The quickest way to save money is to stop buying things and if you stop buying these 7 things, you can save more money.
In the long run, the best way to save money is actually to earn more money. But we’re not talking about the long run right now. We’re talking about short-term, immediate action you can take on your budget, and that’s going to come down to your spending.
The more that we opt out of this consumerist cycle, the more and the faster we can save. When I stopped spending my free time at Target and instead, I started hanging out with my friends at home having movie nights and learning how to cook, I started saving way more money.
Here’s the 7 things that you can stop buying to save more money.
1: Stop buying fancy cleaning supplies
Have you ever noticed that every single part of your house has its own cleaning supply? Here’s tile cleaner for your bathroom floor, and then there’s toilet bowl cleaner for your toilet bowl, there’s tub cleaner, there’s sink cleaner! Each separate part of our house has been broken down and commodified by capitalism to convince us that we need different cleaners for different corners of our home.
I’m all for a clean home. I want to have a clean house, but I don’t want to be pressured into buying 15 different cleaners. You can make an all purpose cleaner at home by yourself with one part white vinegar, one part water, lemon rind, and rosemary sprigs. You can use this to remove hard water stains, to clean your trash cans and to wipe away wall smudges.
Some cleaners cannot be used on certain surfaces. For example, you shouldn’t use vinegar on things like marble because it can eat away at the marble. I completely understand that, but you can make another all purpose cleaner for your kitchen counters, for inside your refrigerator and for cleaning your appliances. And all you need to do for that is mix four tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of warm water.
These two homemade cleaners are much, much cheaper and way more sustainable because as you use them, you can just remake them in the same spray bottle, so you’re buying less plastic overall.
2: Stop buying ALL the streaming services
All these different streaming services is just cable reinvented and it is driving me nuts. As someone who works with people one-on-one as a money coach, I often find in people’s streaming budget that they’ve got seven or eight streaming services and it really adds up.
I say this as somebody who loves TV. I almost exclusively watch trashy TV. I’m talking about like your Sweet Magnolias on Netflix and your Virgin River on Netflix. I’m talking about Love is Blind and Selling Sunset. I love garbage TV. And I’m not embarrassed by that, it’s an escape from reality and makes me feel good. I’m not here to tell you to cut out television altogether and do something more productive with your time. That is not my jam. Enjoy your TV.
But I am here to say I want you to pick one or two streaming services that you actually watch consistently. For example, I’m on Netflix and Hulu girlie. I don’t need to watch HBO. I am totally fine being the only person left on planet earth who hasn’t seen Succession or the second season of White Lotus. It doesn’t impact my life, it’s fine.
So pick the streaming service that you watch the most of and let the others go. I promise if you unsubscribe from Disney Plus, Disney as a company is not going to crumble.
3: Stop buying the newest phone each year
I am addicted to my phone. I spend a ton of time on my phone. I use it for personal and for business reasons. You do not need a new phone every single year. It’s going to be totally fine if you spend the next couple of years using the iPhone 12 instead of the iPhone 15.
We’ve been sold this lie that we need the newest greatest thing every single year and that if you have something for more than 12 months at a time, you’re older, you’re not cool anymore. I use an iPhone 11 and it’s completely fine. It does the job very well. It’s got a very powerful camera and I can make calls. I can download anything I want. It’s got plenty of storage space.
Don’t believe this lie that you constantly need to be buying the newest tech as soon as it’s out.
4: Stop buying cheap kitchen items
Your girl is the kitchen queen. I love my kitchen stuff. And one of the most commonly repeated money tips that you will find on this site, and on many other financial sites, is to stop eating out so much and to cook more at home because it’s cheaper. Well, you know what makes cooking at home way easier? Having appropriate kitchen utensils!
And I’m not talking about the cheapo knives or the plastic Tupperware. I’m telling you to spend your money on getting good, quality kitchenware that you will keep for decades. Like the Dutch oven that your grandma handed down to you. That’s the kind of kitchen spending I want you to do. Spend on very high quality items that you can have for decades. Items that your grandkids can have one day and be like, “My grandma used to make chicken and dumplings in that.” Create memories with your kitchen items. Do that by spending on quality.
Stop spending on the cheapo stuff that you saw at Target or that you picked up at IKEA that breaks after a couple of years. This is just a waste of your money in the long run. You can find quality Pyrex storage containers at Goodwills and thrift stores around the country. Do a little bit of research and take a little bit of time to find out what the quality brands are and find out what the tools you need. Maybe you’re not an air fryer person, that’s fine. Maybe all you need is a crock pot, but do your research and skip buying these low quality items that are just going to end up in a landfill in a few years.
5: Stop buying health supplements
Obviously if you need some sort of medication or if you are on some sort of doctor approved supplement regime, listen to your doctor, don’t listen to me. I am not a health expert in any way. But the health industry is guilty of selling a lot of us a lot of things that we do not need and a lot of things that don’t work. Medicines must be approved by the FDA before they can be sold and supplements do not require this approval as of 2023.
The supplement industry is worth $39.8 billion. That is a lot of money that we are spending on unregulated things that we are putting into our on our bodies. So talk with your health provider about your nutritional needs and how you can meet them. I’m willing to bet with the proper diet, you can get a lot of the things that you’re currently getting from supplements from food. And like I said before, different bodies need different things. So follow your doctor’s advice, but a lot of supplements can go.
6: Stop buying storage and organizational tools
A perfectly organized and matched life and house is an Instagram delusion. It’s unrealistic, and it’s super annoying. Now it’s not that you can’t have systems of organization in your home, that’s not what I’m saying. Especially if you’ve just moved or this is your first apartment, you want to set up systems that keep you organized and keep your house clean. But you also don’t need to have everything color-coordinated or have four different trays to organize your four different types of ice. You also don’t need to be throwing out perfectly good things simply because they don’t meet this month’s home decor trend.
As long as your home is clean and you can find what you want, you don’t need to be throwing out perfectly good shelves, storage boxes or tools just so that you can match the latest Tiktok trend.
7: Stop buying fabric softeners
SPOILER ALERT: fabric softeners do almost nothing, but ruin your clothes. Fabric softeners slowly degrade our clothing which makes them more vulnerable to a smells. This means that smells can actually stay in your clothes longer and your clothing will wear out sooner. Fabric softener is a lose-lose for your wallet.
Fabric softeners work by depositing a layer of electrically charged chemical compounds on fabric. This coating causes the fibers on clothes to fluff up thus making fabric feel softer and gentler on the skin. They also neutralize electric charge which is what makes your clothes shock or cling together.
But it comes at a cost. Fabric softener can reduce flame resistance on children’s sleepwear and the residue buildup in the machine can create a healthy environment for mildew to grow in. It can even diminish workout clothes wicking ability. So skip the softener, save that money and save your clothes.
To hear more about why we should stop buying these 7 things and how advertising tricks us, check out the video below!