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7 Things We Don’t Buy

Inspired by the recent post on 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!

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  • We buy movies and my husband buys shaving cream, but we don’t buy any of the others on the list! (And our DVD collection only takes up one shelf on the bookshelf, so we must not be buying very many 😉

  • Lana says:

    Paper napkins, scented candles, air fresheners, cleaning products (I make them), chemical fertilizers (we compost and mulch our leaves), individually packaged foods, and fabric softeners. I have to admit that many of these are to avoid nasty chemicals but they do save money.

    • I have the same list, but we do buy lawn care fertilizer. I too worry about the chemicals, especially air fresheners.

      We have cut down our use of trash bags just by recycling. This cut the number of bags we use in half. I bet we could do more if we started a compost too.

  • Heather Speer says:

    There’s no telling how much you’ve actually saved on the “soda pop” one….not just from not buying pop, but the cavities and wear and tear on teeth. 😉 we definitely need to get out of that habit!

  • Marianne says:

    We don’t buy many of these things as well. We’ve never had cable or satellite-grew up that way as well. We have a one cup coffee maker with a permanent filter. We do buy paper towels right now but only to make homemade baby wipes ( other than that we don’t usually buy them. We never had them around the house growing up either. I do buy fabric softener sheets but my mother always taught me to rip them in half and I still do. Since we’ve had a baby though I’ve stopped using them as they seem to irritate his sensitive skin. I’m not a big fan of the static though so I still use them for just our clothing. I may look into some reusable dryer ball options.. We’ve been given movies but have bought only a couple over the last 10 years (the Princess Bride and Star Wars for obvious reasons). I have sold the rest of the DVDs we’ve been given over the years on Ebay recently. We do buy pop. We never used to but since I’ve been home it is one of the things that makes my day a little better. We started keeping it in the trunk of the car though so that we would drink less. Now I really have to want a pop to gather the effort to go get it out of the car with a baby in tow.

    • Amy says:

      You realize that you can make homemade baby wipes using flannel, right? Then you wouldn’t have to buy paper towels at all. 🙂

      • Marianne says:

        yes- I use cloth wipes as well for diaper changes. The disposable wipes that I make are more convenient for other places around the house. I don’t go through a tonne but they’re handy to have around and I can use them on laundry day if I’m out of cloth wipes. For my cloth wipes, I just buy a big pack of the little baby washcloths and since they get reused a million times their cost per use is crazy low.

    • I’ve heard you can use a tennis ball in the dryer instead of dryer sheets 🙂

      • Courtney says:

        That’s true about the tennis balls. I was about to suggest it. Works great. My kids and husband have allergies and dryer sheets and fabric softeners are too strong for them. With the tennis balls, you don’t have the static and your clothes still smell great from the detergent. I don’t buy bleach instead I use Hydrogen peroxide, which still works great and is less expensive.

      • Kelly says:

        I’ve started using white vinegar in place of fabric softener, and it works great! No, it doesn’t leave a scent on your clothes either. I promise.

      • Marianne says:

        a tennis ball? of course! I’ve seen those little wool dryer balls and that’s pretty well what they are! great idea!

      • Kim says:

        @ Sara, I’ve heard the same thing about the tennis ball in the dryer.

    • I fixed the static problem with a small rag with lots of safety pins attached. I keep that rag with a couple of dryer balls in the dryer, and I no longer buy anti-static products or dryer sheets!

      Also on my list: disposable coffee filters, individually packaged snacks & shaving cream

      • Marianne says:

        that’s crazy- I would never have thought of a rag with safety pins! Do the dryer balls not work well enough on their own?

        • I use vinegar in the rinse cycle in place of fabric softener, and then dryer balls and rags. I know some people think the dryer balls take out all the static, but our winters are really dry here, and I really hate static, so the safety-pins was an easy, reusable, chemical-free fix.

          Also, re: the tennis ball idea – I feel like that would leave a rubbery weird scent on your clothes. I just opened a new can of tennis balls a few weeks ago for a different project, and they reeked of rubber. Menards had 2 dryer balls on sale for $3 or $4 this past weekend, which isn’t much more expensive than tennis balls.

    • Diana says:

      I’ve heard you can use white vinegar in the rinse cycle as a fabric softener for sensitive skin (dermatologist suggested).

  • Bernie Todd says:

    Laundry soap/ make it
    Hand soap/ make it
    Toothpaste usually get it free with coupons and a deal
    Fabric Softener/ make it

    can’t think of anything else off hand

  • Tina says:

    How funny! My list would be the same as yours. The only thing I still buy is Paper Towels sometimes (only if a real good sale and coupons). We try not to use them much in the house. I love microfiber towels and use those the most. My husband and I also have pay as you go cell phones and when people ask for my cell number and I only give them my home number and tell them my cell is only for emergencies, they look at me like I’m crazy. Cell phones and packages are such a huge waste of money when you can have one for $20 every 3-4 months.

  • Ginger says:

    New Mall Clothes- 90% of our clothes come used or on discount store clearance racks. I know that saves us a TON of money, but I dont know how much since I’ve never done it any other way.
    TOYS- toys are for holidays or from yard sales. Thats it!
    Flying- we drive on vacation. Again dont know savings, but with 3 kids its gotta be cheaper. Now we are considering our first no-kids vacation and thinking between gas and extra night of caregiver for kids flying might be cheaper.

  • Kristin says:

    Most people look at me like I’m crazy when they learn this, but we don’t buy toilet paper 🙂 Since starting my son in cloth diapers we switched our toilet paper to cute little cut and serged squares of older sheets and t-shirts. We keep a little lidded trash can next to the toilet and drop them in after we use them and I throw them in the wash every other day with my son’s diapers. (We also don’t buy diapers except for the rare occasion). I do keep toilet paper on the holder for guests, but I usually get it free or super cheap with a coupon/sale thing.

    We also don’t buy:
    – bagged lettuce
    – pre-sliced/washed anything (fruit and veggies)
    – microwave popcorn – I LOVE bulk kernel popcorn – it’s my snack of choice!
    – pre-made break apart cookie dough
    – data plans for our phones – not a necessity for either my husband or I

    • Diane says:

      We got some break apart cookie dough for free (it reached expiration date so the grocery store gave it away) and it was so gross it wasn’t worth turning the oven on to bake them.

    • Mindy says:

      Can’t imagine not buying TP. I buy everything on your list of don’t buys. In fact….I bought all of it just in the last week! 🙂

      • Kristin says:

        Ha ha – just goes to show we all save money in different ways!

        • Do you buy toilet paper for guests? Because if I come visit you, I’m bringing a roll in my purse. And it’s not like I’m spoiled…I’ve lived outside of the US, etc. Still bringing my own TP!

          • Kristin says:

            I put in my post that I do keep toilet paper on the roll for guests. My intention is not to make others feel awkward, but to reduce our spending and environmental impact.

    • Amy says:

      That’s very interesting about the toilet paper. I don’t have a serger, but do have a sewing machine. I’d LOVE to know how you talked your husband into doing that. 🙂 We cloth diapered our daughter (youngest of two) from 11 months on, and I SO wish we’d done the same with our son. I made nursing pads for myself when my daughter was born and am making some now for my sister. It’s a HUGE money saver, considering a pack at Wal-Mart only lasts a couple of weeks to a month, depending.

      • Kristin says:

        Some of our toilet squares are just zig-zag stiched around the edges – super easy! I don’t really know how I convinced him. He is a pretty eco-minded individual, so I think going “paperless” appealed to him in that respect, but he was a little hesitant. But after we started, he liked it better – and we have none of the issues (odor, the cloths looking gross, etc) that some people think we would have. We don’t really broadcast the practice (because who wants to talk about TP in public) but you’d notice if you went to our house.

        I also was given some cloth nursing pads with my son – I loved them also! I thought they were more comfortable than any of the package of disposables I tried! I still have them for our next one due in May.

        • Amy says:

          Ok…serious questions here…I’m contemplating trying this and possibly switching to this once I’m closer to running out of TP since deals are SO hard to find when I need it.

          1. How many layers of fabric are used per wipe that you make? 2. How many wipes do you make?
          3. What size are the wipes?
          4. Do you put soapy water in the pail that you put them in after use so that they soak and don’t mildew?

          And I’m sure you could use other fabrics for this, too, just like you can for baby wipes (i.e., flannel or fleece). And yeah, now that I think about it, it wouldn’t be all that gross unless someone had the stomach bug. And for times like that, I could keep a stash of disposable TP or just throw out the used rags.

          Feel free to shoot me an email: mom2louis “at” gmail “dot” com. Thanks!

    • Whitney says:

      OMG. I can see using homemade wipes for adults #1, but #2?!?! No way in heck I’d wash my husband’s used wipes (or my own for that matter). You don’t get grossed out by that? You have a strong stomach! 🙂

      • Jennifer says:

        If you’re accustomed to washing baby cloth diapers, then it’s really not any different.

        • Whitney says:

          I’m used to baby poop, my son is now 2 and potty trained. I would not ever get used to my husband’s. lol!

          • Rebecca says:

            Totally with you on that, Whitney!! 😛

          • Erika Billings says:

            I don’t like the way the bathroom smells after my husband goes let alone having a pail of used tp hanging around. I have 5 children and it’s just not practical for me to add any more laundry to an already monsterous pile. That’s great that you do it though Jennifer!! 🙂

        • Maria says:

          I wash baby cloth diapers, but there is NO WAY you could convince me to wash grown adult poo wipes.

          • Jennifer says:

            Lol, seriously, folks, it’s not like you’re washing an adult diaper! Its just the stuff that goes on the toilet paper, ya know? And all ya gotta do is take off the lid and pour the contents of the pail into the washer machine.

            lol, but, yeah, my hubby would never go for it, either. 🙂

          • Kerry D. says:

            Although it sounds icky, I don’t see that it is any different from a baby who is eating solid foods. And seriously, we do need to diaper some pretty big toddlers… So, I think that the ick factor is definitely in our heads.

            A modified approach I’d heard of, is to use fabric for #1 and just use the disposable TP for #2. I might try that someday. (We use disposable TP, but fabric napkins, cleaning rags, etc.)

      • Kristin says:

        I don’t even have to touch them – they are in a little trash can, so I just dump them in the washing machine. I find no grossness factor to them, especially after spraying off my son’s cloth diapers. There really isn’t all that much that actually “gets” onto toilet paper. I’ve also never really had an issue with stains coming out either (except for when we have eaten red velvet cake). The sun is great for getting out stains.

      • Amy says:

        It’s not like you’re loading each wipe by hand into the washing machine…you open the lid and dump them in. And I’m sure you do like for cloth diapers….run a soak cycle first and then wash them in hot water. Come to think about it, I still have some wipes that came free with my daughter’s cloth diapers, and they’re made out of fleece, I think. Just imagine how soft that would be vs TP…

    • Sarah says:

      My hubby would never go for not using TP – it was a struggle to get him to TRY anything other than Charmin Extra Soft! And we don’t have kids yet so I haven’t had the reusable diaper experience to prep me for anything more so it does kind of gross me out…I see the immense savings though!

    • Brooke says:

      I’ve really been considering cloth TP! Glad to know that its an”easy” process! Thanks for the info!

  • Ashlee says:

    Your list is pretty similar to mine.
    -No shaving cream
    -One large pack of paper towels a year. We use them to clean up cat messes only, everything else is cleaning rags
    -No small trashbags, we use grocery bags
    -We use the My K-cup for our Keurig, before that we had a reusable coffee filter that was great
    -No fabric softner or sheets. I use dryer balls instead. Plus with cloth diapers its better not to use any
    -No cable for the last 2 years. We have amazon prime instead
    -Cleaning wipes, per use they are MUCH more expensive than the spray and a rag
    -Magazines, we get a lot but we get free offers all the time and just subscribe to those

  • Diane says:

    I’m with you on the paper towels and shaving cream. I do buy some pop for sicknesses like you said. I won’t buy fast food, we’ll eat out 1-2x year. I won’t buy food with nitrates in it (like bacon, because I’m allergic) or packaged snacks. I now won’t buy a book unless I check the library first to see if they have it. I don’t buy magazine subscriptions; I have a friend who gives me his after he’s done reading them (running magazines). And I guess I won’t buy anything we won’t really use even if it’s almost free. Because there’s still sales tax on non-food items and someone else can have the good deal.

  • Deb says:

    We don’t have cable either and my dh loves March Madness, but this year, you could watch EVERY game online for $3.99, he hesitated, but knowing this is the ONE sporting event that he cares about, I talked him into it. 😉

    • Dana says:

      Deb, my hubby did the same thing this year. We used to turn our cable on just for March madness every year but this year he discovered watching it online. It was an awesome money saver!!! 🙂

  • LisaS says:

    things we don’t buy …

    from your list: movies, cable TV …. we have a French press as well and I love it. I don’t get the whole K-cup phenomenon, although it has enabled me to get a decent cup of coffee at the in-laws’ place so it’s not all bad.

    our list …
    frozen meals … the occassional fish stick and ore-idas, but no frozen pizza, etc., not even for lunches.
    snackables … what a gyp. My daughter went through a time of wanting them so we bought the stuff and made a whole week’s worth for the same price and a lot less waste.
    pasta/pizza sauce … homemade is cheaper, tastes better, and takes no longer to make.
    music … we do get some as gifts, but I can’t remember the last time we bought a CD. when our 10-year-old was very small, maybe.

  • Katie says:

    I have the same list as yours plus paper napkins, most cleaning products (I find it’s cheaper to make my own plus I avoid nasty chemicals), and a long list of processed foods – again it’s cheaper to make our own and I feel good about knowing what my kids are eating.

  • Phipps Family says:

    We don’t buy bottled water. The only exception is if on vacation.

  • Lynda says:

    We rarely buy new items of clothing. Virtually everything I wear and our girls wear is either given to us through hand-me-downs, free from Craigslist, or is purchases second-hand at garage sales, Goodwill or consignment stores.

    Re: dryer sheets – I invested in some dryer balls – they are plastic and you fill them with water and I’m quite pleased with them. They are reusable over and over and over again. No need for dryer sheets.

  • That is a great list! I don’t buy shaving cream either. Our family saves hundreds of dollars a year after replacing our home phone service with Magic Jack. Magic Jack is a nominal annual fee (we paid $19). It plugs into the computer and works just like a home phone. It also has the 911 service which was the main reason that we wanted to have a home phone.

    I love your posts! You always have so many great ideas!!!

  • Jennifer says:

    So true about the french press, so delicious, it’s tiny and you don’t need anything but coffee! (And it has a tiny “footprint” and doesn’t take up lots of counter space! 🙂

    I LOVE living simply! The only thing on the list I do buy is fabric soften, I looooove the smell 🙂 I have heard so many health/environmental reasons to stop though that I am almost ready to stop buying it!

    • Sarah T. says:

      I might have to try mine again. I have a nice one in the garage sale pile. Perhaps I grind my coffee too fine, but I have some pre-ground stuff right now that is coarser, so I should try it before I dump it.

    • Lana says:

      The active ingredient in fabric softeners is formaldehyde. That put me off using it forever!

  • Sarah says:

    Right now we currently do not buy:
    -bread (we make it)
    -cookies (we sometimes make them)
    -fabric softner or bounce sheets (it’s already in my eco friendly laundry detergent)
    -pop (we do get a bottle on the rare occasion, we have cut it out a lot for last year)
    -chocolate milk (if we want to make some we use the chocolate mix that we have, which lasts a long time because we hardly use it)
    -snow removal/grass cutting (this might sound odd but we shovel the snow in our driveway and we cut our own grass, it can get tiresome but it’s so worth it to save the money)
    -hamburgers in a box (we save our money and buy real hamburger and make our own burgers).

  • Heather says:

    We don’t buy soda, napkins, paper towels, most disposable paper products, bread, fabric softener/dryer sheets.

  • Sam says:

    We don’t pay for haircuts. I have long haired girls and shaved husband/son.

  • Caitlyn L says:

    We have not had cable service in over 3 years. We do have internet service and watch whatever is available online through network websites. No point in paying for something that really doesn’t matter.

    We do not buy trash bags. For the last 2 years we have only used the plastic grocery bags that are given to you for free. I find that I enjoy this much better. Trash is taken out on a daily basis, no smells build up in the house and no trash can to clean.

    We also do not buy soda other than times of company, sickness or in my case pregnancy. The bubbles really help with the morning sickness.

    We have a Keurig, but choose to buy the reusable filter and not purchase the individual k-cups. It has saved us a ton of money in the long run by buying coffee beans, grinding them fresh and using the filter.

    I’m sure there are others that we do not buy, but since we don’t, I can’t think of them at this time.

  • Bread. We make our own. Sure we bought the bread machine and buy all the ingredients, but it is LESS than pennies on the dollar compared to store bought. Healthier too.

    Movie tickets. We find it at the library or rent it at Redbox.

    No soda here either, or juice for that matter.

    I feel a blog post coming on!

  • Sporksoma says:

    7 items my family doesn’t buy:

    Alcohol (not even wine or champagne)
    Juice (arsenic in applejuice? No way, I love my kids!)
    Cable TV
    Handheld gaming systems/portable DVD players/iPods (these rot kids’ brains; instead, our children rely on books, coloring, other activities to keep them occupied)
    Smithfield products
    Dry cleaning services/lawn services/housecleaning services/plumbers (my husband was a pipefitter for years and handles all our plumbing needs! Yay!)/electricians/professionals

    • Tabatha says:

      We don’t pay for professional services either! I love that my hubby can do all of those things including a car mechanic! Saves us hundreds, if not thousands!

      • Mindy says:

        So, someone who buys their child apple juice doesn’t love them? Your list is pretty self-righteous. It’s one thing to believe in something, but it’s another thing to go about it without tact. You can offer helpful hints to other moms without making them feel like they don’t love their children (i.e…. “No way! I love my kids!”)

        By the way… I find it ironic that you’re rattling on about the dangers of all of these products, yet you’re typing this from a computer with internet.

    • Mindy says:

      “Handheld gaming systems/portable DVD players/iPods (these rot kids’ brains; instead, our children rely on books, coloring, other activities to keep them occupied)” — REALLY? They rot kids’ brains?! That’s nuts. As long as kids aren’t ONLY sitting around with gaming systems, I see no harm in them at all. They are great for times when kids have to be patient and wait, like when I have a business meeting or something like that.

      • Cate says:

        I’m amused to think of music (on an iPod) rotting kids’ brains, frankly. 😉

        • Sporksoma says:

          I’m glad that idea amuses you. The damage that earphones and earbuds do to the developing ears of children can never be fixed.

          My children listen to music all the time, every day. They listen to music at an appropriate volume level played through music players in the house, not with headphones or earphones that can damage their hearing. I personally do not care for music, but we have music in our house from the minute the kids wake up until the minute they go to bed. They simply do not listen to it via an mp3 player.

          • Cate says:

            Brains and eardrums are different things. “Rotting kids’ brains” is not the same as “damaging kids’ hearing.” Which is a valid argument.

          • Mindy says:

            Where is your proof that listening to music through earphones causes hearing damage? This is right up there with the rotting kids’ brains comment. Frankly…I’m not buying it.

          • Cate says:

            Listening to music very loudly through earbuds (like listening to music very loudly, period) can damage hearing, though I’m pretty sure it has a cumulative effect. However, listening through earbuds or headphones can help identify small musical details, and so I’ve always enjoyed listening to music that way (at an appropriate volume) as well as on the stereo, etc.

          • Stephanie says:

            My pediatrician brought that up at our last visit- the damage is cumulative. The rule we had at our house for the one kid who had an mp3 player was that if we could hear your music at all then it was much too loud. He didn’t like it but oh well. It became a self solving problem when he left it in the bottom of his backpack and it was crushed.
            I had a friend in high school who listened to headphones turned up to 10 regularly. In college he ended up with 60% hearing loss before he was 20 so I am biased against loud headphones/earbuds.

      • Sporksoma says:

        Isn’t it wonderful that we can have differences of opinion? I have a 14 year old, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. They do just fine without any of those items, and, since I grew up with video games and hand-held gaming systems, walkmans and portable CD players, if I feel like I think they rot kids’ brains, I have the right to feel that way.

        What a wonderful world we live in. You rear your children how you want to, and I’ll rear my children how I want to. 🙂

        • Carolyn says:

          I have to agree with the video games. Maybe not that it rots their brains, but it definitely is not good for them. I have a 22 year old and a 4 year old. I learned my lesson with the older one, and he didn’t spend all of his time in front of them either. Educational games are allowed, but that it my limit.

        • Jen says:

          I agree with ‘live and let live’, but I also think that we need to teach children tolerance for others opinions and we should not make extreme blanket statements about things when we have nothing to support the statement. If you had said “I do not buy electronic games, etc for my children, because I feel they add no value to their lives and could damage their development..” that is enough said.. To say that “electronic games, etc rot brains” is an extreme and inaccurate statement..

      • April says:

        love ours! (and my kiddos have genius level IQS)…they provide a little relief and some entertainment.its all about moderation and content…Im not letting them play Grand Theft Auto or anything, nor are they glued to them 24/7. all 3 of my kids love the Kinect, the oldest listens to music and books walking to and from school and working out at YMCA, the youngest can play interactive puzzle games, color, and have books read to her on the NOOK. honestly there’s only so many things I know how to do and it’s great having other resources

      • Jen says:

        Well said, Mindy! My oldest is ranked 9th out of 602 in her high school class, taking classes for college credit as a Freshman, while playing a sport every season AND helping around the house. She has electronic gadgets and her brain is certainly not rotten! LOL… Many of those games can be educational and any type of music is educational! Our kids listen to anything from classical to hip hop to 60’s rock…

    • Jess says:

      Great list. WE didn’t have handheld gaming systems etc. when I was growing up until my brother had a severe accident and as part of his rehabilitation we were instructed to buy a handheld gaming device because of the hand/eye coordination it requires, while it is great that you don’t use it, not everyone that uses them is rotting their kids brains!

    • Slides n' Sandboxes says:

      Even though we don’t own any gaming systems, I think it’s a bit too harsh to say that everything you listed rots kids’ brains. Everything in moderation – there are so many educational games, movies, activities, including e-books. You say you rely on books – they, too, can rot kids’ brains if they read wrong ones… I’m not certain why it bothered me, when you were simply honest with your opinion.

    • Jennifer says:

      Well, I think the comment about handheld games, etc was a little extreme, but I do think that “we” spend may too much money on all of these electronic gizmos for ourselves.

      • Sporksoma says:

        I don’t think it’s extreme, because I’ve seen the damage that can be done with handheld devices. Parents don’t realize how much screen time their children are actually getting; between the game boy, the television, the computer, the ipod, the ereader, etc. your kids are spending too much time in front of a screen. Parents who dismiss it as “Oh, they just play every now and then” may not realize exactly HOW MUCH every now and then actually is.

        I don’t think video games, in moderation, are bad for kids. My kids play video games. However, I don’t get into situations and shove an electronic handheld device in their hands because I don’t want the hassle of dealing with them. I include my children in what I’m doing. Grocery shopping? They’re helping me to grocery shop. In the car? We talk and play games like “I spy.” They read and color. On very long car rides, we’ll get an audiobook from the library and listen to it together. Too often, these devices are used as babysitters instead of as is mentioned above, for entertainment and education. THAT is why I think they rot brains, and THAT is why I don’t buy them; they don’t come into my house, my kids aren’t exposed, we save money, and I get to deal with my kids personally all day, no matter what activity we do. And yes, that gets tiresome, but why have kids if you’re just going to shove them to the side?

        • Jennifer says:

          I think the key here is “everything in moderation”, don’t you? And that can be true for handheld devices, as well as many other things, including our words 🙂

          You make some good arguments, but making blanket statements such as “rot their brains” is not an effective way to express yourself.

      • Stephanie says:

        It probably was a bit extreme but I agree that generally they are more harm than good so we don’t have that stuff either in our home. Brainquest is fun when we have to wait somewhere.

    • Shelly Smith says:

      Why no Smithfield products???

    • Jenifer says:

      Wow! Thats a really strong statement.

      We do have video games/ipods/iphones. My son is not allowed to play them during the week and it is in moderation on the weekends.

      I personally love technology. I think its wonderful. Obviously everyone on here is ok with it or we wouldn’t be reading an on-line blog. 🙂

  • Challice says:

    How fun! Loved that! 🙂

    Shaving Cream is one I dont buy for me personally (I do find good deals for my sisters). I only have 1 razor I like and that’s the Shick intuition.

    Cell Phone. Do not have cell phone/cell phone service/etc. We have a landline (no long distance, have a calling card for that) and it works great! 🙂

    monthly Feminine necessities. I like free. 😉

    TV (dont even have a TV set for movies. ;)) If we watch something its on Netflix instant view or youtube.

    Makeup (takes too long to put it on and I never really learned to do it well ;))

    Greeting Cards… I have fun making my own! 😀

    Toys- I think most of my kid’s toys have come to us second hand or gifts. I cant remember last time I bought a new toy for them.

  • Tabatha says:

    1. Data plans on our cell phone. We have the internet at home and my husband does at work so we see no need.
    2. No home phone. With 2 cell phones, again we have seen no need to have a third phone.
    3. Paper towels and napkins. We use cloth.
    4. Soda. If it’s in the house it’s because we have an upcoming party.
    5. Cake mixes, muffin mixes, corn bread mixes. I make all my own and have found it to be cheaper then the mixes (at least in my area, I have yet to get any of these for free after coupons), although not always convenient.
    6. DVR. If I miss a TV show it’s probably because I’m doing something more important anyway and at $15/month, it’s just not worth it to me.
    7. Facial Cleansing wipes. If I use any wipes to clean my face, I use a baby wipe which is cheaper and works just as well. Otherwise, I wash my face the old fashioned way. 🙂

    I’m sure there are others we don’t pay for or buy but my mind is coming up blank. Those are the main ones though! 🙂

  • Camille says:

    I don’t buy cereal even on sale. It doesn’t fill up the kids so it’s just a waste of money for us.

    I also don’t buy bread — I make it.

    No paper towels or paper napkins — it’s all cloth. And now when I have to use a paper napkin, I get annoyed at how flimsy they are! 🙂

    • Emily says:

      What do your kids eat for breakfast instead of cereal. I’m always looking for cereal alternatives!

      • AnnDenee says:

        I don’t buy boxed cereal either, but I do make cereal. My recipe is oatmeal, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter and honey. Baked and it is yummmm!

      • Valerie says:

        We eat bagels, oatmeal, yogurt and fruit for breakfast. Sometimes I even make pancakes!

      • Camille says:

        Just normal breakfast stuff — eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon, etc. I’ll make big batches and then freeze them. We warm it up in the toaster oven. I just started freezing breakfast burritos and they are a big hit (just scrambled eggs, sausage wrapped in a tortilla).

      • Julie in IN says:

        Eggs & homemade wheat bread toasted with real butter/homemade sugar free jam or apple butter

        Eggs & oatmeal

        Eggs & grits with a little butter (SO cheap at GFS & Costc0!)

        Oatmeal casserole (with extra eggs!)

        French Toast casserole (lots of eggs!)

        Eggs & homemade granola

        Eggs & homemade muffins

        Protein (eggs) is the key to filling kids up along with freshly ground wheat flour; freshly ground flour contains protein.

    • Sara says:

      I stopped buying cereal a couple of months ago because I started making oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I have been feeding the kids less morning snacks…I guess that is why – no cold cereal! (big duh moment for me) Makes sense! 🙂 Cheaper two ways – in the actual cereal and then not having to buy snacks!

    • Stephanie says:

      The cereal thing is a great idea! You are right that they are just so hungry later. I am starting to use some as a trail mix base for car snacks- it seems to go further when there is some other bulk with it.

      • To answer the “What do your kids eat for breakfast besides cereal” question, my mom used to give us soup some mornings. Especially when it was cold out, she’d heat us up some chicken noodle soup. It was warm and filling and cheap. 🙂 My school aged kid doesn’t like soup so that doesn’t work for us.

        You could make fruit kabobs, that might be a fun breakfast item. Or give the kids pretzel sticks and sliced fruit to make their own (bananas, strawberry and halved grapes might work for that)

  • javajunkie says:

    I never buy shaving cream. I’ve used conditioner for shaving my legs ever since I was a teenager. Works awesome, and a lot of the time I can get it for free. If not, I just get the cheap 99 cent Suave bottles.

  • Laura says:

    Soda pop! 🙂 That gives it away that you live in the Midwest! No one around here would ever call it soda pop. It’s either Coke or Pepsi! I’m a Coke girl myself! I wish I had the discipline to give it up, but I do try to keep it at one can a day! I do always buy on sale! 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I was thinking the same thing – definitely not from the South. It’s all Coke here. And I drink one a day too – don’t like coffee and I have to feed my caffeine addiction somehow :).

  • Sarah says:

    My list has some of the same items as yours!
    1. Movies – we also rent movies a lot from Blockbuster Express, but only when I can get a free code.
    2. Laundry Detergent – it is much cheaper to make our own, so that is what I do!
    3. Fabric Softener/Dryer Sheets – I use about 1/2c vinegar in the rinse cycle instead, works fabulously.
    4. Bread – I make my own bread for about 35 cents a loaf instead of $2-3 for a ‘good’ loaf of bread in the store…plus mine doesn’t have additives and high fructose corn syrup 😉
    5. Soda – I refuse to buy soda. We used to buy cases of it religiously, but have weaned ourselves off. My hubby still sneaks in two liters occasionally, but everyone likes my homemade lemonade just fine 🙂
    6. Toothpaste – by matching coupons with sales, we get the majority of our toothpaste for free
    7. Body Wash – I used to be a religious body wash user, but have changed my ways to bar soap and my next DIY project will be making my own soap so hopefully we can take soap off the list completely 🙂

    • Do you have a good bread recipe you can share? I’ve never made homemade bread before, but am interested in trying! Is it easy enough to make by hand, or do you really “need” a bread machine?
      I like the idea of no additives or HFCS 🙂

      • Kerry D. says:

        Not too difficult; I’ve made nice bread, rolls and every week pizza! I’d check “the prudent homemaker” blog–that’s where I got my pizza dough recipe. The first couple times I made it, it was pretty messy with flour everywhere and sticky hands, but after a few times I got the hang of it. Now, I keep plenty of flour on my hands, and somehow off the flour. I knead on my granite counter but a cutting board will work if you don’t have a smooth counter. And, kneading time is more flexy than I thought–til the dough all sticks together in a nice consistency. The most IMPORTANT detail is getting the water temperature right, not too hot or too cold, feels like a warm summer day to me, I don’t even use a thermometer anymore. So, I mix the yeast, water, sugar in a bowl and let it sit for 10 min. before adding. If it worked, the stuff will be frothy, and if not, no change. You can buy yeast at costco for cheap, not at the grocery store! Try it! (I dont’ use my breadmaker often because its just a tiny loaf for our big family.)

      • Lana says:

        You don’t ‘need’ a bread machine but it makes the job SO much easier if you only eat homemade bread. If you follow any recipe precisely you should have success. Use a thermometer to make sure you have the right temperature water and don’t kill your yeast. The big job is kneading. You have to knead the dough for usually 10 minutes. A stand mixer such as a Kitchen Aid can do the job for you but a bread machine is cheaper if you would be making a purchase. The breadmachine I have was only $58 on Amazon and it pays for itself pretty quickly over buying good bread at the store. Crystal has an excellent pizza dough recipe here on her site. I have used the same recipe for about 25 years now. It is so good that we don’t care for pizza not made at home.

      • Here is a link to my bread recipe if you’re interested:

        I don’t like using a bread machine personally – I actually sold mine on craigslist. However, I DO use my Kitchen Aid mixer, and would recommend one or the other, unless your arms are much stronger than mine (which is totally possible 🙂 ) I love bread making though, and enjoy knowing that I’m feeding my family a healthier food while saving money!

  • K.C. says:

    Fabric softener. Swiffer pads. Lawn service. Chili or meatloaf seasoning packets; marinade packets.

    • B says:

      Oooh I cannot give up my swiffer pads. LOVE those things ! But as for the rest, I agree.

      • Kaitlin says:

        I use the blue dust rags you can buy in the store and just use them on the Swiffer mop instead of the Swiffer pads…I put them on the same way the pads go on by squishing the edges of the rag into the little holes on the top. It actually works better for me than the pads do and I can just throw them in the wash when I’m done!

        • B says:

          Are they regular rags or microfiber or something special? Thanks for the tip I would love to try them!

          • Kaitlin says:

            I think they are the microfiber ones. My MIL bought them when she came to help out after I had my first baby. They came from Walmart or Home Depot (the only options where we live) and just came in a big multi-pack. They feel ‘rougher’ and stick to each other…like they have more static in them than other rags do. I hope this helps!

  • Katie says:

    We don’t buy:
    shaving cream
    cleaners, just water and vinegar
    fabric sheets or fabric softner
    Cable TV
    fast food–yuck!
    I really enjoyed reading others comments as well. It’s nice to know we’re not alone. Thanks for the other ideas of things we can stop buying.

  • Emily says:

    I don’t buy sponges. I used worn out washcloths and towels for cleaning and then knitt my own washcloths for doing dishes.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Good list! I think you can get away easier without using dryer sheets if you wear only cottons, and natural fibers…those synthetics can go nuts in a dryer otherwise. I much prefer cotton myself…and hubby too, for that matter. I still use the sheets, but reuse them quite a few times and tear each into 3-4 pieces to use them.

    I think it is good you are not using those shaving creams too…ever look at the ingredients?? We really do need to be using more natural things. Thanks for the encouragement to try out the homemade soap…maybe we will go that route too. Though usually 2 bars per year of the nice goat milk soap from the health food store is all I need plus a bit of shampoo.

  • Beth says:

    In addition to many of the same things you listed, we also don’t buy frozen potatoes like tater tots. We only buy bagged chips/snacks to serve to guests or for a special occasion.

  • Jessica Drake says:

    I’m with you on most of this. Have you ever tried using wool dryer balls? I have zero crafting ability and I made these myself. They cut down on static and you can put some essential oil on them to make your clothes smell good if you like scent. I had never seen a french press until 2 weeks ago and now this is the third time I have heard of someone using one, I think I need to get one, we LOVE coffee. Now if I could just stop using paper towels…

  • Ashley says:

    Cereal and Milk! No matter how good the deal is we can always get a cheaper breaksfast with a cereal bar for my son and a quick scrambled egg for myself. If we buy cereal and milk it ends up being our late night snack or dinner subsitute. We save a good amount of money just by staying away from them. 🙂

  • BethB says:

    We’re mostly paper free in the kitchen but I do use paper towels for drying off meat (after rinsing a chicken, for example) and I’ve been using them in my son’s lunch as napkins. I can’t remember the last time we bought them so I’m guessin we go through an 8 pack every 6-9 months.

    We’ve only had cable briefly during our marriage. Both times it lasted about six months before we got tired of paying so much. We just make do with Netflix and don’t watch regular TV except for the news every once in awhile or a Packers game.

    My biggest change the past year was I stopped buying as many packaged food items as possible. Snacks for the kids (which had the nice result of making Goldfish and granola bars an extra special treat!), cereal (except for my husband’s Grapenuts which are apparently non-negotiable :)), salad dressing, bread, yogurt, and kifer. Canned beans as well. It’s been good changing the way we eat.

    I’ve also mostly stopped buying “real” books. I either use the library or ebooks. Although I have to be careful with the later because it’s way too easy to hit a button and buy the newest Anne Tyler novel and go over my personal spending budget. Ask me how I know. 🙂

    • Maria says:

      Why do you wash and dry your meat off? What if you didn’t dry it and cooked with it wet? I’ve never heard of this! (I do wash my turkey, though!)

      • BethB says:

        I always thought you were supposed to rinse chickens. I use mostly whole and half birds rather than peices (Which I probably wouldn’t rinse). I don’t rinse red meat or pork but we don’t eat much of those anyway.

        My deep freeze keeps things so frozen chickens are often not quite thawed when I take them out of the package. I usually need to run water inside in order to remove the giblets and such. I also usually brine them which means they need to be rinsed thoroughly so they’re not too salty.

    • Deb says:

      Buy books secondhand, sometimes 50 cents. You might wish to refer back to them. In case internet goes down you can always read a book and they last a long time if taken care of.

      • Stephanie says:

        I love for that. I am able to unload my unwanted books and build a more relevant library of what I do want. Yay decluttering!

      • BethB says:

        I don’t need an internet connection to read books on my phone’s Nook app. 🙂

        The challenge with paper books is twofold for me. First of all, you need light to read them. A great deal of my reading happens while cuddling my younger son to sleep in a dark room. The backlit phone is perfect for this. Secondly, I always forget to take paper books with me when I leave the house whereas I always have my phone. When I have an unexpected break in my work schedule or those other random times you end up with a few extra minutes it’s super to be able to whip out my phone and read a book.

        But yes, I do love used bookstores!

  • Anna says:

    Although I think it is great that you are saving money by not spending on the 7 things you have listed, how did your husband respond when you told him he could no longer use shaving cream and that he wouldn’t be viewing sporting games in his home? *this is a genuine question and not meant to have any harsh tone!!

    • Crystal says:

      Great question and I thought I should clarify:

      My husband and I chose to not have cable together. It was a complete joint decision.

      And as far as the shaving cream, that was 100% his choice to give it up. And if he changes his mind, I’ll happily buy shaving cream on sale with coupons for him–like I’ve done for years.

      We try to be on the same page about all decisions in our household–we’re a team and we’re in this together! That means lots of communication and compromise.

  • Melissa says:

    We gave up cable in dec. we have saved almost $600. It has help pay for family outing!

  • Melanie says:

    1) Make-up. (Not never-ever but the last time I wore any was in 2010, so I just keep a tinted moisturizer and a tinted balm and that’s it.)

    2) Books I haven’t already read.

    3) Smartphone/data plan

    4) Tampons. Use a menstrual cup instead

    5) Juice.

    6) Any food items marketed to children (except the rare summertime box of mini popsicles).

    7) Pre washed/pre-cut produce.

    8) Seasoning packets

    9) Satellite radio

    10) Lawn care

    • Sarah says:

      Curiosity – this is the first time I have heard of a menstrual cup…I can pretty much guess the usage but where do you get that? THAT is a way to save a TON of money!

      • Melanie says:

        I have both a DivaCup and a Lunette, both were purchased thru Amazon. I find the Lunette more user-friendly after having had two kids (it’s a bit shorter stem-to-stern than the Diva, and firmer). It cost maybe $30 upfront but if you take care of it it will last for years, which is maybe 3 cycles worth of tampons?

      • Andrea Q says:

        I saw something similar at CVS last week.

    • Ann says:

      I use a menstrualcuptoo. I have to say I LOVE it WAY more than tampons. A pity. Even trying 2 brands, I don’t get zero leak, so I still pads. But I really think it’s cleaner, and healthier, of course cheaper. It took me a SLIGHT while to get used to the idea though.

      Funny the is the only list that’s most like ours.

      The last becos we live in an apt. 🙂

    • Ashley says:

      Hmm. Really? Menstrual Cup?

    • I have popsicle molds and I make popsicles all the time. I made peach pie popsicles for yesterday’s snacks. They are so easy, and if you want to make whole fruit ones, it’s so much cheaper!

      • Amanda says:

        Brandy, yours is a really funny post following Ashley’s questions. It threw me off for just a second.

        I’m googling a menstral cup now.

        • Hahaha 🙂

          She mentioned several things. I”ve been pregnant some part of almost every year for the last 11 years, so I didn’t really worry too much about the other 🙂 Popsicles are pretty important around here, though! We have 5 months of above 90º temperatures, and most people run the a/c from April to mid-October.

    • Bean Sara says:

      No offense – just pay for tampons. That is disgusting!

    • Sarah T. says:

      I was going to mention a menstrual cup as well. I have a Keeper- am wearing it now in fact! LOVE not having to use tampons or pads! For those new to them- there’s a bit of a learning curve, and you need to give it a few cycles to figure out the best method of insertion, removal, etc. Watch a few youtube tutorials to get the gist of how everything is positioned inside and tricks for using them. Good stuff.

  • carole says:

    LOVE this most are on my list of thing i don’t buy too
    lots of business give freebies a way
    1. reusable bags same
    3.chip clips
    4.note pads
    5. magnets
    6.coloring books
    7. crayons

  • Danielle Hull says:

    Same on the shaving cream and cable TV.

    Similar for the movies, but we have purchased a few Christian family movies and movies for school, and the kids receive movies as gifts. We use cloth napkins and cut up old cotton shirts for rags, but with 6 kids, we cannot keep up, so I buy paper towels. And coffee filters are quite multi-purpose! You can make crafts with them 😉

  • April says:

    ok, I have to admit, we buy all of those

    Our moviebuying has drasically been reduced(usually something thats in a series…Harry Potter, Twilight, etc)

    I dont buy books(except the occasional cookbook, which I see if the library has first to see if I like it), i check out from the library.

    i dont buy paper/styro plates, even for parties…2 years back i bought some cheap picnic plateson clearance and I stash them in a cabinet until we have aparty.

    i was doing good about not buying paper towels, then our dog had pups and they make cleaning up after them easier. the pups are gone but a have a roll and half left.

    i just started recently making my own laundry detergent, but technically, I still ahve to buy theingredients to make it

    we dont buy microwavable foods cause well, we dont have a microwave:)

    • April says:

      and we dont pay for repair services, hubby can do just about everything(we did have to pay to have our furnace installed and some electrical work on my truck)

      no makeup for myself either, the oldest wears some but she has to purchase with her own $

      the only magazine I pay for is Mother Earth News, everything else I get through My Coke Rewards or free offers I find online

  • Christine says:

    I don’t use paper towels much but I do use it in the spring for frying fish. Some members of my family love to fish. It would be nice to have an alternative for this purpose.

  • pam says:

    We don’t buy cable tv, pop in our home or restaurants, anything that we can’t pay cash for, dry-clean only clothing, garbage bags for small cans, coffee, landline phone. Kindof hard to think of things backwards like that!

  • It’s hard to think of things that I don’t buy, even though there are a lot! Since I’m not buying them, I don’t give them a second thought. Reading your list and others reminds me of some of the things we don’t buy:

    Cell phone (I don’t have one)
    Coffee or tea
    Shaving cream (I wouldn’t have thought of this if you hadn’t mentioned it!)
    Dryer sheets or fabric softener (I carefully used the timed dry and I don’t have static problems)
    Perfume, aftershave, candles, air fresheners
    paper plates, paper napkins
    Canned beans (I buy dried beans in bulk instead)
    Fast food and eating out (We eat meals at home)
    Music (The last time I ddi this was beofre I was married–12 years ago)
    Cable tv (haven’t had it for almost 5 years, and before that we only had it for 3 or 4 years; we used an antenna before that)
    Vacation (If our income were different, this would be something we would do, however)
    Entertainment Our dates and fun are homemade or free
    Video games
    Cold cereal
    pre-packaged snack foods (we make our own snacks)

  • Hope says:

    I do buy papertowels. I know they are a waste of money, but there are a few things I’ve just decided the convenience is worth the waste. I fully agree with everything else on your list.

    Some other things we don’t buy (or extremely rarely buy),
    *cookie dough (cheaper, yummier, and healthier to make own)
    *cereal (it’s so expensive when you break it down and there’s very little nutrition in them)
    *air freshener

    Some things I’m trying to cut out or cut back on are books (using the library more often and free kindle downloads), eating out (what used to be a once a week thing is now 1-2 times per month), plastic bags (aka Ziploc bags – they are also really expensive when you think about it), cleaners (making my own or switching to all natural ones), toys (they don’t play with them anyway ;0) ), etc.

    Great article! I think it’s good to think about the things we really can do without or cut back on. I also think it’s good to find the right balance for your family. For instance, I don’t feel guilty using paper towels, but we stopped using paper plates unless we are camping.

    • I don’t buy cookie dough, either; we also make our own.

      One day a woman in thestore was looking at cookie dough by me (I was looking at eggs). She asked me a question about which of the brands was best. I didn’t have any idea, I said, since I always make my own.

      She said, “Oh, you must be one of those ‘homemaker’ people!”

  • Jane says:

    We buy all of these things!

  • Courtney says:

    Our list is pretty much the same, though we do buy coffee filters :-).

  • Amanda says:

    1. Cd’s–there are so many free sources of music nowadays!
    2. Haircuts for my hubby and kids, and I get mine at the local beauty college, so it’s less than 1/2 of even the cheap haircutting chains.
    3. House plants–I love plants, and the nice thing is that they can be divided to grow more or give to friends and family.

    • What are your favorite sources for free music? Though I haven’t bought music for 12 years, my oldest child is starting to be interested in having some of her “own” music.

      • Andrea Q says:

        Amazon has free MP3s all the time. Individual artists often have downloads on their sites, but those are harder to find. Also, every couple of months, MSM shares a code for free MP3s from Amazon.

      • Andrea Q says:

        Also, borrow CDs from the library. You can get almost anything through inter-library loan.

      • Amy says:

        We use Spotify to download & listen to music. The free version means that after a certain number of songs a quick ad pops up, but it’s worth it not to have to pay for music. It doesn’t have every song we’re looking for but we’ve found most of the contemporary Christian music that we like to listen to.

  • Stephanie says:

    I’ve stopped buying shaving cream too. I use hair conditioner instead and it works great and I don’t have try to get it to lather and I don’t cut myself (big deal for me :).

    We usually buy kid movies, but usually as a birthday or Christmas gift.

    I do buy some papertowels, mostly for my husband, but we mostly use rags. I want to switch to cloth napkins too. Half the time my kids go grab a towel instead of a paper napkin anyway.

  • Amy says:

    I’ve only used shaving cream a handful of times my whole life. I only use water now, and it works just fine.

    I’m about to start making my own laundry detergent, so that will be off my list, and as soon as I run out of dishwasher detergent, I’ll make that as well.

    I haven’t bought paper towels in what seems like forever, and we don’t miss them. The only time we buy paper napkins is if we’re having a big cookout/party.

    I don’t buy refrigerated cookie dough. I either bake from scratch or from a bagged mix.

    We don’t have cable/satellite tv. We have Netflix and can watch nearly any other event online for free.

    New clothing (for myself and the kids). I shop at Goodwill and other second hand stores for myself and at local consignment sales every 6 months for the kids. It’s also a GREAT way to get rid of the clothes/shoes/toys that no longer fit or that they don’t use. I’ve also gotten things for free on FreeCycle. I have a Little Tykes bounce house (MSRP $200+) that I got FOR FREE on FreeCycle.

    Lawn care – Hubs mows and does the weed eating himself.

    Cokes – We very rarely have any kind of carbonated beverages in the house, except during a sickness. If we do, it’s because we’re having a cookout or party. And in place of cokes, if I need an energy boost, I drink Spark, which is MUCH better for you, has a ton of vitamins, and is sugar free. 🙂

    Movies – Netflix comes into play here, as do free codes for Redbox. Every now and then, we’ll check a few out from the library or borrow from a friend.

    Books – I quit buying them and instead, check them out at the library or get hand-me-downs or second hand books for free or super cheap.

    Home phone – We use MagicJack. It’s only $20 a year, which is about the cost of one month of home phone service. Granted, if the power goes out it won’t work due to no internet, but that’s what our cell phones and their car chargers are for.

    Custom-made labels. I love the look, but can’t stand the price. Instead, I print them myself using Avery labels of whatever size.

    Nursing pads. I wish I’d learned this with my first child, but with my second (and last) I made my own nursing pads out of flannel. They worked great, and I never had to buy the disposable ones.

    • Just curious: What do you use labels for? If you are using them for sending cards, you can always just run your envelopes through the printer without any labels at all. I am guessing you have a different use for them.

      • Amy says:

        I just recently moved into a much larger house and am FINALLY able to store all of my stockpiled items into plastic storage boxes. Some of them are clear, some are not, but I wanted professional-looking labels for them. I used clear address labels and printed customized labels in fuschia with a fun font. It shows up on all of the boxes and everything looks great!

  • stephanie says:

    I don’t buy lots of things already mentioned… some others: bottled salad dressing, frozen dinners, we use a home theater pc for recording tv shows (I had no idea people paid a fee for dvr?!), also no cable we just record shows from stations we pick up with the antenna.

    Love this post, what fun. 🙂

  • Bean Sara says:

    I am pefectly happy paying for cable. My husband spends way less money than he would to go somewhere to watch hockey, me volleyball, etc. We have to have internet and so its not actually that much more per month to have the cable.

  • April says:

    We do buy shaving cream, but we don’t buy anything else on that list. I’ve discovered tons of cleaners mixing vinegar and other random things on Pinterest, so I’m knocking out cleaners one by one. Right now, I’m trying to get rid of buying eye makeup remover. I wear a lot of eye makeup, so it has to really work well to actually become a permanent replacement!

  • Sara Z. says:

    I don’t know that I can come up with 7 things, but I have a few:

    Cable TV – though I do buy and rent DVDs – buying almost always the $5 ones from Wal-Mart unless it is a birthday or Christmas gift

    Soda – nope, nope, nope

    Facial cleanser – I have been using the oil cleansing method for a few years now. Occasionally I will have to buy a bottle from the store in the heat of summer, but most of the year the oil method works perfectly

    I will be looking for more things that I can do without 🙂

  • Christina Vickers says:

    1. Cable/Satellite. We had it for a couple of years when we lived out of town and received no service for our TV whatsoever, but we have since moved back in town and were given a converter box for local channels. My husband and kids do thoroughly enjoy Netflix instant.
    2. Home phone. I just told someone earlier today that it has probably been 10 years since I’ve had home phone service.
    3. Dryer sheets. Haven’t used them since my 5 yo was born.
    4. Microwave meals. We don’t have a microwave, either. Every once in a while I buy a microwave meal if I know we will be somewhere it will be convenient, but that may have happened all of twice in the last year.
    5. Magazine subscriptions. Who has time?
    6. Boxed meals, like Hamburger Helper, Kraft Mac n Cheese, or Rice a Roni. If we want foods like these, I have found some super easy and better tasting alternatives. Plus my kids don’t eat it if I DO make it from the box!
    7. Certain salon services. Mainly, no hair color, nail services, spa type treatments. I’m the only member of my family who even pays to have my hair cut, and then only once every 3 months. My husband and two kids get his sister to cut their hair. 🙂

  • Jekkiecoupon says:

    I love the French Press but haven’t figured out an easy way to clean it after each use. Any suggestions? I’d heard you can’t put coffee grounds down the sink.

    • Crystal says:

      You can put the coffee grounds in your compost, if you have one. We just stick our French Press in the dishwasher, though you can handwash it, too.

  • Toni says:

    1. dryer sheets/fabric softener
    2. soda/pop
    3. frozen pizzas
    4. guinea pig bedding (we use fleece and diaper changing pads)
    5. entertainment books (the $30-$50 books)
    6. meat (we are flexitarians; eat very small amounts infrequently but do not buy in our regular shopping budget)
    7. higher technologies (i-phones, smart phones, i-pads, etc.) We only have a pay-as-you-go phone and only for vacations.

  • K* says:

    It’s funny! I end up buying a lot of those things because I live in an apartment and with law school, wouldn’t be able to handle the extra burden of going to the laundromat so often (so, no rags).

    I do what I can with the information on these websites, even though I don’t have kids and only live with one other person. I practice couponing and stockpiling, though. 😉

    7 Things We Don’t Pay For!

    1.) Toothpaste! (always, always, always free with a coupon!)
    2.) Pads/tampons (see above!)
    3. Disposable razors (I save up and buy nice ones when they are on sale with a coupon, for even lower prices than the awful, cheapie ones.)
    4.) New books – with rare exception, I don’t buy new books.
    5.) K-cups! – we won a Keurig at his company Christmas party, and have been using free Amazon cards to buy the K-cups/coffee to fill the refillable
    6.) Starbucks – my school has a program where those who take a cleaning shift for our kitchen get a $10 giftcard to Starbucks. I have accumulated several. It’s nice to get out for a latte, and even nicer when it’s free!
    7.) Makeup – with the exception of foundation, everything else I get is free with coupons, thanks to the genius that is the drugstore game.

  • I hardly ever buy soda for our house UNLESS we are having a party or company. I NEVER buy it just for our family. I don’t like soda at all and my husband drinks it once in a great while. I definitely don’t give it to my son either. It saves us money every week at the grocery store and also saves when we go out to eat since we usually just drink water.

  • Shellie says:

    I used to only use soap as well to shave with, but soap was more drying on my skin, and it dulled my razor faster, not to mention it doesn’t rinse out of the tub as easy and scums the tub up faster. I buy a large can of shaving cream from the Dollar Tree a few times a year. They last me a really long time. There are times I use hair conditioner to shave with, which is cheap with coupons and leaves your legs soft. I use the small bottles of lotions and conditioner my husband brings back from business trips to shave with. We have always used washable rags instead of paper towels, but I do keep paper towels for others on rare occasions. A large package of several rolls of paper towels will last us a year or more and most of the time I send some out of them to school for the kids class rooms. We RARELY ever go to the movies and when we do we go to the 2 dollar theater and the library has free movie nights. We have never paid for cable either. However we do buy movies, when they are reasonably priced, because what is on free TV isn’t fit to watch most of the time. I get lots of movies from the library as well. I don’t buy soda very often either, but I do make a lot of sweet tea, and my son likes to make cool aid. I LOOOVE fabric softener for the smell. One thing I have done for years is to use what is cheapest, on sale or with a coupon, but buy fabreeze or use body sprays to spritz my clothes while I am ironing them to get that fresh smell.

  • Dee W says:

    It is hard to remember the things we don’t buy, mostly because we have not been buying them for so long I don’t think about them.
    1. paper towels- just use rags, dish clothes, etc.
    2. prepared mixes/ frozen meals/ dry meal mixes, etc- make it all from scratch
    3. Cleaning wipes/ swifters, etc.- use a rag mop, rags with spray cleaner
    4. Diapers/ wipes- maybe because my kids are 15-21 yrs. Just kidding, hoping someone got a laugh out out of that.
    5.soda- cut it out a couple of years ago

  • MK Jorgenson says:

    I will admit that I miss the satellite TV I grew up with in my parents’ home; they got it primarily to watch the Twins play baseball.

    My husband and I don’t live in Minnesota anymore, so when we started doing the math to travel to Minneapolis for a game…with a toddler…we started looking at other options. may be $149/year that we don’t need to spend…but it’ll be really nice to watch any and every game we want from our computer (or TV), for a lot less than the travel to see just one game at Target Field! And free-after-coupon hot dogs? Yes please! 😉

  • I agree with the paper towels. The waste involved is incredible. We find that people often use more than they need and it is expensive also.

  • karen r says:

    Interesting idea. Let’s see… we don’t use:
    Shaving cream
    Paper towels
    Paper napkins (a washcloth does fine)
    Kleenex (we use toilet paper for that)
    Fabric Softener
    Stain removers for the laundry
    Air fresheners
    Paper plates, cups, etc. (we use some cheap plastic ones for parties and just run the dishwasher afterwards)
    Toilet bowl cleaner (we just use a squirt of free shampoo)
    Children’s haircuts
    Coffee filters (we use a metal reusable one)
    And I only use the internet on my phone or at the library because they required us to have a landline to have internet service and we don’t need a landline.

    We limit spending on books, movies, and music by using the library and only purchasing ones we know we want our own copy of.

    We do go to the movies, have satellite tv, and sometimes buy convienience foods or premade coffee drinks. The bottled coffee is next on my list to drop.

  • Megan says:

    We don’t buy….
    laundry soap (we make our own)
    fabric softener (also we make our own)
    granite counter cleaner (again, homemade)
    bottled water (tap is fine!)
    coffee beans (because my lovely sister works at a major chain & gives it to us for free!)
    shaving cream (I’ve found soap works just fine)
    french bread (sounds odd I know, but my church has a bread table each Sunday, so if I want it, it’s free)

  • Jennifer says:

    fabric softener – white vinegar in the rinse cycle does wonders to fight static and soften clothes!

    Cable TV – we use netflix instead. Haven’t had cable for almost 8 years.

    General cleaning products – white vinegar again!

    I’m hoping to soon add some more to the list – like soda and movies, but I have to get my husband on board for those! I would love to say fast food and paper towels, but they are such a hard “easy” habit to break!

  • WorkSaveLive says:

    What a fun list! I may have to use this idea on my blog!

    We don’t buy movies, shaving cream, soda, or cable TV either!

    Hmm…what else don’t we buy? Internet for our phones. Any technology gadget that starts with an i.

  • Sarah T. says:

    LOVE reading all the comments! My 2 cents:

    1. I also use dryer balls.
    2. Just discovered the Dritz Washer ball!! LOVE IT!!!! Was making my own laundry detergent before, but this handy gizmo really works! Was on sale for .97 at JoAnn’s and it’s good for 500 washes. Woo hoo!
    3. Toothpaste- Even when free, I hate all the chemicals. Started making my own and I’m hooked. My recipe is: 2 T. Redmond Clay, 1 t. baking soda, few drops peppermint oil, 1 packet stevia powder, water to desired consistency. NOTE: doing mix with anything metal, as the clay has a negative charge, and you don’t want to lose that. Then you can swallow your toothpaste, and do a little detox in the process!
    4. Menstrual Cup instead of tampons/pads (see comments earlier)
    5. The other obvious ones: data plans, cable tv, gaming stations, etc.

    My vices:
    1. disposable diapers and wipes
    2. soda with Friday night pizza
    3. Bent and Dents- Amish stores stocked with .50 boxes of snack crackers and random canned food items. Love this for packing easy lunches for school. Bonus- many times it’s organic!

  • Emily says:

    wow…we don’t buy anything on that list either. Sometimes I walk down the aisles of stores and wonder “who buys that?!” because I certainly don’t!

  • Martina says:

    We don’t pay for papertowel’s, napkins, laundry soap or dryersheets (we hang our Laundry), Diapers or Menstrual Pads ( all Cloth), and Shampoo ( i use bakingsoda), we don’t pay for Cable or Landline and only use a Prepaid phone.. right now i am still trying to figure out how to make soap, and dishsoap.

  • Jessica says:

    I don’t buy maxi pads. About 5 years ago I invested in cloth mama pads and I’ve never gone back! I wash them along with cloth diapers. Although I’m lucky in that after my daughter, I didn’t have my first postpartum period until she was 21 months old. And with my son, I didn’t have my first postpartum period until he was 19 months old. Yay for breastfeeding!!

    Other things I don’t buy:
    deodorant- don’t use it. I use cornstarch or baby powder instead
    newspapers- canceled my subscription 1 year ago
    magazines- I sign up for free ones that interest me but I do not pay for magazines.
    cable- never had it, never plan to
    gum- it’s terrible for teeth
    pop- we serve it twice a year- just at kids birthdays.
    hair services- we don’t color or perm and I am the barber

    • Erica says:

      I tried giving up deodorant but it’s hard out in the desert during summer. I haven’t heard of using baby powder, I used to just dust with aluminum-free baking soda. It does the job great when it’s not 100+ degrees outside!

      • Lana says:

        I have been using a mineral salt crystal deoderant for over 20 years. One crystal lasts at least a year. You have to get used to how it feels because you do sweat but the salt on your skin takes care of the odor. No way we will ever go back to the chemicals in regular deoderants. I started using the crystal when we still lived in Florida and we really did sweat with the high humidity. It worked fine for us.

    • That’s awesome! I’ve never heard of cloth mama, but we cloth diaper our kids, and I’ve often wondered why there wasn’t a cloth pad out there. I should’ve googled it! A friend in college used some sort of reusable cup, as I remember. Anyhow, we also do not pay for diapers, shaving cream, paper towels, soda, dryer sheets, fabric softner, dryer sheets, gum, magazines, hair services, or cable TV. 🙂

  • Erin says:

    I love all the ideas I read in the posts….we buy alot of what many of you don’t but now I have spme new goals.
    Make my own laundry soap once I run out…use a dryer ball instead of sheets…and cloth diaper my next baby (currently just a thought in our minds)…we have a 14 month old dgt and I never even thoughht about cloth (wonder how daycare would feel about it). Anyways we have some friend who cloth diaper and the more I see the more I like it…need to read up more. Oh ya and home made nursing pads…another great idea:)

  • Megan Hopkins says:

    We’ve never paid for TV… because our antennae picks up all the major network channels plus more! I don’t know why more people don’t simply plug in an antennae to their TVs and taking advantage of what comes in free over the airwaves! The digital changeover a couple years ago gave us more channels and better quality, too!

    • Christy says:

      For us were we live, since the changeover we can’t get any channels. So we have to pay for basic stations, especially so we can watch weather and track storms in the summer.

  • Heather says:

    We don’t buy magazine subscriptions (always seem to get them free with airline miles, Rewards Gold, or other offers)

    Paper Towels (same as you – we use rags)

    Dusting kits or dusting feathers or any kind of dust shine spray (use old cloth diapers which I dampen just a tad with some water – works great)

    Candles, air freshners… (stinky stuff and allergies to boot in our family)

    Juice – (eat fresh fruit instead and we try to drink lots of water in addition to organic milk)

    Lunch meat (just don’t eat them – ever)

    Bottled Water – we use our BPA free drink holders and use the water from our filtered system

  • Cynthia says:

    Love this post!

    Paper towels. I have had a a pack of 12 rolls for almost a year and haven’t used up one roll yet. I check the clearance racks at most stores when I visit them and buy cloth towels as cheaply as possible.

    Paper napkins. I visited about 5 thrift stores and bought up every nice cloth napkin they had and got close to 50 for about 5 bucks total. I then bought a cute basket at a thrift store to store them in. Once a week I wash them with my load of towels. I do have a stash of paper napkins that I got for free couponing that I keep for visitors if they want, but most always comment what a great idea my basket of cloth napkins is!

    Books. I have a Kindle so I only download the freebies. I also check my local libraries for any that I just gotta read.

    Magazines. Seriously why buy them, they are mostly full of advertisments anyway. Most libraries have subs to most magazines you can read if you just have to.

    Movies. We never, ever go to a full price show. We now only use Redbox and most of the time we have free codes from either couponing or watching the internet for them.

    I do use fabric softener sheets, but I have about a 5 year supply of sheets that I got for like 15 cents a box couponing. I still can’t be wasteful and tear the sheet in half most times.

    Cleaners. I use vinegar for everything. Seriously it has to be the most miraculous substance ever! If and when I ever run out of fabric softerner sheets then I will switch to vinegar.

    Clothes. I rarely ever buy new clothes. I find wonderful things at thrift stores.

    There are more things, but I just can’t seem to think of them right now.

  • Holly says:

    I’d love for those of you who gave up paper towels to weigh in on this. Over the past three years, I have gone back and forth, trying to get rid of paper towels. The main thing that keeps me going back = nasty smells in the laundry. I do a small load of ONLY rags but they come out smelling musty. I don’t have an indefinite supply of rags, so it gets frustrating when I have to throw them out because of the nasty smell. Any suggestions?!?! I already use a vinegar soak on them.

    Also, I will NEVER be able to fully give up paper towels because I love the convenience of making a few pieces of bacon quickly in the microwave. The paper towels are needed on the bottom and top of the bacon to keep the grease from splattering and making a mess. I have tried to bacon microwave plate, but don’t like it.

    • Christine says:

      Have you tried putting vinegar in the rinse cycle? We use a little in every load because it’s a great fabric softener, but it also takes t he smell out of most things and it doesn’t leave the vinegar smell behind.

    • Ellen says:

      I totally understand the musty-smell problem. Make sure your rags are dry before you dump them in the laundry— hang them over the sink to dry, over the edge of the laundry basket, etc. That will help cut down on the smell. I also use a rag for one day, tops. I’ve found if I reuse a rag over and over for more than one day, they tend to get pretty icky! I also use bac-out odor eliminator every few months. I dump about a 1/2 c in the washer with the towels and hot water, then let sit overnight. In the morning, add your detergent and finish the wash cycle. They will smell as good as new!

      And microwave bacon is just about the ONLY reason we keep paper towels in the house 🙂

      • Betsy says:

        I second letting them completely dry out before putting in the laundry basket. I have a small laundry basket (dollar store) that I keep on top of my dryer that I hang them on the edge until fully dry and then toss them in. I also don’t use one for more than a day.

    • I use rags all the time. Someone gave me microfiber rags, and they never seem to have a problem.

      I second the vinegar suggestion and also like to hang mine outside. The sun helps kill germs. 🙂

    • Holly says:

      Yup, I need to start hanging these things outside to dry, I think! It’s about the only thing I have not tried. I already use vinegar in my wash cycle.

      Thanks so much for the tips! I love this community!

      • Lauren says:

        Try sprinkling baking soda over them everyday in between washes. This has worked for cloth diapers and rags for me. I just sprinkle a bit over each one as I drop it in the pail. It is good for absorbing grease, too… so you may even be able to microwave bacon with lint free cloths!

        Btw, my mom has one of those rad microwaveable bacon trays and it makes the best bacon. If you could find one at a goodwill or thrift store, maybe the old fashioned kind will work better?

    • rkessler says:

      To make bacon with not alot of mess try a george forman grill. Most of the grease drains off.

      • Just put a little bleach in with your towels…they don’t need to be pretty if they are just cleaning up messes! That’s what we do and until we added bleach, they had that smell as well.

    • I always use bleach in with the rags in the wash.

    • Kristin says:

      Biokleen Bac-out and drying out in the sun!

    • Gabby says:

      We use about 6 rolls of paper towels a year. I have 4 cats, I don’t like cleaning up hair balls with cloth rags. I use cloth for all other cleaning.

      • Angela says:

        instead of paper towels for cat hair, try the yellow plastic gloves that you use for dishwashing, you just use them dry, run them over the furniture or carpet and the car hair just pills up and you can throw it way, it works great

    • Jolene says:

      Wash them in one cup sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white vinegar in hot water. Works like a charm, no more yucky smell as soon as they get wet again!

    • Lana says:

      Use borax in your rag load. Just 1/4 cup or so will do the job and it will kill the mold you are smelling. I never use a rag to clean up milk and leave it sit around because it does smell rotten.

    • Cindy says:

      As for the bacon, have you ever tried making it in the oven? Just lay the bacon out on a cookie sheet and then turn on the oven to 400 (don’t preheat). Check it every 10 minutes. You can pour off the grease once in awhile if you like, but it’s usually done in 20 minutes and doesn’t make all the mess in the microwave or all over the stove (and the house doesn’t end up smelling like bacon grease).

    • Jana Biel says:

      Someone told me to microwave a damp stinky rag to kill bacteria. Seems to work great, unless you forget to dampen it. Then you start a fire in your microwave…not that I know!

    • Julie in IN says:

      Make your bacon in the oven and save the grease to make your own cream soups or bases.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hmmm, well I probably pay for more things that I should, but I’m getting better!

    1. Hair cuts or professional treatments or styling for the females. We keep our hair uncut and as undamaged as possible.

    2. Hair cuts for the boys. I have a clipper set and shave them. Hubby does get his cut, though.

    3. TV or movies of any kind. We don’t Hulu or anything, either.

    4. New books. We do library or the thrift store only. The rare occassions we get new books, it’s either a gift or paid for with Swagbucks.

    5. Land line phone. We use our cell phones, which are actually only $20 a month for us because my parents added us to their family plan for $10 a month each. They were already paying for their plan with no intention to ever stop, so it was a win for us! We get unlimited texting and a boatload of minutes.

    6. Make-up. We go natural.

    7. The newspaper. If I want the coupons (which is rare here lately) I get them from my dad.

    I’ve reduced usage of so many things here over the last few years, thanks to blogs like this one, but I can’t say that I “don’t buy” them yet.

  • Sue Ann says:

    LANDLINE: what a rip-off at $40/month. We switched to an Ooma box and got phone service with our same phone #, with 911, with caller ID, and FREE long distance for $3/month!!

    CABLE TV: We check out library movies when we want to see something or occasionally get Netflix. You can put it on hold at any given month.


    FULL CELL PHONE SERVICE: I just use a pay-as-you-go and save $100’s a year. Then my kids can call with the home phone to me.

    HOME REPAIRS: My husband is the best fixer and repairer and can learn new things from the internet too when it’s something new to him.

    OIL CHANGES: My husband does them much cheaper at home.

    MOVIES & BOOKS: We do not go to movie theaters and rarely rent movies. Our library gets the new releases. And, we check out books instead of buying them. Our library will get them for us on interlibrary loan if it’s not there.

    • Gail says:

      “Ooma box and got phone service with our same phone #, with 911, with caller ID, and FREE long distance for $3/month!!” – What is this ? I’ve never heard of it. Sounds interesting 🙂 Thanks

    • I’m with Gail–I’ve not heard of this. I have home phone (no long distance, no caller id, no call waiting) and pay $15.65 a month. I would love to cut that down.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      How does your husband dispose of the oil? This was our problem when we tried this. We have someone else do it now because the cost of disposing the oil wasn’t worth saving the $20.

      • Lana says:

        Our local auto parts stores take the oil back. Hubby just takes it in and pours it into their large container of used oil. If you have Advance Auto they all take oil as far as I know.

      • Dana says:

        My husband just catches ours in an old jug and takes it down to the local oil change place to dispose of. Where I live, there’s no charge and I think they’re required by law to take it. You might also check an auto parts store.

    • Sue Ann says:

      You can get Magic Jack also (at Best Buy), but we heard poor reviews of it working well. We bought an Ooma box at Best Buy. More info here:

  • Ashley P says:

    Don’t buy cable/satellite. Netflix and the library work fine for us.

    Don’t buy precut steaks anymore. We buy whole sirloin roasts and hubby (a former meat cutter at Publix) cuts them into steaks.

    Don’t buy pre-mixed salads. (I hate bunny-rabbit food. I’m a carnivore to the core! But hubby loves a salad, so we make them fresh.)

    Believe it or not, I don’t buy CLOTHES! Oh, I get dress shirts for hubby, but for myself…. I actually only buy clothes once in a blue moon. God has blessed me with a slender body, and people keep GIVING me stuff they’ve outgrown. I think the last time I bought clothes was 2 new cotton dress shirts for work… last year. I take pretty good care of my clothes, and most of what I wear is pretty durable (hardly anything to iron, and if I’m sneaky enough, I can get away with wearing the same thing twice in a week.) so I’ve got stuff that lasts and lasts. I have left-over scrubs from my last job in a medical office that are so comfy, I use them to lounge around the house in.

    I do buy movies, but not often. For one thing, my MIL always gives us a stack of hers for Christmas, and for another there just isn’t that much out there that’s good that I don’t already own. But I may splurge this year, since there are a couple of new releases I’m interested in (e.g. a new Veggietales video. That Larry cracks me up every time!).

  • 1. Bottled water – our water tastes bad so we fill up on 25 cents a gallon at water stations, much cheaper than individual bottles. We only buy bottle waters for parties or on trips.
    2. Fabric softener – the first time I bought this was to make homemade febreeze
    3. Garbage bags – we currently only have 2 small trash cans, so grocery bags work great.
    4. Shaving cream for me – I use body wash or conditioner, but I do buy shaving cream for him.
    5. Post-it notes – scraps of paper work just fine for writing lists on.
    6. Internet for our phones – we both have cheap cell phones and no Internet access on them.
    7. Home phone. Since both me and my husband have cell phones we’ve never felt the need for a home phone.

  • angie says:

    I will list what we don’t buy: and the replacement we use instead.
    paper napkins: linen or washcloths
    trash bags: department store bags
    drycleaning service: almost all are really machine washable
    bottled water: re-usable water bottles
    drinks at sit-down restaurants: water with lemon, please
    waxed paper: bags that cereal come inside the box
    DVR: no show worth catching up on.

  • Holly says:

    Not sure I can come up with seven. This is what I’ve got:

    1. Manicure/pedicure
    2. Cable. Got rid of it three years ago and I will NEVER go back. Purchased a cheap antenna for local channels and my family LOVES Netflix.
    3. Salon hair color. Get mine from a box, do it myself.
    4. Boxed cake mixes.
    5. Books. I only read FREE ebooks on my ipod. I use the library.
    6. Paper plates.
    7. Shaving cream. Conditioner makes my legs much smoother.

  • Thing our Family does not spend $$ on….
    We have never paid a cell phone bill since we have been married! Almost eight years. My husband has a company cell phone and we had 4kids in four years so if I am not home you can find me at Meijer. This is not a NEED if you have to cut something out of the budget!
    We do all our own home improvements and never pay for Labor.
    We have never paid a car payment.
    No Gym membership
    With four kids and in 7years we have only paid for a babysitter once!
    ( yup…poor grandma and grandpa) but honestly probably only use them 12X a year…
    In the last year we have not had to pay for heat due to inserting a wood burner into our fireplace. We made it known at our church and to friends and we always seem to have enough places to cut wood.
    We have never paid PMI insurance on a mortgage
    I 90% of the time get my childrens clothes at garage sales
    We do not pay for cable

    Again Nothing wrong with these…I just find so many people complain about money as they are taking out their iphone…

    • Julie in IN says:

      All of our family lives out of our county or out of state; it is cheaper for us to pay for a cell phone than to call them long distance; even a dozen calls a month to all our family total was making our landline bill higher than the lowest cell phone plan years ago.

      We now renew and have 10 year old cell phone rates!

      Agreeing that an i-phone is a luxury we do not pay for here.

  • Karen says:

    1. Paper plates, napkins, cups, plastic silverware, etc. –I’d rather just wash the dishes.
    2. Disposable diapers and baby wipes–we use cloth diapers and old washclothes.
    3. Feminine products–since I’m already CDing I invested in cloth pads; so much nicer than the alternative.
    4.Seasoning packets and salad dressing–We like the homemade versions better.
    5. Return address labels–If I don’t have any from solicitation mailings, it only takes a second to write my address on the envelope myself.
    6. School lunches–Although, honestly, he probably wouldn’t eat them even if I gave him the choice.
    7. Home phone and Cable services–We use our cell phones and get videos from the library if we want to watch something.

  • Linda Georgis says:

    I love reading all your posts!! Can you all tell me (I’m in FL and have Brighthouse) if I get rid of my cable tv, what do I do?? What mode do we use to watch some programs? Kids and I really don’t watch THAT much tv. I watch only one program a week on the Syfy channel and kids watch a couple of shows on Cartoon Network per week. Would I subscribe to internet only?? Thanks for your help!!

    • Becky says:

      You can get a lot of digital channels through an antenna these days. We used to get 4 channels, now we get 14 and could probably get more with a better antenna.

  • Christine says:

    We don’t pay for cable TV, shaving cream(hair conditioner works way better), cleaning products, or fabric softener(vinegar works best).

  • Anna says:

    We make our own granola, and it’s way cheaper and yummier than the store-bought stuff. I make our laundry soap and fabric softener now too, thanks to some great online recipes 🙂 We also do not buy shave gel, DVD’s, computer games, apps, a home phone line, or a TV — We have been given 4 free TV’s in our marriage — they weren’t the best, but hey, we never had to pay for them, praise the Lord!

  • Amanda says:

    Hulu plus- $7.99
    Cable – a lot more haha
    I love tv haha
    So it’s a good alternative if you like tv

  • Jackie says:

    Love it! My family has made some of the same decisions. We don’t buy movies or soda, and we love our french press. The coffee it makes is delicious and it makes just the right amount for the two of us. We also don’t buy ziploc baggies, using resusable velcro baggies instead, for the kids lunches.

  • Erica says:

    Seven things we don’t buy:

    *Meat, Dairy, Eggs (we’re vegan!)
    *Dryer sheets/fabric softener
    *Water bottles/jugs (we refill right now, and are planning on buying our own filter soon)
    *Cable TV (same reason, plus our city has 45+ free broadcast channels, including 4 PBS channels)
    *Fancy Pants coffee (no Starbucks, Coffee Bean, or Dunkin’ Donuts for us)

    There is probably a lot more that we don’t buy or pay for, but these are the things that we are more aware of especially because of our peers. A lot of the things on the list are things people just see as a part of everyday life, and for us to go out of our way not to do it makes us seem “weird”.

  • Shannon says:

    Wow! I must say, my family saves a ton of money compared to people we know, but you ladies have gone bare bones in comparison to us.
    What we don’t buy:
    processed or fast foods
    lawn care people
    fabric softener
    data plans on cell phones – or smart phones, for that matter
    mani/pedi – most anything for ‘beauty’
    anything name brand if not at least 50% off

    We have three daughters and two standard poodles. Clothing and dog grooming are musts for us, but we in no way subscribe to keeping up with the Jones’. Our vehicles are not new, our house is not giant and we are not electronics junkies.
    Oh, and my children have handheld gaming devices. They do come in handy at times for me (dr appt, etc) and after seven years of having them in the home and the oldest being invited and accepted into the gifted program at school, see no evidence what so ever of “rotting brains out”.

  • rkessler says:

    I cut corners in so many ways but HD Cable TV, High Speed Internet and Landline phone I will not give up.

    • Julie in IN says:

      High speed internet saves us more money than we spend on it each month; between lower prices with free shipping, deals found on MSM and printable coupons–we cannot save without high speed internet. Agreed!

  • Doretta says:

    I consider myself a thrifty person but one “splurge” is as many paper towels as necessary for cleaning up after my kiddos get sick from stomach flu. 😉

  • kassandra says:

    We don’t pay for:
    * home phone or internet, instead we use unlimited month-to-month cell phone plans, running our computers off of our tethering/portable hotspot,
    * electricity to dry our towels/linens/t-shirts, etc. during warm months (We live in SC where it is warm to hot almost year-round) I use both indoor and outdoor methods to line dry some laundry, if they feel crunchy, I fluff them with tennis balls on a cool cycle,
    * dryer sheets/fabric softener (unless free),
    * paper towels, napkins, paper products…. we roll hand towels and place them in a wine bottle holder, cute & manageable,
    * used children’s clothing… I started selling our babies’ used clothing for a profit, I learned over ffee tests to sell and then I buy clothing at yard sales and thrift stores for pennies, then our children wear them and I resell them, usually for more than I paid for them. Then, I cycle the $$$$$ towards clothes for the next season. I came out of pocket once and then cycle the clothes and the funds,
    * anything that we can get free with coupons!

  • Wendy says:

    A suggestion: make friends with a doctor or a surgical nurse. Doctors wash their hands and then dry them on sterile towels before each surgery – then the towels aren’t sterile anymore and are normally thrown out. Often the doctors and nurses are free to take the towels home. They’re good quality blue cloth, lint-free, and reusable for YEARS. My dad has brought enough home to stock my parents, my two siblings, my house, and several relatives and family friends – and they’re FREE! At one towel per surgery times nine or ten surgeries a week, that’s a lot of towels!

  • Susan says:

    I don’t buy paper for the printer. Check out Staples–they are always running free paper deals. I need paper in my printer for all the coupons:).
    I don’t buy yogurt (anymore), detangler, or hand soap, thanks to your website:).
    I don’t buy books (free at the library) or movies.
    Life isn’t free, so I prefer spending money on things I can’t get cheaper or homemade and feel less guilty doing so!

  • Stef says:

    1. Books – we only download free ones
    2. Pedicures – do them at home
    3. Salon or boxed Hair color (don’t need to yet)
    4. Liquid Softener
    5. Air Fresheners or candles
    6. Floor cleaners or degreasers — use vinegar for almost everything
    7. Paper Towels – use rags or dishtowels

  • Brynn says:

    Wow, I am so impressed with all of your savings!!! I have to admit, I’ve never even HEARD of a cloth alternative to maxi pads…I just figured that once they came out with Always/Stayfree, whatever…that was it for cloth!! I actually seem to get pads and tampons regularly for $1 or less a box, so I am sticking to disposable…and I don’t think my husband would help me as much with the laundry if I didn’t!!!! 🙂

    Hmm, I am really going to look over our budget and see where we can cut. The problem is we have gotten so used to our luxuries like cable, but the “triple play” price is staggering each month, so we really should look at that first. Next would be our cell, but I LOVE my Iphone!!!

    We are frugal compared to many of our friends/family but I am so inspired with all of your savings!!!

    • Ashley P says:

      I originally used cloths when I first started, back as a teen. My grandmother’s Depression-era mindset was that if it worked for her, it would work for me. And it worked… for a while. But then we began to realize something was wrong. Turns out, I’m a heavy bleeder, to put it mildly. As an adult, I’ve found the only thing I CAN use are the hospital pads they give you after you give birth that you have to wear the special mesh underpants for. I order them in bulk from a medical supply website, 6 months worth at a time.

      Cloth is a nice idea, though, if you can manage. I only wish I could.

      • Dee says:

        @Ashley… have you talked to your doctor about your heavy periods? I used to be the same way. It was my thyroid. My sisters had the same problem. Theirs was thyroid + fibroid tumors.
        I feel for you.

        • Ashley P says:

          I haven’t, largely because I don’t have a PCP. Working in healthcare, I know I should know better. But I just can’t afford it. So I go to an urgent care clinic when I get sick (like the one at Walgreens).

          My grandmother told me that I might have endometriosis. Until we get in a more financially stable position to afford insurance and a PCP, I’ll just have to deal with it, I’m afraid.

          But thank you for your concern. It’s nice to know people care. 🙂

      • Whole Foods sells boxes of the fabric pads, or you can find them handmade by people on etsy. I need to get back to wearing them, they are so comfy. I know you said you can’t use them right now, I just wanted to put this info out there for anyone who can…Whole Foods has them and then you don’t have to pay shipping (if you’re lucky enough to have a WF close by. I am not.)

  • Broke Girl says:

    Two things I’ve never spent my $$ on:

    *Credit card interest

    * Credit card late fees

    I mean, these aren’t even “things” like a service or product that you could have and hold and enjoy? Why pay a premium on stuff you’ve already bought and used–for no reason other than I was unable to exercise delayed gratification. Of course, I would never fault anyone for paying credit card interest in the event of a true life emergency, perhaps someone with no cash or savings whatsoever on hand…

    • Julie in IN says:

      Agreed! We’ve earned thousands of dollars in money back and sign up promos though!

    • That’s excellent you’ve never had to spend money on interest fees. I wish I could say the same. The good news is I’ve never had a late payment on a credit card. We’ve always been able to pay on time. Credit card bills are almost gone though, so I am glad about that! 🙂

  • lori says:

    wish we could give up our landline but we have ADT home security and it’s tied into our phone. Any solutions?

    • kate says:

      many security companies offer a wireless option – not sure about ADT specifically, but it’s out there if you shop around. i believe they use cellular signals usually.

    • Laura says:

      No landline required, they installed a cell signal box (not sure of the exact name) for us since we don’t have a landline and it has worked great! Call ADT and ask about your options.

    • Hollie says:

      We have an ADT home-security system and it’s linked up to our cell phones because we don’t have a landline.

    • Nicole says:

      My husband is a manager for ADT and said that you can have a radio installed that will “call” the central monitoring center instead of it going over your phone line. Good luck. 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    What do they do for paper towels at dinner time? like for the kids?

    • Carrie says:

      I use cloth napkins.

      • Amanda says:

        what kind of cloth fabric do you prefer to use? I’m guessing you make your own

        • Carrie says:

          Ha! No. 😉

          I got mine at IKEA. Actually they’re tea towels. I paid around $8 for 8 of them. I like the fact that they’re so large. Big enough for husband’s lap and we use them more than once at the table.

        • nikki says:

          I make my own cloth napkins! I use whatever fun, 100% cotton fabric I find. I make them two-sided since I’m not very good at rolled hems and mitered corners.

        • You don’t have to make your own. At Goodwill I bought some pretty yellow and green cotton ones that match my kitchen. Then I have a nicer set of four linen ones for when we have company, also purchased there. My Goodwill has baskets of table linens like placemats, napkins, runners, etc. for 50 cents per item. I got two pretty Williams-Sonoma placemats there, 50 cents each. One still had the original price sticker– $8.00!!!

      • Heather says:

        Some of our napkins are bright red, and they are great for all those tomato-based meals. No visible stains!

    • Lana says:

      We used cloth napkins when my five were growing up. They are so easy to clean up spills with because you have it right there and you can contain a mess much quicker. I made our napkins out of cotton fabric bought on clearance for around one dollar a yard. Dollar Tree has some thin kitchen towels that would make good cloth napkins. My homemade ones were about 30 cents each but not everyone has a sewing machine and fabric has really gone up in price. You can also make napkins out of an old cotton sheet.

      • Patti says:

        We just cut out paper napkins at the beginning of the year and are amazed that we don’t even MISS them!! Once in awhile I use more paper towels than normal but it is not very often.

        • Lyn says:

          How about dark-colored wash cloths? Each child could have their own color. Darker colors hide stains better.

          • Shar says:

            We use wash cloths too! They work like a charm and we can wet them with warm water and wipe up their messes after meals, too. Double duty!

    • KimH says:

      We use automotive white cotton towels I got from Sams.. They work great & clean up well.

    • Michelle G. says:

      We have about 6 different sets of cloth napkins. We love them! We got some of ours at Bed Bath and Beyond. Others were gifts and garage sale finds. My MIL also made us a gift of an old bed skirt turned into cloth napkins.

  • Suzy says:

    We have cut out a lot over the years and even more that we just have never purchased.

    -shave gel
    – cable (we have netflix streaming and will rent a movie from time to time)
    – laundry detergent (We love the homemade soap!)
    – most cleaning products
    – full price clothing! A lot from consignment or Target!
    – paper towels
    – canned beans (I buy a bag and boil them, easy and a huge cost reducer!)
    – bread, bagels, pizza dough, waffles
    – cake mixes (they are simple to make!)

    Our basic philosophy is if we can make it easily and more cost effectively then do it! 🙂

  • Becky says:

    My 7:

    Laundry detergent
    Cable TV
    Cell phone plan
    Haircuts for the boys
    Gym membership

    • Julie in IN says:

      Agreeing with all of these!

      My dh was home with an injury and I cut his hair out of necessity; it turned out fabulous and we haven’t spent a penny on his hair since.

      • Kelly Komondor says:

        Agreed on the haircuts- my husband is in the Navy and is required to have regular haircuts which at a low price is about $10/cut. I invested in a good set of clippers while they were on a pre-Christmas sale two years ago and it has paid for itself ten times over if not more! I’ve also started cutting our toddlers hair.

  • Becky says:

    Here is my families list of 7 things we don’t buy.

    1. New toys unless its for birthdays or Christmas- we get plenty of nice toys from yardsales for cheap and all I have to do is clean them…. An exception to this is things 75% off or more that we have wanted for a while—- I just got my daughter a princess tent for 90% off… Couldn’t pass that up for 2.00!
    2. Internet- we don’t have a computer either… Luckily I can do everything at work that I need to do and I can use a family members computer if I need my facebook fix once or twice a month!
    3. Handy-man work- my husband has worked as an electrician and in construction- he can do almost anything. I have uncles that are accountants, a plumber and also in construction so everything that we need can be done by making dinner and with a 6 pack of beer!
    4. New clothes for my daughter and I. We are fine with yard sale and consignment stuff (other than underware and socks of course). My husband does gets new white shirts for work and undershirts every 6 months or so.
    5. Movies or Music- what we can’t get at the library or what we can’t get on tv or with the redbox codes- then we just don’t need it. We pay for tv, so we do not want to spend money on others. 1 movie a year for us is it (in a theater!)
    6. Hair products for my husband and I- he has dreadlocks and I have straight hair… I just wash it twice a week and we are fine. We do buy stuff for our daughters hair bc it seems to fro out after a while- she is “mixed”
    7. Paper Plates, plastic silverware, etc. My philosophy is that if you aren’t going to wash it and reuse it then don’t use it… The only time I use plastic stuff is for Thanksgiving because we have 35 people at our house with no dishwasher (and not enough plates- we only have 8!).

    Its nothing to exceptional but it works with us. We try not to spend money on going out to eat but we are super yardsalers and stick to a budget on that. We tend to buy larger items (big bottles of ketchup, shampoo, etc)-so we don’t have to make as many trips to the store and so that we don’t waste as much in packaging…

    As for a comment on something else- loved the diva cup before I had my daughter- am hoping to the size up since I now have my daughter- I think its a great product. Saves on money and although I still wear a pantyliner with it- it holds much more!

  • K says:

    1. Don’t pay for shaving cream either, both my guys use electric razors.
    2. Vegetables. I have a huge garden and can/freeze what we eat.
    3. Meat. We hunt or raise our own. We also butcher it ourselves.
    4. Eggs & Bread. I raise my own chickens and make my own bread.
    5. Cleaning products. I use vinegar or ammonia for my floors, sinks, toilets, etc. I use vinegar as a rinse agent in my dishwasher.
    6. I don’t pay for haircuts for my guys. I’m the barber. The money saved lets me go to the stylist!
    7. Books. Either use the library or get them free for my e-reader.
    8. Candles & air fresheners. My husband is allergic, so I just don’t buy them.

  • Sarah says:

    Love this post! I’ve gone through reading all the comments asking myself what else I can cut-out.

    I’m considering paper towels and dryer sheets. Thanks for the tips!

    Here are my 7:

    CABLE (we do the netflix instant queue – borrow movies, or get them from the library)
    HOME PHONE (I’ve always just used my cell phone)
    PAPER PLATES (I love my dishes.. and don’t mind washing them)
    SODA (I quit drinking it for health reasons. Never missed it. It cuts down on our eating-out budget as well because I always order water)
    SHAVING CREAM (I’ve always just used soap – though now, I’d like to try conditioner!)
    GREETING CARDS (I get them for free or don’t give one at all.)
    PACKAGED FOODS (more for health reasons – but I don’t buy any junk food / frozen meals.)

    • Rebecca says:

      I think greeting cards are the biggest rip off but I feel like a scrooge if I don’t buy them-so I do. I love Target’s 99 cent selection. I am wondering if it would be cheaper to learn a little calligraphy and make your own…anybody do this?

      • Jessica says:

        if i feel i need something i use blank cards (usually get them in multiple packs at dollar store or on clearance) and write my own note; more personal anyway. you could also recycle the fronts of ones you recieve as postcards.

      • Anna says:

        I made all my Christmas Cards this past year (then after Christmas got a box of cards for about 50cents and sent out some more for people I didn’t get to before getting cardmakers burn-out!) I rarely buy cards, though. One person in our life we buy a card for, because for whatever reason, the expensive card says “I love you” to them better. (Whatever!)

  • Buffie says:

    We gave up paper towels, shampoo, store bought laundry detergent, the microwave, and dryer sheets. I go back and forth with deodorant and toothpaste. I usually make my own.

  • Kimberly S. says:

    Pretty much everything on that list we buy very sparingly, if at all. Except dryer sheets. I can’t stand static! However, I use the same sheet at least twice so I really don’t spend much at all on that (at least while there are only three of us in the family!). I do also try to keep some paper towels on hand, but I use them very sparingly as well – definitely not for cleaning up messes!

    Other things:
    – Kleenex. Toilet paper is way cheaper and less is wasted.
    – Cleaning wipes. Rags and/or newspaper with the occasional paper towel are my stand ins.
    – New shirts and any new baby clothing, unless they are ridiculously marked down.
    – Paper plates. In this season of life. If I ever have more than one young child before I have older kids to help with dishes, I will probably change my stance on paper plates 😉

    • Kimberly S. says:

      Oh, and home phone. We just use our cell phones. And I do not have a smart phone or data plan for mine, though my husband does for his.

    • Kimberly S. says:

      Ah! One more. I should stop reading comments and thinking of other things 😉

      I cut my husbands hair, so we do not pay for hair cuts. I usually get a friend or relative to do mine, but occasionally (maybe once a year) will pay for my hair cut.

    • Ann says:

      You hate static? Me, too! A couple years ago someone told me that the dryer sheet box has a warning not to let the softener sheet come in contact with your skin or clothes. HELLO!! In disbelief, I came home and checked it out. Sure enough, it was on there. I stopped buying fabric softener and get along fine without it…the secret for me is making sure to rub lotion on my legs (where most of my static is ) after every shower.

  • Kim J. says:

    I don’t buy or have significantly reduced my usage:

    1. Paper towels/napkins. I think I honestly use 1 roll cheap 79 cent roll lasts me 1-1/2 months or longer and usually that’s to clean a really nasty mess or to cook bacon in the microwave or to ‘cover’ a plate with I reheat messy food in the microwave. I have paper napkins on hand, but only use them when I have company. I live by myself and use my old cloth napkins. I wash them with my kitchen towels.
    2. Foam plates, paper cups, etc. I HATE HATE HATE these and do not have a single one in the house. I do have really cheap paper plates in the picnic basket and that’s the ONLY time I use them is on a picnic. I use small plastic lunch plates for a sandwich and chips!!
    3. I don’t have a land line. I use a prepaid cellular service with unlimited talk, text and internet and costs me $45 plus tax. The basic refurbished flip phone was free on their website when I purchased a 1-month service card online, and the phone has me a year!!!
    4. I don’t have cable or satellite TV. In fact I don’t have TV at all, not even local stations (the TV does look nice in the entertainment center though…LOL). I have access to the internet on my cell phone and at work so I can get news and weather via websites or via a local radio station. I do subscribe to the local bi-weekly newspaper to get local news which is $1 per week.
    5. I don’t have a VCR or DVD player so that means I don’t spend money on movies.
    6. Hair care: I oftentimes cut my own hair saving me $20+ every few months. When I do have a professional cut my hair I look for coupons at a hair-cutting chain salon and get cuts for as low as $5. I don’t perm my hair and I color my own hair at home. A hair-color kit costs me as low as $1 at Dollar Tree for their brand, or if I watch the sales at drug and discount stores as low as $3 depending on what brand I buy and if I have a coupon or not.
    7. I rarely buy “prepped” meat and buy in larger and/or family pack units. That means if it’s pre-pattied, precooked, marinated, etc. I stay away from it. These items are usually filled with sodium and other things. And if you stop and think about it, how hard is it to form ground beef patties or sausage patties and layer them between pieces of waxed paper and put in freezer bags.

  • 1. Expensive cell phones/plans. We have a cheap landline and a pay-as-you-go phone for emergencies.

    2. Mani/Pedi/Hair cuts: The last time I had a mani/pedi was for my wedding, nearly three years ago. I had my hair cut a year ago and plan to go again next week, but I’m not going every 6-8 weeks!

    3. New clothes. I either buy used if necessary or I use Christmas/birthday money I’ve gotten.

    4. Shaving Cream. I just use the water from the shower 🙂

    5. Starbucks. I’m a teacher and the go-to gift for parents seems to be Starbucks cards! I get so many each year, I only go when I have cards and I never have to pay for coffee!

    6. Credit card interest/fees. We don’t have a credit card, so there are no costs!

    7. Steak or other expensive cuts of meat. I buy chicken and ground beef when on sale. Steaks are reserved for very special nights out!

    I wish we could get rid of cable sometimes, but hubby has lots of sports that he just HAS to watch! Oh, well. We save money in other areas 🙂

  • I don’t buy shaving cream or dryer sheets, and we also don’t have cable! This is a fun thought exercise…I’m going to post my own list on my blog! Thanks for the idea…I’ll link back!

  • I have a husband that loves sports – baseball, football, basketball ~ any ideas on how to still get all the games without cable?

    • Sheila says:

      You can watch many games online on ESPN. My husband is also watching a lot of March Madness on CBS online.

      • Bobbie Jo says:

        Yes and most political events you can watch online too…..we don’t have cable but have watched the debates online. I heard tv’s these days have a cable that you can connect your computer too – so you can watch them on the big screen – ours isn’t new enough to do this though 🙂

    • Jenny M. says:

      -Friends’ houses
      -Sports Bars
      -Gym (if you already have a membership and they have tv there)

    • Rosie says:

      buy a roku box and then he can subscribe to each sport for about
      $150 for a season and he has access to ALL the games or see what comes free with your internet. We get ESPN 3 free with Verizon Internet — just run an AVcable from the computer to the back of the TV

  • Pamela says:

    1. Milk, Coffee, Soda (We drink water with our meals. When we are eating out, we always order water with lemon).

    2. Cable TV/Satelite/Dish/Netflix (I grew up in a TV free home, so this has been easy for us).

    3. Late fees of any kind (We pay our bills on time, and return our books on time)

    4. Credit Card Interest (We have never paid interest on a credit card)

    5. Paper Napkins (We use cloth napkins and wash them)

    6. Air Freshners or Perfumes (I do not do well with artificial scents of any kind)

    7. Steak or other Expensive cuts of meat

  • Sheila says:

    Coffee-we don’t drink it. (Therefore we also don’t buy coffee makers or filters).
    Tea-same thing.
    Cable, satellite, or netflix.
    Paper plates.
    Fancy cell phones or electronics.
    Shaving cream.

  • Eurokatt says:

    1 – Shaving cream…gave it up 15+yrs ago
    2 – Cable/Satellite TV – 15+yrs without but am thinking about a satellite program now. I live in Italy and miss English TV.
    3 – 99% of pre-made frozen foods, boxed foods, and canned fruits & veggies. I do keep 4 boxed foods and 3 canned veggies on hand for those occasional lazy cooking nights 😉
    4 – Granola, power-bars, cookies, cakes, frosting – homemade is so much better
    5 – Video games
    6 – Minimal paper towels – (I could NEVER give up BACON!) I grew up w/mom using rags and have continued. Anything cotton becomes a rag until it’s threadbare and completely worn out. T-shirts, jeans, socks, sheets, etc. I also make sure they’re dry before adding to the laundry pile and rinse w/vinegar.
    7 – Power drinks, designer drinks, flavored waters, sodas.

    • Julie in IN says:

      Have you tried draining your bacon on a free paper bag from the grocery store?

    • Lyn says:

      You could try brown paper bag pieces for draining bacon grease. 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Where do you dry your rags? I use them for cleaning the house, but kitchen messes kind of gross me out if the rags are just laying around all the time drying and being stinky so I’ve stuck with paper towels. I’m interested in your process of using, letting dry, and washing.

      • I just throw mine on top of the dryer after I use them. Or I put them on my drying rack in the bathroom until they are dry.

        • Eurokatt says:

          I have an top loading washer and it’s always open after washing. I lay my rags and icky towels over it to dry in the evening. In the morning they get tossed in. Yes…there IS an extra rag used to clean the washer. I wash once a week (on Sundays when the power costs less) and never have bad smells. I can only guess it’s because of good airflow. My washer is in my bathroom just off the kitchen, used frequently and no one has ever said “PU!”…and BELIEVE me…they WOULD lol

  • Allison says:

    I like reading everyone’s lists. Here are mine:

    1. soda
    2. greeting cards- I use ones I get for free or I make them
    3. coffee filters- I have a reusable one that came with my coffee maker
    4. cable TV- we watch shows on hulu, check out movies from the library, etc.
    5. magazines- although I read them when I get them for free
    6. gift bags – I reuse the ones people give me or use wrapping paper (which costs much less per gift)
    7. landline phone
    8. makeup remover- I just use soap, and then lotion to wipe off eye makeup
    9. shaving cream – I use soap instead
    10. bottled water- I drink it from the tap/ use a reusable bottle

  • Lisa D. says:

    Cable television
    hair coloring/perming
    boys’ haircuts (I do them all, and I’m the only one in the family who gets a salon cut, once every 8 weeks).
    lawn service
    yogurt (make my own)
    paper towels
    movie theaters
    I’m sure there’s more, I just can’t think of it off the top of my head!

  • Christy says:

    The seven things we no longer buy include: 1) bread (I now make it from scratch), 2) frozen vegetables (we grow and freeze our own from the garden), 3) eggs (we now have 7 chickens), 4) pork or beef (we raise and process our own), 5) soda, 6) jams and jelly (again, I make them from fruit grown on our farm), and 7) commercial cleaning solutions.

    • Bethany M says:

      Love making jams and jellies. Here we have an endless supply of blackberries every summer. My hubby is so kind to eat a pb&blackberry j everyday for breakfast.

  • I never understood why you had to buy paper towels or dryer sheets. I think I have bought dryer sheets twice and I don’t think I’ve ever purchased paper towels. It seemed silly to me when my clothes smell fresh without dryer sheets and we have plenty of cloth towels to clean up messes. I started using cloth diapers for the kids and cloth pads for me so I haven’t bought feminine pads in years and only purchase enough disposables for night time diapering or days when we are out and about. We haven’t had cable in 3 years – we use Netflix and Redbox as well and actually just decided to keep our tv in the basement instead of making it the focal point of the living room. I also make my own laundry detergent and rarely buy household cleaners when I can use things like vinegar and baking soda just as easily (and with less chemicals too). I should try using soap instead of shaving cream – my husband uses bar soap but I still prefer my body wash and I wonder if I found some good bar soap or even made my own soap if I would like that. I am not a soda drinker, so I rarely buy soda either. It’s been on our grocery list lately only because I’ve had horrible morning sickness and sprite seems to calm my stomach. I never understood the big hype around the Kerig and K-cups – it seems like a waste of money when a large bag of coffee beans lasts us at least a month for the amount of coffee we drink at home.

  • EstonianWife says:

    1. Dryer sheets – we don’t have a dryer. 🙂
    2. Air fresheners.
    3. Cable TV, we have a satellite dish of our own and it functions fine.
    4. Shaving cream.
    5. Cosmetics and haircuts for me, because I prefer to look the way the Lord has made me.
    6. Home repairs – hubby can do most things and in some cases we ask help from friends.
    7. Many vegetables and fruits because we have a garden and I do a lot of canning in the summer.
    8. Coffee filters.

    We do buy paper towels because we have three cats, one of them “bulimic” and I have to clean up the mess at least twice every week!

    • AJ says:

      I’m with you on the paper towels. No way I’m rinsing their mess out of a rag – and if I throw them away I’d be out of rags very shortly!

  • amanda says:

    We never buy pancake syrup — we love making almond/maple syrup at home. I store it in a little teapot in the fridge, which is easy to microwave and pour!

  • Anjanette says:

    Everything you listed, plus: disposable diapers, feminine pads, wipes (we use cloth for all), ziplocks, saran wrap or foil, bottled water (we have a reverse osmosis filter and lots of refillable water bottles), haircuts. 🙂

  • Tara says:

    Things I don’t pay for anymore:

    Papertowels – thanks to a great post by MSM over a year ago. We use cloth napkins and for cleaning rags, I cut up old T-shirts.

    Cable/Satellite TV – Antenna works great, and we use a computer and with Windows Media to act as a DVR.

    Trash Pickup Service – We recycle and compost as much as possible, and there is a trash dumpster available at the recycling center for whatever must be thrown away

    Cream of “whatever” soups – make my own, freeze it. It’s alot healthier and cheaper.

    Movies/DVDs — I’ve never been a collector of DVDs, etc. We’ve been given many kids movies, but even those are rarely watched.

    Photo prints – I wait until I find a deal at Walgreens, or one of the many online companies.

    *Brand new clothing — 99% of our clothing comes from thriftstores, consignment sales, garage sales, etc. *exception: underwear

    • Angela says:

      I would love to get rid of trash service – but its part and parcel with our water service – we pay for water, trash, and recycling (all together) and its no choice- everybody in our town has the same service.

      • Mary says:

        Talk with your city council about encouraging recycling. Our city bills for water/sewer/recycling, but trash pick up is per bag (or a monthly fee for a rolling bin). I know so many people in town who recycle, compost, and reuse in order to have less trash to pay for each week. I think the city got some sort o grant when they started the program years ago.

        • Rachael says:

          We did this in our community a couple of years ago and ended up with an awesome recylcing service. Some of my friends and I used Facebook to spread the word and it was very effective.

  • Laurie G says:

    This is fun! Here are the 7 I chose:

    1. Deodorant. I make my own and love it. It is better than anything I ever bought, aluminum free, and honestly now I can go without many days without any odor.
    2. Facial Cleansers & Moisturizers. Again I concoct my own and love it. I think my skin looks and feels better as well.
    3. Dryer sheets. I either concoct my own spray if I desire with essential oils or put a few drops of essential oil on a rag and throw in. Usually I do neither.
    4. Dishwasher detergent. Make my own.
    5. Household cleaners/ Furniture polish. Make my own.
    6. Windex. Ditto.
    7. Cable TV. Not even happening. I don’t need encouragement to waste a minute of my life.

    • Lyn says:

      Would you be willing to share your deodorant recipe? Thanks so much. 🙂

      • Laurie G says:

        I don’t have time to write out all the different recipes I use, but I will say that I get 99% of them from Crunchy Betty. Her blog is all about making and using your own products. I LOVE her stuff. I do tweak some things to fit what I need or what works, but I think we all do that (hello recipes?). She has a search feature on the right near the top like Crystal.

        BTW, that is also where I learned about the oil cleansing method for your face, which I believe is one of Crystal’s upcoming DIY projects. It is the bomb! My skin has never been happier and no more shiny face.

        I have not yet made her recipe that included beeswax for the deodorant. I made her first, simpler version and have used it for months without needing to make more. It calls for 1/4 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. cornstarch, 5 TBSP coconut oil and after mixing into a paste add 9-10 drops of essential oils- whatever you like. I chose a mixture of lemongrass and lavender this time. You do probably want either lavender, peppermint or tea tree or a combination for their odor-fighting antibacterial properties.

        It will get more liquified as coconut oil does if it gets too warm so that is why she came up with a beeswax version. You could put this into a cleaned out, used deodorant container, but I just put mine in a small jar I had from some body scrub. Mine is in my climate controlled bathroom and has been fine.

        I did end up scaling down the baking soda in mine as it was a little irritating. Oh, and do NOT put this on immediately after shaving. Ouch. Wait an hour or so. Some days I do not even notice that I have not put any on and honestly I used to get um… a little funky without deodorant sometimes. I had a lot of trouble with store bought breaking me out or just causing pain, so this has been wonderful for me. Good luck! 🙂

    • I would love a copy of the deodorant recipe too!

    • naomi says:

      I’d love a copy of all your recipes.

  • Julie says:

    My husband and I have cut back a lot in our year and a half of marriage, and I can say that we don’t spend money on these things and also don’t feel like we miss out on anything!

    -Storebought Laundry Detergent- We use Crystals homemade detergent recipe-borax, ivory soap, washing soda

    -Lysol/Clorox Wipes- We clean with homemade disinfectant and microfiber cloths

    -iPhone/Date plans- we cut these a year ago and went from spending $150+ to $20/month using “old” phones under my in-laws family plan

    -Lunches Out- We both bring our lunch-sandwiches or leftovers every single workday. We save a ton of money this way, it counts 😉

    Choosing not to spend money on these things will allow us to add one other BIG item to this list next month when we pay off my car!

  • Honey says:

    I don’t buy soda, expensive facial products, cable, dryer sheets or fabric softener (except in the dead of winter), and a lot of toiletry items I only ever get for free:)

  • Kim says:

    1. Most recently, paper towels (We are actually switching to cloth right now!)
    2.we do not purchase a lot health and beauty aids (this includes makeup, shaving cream perfumes) We do however slurge on good razors, deodorant and soap/shampoo with the use of coupons)I have a few allergies…
    3. sodas
    4. dishwasher detergent (I make ours) laundry detergent is next!
    5.we don’t buy anything having to do with coffee
    6.we don’t go out (and if we do it is a SPECIAL occasion!) I enjoy cooking and my family likes it so it works! I also make ALL of our birthday cakes and cookies. I want to tackle bread next.
    7.I do alterations or hemming or patching that needs to be done. If it is for me, my SIL helps out.
    8. Also ( a strange one) I barder for dance classes for my oldest daughter. A good friend owns a dance studio and she has 3 children… I make there birthday cakes. In return she my oldest gets dance class.

  • I suppose I save money by having only gotten 2-3 haircuts over the last 10 years. I generally just shave my own head with a razor in the shower.

  • Wendy Jahns says:

    Your list is pretty much the same as mine at this point, in addition I have the following:

    *Taxes (Husband is a CPA)
    *We fix our own vehicles
    *I use Vinegar as a multipurpose cleaner and laundry softener
    *No soda, I make our own juice or lemonade from scratch.
    *I make my own bread
    *We clean/wash our own carpets (We have a Rug Doctor)

  • Nora says:

    Had 7 kids and used cloth dippers on all of them, never paper! Loved it. Cable TV can be a lot but we are big baseball fans and have a game going all the time so I can’t ever giving that up. Even I would miss the sound of baseball! Plus there are some great shows on TV, you just have to look.

  • Emily Kay says:

    #1. Cable (Netflix rocks!)
    #2. Haircuts (Haha, I know, but I just DON’T care! And my hubby is great at cutting his own hair and the boys’ hair.)
    #3. Fabric softener (we use vinegar)
    #4. Carpet cleaning (Hubby bought me a steam cleaner for Christmas a few years back…LOVE it!)
    #5. Cleaning supplies (for almost everything we use vinegar and baking soda)
    #6. Late fees or credit card interest (always pay it in full! An exception has been when we had a huge emergency and didn’t want to take out a loan…but that was paid off less than a month later.)
    #7. Gym membership (we did, however, purchase a couple of double jogging strollers so we could workout together)

    We DO, however, “splurge” on eating out (especially when I’m pregnant), movie dates for the hubby and I, paper towels, and a few other things. 🙂

  • Jenny M. says:


    Stuff we don’t buy:
    1) Cable (we recently gave in and hooked up home internet when my husband restarted a school program online last year for career advancement but for years got by on public computers at library, work, and school a few times/week even while I finished a degree)
    2) Hair Care
    I cut both of our hair (and I am NO BEAUTICIAN) and color my own a few times/yr when I need a change
    3) Laundry stuff (dryer sheets/softener/detergent)
    We get detergent free from a family member who gets it free at CVS as a result of me introducing her to the drugstore game!
    4) Books
    The library and internet give us plenty of reading material.
    5) Cards and Photos
    I love the online deals and get card packs as gifts each year!
    6) Music
    We listen to CDs we already own, the radio for newer stuff, or online radio like pandora when we’re in the mood!
    7) Milk
    We only buy it 1 or 2 times/yr. We watched a documentary once where the cows udders were dripping bacteria and since then we can’t stomach the prices or the memory of that video. Shudder.

    I would LOVE to see a series of guest posts on keeping/raising chickens for eggs. The video we watched showed the chicken’s living conditions and now I only buy free range eggs because it sickened me so much. They taste so much better when we buy fresh eggs directly from a chicken owner though!

  • Angela says:

    1. Cable TV / movie theaters (we have a digital antenna in our attic, we have a pc plugged into our tv, and we have netflix)
    2. Husbands hair cuts/shaving cream
    3. cleaning chemicals (allergies) (i use vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda) (bleach is the only exception)
    4. dryer sheets (vinegar for softner)
    5. home repairs
    6. auto repairs (tip – if you still have the oem muffler on your car- if you ever have to replace, you can cut off the bolts that attach and you won’t be forced to use a muffler shop (they cut and weld))
    7. we use the ‘my kcup’ which allows you to use your own coffee
    8. soda pop
    9. plus I personally, because of health/allergy reasons, cut out
    ice cream
    caffeine (i drink herbal teas)
    soy (although i can still have tofu)

  • Yvonne says:

    Coffee Filters make great snowflakes though! :o) I have never owned a coffee pot, but there are so many craft projects you can do with coffee filters. That is the only reason I ever have them on hand.

  • Emilie says:

    1.) haircuts: my MIL does them for my husband adn three boys and I am grwoing mine out

    2.) full price clothes: always on sale/hand me downs/thrift shop/rummage sales

    3.) cookies: I make my own

    4.) shave cream: I use dollar store conditioner

    5.) oil changes at a service station (for our van): my husband does them for a fraction of the cost

    6.) no more credit card intrest (paid it off this month!!! and we are never going back to carrying the balance)

    7.) swifter mop supplies ( a cousin made me a knit cover that can be washed and I use regular cleaner mixed with water). I forget to use this as often as I should.

    This list really made me think of things I should not be buying. Thank you to all for the ideas!

  • Melissa says:

    We just gave up cable last month. We have streaming Netflix and Hulu through the video game consoles (hubby is a big kid!) For $16/month we can watch 95% of the shows we used to pay $70/month for 🙂

  • Mindy says:

    If you do splurge on dryer sheets you can reuse them after as dust clothes or use them with a swiffer They are great at picking up dust and dirt!

  • Nan says:

    I sure was glad to see someone else with cats! I would not be able to give up paper towels as long as there is cat barf and litterboxes to clean up.

    • peever says:

      Agreed. I use cloth napkins and towels for most everything, but I still keep paper towels on hand for cleaning up cat messes.

  • Lyn says:

    1. A second car
    2. Free Hulu, no paid t.v., no Netflix or movie services
    3. No credit cards, no debt
    4. Salon services (only several haircuts/year for me, husband shaves head). Color own hair.
    5. Vacations away from home/Travel
    6. Gourmet food (homemade, made from scratch)
    7. IPads, IPods, IPhones

    We live on about $2K/month and I am at home. We omit a lot more than this (and work hard to be frugal), but still feel we have a very good life. Sometimes cutting back can make a real difference when it comes to life choices. It does for us, and I’m thankful I can be home due to health.

    Yes, a vacation would be nice, but it is even nicer being at home. In making decisions we choose what is best for us over what might be better or good.

  • Stefanie says:

    We go without:

    -a home phone (our cell phones work just fine!)

    -cable tv (we have streaming Netflix for $8 a month and this more than entertains us. Plus, we don’t even rent movies this way)

    -books (except for on occasion and for our son). I don’t like the extra clutter, and hardly ever have I read the same book twice. My son, however, will read books over and over, so we usually buy books second hand or as gifts for him.

    -NEW CARS- This has saved us a TREMENDOUS amount of money. We have only paid cash for our vehicles (usually from saved up tax returns). We get used vehicles in good condition at really low prices. This also lowers our insurance costs a lot. Having two cars without any payments has made our income go SO much further.

    -Kleenex (toilet paper works fine for us)

    That’s all I can think of for now, lol.

  • Betsy says:

    Wow. These are great posts– love reading all the comments and ideas!
    Here are my seven, some of which have been said already:
    1. Cable
    2. Haircuts for our four boys
    3. B-day cards from our kids to family members or friends (hand-made is much more special and inexpensive)
    4. Credit card- will not pay an annual fee.
    5. Cookies– make homemade– so much better and healthier, plus less $
    6. House cleaning– do it myself and call it a workout!
    7. Gym membership– love the outdoors!

  • Andrea Q says:

    Caviar. Alligator. Champagne. SUVs. Smartphones. Tattoos. Pickled Eggs.

    • Julie in IN says:

      Tattoos…LOL No piercings here either. ;o)

      A nine seat Suburban is a NEED not a splurger here with 7 growing children! After months of praying, the Lord blessed us with an incredible used vehicle; even the salesman was shocked at the price it was listed at. The Lord provided that price!

  • Molly says:

    I won’t hit 7, but that’s ok. 🙂
    – meat
    – paper napkins
    – pre-baked goods (like pastries from the store)
    – pizza (homemade is just so much better)
    – bottled water
    – tv/cable (we got them for free or not at all)

    Now I’m at 6 and feeling the pressure! Oh I know – oatmeal packets. Give me the bulk container so I can eat the quantity I want with a banana!

    • Lyn says:

      That was funny, Molly. Yes, more oatmeal with real banana is better than a tiny portion of oatmeal with banana flavoring. 🙂

  • Tonya says:

    1. Garbage bags. I use bags we get from purchases at the store in place of garbage bags. We recycle so much that we don’t have very much trash so the small size is perfect for our family of 3.

    2. Expensive salon visits. I go 3-4x a year to get my hair trimmed. I wear it back nearly every day so I don’t particularly care what it looks like at any given time. If I color it, I color it myself at home with hair dye I got inexpensively or free after a coupon & ECB’s/RR’s/etc.

    3. Dryer sheets. Gave these up and don’t even miss them. If I can get a Bounce dryer bar for less than $1 after a coupon at the commissary, I will snag one.

    4. Bottled water. Tap works just fine. It’s an acquired taste, but it’s really fine.

    5. Magazines. I get tons of them in the mail, but they are all with free subscriptions. Occasionally I will find a deal for All You at $1/issue and I will buy a year worth, but that’s rare. With the coupons, it ends up more than paying for itself.

    6. Books & Movies. The library rents them free and for newer movies, we either borrow from a friend or get a free code for Blockbuster or Redbox kiosks.

    7. Expensive handbags. My $15 washable Vera Bradley wallet purse is all I need. I don’t care that it’s not a Coach, Dooney & Burke or Louis Vuitton. I would never spend that much money on something that is going to end up dirty and on the floor.

    • Lyn says:

      Just recently renewed for $1/issue for All You magazine also. Even with less coupons, it’s still a very good magazine and will pay for itself by using some of the coupons. It’s one of the few magazines I really like that is useful and that I can relate to.

  • Katie L says:

    Some of ours are:
    Chicken broth
    Bread (except tortillas and bagels)
    Bottled water
    Cable TV
    Baby food
    Diaper wipes
    Haircuts for husband and sons

    It gives me a great sense of calm about money to know the things that we as a family think are totally worth the $$ and the things that aren’t worth buying for us.

  • Shemar says:

    Garbage bags—-I reuse plastic grocery bags.
    Cable tv—I wish I had cancelled sooner.
    Bottled spaghetti sauce—–made from scratch
    Bottled water—-we bring our own water
    DVD rentals by mail—-just use kiosk once in a while
    bottled/packaged salsa— made from scratch
    brand new car— owned and taken care of 17 year old car with great gas mileage.

  • WOW! What a great collection of items never bought. I thought I had a good list, until I read all of the above!

    Jenny @

  • Karen says:

    Well, I’m on a super-restrictive and controlled diet right now so I’ve given up buying most all foods and drinks (Milk, all carb-based foods, most fruit, sweets, etc.)

    But, on a normal basis, I don’t buy:

    1. Cable (never had it) and I actually don’t get any tv reception since the switch to HD. I just use the tv for dvds and have Netflix.
    2. Shampoo (I went “no-poo” about 3 years ago and haven’t gone back, it’s conditioner only for me)
    3. Paper napkins. I switched to cloth a few years ago when I randomly stopped in Pier One and found some on clearance for under $1.
    4. Paper plates, silverware, etc. I bought some cute little plastic plates for using on picnics with the boys I nanny.
    5. Landline–dropped it a few years back
    6. Physical presents for the boys I nanny. I buy a pass to a playplace they love instead. They have more than enough toys at home without me adding to their collections. (I guess my paying for the pass is more a gift to their parents though!)
    7. Credit card interest. I always pay the bill in full.

  • VelmaD 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.

  • 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

      • Julie says:

        Angela, this is on my list too. I’m also from Iowa, living in Texas. I’ll post if I find anything!

      • Robin says:

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

      • Lee Cockrum says:

        Try Mother Earth News website. They have some links to lists of farmers that sell grass fed beef.

      • 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!

      • RaeAnne says:

        Try asking at your local farmers market. We also are from Texas and purchase our meat this way. We have it butchered at our local butcher and can request cuts, thickness Etc.

  • 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!

  • 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!!)) 🙂

  • Dana says:

    1. Cell phones. We got rid of them. Do not miss them.
    2. Razors (not me, 🙂 Hubby) He grew a beard

  • 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.

  • Charity says:

    Cable tv, paper towels, commercial cleaners, liquid hand soap, boxed processed food

  • Julie H 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! 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!!!

        • judy floyd 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. 🙂

  • 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

    • Mandy says:

      My husband got his french press at a Starbucks, but I have seen them at Target as well.

    • 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.

    • Angela says:

      JCP also has french presses.

    • Gillian says:

      I got mine at Ikea.

    • Jennifer Hatfield says:

      Tonya, you can also find a french press on amazon. If you use swag bucks, you can score a $25 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 Melissa, if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby their coffees are fantastic and very reasonably priced.

    • Anna says:

      On the deodorant question, I saw a tutorial on the Your Sacred Calling website a while back…

    • 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:)

    • Here are directions for super easy homemade deoderant that really works:

    • 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.

  • 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)

    • Jenn says:

      I second canned broth. I’ve never used it.

      • 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.

  • mrstn123 says:

    Don’t buy
    1. moisturizer- I use almond oil
    2.fake butter spray,dressing spray
    3.extended warrenties 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 haircolor or nails
    10. music on iphone

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!!

  • 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

  • April 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.

  • 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

  • Darla 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:)

  • 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

  • Nancy 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 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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 🙂

  • Anna says:

    From reading here, I think we need a list of things we do buy just because our husbands love them. =0)

  • 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.

  • Alaine says:

    Things I don’t buy:
    Books – library or swap on 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
    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

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mel 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.

  • Dana says:

    We don’t buy:

    TV – at all. We turned off the service a few months ago, and save about $100 a month. it also saves on our electric bill.

    I buy books at thrift stores, for about $1.50

    We started a garden this year, small in pots. It will save so much in produce bills soon 🙂

    I wish I could stay away from paper towels, we use a alot!

    • D Lee says:

      Consider the exchange program for books at the Free Little Libraries. We also have had a book exchange in our teacher’s lounge.

  • I am trying the no paper towels. It is okay most of the time but I do miss them on occasion. We don’t buy movies either unless it is one that we know we love and will watch plenty of times, even then it is usually given as a Christmas gift or a birthday gift.
    I have cut way back on the number of cleaners I buy and use vinegar and backing soda a lot to clean with. I make our own laundry detergent and love it!!! We have a lot of laundry with 3 kids and my husband who uses 2 sets of clothes a day. I am sure there are a ton of things I don’t buy that a lot of people do but I don’t miss them so I don’t even realize I don’t buy them 🙂

  • Angela says:

    I cannot shave with soap. My legs go all wonky. But we just snag ours at the dollar store usually.

    No paper towels for us either. I feel like its a total gimmie for saving money and it makes me feel like I’m doing at least one thing for the environment lol!

    We don’t drink coffee which saves us a ton and we try not to buy pop often either.

    It is always a bit of a bummer reading some money saving articles and I’m like well… Already don’t do that or that or that… Lol

    • Pam says:

      I don’t buy waxed paper, using the lining of cereal boxes instead. I also use butter or margarine wrappers to grease baking pans. Saves on sprays like Pam.

    • AJ says:

      When I condition my hair in the shower, I use what’s on my hands to put on my legs. It’s slick & doesn’t leave your legs dry like soap. It’s also good for underarms & bikini areas!!!

    • Scott says:

      99 cents for a bottle of Suave conditioner. I shave my face with hair conditioner. I have for probably 10 years now. Prerequisite would be to shower long enough to allow the warm water to soften your skin and hair follicles. This one suggestion makes a night/day difference. So just make shaving the last part of your shower. Very reasonable price and does not dry your skin like soap.

    • Ashley says:

      I use a super moisturizing body wash and that works better

  • Brenda Robinson says:

    If you don’t use fabric softener, crumble a piece of aluminum foil, and throw it into the dryer. This eliminates static, and is reusable until it starts to fall apart.

  • T Hunn says:

    I don’t buy dog or cat treats for my pets. I use plastic grocery bags to pick up their waste. When my night light bulbs burn out, I replace them from and old string of Christmas tree lights. I don’t buy weed killer for my yard. I pull the weeds the old fashion way by hand or use a hula hoe in the rocks. I use a reverse osmosis filter for my water faucet instead of buying bottled water. I have a dog and became good friends with all my neighbors, instead of buying an alarm system. Ooma is my phone rather than a land line. I am learning how to use my note 5 in order to reduce/ eliminate paper notes.

    • Lenore says:

      Your dog and cat are very angry! LOL!

    • Kayleigh says:

      I buy a large bag of a different kind of food to give as cat/dog treats. They don’t know that it’s not a ‘real’ treat, love and beg for it (yes, cats beg also).

  • mgarland says:

    Soda pop. Only purchase it maybe when we have pizza
    Cable TV we have never had it. We share Hulu, Netflix with our adult kids
    Tons of cleansers.We use windex or something similar.
    Bought a bagless vacuum cleaner.
    Weed and feed for our yard. If we do it is once every 2-3 years and the application is a lot less than they recommend. a
    Facial moisturizers I use cold cream. Cheap works well. My son uses the scentless esp to shave with.
    I am an empty nester so many things that come in bulk I may share with my children.

  • Amber says:

    Purchase soda when $3.00 for 12 pack so only 25cents a can. We enjoy a soda with supper on Friday nights. Use bar soap and save the little pieces then when I have enough I tie them in old panty hose or my daughters old tights and then I have another “bar” of soap.

  • Krista T says:

    We don’t have cable TV. We have some dvd’s (we buy second hand) and Netflix to watch instead.
    We don’t buy disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are awesome for saving money AND the environment!
    We also don’t buy disposable feminine hygiene products. I prefer to use a reusable menstrual cup and save over $100 per year. My $40 menstrual cup investment lasts 4-5 years.

  • Chris Bruno says:

    We use conditioner for shaving cream & we use Suave so much cheaper & leaves your legs so soft!

  • Suzanne says:

    I do all of the above except I do use paper towels. I also get most of my reading materials from the library for free. Now they allow you to check out e-books and audiobooks, all for free.

  • Flo says:

    We don’t buy coffee, alcohol, tobacco, pop, ammo, cable, collectible-anything, or make-up (I react to everything I tried, anyway.) I make laundry soap. I use baking soda water for the first hair “shampoo” and then a dot of shampoo for the next, and then a dot of conditioner. (My daughter and I have been using the same bottle for months.)
    We have pets, but we have always set a limit for emergency pet care. Anything above that means euthanasia. (If it is that dire, is it really kind to the pet to put them through all that?) We explain it to the vet at the beginning and they can usually figure out what absolutely has to be done to get them through the emergency without all the “it would be nice” tests and treatments, or they understand that we will not put them through major surgery for a few more months of time. And I do agree that having pets is expensive!! They have a line in our budget! We have had horses (never had a vet bill over $110), dogs ($200 limit), and still have cats ($200 limit for indoor cats, euthanasia for barn cats) and chickens. (Chickens don’t go to the vet. Either they live with minor first aid, or we have to dispatch them ourselves.)
    My splurge is shoes. My feet are fussy and I WILL have comfortable shoes. My dress shoes are 8 years old, my sandals should last that long (Crocs), and my hiking shoes should last a few years. My athletic shoes have to be replaced far too often for my taste, but that’s what happens when you use them hard. (I do stretch them as long as possible by replacing the inserts at least once.) And then they turn into chore shoes until they have to be tossed.

  • Karen B says:

    I would gladly cut the cable but hubby likes it too much. We do have the lowest tier which also includes our internet so it’s not too bad. I don’t buy purses unless they come from the thrift store, and I’ve always had a purse I loved.

  • Tracy says:

    We make our own soaps, lotions, bug repellents, laundry detergent. I try to use every scrap of everything. We have goats so we use the milk. We have chickens for eggs and feed them lots of table scraps. We grow or raise most of our food. We are trying to be a self sufficient household but I need to get fruit trees and grapes established. I have an embroidery business so I get cheap clothing. I cut my boys hair.

  • Nancy says:

    We don’t buy cable, paper towels, paper napkins( I hemmed some pieces of fabric so we use cloth napkins), hamburger buns and hot dog buns… bread works fine, shaving cream, fancy cleaners… Comet, glass cleaner and Lestoil do it me. I made covers for the swiffer and the dusting wand, they get washed and like you said if they are too grungy I just throw them out.

  • Whitney says:

    We don’t buy laundry soap or fabric softener sheets. Wool dryer balls only and I make our powder detergent. We don’t buy soda either. It’s a waste. No cable for us. Young kids. They watch cartoons, so we use Amazon and Netflix. We only turn in the lights when it gets too dark to see. We live in the desert and so electricity is really expensive so lights off until the sun goes down.

  • Lisa says:

    We have never had cable. Rabbit ears and internet only. Haven’t turned on our furnace in 9 years. We cut our own firewood for the woodstove. Dryer is only used when necessary. Otherwise the clothesline or drying racks work great. I reuse baggie, use grocery bags for garbage. Compost for free mulch. Make a lot of food from scratch. Started as a must due to not enough income but I continue a lot just to save.

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