Five Things I Quit Buying That Have Saved Us a Ton of Money

February 18, 2017 27 Comments

When it comes to saving money, one of the first things we do is try to see where our money is going. Looking through receipts and tracking our spending regularly has helped us keep our spontaneous spending under control. It has also revealed some areas that we could cut back on or eliminate altogether. Here are five things we quit buying that have saved us a ton of money…

Five Things I Quit Buying That Have Saved Us a Ton of Money

1. Regular haircuts and color. Before we had kids, I had my hair trimmed and colored about every other month. I would spend anywhere from $40-$100 each time I went. (I had been coloring my hair since college, and it wasn’t until my thirties that I saw my natural hair color again.) Β 

The funny this is, I was never satisfied. I could never get the right look. It was always too dark, too light, or the layers were uneven. Now I get my hair trimmed a couple times a year, it’s not super trendy, but it’s me and my color matches my eyebrows perfectly. πŸ˜‰

After about eight years of marriage, I built up enough trust with Mr. Coppertop that he let me cut his hair. Actually, he just kept getting frustrated that the lady at Pro Cuts left long strands all over his head, so he decided to take a risk on me. Apparently, I wasn’t too bad, because he’s been a returning customer ever since. Though, I keep telling him, his tab is racking up…hehe

2. Magazines. I went through a magazine phase for a while where I would subscribe to some diy, health, or cooking magazine, but what would happen is, the magazine would come and I would flip through the pages with the intent to read it in depth later, and later usually never came. Really any topics of this nature I can find anywhere online and save myself the extra money.

3. Fast Food. This was more of a health decision at first, but ended up benefiting our wallets immensely! When we went gluten and sugar free, we said goodbye to fast food. Every once in awhile, if we are around a Chick-fil-A (which the nearest one is over two-hours away) we will stop in and treat the kids, but as far as our weekly Taco Bell or Burger King runs, those are gone. It takes a little extra work, but we cherish our homemade, family meals around the table each night.img_2288_edited-1

4. Gym Membership. I’ve had gym memberships in just about every place we’ve lived. Zumba classes, cycling classes, and weight training cardio all in one spot. It was nice…when I was consistent. I found myself going for a few months, than dropping it for a few months and so on. Then add three kids into the mix and it was next to never.

My favorite workouts now consist of a youtube workout or a wholesome walk outside. I get great results and I don’t have to spend any money doing it.

5. Regular Theater Date Nights. If it’s a special occasion or the theater does a discounted rate, we will treat ourselves to a movie on the big screen. However, at around $40.00 for two tickets and a bowl of popcorn, it didn’t take us very long to decided to skip the theater as a regular date-night option. We would rather save the money and wait to see it when it comes out on DVD or is available in Redbox.Β 

These are just a few things our family has done that we have found very beneficial to our bank accounts.Β 

Is there anything that you have quit buying? What are your favorite money-saving tips?

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27 Comments

  1. Reply

    rhythminlife

    February 18, 2017

    lol. When we first started our frugal game, it was my husband’s(who is an Engineer) and also very mathematical. To take our own snacks to the movie;so yes….being “the amazing wife” that i was, i would pack all the “necessary” snacks and drinks in my beloved purse to go. We don’t go to the movies anymore, just use Netflix. We realized that wasting so much money going to watch all the “New releases” was us adding more $$$ to the pockets of the already multimillionaires. Thanks sis for sharing your frugal game changer.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 18, 2017

      Haha. yes. πŸ™‚

  2. Reply

    terrimadden2016

    February 18, 2017

    Hi Jessica I hope Saturday is going good for you! The hair salon bills can add up. I Go 3 times a year, and get a trim. I can style my hair myself then to my hearts content! I was the same with magazines , but when they start cluttering the place up and I can’t get the time or value out of them it was time to let go. We try to keep fast food as far away as possible , but it does come in handy for some midweek kids activities , when there is not time to cook. I’ve never been a big gym person, I try to get my exercise from walking, it does the trick! Every once in a while its nice to get to the theater, But we too watch dvd s and get cheap popcorn. We sometimes rent dvds from library for 7 days or do a one day rental for newer. Have you heard of Hoopla ? You can get 5 items a month free per library card holder, movies, music, audio books, or online reading books. Take care, Jessica, hugs, Terri xoxo.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 18, 2017

      Thanks for sharing what you guys do. Hoopla? no! I’m gonna check that out. thank you! I forgot about the library, but we have done that too. Ours has a pretty good selection of family/kid movies which is really nice. <3 Hope you get to relax a little today!

      • Reply

        terrimadden2016

        February 18, 2017

        Yes check out hoopla, you can download the app after signing up through library card. They got a lot of stuff all free! Thank you for following , I am getting some relaxation time, our 20 month old is sleeping! Hugs, Terri.

        • Reply

          inspirethemom

          February 19, 2017

          I thought I was following you, but I couldn’t find you in my reader. sorry it took so long! Glad you got a little down time! <3

          • terrimadden2016

            February 20, 2017

            Thank you Jessica! It is pretty simple my blog right now, I need time on my hands to make it more productive , but am happy with it right now, Happy Monday Dear, Hugs, Terri.

          • inspirethemom

            February 20, 2017

            I feel you, this whole blog thing takes time. and it feels like there is always something to learn or try. I think it looks good. Happy Monday to you too. <3

  3. Reply

    Melissa Pereira

    February 19, 2017

    This is great! I am in the process this year of doing major overhaul in certain areas of my life. To kick old bad habits and start healthy, smart new ones. The journey hasn’t been easy, but so far…so rewarding!

    Thanks for sharing those tips!

    God Bless!
    ~Melissa

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 20, 2017

      Us too! and you’re right, its a journey! But a little bit every day, right?! <3

      • Reply

        Melissa Pereira

        February 20, 2017

        Amen to that! πŸ™πŸ»β€

  4. Reply

    Jen

    February 19, 2017

    We rarely buy books… library loan can get us 99% of what we want.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 20, 2017

      Awesome! We try to do that as much as possible too. πŸ˜„

  5. Reply

    Becca

    February 20, 2017

    Several years ago we did The Compact, which is where you don’t buy anything new for a year (other than food, toiletries, and things like underwear. And that was the year the fifth Harry Potter book came out, so that was an exception too, obviously.) It really changed the way we thought about spending money. We cut out so much stuff that year, and never went back to buying it, because we discovered we didn’t need it. And with a lot of other stuff, we stuck with buying second-hand, because it’s just as good quality and better for the environment.

    More recently we went through a phase of really cutting back on our electricity usage. Our family of 4, in a house of about 2600 square feet, uses less electricity than a single person in a one-bedroom apartment. My sister works for Girl Scouts. She is so awesome, she sent me the Brownies guide and all the badges, so I’ve been doing Brownies with my kids. We recently did their badge on being more environmental. We pretty much had to rewrite the badges, because their suggested activities were less environmental than what we just normally do as a part of every-day life. And we are certainly not hard-core about it – Absolutely positively NO family cloths allowed! (That’s where you share a towel instead of toilet paper, or cut up old sheets and use that for toilet paper and then wash and reuse them.)

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 20, 2017

      Girl, it sounds like you need to be the one writing blog about all this! I’d love to hear more about what you did to cut back on electricity. And I’m with you…toilet paper is a necessity. πŸ™‚ Happy Monday, Friend!

      • Reply

        Becca

        February 20, 2017

        The first step to saving electricity is to know where you’re using it! You can borrow or buy a little tool that you can use to figure out how much energy every single appliance in your home is using. Then you just have to decide what habits to change. Be creative! Use CFL bulbs and fewer of them (just because your light fitting has space for 5 bulbs, it doesn’t mean you need to use all of the spaces); line dry (according to our electricity company this saves $500/year); if you have the option, schedule your washing machine and dishwasher to run during the middle of the night to take advantage of off-peak rates . . .There are lots of things you can do. A lot of it just depends on how far you’re willing to go. For instance we don’t use our heater or A/C much. We have a wood stove, and if we keep that going continually (which never happens because I forget about it!) the house stays moderately warm; but a lot of times in the winter we just pull on another sweater or pair of socks to warm up instead.

        A lot of it is about choices. I’ll never forget visiting my parents’ house in the US with our daughter. We’d had a stop over in Singapore on the way. Singapore is usually very warm. My parents live in the Rocky Mountains, and we were visiting in January. We got to my parents’ house, and my husband said to me, “They keep this place so warm, it’s like being back in Singapore again! I want to turn on the air conditioner!” My parents like a warm house; that’s fine, that’s their choice. But you can’t have a house that is Singapore-warm in the middle of winter, and also have low power bills. You have to choose which one is more important to you.

        • Reply

          inspirethemom

          February 21, 2017

          Exactly. It’s a choice. This year we put christmas lights up in the backyard for the kids…our electric bill skyrocketed. We learned our lesson for next year:/ Thanks for the tips! This is very interesting reading for me!

  6. Reply

    lifeinasmalltown

    February 20, 2017

    We have given up eating out, brand name clothing, not having smart phones, and all unnecessary trips in an effort to save gas.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 20, 2017

      I’m curious. What are your thoughts on not having smart phones? Is it a struggle to stay connected or is a decision that brought peace?

      • Reply

        lifeinasmalltown

        February 20, 2017

        My husband is opposed, so its easy for me on not having a smart phone. I have a basic flip phone with service in case of emergencies. We both feel that all the texting and people basically glued to their phones have lost an important part of connecting with people face-to-face. We do not feel we are out of the loop at all πŸ™‚ I feel completely at peace with the decision. However, we do have two kindles and a pc that allow us to obviously have internet connections.

        • Reply

          inspirethemom

          February 20, 2017

          Nice. There are days I don’t want a phone at all. lol. I’m with you on the lack on connecting. We have one smart phone and one “dumb” phone between my husband and I and its been that way for years. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  7. Reply

    Lacey

    February 20, 2017

    I’ve cut out all of these too! I’ll still pick up a magazine occasionally though. That’s not bad for me. I used to be a magazine junkie!

  8. Reply

    tlcowan18

    February 21, 2017

    Love the tips! I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for 6 years now. It is unbelievable to think the amount of money we have saved by doing it ourselves. We even have a Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix pup that needs yearly trims that cost over $100 per grooming! Yikes! So we bought shears and learned to do it ourselves πŸ™‚

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 21, 2017

      ha! Thats awesome! $100? I bet that was a huge money saver! πŸ™‚

  9. Reply

    ParentingIsFunny

    February 21, 2017

    I’m especially with you on the first one. First it was buying the haircut kit for my husband’s hair. He hasn’t been to a barber since. Totally worth it. Then it was giving my girls’ hair a trim now and then. Easy peasy. I was the last hold out, but just the other day I wanted a cut so I stepped out of the shower, combed my hair, and handed my husband the scissors. It took him about 1 minute to snip off the bottom of my hair. Not only saves money but a ton of time, too.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      February 21, 2017

      Thats awesome! I have yet to hand Mr. Coppertop the scissors. lol. I’m gonna have to pray about that one… πŸ˜‰

      • Reply

        ParentingIsFunny

        February 21, 2017

        Worst case, I visit the hairdresser afterward.

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