7 Things We Don’t Buy

Inspired by the recent post on DaveRamsey.com on 7 Things You Should Splurge On, I thought it’d be fun to come up with my own list that’s the opposite–namely, 7 things we don’t buy.

These are not items that we get free with coupons; these are items we just don’t buy altogether. It might not save us thousands of dollars each year to not buy these, but it definitely saves us a few hundred dollars–painlessly!

Just for fun, here’s my list of 7 things we don’t buy:

Shaving Cream

For years, I’ve only “purchased” shaving cream for myself if it was free or almost-free. I’ve found that a good lathering of soap does just as good of a job–and it’s less expensive, too.

Since making my own homemade soap, my husband has stopped using shaving cream, too. He says that my soap works great, instead!

Paper Towels

We do keep a few rolls of paper towels on hand in the basement pantry for guests, but otherwise, we don’t use paper towels. Rags work just as well–or better!–and you can just stick them in the washer when you’re finished. Or, if it was a really icky mess, you can always just toss the rag when you’re done.

Soda Pop

We’ve saved a lot of money over the years by not paying for the empty calories and sugar in soda pop. My husband still enjoys a Vanilla Coke from Sonic every now and then, but we don’t keep soda pop on hand at our house (except for the occasional 7Up or Ginger Ale we’ll buy when in the middle of sickness).


In all our years of marriage, I cannot recall a time that we’ve ever paid to purchase a movie to add to our small DVD collection. We’ve rented a lot from RedBox and Blockbuster kiosks (usually with free rental codes!) and we checked out dozens upon dozens of movies from the library, but we don’t buy movies.

In the same vein, going to a movie at a theater is usually a once a year event for our family–typically when a really high-quality movie comes out that we want to support at the box office. Considering that reduced priced movie tickets typically cost at least $6 each, we’d be spending at least $360 per year on movie tickets for our family if we went and saw a movie once a month.

Dryer Sheets/Fabric Softener

Growing up, we never used dryer sheets or fabric softener, so I’ve carried this tradition on in our home, too. Sure, we have a bit more static sometimes, but truthfully, it’s something we hardly ever notice.

Coffee Filters/K-Cups

I’m a one-big-cup-a-day girl when it comes to coffee, but we don’t purchase coffee filters or K-Cups. Instead, we use a French Press. It makes fantastic coffee, we can make the exact amount we need, and we don’t have to buy anything other than coffee to refill it!

Cable TV

We’ve never had cable TV and we’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years, as a result. There’s occasionally a time when my husband has wished he could watch a sports event or a time when we’ve wished we could watch political coverage, but overall, we’ve survived just fine without cable TV.

Now, please know that I’m not saying it’s wrong to buy any of these things. Your family might need (or want!) to purchase some of these things for one reason or another. That’s absolutely okay! Do what works for your family.

However, I thought it’d be fun to share my list to hopefully inspire you to consider if there are simple things you’re currently paying for that you could easily eliminate from your budget. Plus, I thought it’d be fun to hear what items your family doesn’t buy so that our family could be inspired to consider some other ways of simplifying in our home, too!

What 7 (or more!) items does your family not buy? I’d love to hear and be inspired!

photo credit

Share This:

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. says

    Loving these lists — and so thankful some of these we’ve been not paying for a long time:
    – Credit card interest and late fees; if I can’t pay it off immediately, I can’t afford it
    – Hair cuts all the years the kids were home
    – Books – the public library and free Amazon downloads are good friends
    – Grocery store cleaning products with chemicals
    – Dryer sheets (soft and oval dryer balls work better round ones; clothes dry faster and won’t create static if the drying time/heat are decreased)
    – Paper towels
    – Hair perms (don’t much like my thin, poker straight hair but it’s more acceptable than chemicals soaking into my thick skull)
    – We share a cell phone for emergency use only; no one has the number except the kids.

    Wish I could get rid of, but hubby would mutiny if he couldn’t keep up with almost every sport out there :(
    – Most of our cable
    – Daily newspaper; I read it online but he reads at the breakfast table

    • Gin says

      Have you ever tried plain white vinegar instead of fabric softener? Works fantastic!! We’ve also started using soap nuts or making our own detergent from bar soap too.

  2. Teresa says

    1. Paper napkins
    2. Maternity clothes–my sister and SIL have a stockpile we pass around
    3. Baby clothes–same thing
    4. Alcohol or coffee
    5. Books or music
    6. Toys–all hand-me-downs from cousins
    7. Shoes. I wear the same $15 pair (or couple pairs) until they fall apart
    8. Lawn maintenance
    9. Supermarket meat. We buy 1/2 cow each year and a whole hog from local farmers. Saves so much $ and is so much healthier. (Pink slime???? Ugh!)

    • Julie in IN says

      Yes, I read about the pink slime and was so thankful for friends that told us about a grass fed beef farmer in our little town!

    • Angela says

      Teresa, where do you buy a 1/2 a cow. My family did that when I was a kid, growing up in Iowa. I’ve suggested that to my kids here in Texas, but it seems no one has heard of it.

      • Teresa says

        I actually buy from a member at my brother’s church in AL, but I hv found several places online that do it…I think some even ship. It wd surprise me greatly if u cd not find a supplier in TX. See what Google brings up. U may find someone local. Good luck. I think its one of the best decisions we’ve ever made with regard to groceries!

      • Shannon says

        Ask the local store meat dept if they know of anyone since they talk to all those meat vendors they may know and also look up in the yellowpages butchers

      • Robin says

        I bought mine last year here in DFW area from visitcvfarm.com, my friend owns it. He is sold out until fall, but check eatwild.com for a local farm.

      • Beth says

        Look up CSA’s online and when you find one ask if they sell meat or know of a farmer who does. They are a great resource!

  3. Michelle G. says

    We don’t buy Kleenex! Instead, we use handkerchiefs. If it was good enough for grandpa… it’s good enough for me!

    Also we stopped using dryer sheets altogether. You really don’t need them as long as you separate your rayon vs. cloth when they are done washing. And dryer sheets have carcinogens in them!

  4. Julie in IN says

    Trying for 7 original ideas:

    Cold Cereal; doesn’t fill kids up–makes them crave more!

    Pets/vet bills/meds/food…cha-ching!

    Extended Warranties

    Printer Cartridges; we refill our own

    Video Games/Gaming Systems

    Kindle; downloaded free Kindle and only get free books

    Two ply TP! ;o)

    Home Repairs or Remodelling; husband does all of ours

    Vehicle Repairs: husband does them

    Agreeing with abou 95% of all the above listed! Homemade food tastes better, cheaper and healthier!

    • Ashley says

      Julie, you are so right with the cereal!!! I grab it here and there when I can get a super duper deal on it because it’s an easy on the road snack for my son… but i was JUST saying to my boyfriend the other night, “I can eat 10 bowls of cereal and STILL want more!!” ((after my third of fourth bowl!!)) :)

  5. joan says

    Here is a cheap substitue for shaving gel:
    You know the free conditioner that you got a year ago, used twice, and hated it! Use that for leg shaving cream. It conditions or skin and softens your hair before you shave it off.

  6. says

    Here’s what we don’t {usually} buy:
    ~Bathroom/Kitchen commercial cleaners
    ~New kid’s clothing {with exception of shoes/socks} along with Back-To-School clothes {we homeschool}
    ~New purses/handbags {I usually get 1/year with a b-day gift card}
    ~CDs/DVDs {occasionally we get a used one, usually educational}
    ~New vehicles {have had our used truck for 11 years and our used van for 5 years}
    ~Specialty tags for our vehicles
    ~Tanning/Mani/Pedi services {And I get my hair done at a beauty school which is only a fraction of the cost of salons…$25 for cut, color and style}

    • Julie in IN says

      Isn’t it amazing how little our home educated children want because they are not peer or media influenced all day!

      • Tori says

        My son isn’t home-schooled but we cut out cable a year ago and switched to Netflix, the Internet and the library for all of our entertainment viewing needs. Not only has this saved us a lot of money, but it’s had several benefits for us as well, such as:

        1) We’re not bombarded with commercials every 10 minutes. This has cut down on requests for things and unnecessary spending in every area.

        2) TV-time has become a more worth-while family activity. Talking about and deciding as a family what to watch makes it so much more involved than just letting the TV play what ever is on.

        3) The TV isn’t constantly on like when it was when we had cable, even if nobody was watching! It’s only on because it’s being watched.

        4) My son spends more time playing in the yard, doing educational activities, drawing and reading on his own without being asked.

        5) We do more family-oriented activities like playing cards, board games, puzzles gardening together, going on walks, going to the park than we used to do for entertainment.

        If other people haven’t already cut the cable cord I strongly suggest it. We certainly don’t regret it!

        • AnnMarie says

          I would love to cut cable but the only thing we can’t get elsewhere is hockey coverage. Our family are avid Bruin’s fans and the games are something that we cherish as a family. If there was a way to get that without cable I would cut the cord in a heartbeat. :(

          • Jenny says

            Check the sport section on JustinTV.com! I watch all of the LA Galaxy games there. With cable it was hit or miss what I could see, so I cut cable and spent the savings on a better laptop. Now I can take the game out to the hammock by the pond and watch on nice summer evenings!!!

      • Julie says

        Just Sayin’….My 12 and 8 year old girls have been in public schools since Kindergarten and we still shop at Good Will & Salvation Army discount stores, clearance racks, and garage sales and they are completely happy with 2nd hand clothes. I also cut their hair at home and sometimes put a few highlights in my 12 year old’s hair. I think that how you raise your kids to respect what they have & others is more important than peer pressure or media!!!

        • says

          I live alone now that my girl’s have grown an married. But we hit the Goodwill store’s on 99cent days (wed.) don’t pass up a Salvation Army store either. I buy fabric sheets for my clothes an when I dry a load I also use them as room an closet deoderizers, some area’s that are really stale an can’t be aired out I use a fresh sheet everything smells so fresh. For us we all use conditioner for shaving. So many ways to cut corners…

      • Angela says

        Oh Julie, I couldn’t agree more! My oldest (11) said he wished he lived next to a dumpster so he could get more cans to recycle. I told him that was kinda gross but he seems to think it’s a good idea..making $ and saving the environment…what a simple way to look at it. However, we aren’t moving anytime soon. :)

  7. Tonya says

    Where can I find a french press? I can’t seem to find a store. How do they work?? Also how do I make deoderant? I’m allegric to most deoderants so this sounds like a great idea

    • Melissa Z says

      You put course ground coffee in the cylinder & add very hot (I boil water & let it cool for about a minute) water. Let it sit for at least 4 minutes & then press down.

      I found mine at a garage sale for I think $5-8. I’ve also seen them at the local coffee shop & you could probably find one at goodwill if you looked for a while.

      I think it’s a little more expensive to use my french press because I have to buy more expensive coffee since it needs to be course ground & I don’t own a coffee grinder. But it does make REALLY good coffee.

      • lms says

        Buy an inexpensive grinder instead. $10-15 New, less at goodwill or tag sale. Then you can get less costly beans to grind.

    • Jennifer Hatfield says

      Tonya, you can also find a french press on amazon. If you use swag bucks, you can score a $25 amazon.com gift card, with 3,150 swag bucks. This way you can indulge on a french press and score it for free. I would suggest a plastic one, as they won’t break easily.

      • LisaS says

        On the French press question … get a stainless steel one! They cost a little more, but we’ve broken two glass ones. We actually picked up an insulated one (~$70 on Amazon) for $20 out of the clearance cart at the grocery store! (If you prefer glass, Bodum makes spare parts for theirs if you prefer to repair as opposed to replace when you break one.)

    • anon says

      We got ours from Target.com. Melissa, if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby their coffees are fantastic and very reasonably priced.

    • MrsWJAA says

      For deodorant you can mix coconut oil, cornstarch, and baking soda. I don’t have exact measurements, but I usually use 1 part baking soda to 2 parts cornstarch, then blend it into the (melted)coconut oil until it is a thick paste. Pour it into a wide mouth jar (when the temps in the house will be higher than 70 degrees) or clean deodorant container (if your house stays cooler, or if you keep it refrigerated) and let cool completely.
      Note: For extra stink fighting properties, blend in a few drops of tea tree oil. For fragrance, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil(s).
      Good luck:)

    • Amanda says

      For deodorant I full a spray bottle with mineral oil and add essential oils of my choosing :) rose or ylang-ylang for us girls and frankensinse for the boys.

  8. Janine says

    1. baby wipes, just cut a paper towel roll in half, heat 2 cups water, 1 tbsp baby soap, and 1 tbsp baby oil together and dump over roll in container with lid. When soaked through, pull out tube and discard. Use from the middle, keep in sealed container.
    2. Car washes, just do it yourself :)
    3. Canned broth
    4. oil changes (honey does it)
    5. hair cuts (invested in clippers :)
    6. bread (I love making my own)
    7. yogurt (make my own for pennies)

      • Sylvia says

        Boy, I so agree about the broth It’s so easy to make your own and it is so rich and flavorful compared to what you get in a can and–best– it’s free if you eat chicken.

  9. mrstn123 says

    Don’t buy
    1. moisturizer- I use almond oil
    2.fake butter spray,dressing spray
    3.extended warrenties
    4.new vehicles-
    5.real jewely (except wedding bands)
    6. home cleaning or lawn care
    7.anything I can buy at Walmart for a fraction of cost
    8. expensive purses
    9.salon haircolor or nails
    10. music on iphone

  10. Robin says

    My list is all food that we make from scratch now:
    chicken stock
    Also, we don’t buy shampoo, lotion, shaving cream, etc. Too many chemicals in the store bought stuff.

  11. Federica says

    Great post! I love your website, keep up the good work. Here is my list of things I don’t buy – ever:

    1. Candies – if I have them at home, I’ll eat them. If I don’t buy them, no temptations. Living in Switzerland, chocolates are delicious and often given as presents, but if that’s the case, I usually take them to work or to a family/friends’ gathering to share with everyone else. If someone offers, I’ll occasionally eat one, but the less I have at hand, the better 😉
    2. Potato chips – I am addicted to the stuff, so I don’t buy it, as I could easily go through a bag a day if left alone! When I am absolutely craving them, I make them at home, but it is much longer/harder than getting a ready bag from the store, so cuts out the temptation.
    3. Jewellery – I have never bought and never will buy jewellery. All the (few) pieces I own have a special meaning to me, they were either passed down to me by my mom’s, or grandma’s, or were custom made for me by a friend, etc. Additionally, I abhor diamonds.
    4. Cheap, poor quality shoes – good shoes is one thing I splurge on. I would never buy bad quality shoes, I’d rather buy a pair of good quality shoes per year, than dozens of awful plastic shoes that fall apart within a couple of months (not to mention they are awful for your feet).
    5. Movies – I am with Crystal on this one. Too many and good free resources out there!
    6. Bottled water – again, living in Switzerland, the quality of water is excellent. For any other place, an investment in a good water filter is a must. The only time in my life I have/will buy bottled water is when told specifically that non-bottled water is not safe (like when I was on a volunteering trip in Africa).
    7. Expensive tech gadgets – the latest computer, the latest phone, etc. have no appeal to me whatsoever.
    8. A gym subscription – again, this has to do with living in Switzerland. Hiking in the mountains and biking around the lakes in summer (free), and winter sports over the winter (cross-country skiing is free – no need to buy passes, just make the initial investment on equipment – and so is sledging, ice skating in free town-run ice rinks, etc.).

    Things I splurge on: 1. good shoes (as said); 2. a trip per year to a place I’ve never been to (saved and paid-for in advance, of course ;)); 3. the occasional (once a month/every 6 weeks) fancy restaurant, 4. cookbooks from around the world; 5. a salon haircut and style twice/three times a year; 6. good quality bed sheets (I like the feeling on the skin); 7. opera, concerts, and theater tickets – I see this “splurging on culture” more as an investment in bettering myself rather than a splurge.

  12. jenifer says

    This is kind of a hard list for me…making me think:

    1. Shower Gels/Soap, we just use ivory bar soap
    2. Tanning booth sessions
    3. Brand New cars
    4. Exended warranty on anything
    5. Cell phones that require contract, we use a pay as you go basically for emergency
    6. Ground beef with pink slime, we are getting from local farm now
    7. I would love to get rid of cable TV, but my hubby just won’t let it happen!

  13. Kaeli says

    We don’t pay for:

    – Cable & haven’t since 2001, & we haven’t been able to get any channels either, but the good news is that my kids don’t get commercials either…a HUGE deal & we end up saving money on what I call:
    – Kid’s Junk stuff…stuff commercials make them want that they really don’t need or really want
    – just started with making laundry soap, dishwasher soap & rinse, etc & it is awesome, I can’t imagine going back….
    – new kids clothes…so funny my kids love used clothes, as my son says that way they clothes are already comfortable, hee hee. Plus, if they come from someone they know, it is even cooler….like the farm boy clothes…my daughter is now excited that the farm boy clothes are starting to fit her, hee hee
    – vehicles…even after ours were totalled out due to hail damage (vehicles worked great, just were a little dimpled, we had softball sized hail), we bought them back because they run great & have for 10 years +, slapped a free magnetic sign that we had God given aerodynamic improvements, and keep them going…everyone was shocked we didn’t replace them, but why would you replace reliable vehicle for minor cosmetics.
    – I am sure there is more…we just try to improve & find better, more frugal ways to do everything!!

  14. Rose Young says

    1. Kleenex (we use toilet paper)
    2. Tons of cleaners; we use bleach/water
    3. Any soda/pop
    4. baby clothes; we go to yard sales and I sew
    5. the dryer in summer; we hang out our clothes on the line

  15. says

    We have two small children in diapers and I’ve stopped buying diaper wipes. I make my own (yes, using paper towels) but it is much less expensive. We don’t have cable and we get our movies from the library as well. I have a pay as you go cell phone for emergencies. And finally, because I drive a used mini-van (read: gas guzzler), I stay at home most of the time.

  16. Aleshia says

    These have been huge money savers for our homeschooling family of six!
    Weekly (3 hours per week) Art classes for 3 (free at community center)
    Weekly Dances Classes for 3 (free at community center)
    Weekly Writing Classes for 2 (free at community center)
    Tickets to Movies
    Children’s clothes except shoes and underwear (rotate w/ friends, family)
    12 to 24 hours of Science Engineering Math Aeronautic Classes for 2
    A week Soccer Camp for 2
    Babysitting for 4
    Coffee, Alcohol (Thankfully no one drinks these here)
    Drinks and desert when we occasionally eat out

  17. says

    garbage bags – we re-use the plastic store bags. All it means is that we have to take out the kitchen trash usually once in the afternoon and then in the evening, since it holds a smaller amount. LOVE the savings (and the extra exercise walking outside an extra time:-) Bathroom and bedroom trash cans last longer since less trash is generated from those rooms.

    feminine pads – use a Diva cup or an Instead soft cup (use 1 per month, cleaning as you would a Diva cup). LOVE this product. A box of 14 soft cups is around $5, and it will last you 14 months. Been using this for about 4 years now, and never had a leak or issue. Huge money saver!
    – no need for pads, liners, or tampons

    Cleaning products – we use baking or washing soda and vinegar for everything

    Laundry soap – unless I can get it free/almost free, we make our own.

    Shaving cream – we use hair conditioner, and find it works great!

    “technology” – We have just been given an old classic ipod, and a $15 itunes gift card…so now we own $15 worth of songs:-) With a computer and pandora, I haven’t found the need to buy music when I can hear it free! We have only 1 laptop, 1 camera (that also does video) and cell phones, but no other gadgets at all. All that stuff is sooo expensive! We do have cable tv & internet though, and feel like it would be a hardship to survive without them (esp the high speed internet!), so we’re willing to pay for those. No kindles etc. We read real, free books, and rent redbox movies or watch them on tv (we only have a basic cable package, but there is always a movie on somewhere!)

    Baby wipes – We buy paper towels and make our own…we don’t use the paper towels as paper towels…cloth rags for that!

  18. says

    1. Landline. Have only used our mobile phones for the last 5 years.
    2. Fast Food. Gross. Cannot remember the last time we ate McDonalds. Will do an occasional grilled sandwich at Chick Fil A for teens.
    3. Laundry detergent. Make our own
    4. Hair color. DIY out of a box
    5. Supermarket meat. Will buy gra$$fed from Whole Food$
    6. Any produce or product with components that come from China. ie: our apple juice is made from concentrate from China.
    7. Jewelry. One ring and a couple earrings is all I need.

  19. Mary says

    What we don’t buy:

    Special facial or body washes – I used Lever 2000 soap and it works great for my sensitive, combination skin! I can even use it for my 3 year old and it works great for him too!

    Shaving cream for me – I also use conditioner but hubby likes his shaving cream! I stock up when it’s free/cheap at Kroger.

    Frozen veggies – We plant a huge garden every year. We’ve had great success at freezing most anything that comes out of it.

    Lunchables (unless they are very cheap or free) – It’s much cheaper to make your own for kids. Plus, they can choose the meat and cheese combo they like.

    Portraits – I used to take my son every 6 mos (I spent alot of $$!). I saved a bought a nice camera. Now I can take good quality pictures of him wherever I want with just the printing cost. I still buy school pictures, but the smallest package or just one pose.

  20. Alayna says

    I don’t buy…

    Formula (breastfeeding and when I did need to supplement in the beginning I had received a TON of samples in the mail)
    Fancy bedding or bumpers for the crib (plain sheets and nothing else in the crib but baby)
    Changing table (Use the top of her dresser or open the mat up on the floor)
    Crib (returned a hand-me-down crib to Walmart since it was recalled, used that $$ to buy new crib at Ikea for cheaper than what we got back for the crib)

  21. Regina says

    We got rid of cable about 3 years ago and do just NetFlix. We got rid of our land line phone about the same time and only use cell phones since it includes texts (for quick messages) and long distance (for all of our family around the country), we save a lot of money. I use vinegar, bleach and baking soda to clean. I make my own laundry detergent and dish washer detergent spending about $20/year on both. I use cloth diapers for the baby and washcloths for wipes, I have spent less than $200 in 16 months in diapering. I only buy clothes at consignment shops or garage sales, unless a sale in a store makes the prices very comparable.

    I don’t have a credit card so if I can’t pay cash for a purchase then I don’t get it. There are a lot of other way that I save money for my family, but it’s time to go change diapers and get the kids dressed to go outside.

  22. Sylvia says

    Agreed on all counts tho we do use netflix during winter. Also I now regrow my own celery and spring onions by placing in water Haven’t bought bread, bagels or muffins in years–make them using bread machine (dough cycle, then oven). Ditto with toothpaste. Ditto almost always with lunch and dinner out. Best part–it’s a total gift to actually go out! Also just learned how to make cheese myself–it’s easy and about 1/3 less at least for mozzarella–you can google for recipes –they’re all over the place Basically I’ve learned to look at creative alternatives–on the fancy sites, there are ads for $100+ cheese presses (if you want to make hard cheeses like cheddar)–but if you just look there are easy ways to make your own

  23. Penny T. says

    some items other than above mentioned many of which are definitely on my list…
    1. Fast Food Restaurants – if we go on a vacation, we only stop at Subway (fresh meat; not the processed) or Moe’s or bring our own; other than that we do not ever eat fast food; also never buy beverages out anywhere (coffee, sodas, etc.)
    2. Makeup and most skin care products (use coconut oil, ACV)
    3. All household cleaners – make my own (much healthier/safer)
    4. Pizza places or store bought pizza (just rarely have pizza or make our own)
    5. Jewelry
    6. Microwave items of any kind (a microwave came with our house but we rarely use it; it’s dangerous for foods unless used on 30% power and even then questionable)
    7. Bottled water… we filter our own water and carry our own reusable non-BPA water bottles

  24. Beth K says

    1. Soda (except on very rare occasions)
    2. Cable TV
    3. We only have cell phone (no land line)
    4. Alcohol or coffee
    5. Books, movies, or music (library, Hulu (free), Pandora & Spotify)
    6. Child Care (Stay at home mom, and trade with friends for date nights)
    7. Movies – haven’t been to a movie in years, haven’t paid to go see a movie in nearly a decade
    8. Lawn maintenance
    9. Printer Cartridges (we refill the one have cam with the printer)
    10. Oil changes (Husband does them)
    11. Most car repairs, i.e. brakes, etc (Husband does them)
    12. My husband cuts our son’s hair and I cut his.
    13. Portraits (I do our family photos)
    14. I only buy brand new clothes when they are on sale for less than I can get them used. This year traded clothes so only spent $10 on socks for everyone.
    15. Bottled water. My husband hooked up a 5000 gallon filter to the cold water in the kitchen. It also filters the ice!
    16. Never do tanning beds, nail salons, tattoos, or a hair cut that cost more than $10 (try to keep it closer to $5)

  25. Jennifer Hatfield says

    The biggest thing that I can think of that our family doesn’t use is money we don’t have.
    *no loans (except mortgage)
    *no credit cards
    When we pay our mortgage, we pay two payments at a time, cutting our mortgage pay down rate in half. We also put all of our tax return on our mortgage every year. Our 30 year note has been cut in more than half in the 7 years we have owned our home.

    • Emily says

      Could you refinance to a 15 year mortgage, since you are used to making the higher monthly payment. I would think this would save you even more interest.

  26. Amanda L says

    We don’t buy diapers or wipes. We were lucky enough to have family give us cloth diapers for our shower and my mom sewed us a bunch of cloth wipes. I make a very simple solution for them and keep it in a spray bottle to spray them down when we need them. We used disposables for a few weeks until my baby fit into these diapers and the expense is ridiculous!

    We also don’t buy baby clothing or most toys. Grandparents and hand-me-downs keep us completely stocked. We do buy little things here and there for birthdays/holidays.

    I make our baby food, so we save money there as well. We do buy some of the organic finger food snacks until she is able to eat more table food.

  27. Ginger says

    HI. Just a thought about the toilet paper: I think it is important to men to have good toilet paper. It doesn’t matter to me, but my husband asks for good toilet paper. I just keep my eye out for sales. I was thinking that was why it was important to the financial man making the list:)

  28. Laura says

    I never pay for:
    1. Laundry detergent. We make our own
    2. Water. We have well water.
    3. Dish rinse aid. We use vinegar
    4. Napkins . Using cloth
    5. Tissues. (unless free after coupons). We use hankies
    6. New cars. Used is fine for us. Til we use it the kids ruin it anyway

    Things I am working on:
    1. Hair color. Used to pay to have it died…using at home color now
    2. Toys. My kids are outside kind of kids who are happy with a glass jar catching bugs.
    3. Only buy clothes in sale ( really cheap) or from yard sales, consignment shops, etc. and all ours go to the consignment shop or to help out another family in our area.
    Things I splurge on:
    1. My hair stylist. 25 bucks every six weeks
    2. Eating out once a week. It’s a pleasure to have someone else do the dishes and clean up. We typically go on a day when kids eat free.
    3. Purses. They make me feel like a million bucks even if they only cost 20.
    4. SDcentsy wax. I love for my house to smell awesome. I would live to make my own.
    5. My iPhone. Love it!!! I can use it to see deals while shopping and keep up to date with the latest in money saving mom. It’s probably already paid for itself with the different store deals I have found on here. Lol

  29. says

    I definitely 2nd your Cable tv choice, who needs it?

    Here’s my list of what we save on by not even buying them:

    *-Baby Food- I make my own purees and they are preservative free :)

    *-Cloth Diapers- After 6 months they are “paid off” and i figure that i save 20-25 cents per use after that.

    *-Store Bought Eggs & Beef- We buy from farms for a fraction of the cost (an average $2 a dozen for free range eggs, and $2.35 per pound for grassfed beef- including filet mignon- not too shabby!).

    *-Kindle Books/Regular Books- I use swap.com to exchange my books with other people and my husband (or Crystal!) always finds me pdf’s to download onto my kidle, or amazon free books. I’ve had my kindle for 6 months and have never once paid for a book.

    *-Children’s Clothes- My mom is the best bargain hunter, so i keep her posted on the kids needs. Plus, i take outgrown clothes to consignment stores and use the credit to by new/used stuff. And anything the consignment store doesn’t take, i hand down to friends with smaller kids, and then they hand down to me once their kids grow out of things that i use for my littlest one.

    My Splurges:
    *-High Quality Haircare Products- I have curly hair, and instead of getting thousands of products that dont work, and are filled with chemicals, i splurge on the ones that do.

    *-High Quality Makeup- In the same cord as haircare, i use very little makeup (a powder foundation, mascara, bronzer, and lip balm), and only the occassional eye or lip color, so instead of buying products that are bad for my skin, cause breakouts, or end up not working as well, i use only high quality stuff.

    *-Rinse Aid for my dishwasher- I know this seems weird, but we have really hard water and i cant stand the film it leaves on plastics, and the spots on the glasses, so I spend a few bucks once a month and have dishes that i’m not ashamed to serve to guests. :)

    • Jeanne says

      We have the same problem, but plain white vinegar honestly works better. We put vinegar in the pre-wash cup every time we run the dishwasher, and we finally have spot-free dishes.

      My brother was ready to throw away his black plates until we told him about vinegar…now he’s a believer as well. No more calcification on his dishes! :)

      If nothing else, it’s worth a try. A gallon of white vinegar goes a long way at 1/4 cup per wash.

  30. Brenda says

    We don’t buy:
    Napkins – use cloth, homemade is the cheapest
    Paper Towels
    Pads/Tampons – I use the mooncup from Glad Rags and LOVE it
    Most packages foods – taste bad, expensive and usually unhealty and overpackaged
    Credit Card fees and loans – except mortgage
    Dryer Sheets/Fabric Softener/Harsh cleaning products
    Clothes from the clearance racks just because it’s a “deal” – unless it’s something we need
    Video game systems/Cable TV

  31. missy says

    We do a lot of things ourselves and my hubby is such a handy guy that he can fix just about anything!
    1. I went to cosmetology school so I do all the haircuts/colors/mani/pedis for my family including myself sometimes! Or I will have a friend who is licensed do it for me…we barter!!
    2. All the vehicle maintenance. My hubby does it all…sometimes we go to the junkyard and buy used parts!
    3. No meat from the grocery store! We support a local farmer
    4. Used vehicles. Our van was bought used(cash) and we have 206,000 miles on that bad boy and it’s still goin strong!
    5. ATV’s…my hubby was given one for helping a buddy with his truck:)
    6. Cranberries. My hubby is a cranberry farmer, so at harvest we get what we need!
    7. Deer feed. We have apple trees in the yard that we feed them!

    • missy says

      I forgot to add bottled water. We have well water and it tastes soooo much better:) Also, t.v.’s! My brother upgraded and we get the hand me downs!!

    • kristi says

      I’m curious about the deer feed. Does your husband hunt? Or do you just like to have the deer in your yard? My step-mother likes to have birds in the yeard so she actually buys bird seed to attract certain kinds of birds. My husband is a hunter and would LOVE to have his own land to hunt, let alone apple trees to attract the deer…I guess I could add “red meat” to my list of things I don’t buy, or the cost to butcher wild game. A good season will yield enough meat to feed us for at least a year!

  32. kristi says

    1. Diapers & wipes — I use cloth for both
    2. Napkins — cloth there as well
    3. Cable — I thought I was the only one!
    4. Internet — we just browse on our iPhones
    5. Cereal — most of the time. I am actually planning on buying some today because I can get 4 boxes for $6 after coupons plus a free gallon of milk.
    6. Hair product — I used to have curly hair but after three kids it’s kind of just a wavy, frizzy mess that I put in a pony tail or braid every day anyway so why bother?
    7. Makeup — I’m lucky if I have time to take a shower every day let alone bother with make up. I purchased some high quality stuff years ago and still have most of it; the rest my 18 month old decided to experiment with :-) Except she didn’t know what to do with it. She must have figured it was used to color SOMETHING so she drew all over the floor, her clothes, the wall and anything else she could reach :-)

  33. Shelly says

    We do not buy
    1. Diapers (went to cloth and that’s something I never thought I would do but it’s actually so easy and fun)
    2. Movie Tickets (never go)
    3. Cable (don’t even have TV)
    4. Internet
    5. Landline (have cell phones)
    6. Makeup
    7. Salon (never go to have my hair done, looks just fine pulled back)
    8. Do not go on vacation. DO visit relatives out of state.
    9. NO alchohol or cigarettes. Horrible for your health anyway.
    Rarely buy pop (just makes cavities anyway).
    There are lots more things too.
    I do NOT use handkerchiefs as that’s not sanitary. I just had a sinus infection and used my kleenex with lotion. :)
    We do send our kids to our church school. May possible homeschool next year.
    I shop garage sales, consignment shops, and sales at the mall (quite often it’s cheaper than the Goodwill and it’s new).
    I do not coupon very much as we live out in the country and not any stores around us double coupons. Most coupons are not products I need anyway.
    I can like crazy so we do not buy very many canned goods. I can jams, beans, pears, peaches, beats, meat, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, grape juice, and more. Freeze cider that we make, jams, broccoli, corn, and lots of fruit.
    Plus we try to buy a cow.

  34. Alaine says

    Things I don’t buy:
    Books – library or swap on paperbackswap.com. If I do want a newer book, I put it on my wishlist and sometimes get it for birthday/christmas, and then it goes right into the swap pile!
    Haircuts for the husband – we bought a pair of clippers and he and his brother cut each other’s hair. I still get mine cut, but since it’s just trimming the ends, I’m trying to cut back on how often. maybe 4 times a year?
    Dryer sheets – we have dryer balls and haven’t really had problems with static. Hoping to get a drying rack soon and doing away with the dryer altogether!
    Paper plates, napkins, disposable cutlery – I use the real stuff when we have parties. I do it for the environment, but my friends think it’s cuz we’re classy :) That might change once we have kids, but we’ll see.
    Soda – unless we’re having a party or guests that drink it
    Bottled water – we’ve got a brita and usually the tap is just fine anyway!
    DVDs – library or dvdswap.com
    Gym membership – in the winter, I workout to DVDs or the Wii; when it’s warm enough, we just go outside!
    Smart phone – I feel like all my friends have them, but I just can’t bring myself to pay an extra $50/month just to have internet on my phone. Plus the cost of a new phone, when mine works perfectly fine!
    Hair products – I have one bottle of hairspray that I’ve probably had for years… rarely use it, maybe on special occasions like weddings

    I’d love to get rid of:
    Paper Towels – such a waste. I’ve been cleaning more with rags, but we have a pet and cleaning up after him is messy, so we use paper towels for that
    Cable – we watch (probably too much) tv and use the on-demand movies, plus it is pretty much the same cost to have cable and internet as it is just internet alone! So it’s not really worth the small savings we would get to cancel it. Plus we can watch all the Bruins and Red Sox games that way, which is way cheaper than going in person or having to go out to watch the games elsewhere!

    Things I splurge on:
    Vacations – I love traveling, going new places and having new experiences. Would rather spend my money on doing something than buying more stuff!
    An occasional really nice dinner, with a nice bottle of wine
    Quality, basic clothing items – like the work pants I wear every day or a heavy duty winter jacket

  35. Anna says

    The only of of Crystal’s items I buy is paper towels. While I end up using them more than I’d like sometimes (like for cleaning, when I should be using rags) I like to have them on-hand for draining greasy foods/cleaning up grease spills and for cleaning glass.

    7 Things we Don’t Buy:

    -Spaghetti Sauce
    -Coffee filters (use a French Press, and even when I used a drip pot, I bought a re-usable mesh filter)
    -Laundry Softeners/dryer sheets (I use vinegar if laundering something I want extra soft, of lots of synthetics)
    -Cable; I’ve done without cable all my life, and the years we’ve been married have chosen not to purchase. We wish we had it sometimes, but I don’t want to get cable for fear of not being able to give it back!
    – Jam/Jelly (I can my own, usually from homegrown/wild picked/ free produce)
    – Hair Cuts ( I cut my husband’s and the kids, and another family member cuts mine)
    – Newspaper subscriptions (although, I did buy a BonAppetite subscription last year for $4)

  36. Miranda says

    1. books-library or borrow from others
    2. music-again, I get it from the library. I don’t understand why people pay to download music when you can get the CD and rip it
    3. Coffee or Tea-none of us drink it
    4. Haircuts for my hubby and boys
    5. local attractions- My SIL works at our Children’s Museum so we get in there for free whenever we want, my hubby’s work gets entry to a few events and then we just go on free nights for other stuff.

    I wish I could buy half a cow. I’ve looked into it but it’s at least $1 more a pound at a local farmer than I can get at the meat market or Sam’s

    • Miranda says

      I forgot my last two things

      6. Baked goods and/or icing-I make everything from scratch
      7. Bottled Water- we use reusable bottles

    • Cayla says

      You don’t understand why people pay to download music because you can just rip it from the library?!? Because ripping it from the library is STEALING.

  37. Beth says

    Don’t buy:
    1. Greeting cards. Have a large box of various colors of pre-cut card stock and envelopes. Never “forget” to buy a card and now the message is always a handwritten, personal one. Also, we save drawings from kids for their cards to friends, grandparents, etc.
    2. Cleaners, laundry detergent, fabric softener. Make my own.
    3. Face or body washes or shampoo (use castle soap or make my own). No liquid hand soap either.
    4. Movie tickets except maybe a matinee 3 times per year if that.
    5. Cable.
    6. Yogurt. Make my own with few exceptions.
    7. We (husband) has bees.
    8. Children’s clothing – hand me downs!!!
    9. Kleenex – use tp or handkerchief.
    10. Land line.

  38. Debbie Bolen says

    I love all of these ideas! I personally use coconut oil to shave and baking soda to brush my teeth. That’s not necessarily to save money I just think they work better.

  39. Travina says

    We don’t buy
    *cable. We have roku and love it. My daughter isn’t viewing garbage on TV or the commercials that go along with them. I am in control of what she watches and it is mostly educational. With that being said, none of us see previews for movies so…
    *movies. We aren’t tempted to go to the movies. I will take my daughter to the $1 showings during the summer.
    *diapers. We used cloth and it made her potty train sooner so she is out of diapers and pull-ups. (We did splurge on organic cotton undies because of her sensitive skin. They are high quality and never give out and fray)
    *hair cuts/salons. My fiance gets his hair cut for free by my friend and she also trims my daughter’s hair when needed. My mother is a hair dresser and trims my hair when needed.
    *beverages. We usually have water and cows milk (organic splurge) and almond milk I make myself.
    *new books. W go to the library or a used bookstore or at consignment sales.
    *my shaving cream
    *clothing. I get mine off consignment sites, stores, or end of season sales at my favorite quality stores like gap. Most of my daughter’s clothing is gap but I never pay the prices. I just got a $50 knit jacket for $6.
    *eating out. We did this a lot and now have stopped to once every two weeks. We are slowly extending that.

    *makeup. I just got one of the Naked palettes and I use pricier foundation.
    *coats. I buy the north fave coats but the good thing is you don’t have to buy another one.
    *olive oil
    *chocolate. I am a chocoholic and need high quality chocolate. I try to find deals where I can.
    *our parents splurge on activities for our daughter. She is very involved in gymnastics.
    *high quality toys. I have stopped buying expensive, cheaply made toys for my daughter that she forgets about. I buy wood quality toys that usually are educational or for crafts. I am clearing out the junk still on her play room. Quality over quantity is my moto.

    My dad just joked and said I should have my own drug let show because I find the best deals on household things. New curtains $10, vacuum $5, my daughter’s while room makeover was all free or clearance.

  40. Julie Waldron says

    1. Extended warranties
    2. Cleaning supplies, I make my own
    3. Haircuts, our daughter is a hair stylist….she cuts it at home & doesn’t charge us
    4. Meat from the store(with the exception of chicken), my family hunts we eat a lot of venison
    5. Yard maintenance , we do our own
    6. Magazine subscriptions(I do get the Sunday newspaper but only for the coupons)
    7. Shampoo & body wash….I only buy it if I can get it free after rebate. I have a stockpile.

  41. says

    I don’t know if we’ve ever bought shaving cream. I agree, soap works just fine! And my hubby has crazy thick facial hair. I buy a pack of cheap napkins at the dollar store instead of buying paper towels but we don’t always have them either. We don’t buy fabric softener. We don’t buy name brand clothing. I don’t buy shoes unless a pair dies. I have one pair for each thing: tennis shoes, dress shoes, and sandals. I have no need to have a million pairs. We don’t take our vehicles to have the oil changed. Hubby does that. And any other repairs the vehicles need. We don’t buy new cars or have car payments. An older vehicle works just fine for us.

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *