Trying to find ways to save extra money? Here are some things our family quit buying to save money!
If you want to save some money, pay off debt, or make a big purchase you need extra cash. Now, it’s really hard to make instant changes to your current lifestyle, but if you need extra money, you have to either:
- Make more.
- Spend less.
Unless you are getting a raise this week or you have a new (or another) job lined up, it will probably be hard for you to immediately start making more money. Everyone, however, can always take a look at their spending and find ways to spend less (and pocket more money). Here are some things that we stopped buying in order to save money.
Cable (Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
I have 2 kids under 4 and
Brand new clothes
We very rarely buy new clothes (except for underwear and socks!). We buy all of our clothes at thrift shops, consignment shops, or garage sales. My daughters also get a lot of hand-me-downs from friends. (See my post here on how to save more money with babies and little kids.)
If you feel wary about buying used clothes, you could bleach them. I’ve occasionally used small amounts of bleach on used clothes for sanitizing (I’ve also washed wool and dry clean items in my washing machine and let them drip dry. *gasp*) I once worked as a caregiver for a lady who had me add a capful of bleach to every laundry load (whites, colors, etc.).
Unless you very frequently need to refer to your magazines, you can read them for free from your library (or often get similar information for free online!).
Besides my girls just love going to the library to choose new books to read!
Kids thrive with
We also occasionally go to the thrift shop and get nice toys for cheap.
Related: Simple tips to organize kids’ toys
Related: Cheap, simple toys for little kids
We’ll see what happens when my 2 girls become teenagers!
Brand new items
Not only can you save money by purchasing many used items, but this is also environmentally-friendly as you save items from landfills. There are hundreds of items that people use daily that you don’t need to purchase brand new.
- dining room table & chairs
- bed frames
- Kitchen items
- Kids’ stuff – Besides brand new clothes and toys, having children means you’ll probably use and need a lot of items. Unless it’s a specific safety issue (like a used car seat, for example), you can get many second-hand items for kids. I’ve bought (or received as a hand-me-down):
- used Moby Wraps
- baby swings
- toy boxes
- Cars – I know that it might seem intimidating to buy a used car, but I found a really honest and reliable mechanic who is willing to evaluate any used car I’d bring him for a small fee. He is honest about the condition of the car and worth. I was also lucky to buy my used car from someone I know and trust, who took very good care of it (and kept good records). If you can buy a good-quality used car, you can save money – especially since the value of a new car depreciates the minute you drive it off the lot.
Related: How to save money while raising kids
Gluten-free or specialty items
I can’t eat gluten or dairy. There are a lot of fancy specialty items (think “baked treats”) that are gluten and dairy-free (and usually pricey!). I avoid the extra cost by meal planning and eating more fruits, veggies, and rice (all gluten and dairy-free!). I also love to bake my own special (cheaper) treats at home once in a while!
Related: Meal planning made easy!
Related: Why you need an emergency fund
You can save money by not buying unnecessary items. Every little bit adds up. Challenge yourself to see where you can cut costs and use the money you save up to buy a bigger, more important purchase, or, better yet, put it in a savings account or emergency fund. Share your tips with me on how YOU save money!