10 Things You Should Stop Buying
Are you looking for ways to be a little more frugal when it comes to your finances? The truth is, millions of Americans waste thousands of dollars each year on items that they don’t necessarily need. We’re all guilty of it. At the time it only seems like a small purchase, but when monitored over a longer period of time, it becomes a number much more noticeable. I’m here to help you discover what some of those items may be for you. These are 10 things that you should stop buying right now.
10 Things You Should Stop Buying
1. Fancy Coffee Shops
Whether you’re spending your hard-earned dollars each morning at Starbucks, Gloria Jeans, or Caribou Coffee, you’re throwing away a ton of money every year for only a few moments of pleasure. And no, I’m not being overly-dramatic about it. That venti-whatever that you’ve been drinking may taste delicious (in fact, I know it does), you’re paying way too much!
Did you know that if you went a whole year brewing your coffee from home, you’d only be spending approximately $60 to $100 depending on how much you drink each day? Most Starbucks customers spend that in less than 2 – 3 weeks! On the opposite end, if you went five days a week buying your coffee through a drive-thru, you could be spending anywhere from $250 to $1,200 a year! That’s insane.
2. Bottled Water
Now I know that bottled water is extremely convenient to have, especially for sporting events, parties, and other activities, but it’s not something that you should be doing for your family each week. It’s not only hard on your wallet, but it also isn’t friendly to the environment.
By spending money upfront on a water filter or a reusable water bottle, you’ll save a bunch of money in the long run. Reusable Water Bottles
3. Dryer Sheets
There’s something else that I’ve learned recently that some of you may benefit from. Instead of always buying dryer sheets that only last for one drying cycle, why not invest in dryer balls that will last up to 1,000 loads? They help to cut down on drying time and are also chemical-free. Wool Dryer Balls
4. Countless Unnecessary Toys
Just for a minute, take a peek in your children’s bedroom and take a quick inventory of their play area? Are there more toys in those designated areas that could ever be played within one lifetime?
I get it, many of those were accumulated through Christmas and birthday gifts, but how many of those toys made their way into your home because your child begged you for them? Now they just sit there on the floor like the toys from Misfit Island.
Let’s be honest. What are we teaching our children by buying them every toy that they ever wanted? That isn’t love. It’s only showing them how to never be content with what they have. For some of us, this may be a hard truth pill for you to swallow.
5. Name Brand
I understand for some of you, that you don’t feel that comfortable compromising quality just to save you a few bucks, and I totally agree with you. Yet when it comes to certain foods and clothing, the generic and store brands taste and look just as good, and you’ll spend a fraction of the cost doing so. You see, cheaper can be better, and if you use this outlook with all your areas of spending, it will leave more money in the bank.
I’m not suggesting you buy cheap, poor quality items. I do suggest you look for products that may carry the store’s name, a generic logo, or can be purchased in bulk to save funds for another day.
This may come across as a little blunt for some, but here goes anyway. Besides glancing down at it every now and then, and wowing your friends a single time, what’s the point of spending so much money on jewelry, especially when it pertains to diamonds.
Did you know that the jewelry store is ripping you off with a higher mark-up on that piece of jewelry than what it’s actually worth? As it turns out, you’re getting only about half of what you pay for. While it’s certainly dazzling to look at, the only time that it may have any real value to you is when it’s being used as something that you can barter with during an apocalyptic scenario. I’ve purchased some jewelry that was made with cubic zirconia. The diamond look-alikes were beautiful.
With so many different options available out there, there’s really no reason to continue paying for a cable service that is ripping you off. After all, we’re now living in the 21st century and there are a lot more streaming services than there were just a few years ago. You can save a bunch of money by switching to streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and Roku. You can keep up with your sporting events and many special activities and news broadcasts on most cell phones much cheaper.
8. Expensive Cell Phone/Plan
The newest and latest iPhone along with an expensive plan will cost you a small fortune over the typical two-year purchase period. If you are careful, most families don’t necessarily need an unlimited data plan through their cell phone provider, because there are already so many other apps for texting and calling out there.
You also should avoid purchasing any apps on your phone because there are so many free apps already available to you. Do what’s best for your family and make the switch to a cheaper plan and a phone that will leave you sleeping better at night.
9. Lottery Tickets
It doesn’t take a genius to know that lottery tickets are another big waste of money, but some people have an addiction that they’re not willing to admit and big dreams that never come true. I’m not here to judge you if you buy one every now and then, but how much money has it won you lately? The odds of winning are incredibly low. This is for sure one of those things you should consider stopping frequent purchases.
10. Stop Eating Out So Much
Eating out is a nice thing to do as a family every once in a while, but most American families today are doing many days of the week. We live hectic and more chaotic lives than ever before, which means that we spend a decent amount of time in a drive-thru or a sit-down restaurant more than we may like to admit.
That’s not only a waste of money but fast-food, and even some restaurant food, is so bad for you. By going to the grocery store with a plan, along with cooking from home more often, you can save your family thousands of dollars each year, and you’ll feel better too!
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10 Things You Should Stop Buying
I hope you enjoyed my post on 10 things you should stop buying! If you have a tendency to spend more than you should every once in a while, I’d strongly encourage you to keep an eye on your impulsive purchases as well. Not only are you wasting money, but those purchases will only bring you pleasure for a brief period of time. What are some other items that you and I should avoid wasting our money on? I’d love to hear from you. What are some things you’ve recently stop buying? May God Bess this world, Linda.
39 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Stop Buying”
We now keep two full steel water cups with tops in the car all of the time. When we get home we wash and refill if used. It has cut down the water bottles to a slow trickle….
Hi Janette, that’s all it takes is replacing reusable water jugs with plastic water bottles. It’s less waste, less garbage, and less hauling the cases of water. Life is good! Linda
Linda, as you know, it’s important to have water storage. So we always refill our empty canning jars with water and place a ring with a new lid atop them. Then when canning season comes around, we have clean jars already fitted with a new lid, waiting to be put into service. We also keep recycled glass jars (peanut butter, salad dressing, etc) jars filled with water in our pantry (where that flat of plastic bottled water used to sit); when headed out, we grab a glass jar of water for the ride. Thanks for your timely information!
Hi Alice, this is awesome! I love hearing the way you stock water! I love it! Linda
Hi Linda. I love it glass jar idea. People have so many ideas that I would have never thought of. I never buy bottled water. Can’t stand the taste, believe it or not. For years I’ve always taken my own drink with me, especially in the summer or if I know I’m going to be gone longer than an hour. When buying things, I always ask myself, “is it a Want or a Need”. Then, if I determine it’s a need, I’ll get it. If it’s a want, then I’ll tell myself, “if it’s meant for me to have it, it will be there when I come back another day”. Sometimes it is, most of the time it isn’t and I haven’t caved to my whim. Stay warm and have a great day!
Hi Pam, oh I hear you about the taste of water!! I cannot drink water in those plastic bottles. I have reverse osmosis, and I take my water wherever I go. I have learned after retiring that some things I used to think I needed were no longer what I needed or wanted. I have been decluttering like crazy. I love living with less, I needed to simplify my life. Linda
Hi Linda, 4 years ago I went tiny, so to speak, and I’m still getting rid of “stuff”, lol. Hoping this is the last summer I work on that. Anyway, yes, life is so much better without having “stuff” that I don’t need or having used since I moved into my 24foot 5th wheel. Winter, since I’m not busy doing much, gives me time to plot and plan on what I’m going to accomplish during the warmer summer months. Then, I make lists of what I’m going to do. Love checking things off as they are done. I live in 240 sq. ft. so it’s extremely important to get rid of things that I haven’t used or even seen in 6 months. There are still some things that I don’t get rid of, like winter clothes, whether or not I’ve worn them. I see far too many people wanting more and more, and I just shake my head, but that’s another “soapbox” for another day, lol. Take care. Stay warm and safe. Pam
My water storage is the blue plastic camping water containers that I used to haul water in when I lived off grid, changed out every 6 months for freshness. I also have several options for reusable water bottles to take along when leaving the house. In summer I like using my small thermos to keep the water nice and cool. I’m pleased to say I already follow the other recommendations and am about to apply for a $25 a month cell plan for seniors offered by my current supplier which will save me a bundle. It all makes it so much easier to live on my government pension, along with being sensible about purchases in general. Unfortunately I still find it hard to resist woodworking tools and craft supplies, my own version of expensive toys!
Hi Alice, I hear you on cutting back on some stuff. I love hearing you can’t resist woodworking tools and crafts. I feel like those hobbies bring us peace and joy. I love cooking and baking. I love kitchen gadgets, it’s my passion. Life is good when we have a hobby we enjoy. I love hearing you are still using the blue plastic camping water containers. Here’s the deal, buy right the first time and they will last forever. Linda
I have some water bottle cases in my food storage but for the most part, I do not buy them. I have a filter in my frig plus our small local water company has really good tasting and safe water to drink. I never leave the house without my water bottle with ice and a splash of lemon juice in it. In the summer, I always have a cooler if I’m going to be gone for an extended period of time…same with travelling, always have coolers with food and drinks. I will admit, it’s nice to freeze the bottled water and use them for ice in the coolers.
Quilt stores are my passion and I have a hard time not buying fabric that either strikes my eye or is a good stash/blender. It definitely paid off during the lockdown; I used alot of that fabric/kits, etc. and made 14 quilts and innumerable projects while I couldn’t leave my home. I’ve been really good about not buying “stuff” nor “stuff” for the gkids. I have plenty of books to read so I’m not buying those either-I trade online for free, only postage.
I wish I could get my cell phone down tho. I’m one of those, I’m ashamed to admit, am stuck with that thing in my hand when I’m not home! I really run through the data when we’re on trips, too, always looking things up and reading the news, my email, etc. My math sucks so I need it’s calculator. However, I do draw the line at buying the latest and greatest phone. Have you seen the price of some of those things? Like $2,000! OMG! how in the world can they justify asking that much money for a phone! Granted, they’re mini computers but still…not me, I’m sticking with my old phone.
Loved this article, Linda. I almost always learn from them and this was no exception. Thank you!
Hi Robbie, oh my gosh, I love to quilt! I love to sew as well. My quilting days have slowed down since I started blogging but the passion is still there. I bet your quilts are beautiful!! It seems that quilting will never go out of style and I’m so glad. There is something so special about a homemade quilt, I LOVE them! Mark and I only trade our phones out when they are nearly dead. LOL! Then we have to call our kids to help us figure out the NEW ones!! LOL! Life is so good! Linda
I have some water bottles, but mostly have the 5-gallon bottles for my water cooler. I stopped drinking and buying water bottles. I do have a couple of reusable water bottles. They’re green hard plastic. I have the metal glasses with lids that I take with me when I go somewhere. I don’t drink carbonated beverages, so don’t buy them when away from home. Hubby drinks Diet Coke. Don’t buy coffee at a coffee shop. I can make it at home for cheaper! Plus, I don’t drink coffee very often. I drink Chai Tea Latte. And herbal teas. But mostly water.
We have 13-inches of snow, and it’s between 9 and 12 degrees here in East Texas. Lots of power outages here, too. Please pray for the ones without power. Some will likely freeze to death.
Hi Deborah, oh my gosh 13 inches of snow!! My granddaughter was just telling me she loves a Chai Tea Latte! I use to store those 5-gallon bottles they are great! Texas has been hit hard this year!! Yikes, stay warm! Linda
We’re doing our best to stay warm. We still have power, some don’t. We have kids that are all electric. So far they have power. Our snow is powdery. Like snow skiing snow. My nephew is in Colorado skiing with his family.
Hi Deborah, crazy weather in Texas!! We have dangerous avalanches up north in Utah. I’m glad you have power. Linda
Years ago we went to an applesauce packing plant and found that all applesauce brands are made at the same place. The plant just put on the store label that is to go to the store asked for. The man at the plant said that people think that each brand is packaged by the store, but it isn’t. They all come from the same plant with maybe one of two things different. It was good to know. Now I buy the store brand because in most cases it is less money and because it is there is a higher turn-over rate so items stay fresher. Flour is also a good example of this. We sometimes buy for the name on the label and not the item.
Hi Cheryl, that’s interesting about the applesauce!! That’s good to know! I love learning about this kind of thing! Linda
Linda, I forgot to say that I don’t buy name brand items. I’m frugal. LOL We rarely eat out. We do have Dish for our TV, but that’s our only entertainment cost. We have one cell phone. A tracphone. And I stopped buying lottery tickets years ago. When I found out that the proceeds weren’t going to where they said they’d go. Schools. Plus, I told someone that they could buy their tickets, and I’d put the same amount in a jar and we’d see who’d become a millionaire first. And I bet it’d be me. LOL
Hi Deborah, they don’t sell lottery tickets in Utah! Heaven forbid, it would be a sin or something! LOL! I have never bought any because I’m too cheap to drive over the state line to buy some. We rarely eat out, because I always leave thinking, “I’m not going back there”!! LOL! I love Netflix, I may be addicted to seeing new shows. Or old shows, it doesn’t matter! Linda
We ace a lot of DVDs, too. Some store bought and some we recorded of the movie channels. We love the oldies. They are the best to my of thinking. No sex, or violence or foul language.
Hi Deborah, I have to agree with you on the oldies, we love them as well!~ Linda
Love it all! I’ve always thought buying bottled water was . . . silly. We cut the cable/dish a decade or so ago. Seldom watch TV. (I love reading!) My kids had to drag me kicking and screaming to get even a ‘stupid’ cell phone. And it’s not like I’m a technophobe – I was a math & physics major, lo these many years ago, and worked for several years as a computer programmer (back in the days of hanging chads). We budget for dining out. Any ‘special’ coffee comes out of my own ‘free-to-spend-however-I-please’ money. I wear very little jewelry; my only diamonds are the one in my bridal set, and my mother’s and grandmother’s engagement rings. I would add one item to your list: makeup! (This would probably shock and appall some people! 😉
Hi Sue, oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one who doesn’t wear makeup!! I love hearing this! I always have a case of those small bottles of water from Costco 48 bottles of 8-ounce bottles for guests when they come here. We live in the desert and people do not realize how much water they need to drink when they come to visit. Most of the time people come with their own reusable bottles, thank goodness. Life is so good when we live with less and we simplify our life. Linda
When I was working, I used to stop for a coffee at Starbucks. Then one day, I calculated how much I spent in a week, then a month, then a year. I finally started making my own coffee at home and saved a bundle! And I like my coffee better than the bitter coffee drinks that cost so much!
I stopped buying bottled water when I got my Berkey water filter. Since I drink 1-2 cups of coffee each morning, then drink water the rest of the day, I have paid for the Berkey several times over including replacement filters. I have several gallons of stored water in glass jars that have all been filtered. I keep those in rotation just like I do my food storage.
I used up all of the dryer sheets I had on hand and went to dryer balls. They don’t eliminate ALL of the static but they do save me money! I cannot stand scents in my laundry so I also eliminated that when I went to dryer balls.
When it comes to clothing purchases, I do tend to purchase the best quality I can find so the clothing lasts longer. But I am very careful about what I do buy. I made a pact with myself several years ago – well at least 15 years ago now – If I purchase new clothing, when I hang it in my closet, something has to come out of my closet. That way, I have what I call a minimal wardrobe. So with that in mind, everything has to be the best quality I can afford as well as something that goes with more than one other item: a top that goes equally well with pants, jeans and skirts. Another thing that I do that keeps my wardrobe to a minimum is hang my clothing with the hangers facing one way and when I clean and put them back, the hanger faces the opposite way. After a few months, I can see very easily what was worn and what was not. Those hangers that face the original way after 6 months, are donated because it is obvious that I am not wearing them!
As for phones and cable – for some, they are necessities! I rarely watch television but I do watch things like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. So, I pay for those services because I can choose what I want to watch rather than have to watch what the cable services provide. I have a cell phone that is way out-dated and a service that gives me unlimited talk/text and a fair amount of data. When I was working, I was paying upwards of $100 a month for my cell service. When I retired, I knew I could no longer afford to pay that much. It took a while to find the right plan for me for much much less.
Funny story about Lottery tickets: My brother-in-law was in the habit of purchasing $20 worth of tickets for each of the 2 drawings per week ($40 total). So, my sister kept a gallon jar in her closet and every week she put the same amount that he spent on tickets into her jar. At the end of the year, she asked him how much he had won playing the lottery. I don’t recall what he told her but she pulled out that gallon jar and said this is what I have won without purchasing a single ticket. It amounted to about $2100! He no longer purchased lottery tickets!
Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, this is the best comment ever! The lottery story, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I’m the same with clothes, I would rather buy less but buy the best. I love living with less and love what I have. Great tip on the hangers! If I bring something home, as far as clothes, something has to be donated. I’m OCD as far as things being organized, so less is best for me! Linda
Lottery tickets… I very rarely buy one–only when the prize gets way up there (and so far all I’ve won is enough to buy another couple of tickets, LOL). I call it “the optimism tax.”
Glad to hear someone else uses canning jars for water storage! Sometimes there’s not quite a full canner load–so I’ll put in a jar of plain water to make up the load. I figure that jar is good for fairly long-term storage, next to the home-canned food. I love the idea of filling the all the rest with water, but I store my jars out where they would freeze… Trying to think where there would be room to put them in where it would be safe!
Phones… Unless you *really* need a smart phone, why not a flip phone? *Much* cheaper–you can still phone, text, and take pictures, and in my case, the cover means I don’t “butt-dial” anyone, and it’s fairly safe if I drop it or even bang into something (not unusual on a farm!) Supposedly mine will somehow connect to the Internet, I just haven’t had the patience (or need) to try doing so.
What about washing and reusing plastic water bottles? In the summer, fill 1/4, freeze at an angle in the freezer, when you’re ready to go grab one and fill the rest of the way with tap water.
Hi All! I do have a Brita water filter and extra filters. My kitchen faucet has a filter as does our refrigerator water dispenser. I keep the 5 gallon water bottles for my water cooler. I am seriously thinking of canning some water in my extra mason jars. I have half gallon, quarts and pints, as well as 1-1/2 pint jars. We have a lot of pint jars! Do have some recycled gallon jars that I use for food storage. They had pickles in them long ago. I have 5 or so.
Hi Deborah, sounds like a plan! I’m not sure you can “can” half gallons. You may want to check on that. I may be wrong, but it seems I heard that. Linda
This morning I woke to 0 degrees. That’s right. 0. No more snow though, yet. The high today is supposed to be 13. Baby, it’s very old outside.
Hi Deborah, wow, the news is showing us all the snow in Texas!! Crazy weather! Linda
I don’t remember it being this cold before. We are up to almost 7-degrees now. It’s even cool in the house to me. I have two long sleeved shirts on and a pair of heavy jeans, and socks. I usually wear a t-shirt with jeans or long pants and socks.
February is usually our coldest month anyway.
Hi Deborah, every time I look at the news the number of people without power keeps going up. Stay warm and stay home! Linda
Linda, have no fear about me getting out. I don’t know how to drive on this stuff, and I’m too old to learn that. LOL We have or had, a full tank of propane before this started so we’re good on heat. Even if the power goes out, which it hasn’t yet, we’ll be OK. I have candles, and oil lamps, plus flash lights.
I’ve been outside once since the snow came, a d that was enough. Larry went out to check the dish and he had snow up to his knees in the back yard. He came in with his shoes with snow stuck to them and even had snow on his socks. I did make him take his shoes off and put on dry socks.
I need to do laundry, but I’m scared to, it’s just too cold out.
Hi Deborah, is your washer and dryer in the garage, is that why it’s too cold to do laundry? That is a lot of snow, my friend!! I just heard Ft. Worth, TX has to boil water! This storm is crazy!! Linda
Hey Linda! No, washer and dryer are in the i kitchen area. But it’s pretty cool in there. Not freezing though. I’ll try it in a bit.
Hi Deborah, oh gotcha! Thank goodness it’s not freezing! Linda
I agree totally on your 10 Items to stop buying!! I have never purchased Lottery tickets and water bottles are a pet peeve of mine! I is see most people buy a bottle of water, take one drink, set it down and forgets it.! My husband is the Laundry Master, so I have no say (gladly) over what he uses, so I find othe ways to use the used sheets.
Hi Debbie, water bottles are such a waste of money! Yay, for your husband being the Laundry Master, I love it! Life is so good! Linda