
What do you get for free for your family? What do you hate spending money on?
If you look around and follow sites like How To Shop For Free, you can save money on everyday items that won’t put a dent in your budget.
MY FAVORITE MONEY-SAVING TOOLS
EBATES: Want to earn cash back when you shop online? Ebates acts as a shopping portal offering coupons and cashback from over 2,000 online stores. I always check on Ebates first whenever I shop online! You can join Ebates for free and get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up through this link.
DIGIT: Like the idea of saving but need something automatic? Digit is the perfect solution if trying to automate your savings strategy. In essence, what Digit does is use an algorithm to detect spare money and then transfers it to a secure savings account – so you’ll always have something to fall back on. Sign up for free!
GROCERY BUDGET MAKEOVER: Is your grocery budget giving you a serious kick in your families spending plan? Grocery Budget Makeover helped my family slash $6,000 a year from our food bill! Learn more about how Grocery Budget Makeover can help you save money too!