Now my things may not be anything like yours. And I am not suggesting you stop buying the same things as me. I am trying to get us thinking if there are things we buy out of habit and that we could cut them out or do something different for the sake of savings.
Vicky does it in part with samples and free products. She added this about how she is able to not purchase some items at all with a little coupling and collecting...
Don't pay for what you don't have to.
Now I know couponing is not for everybody, but they are very helpful in saving and building a pantry and stockpile. And by stockpile I certainly don't mean anything like on the show about people who extreme coupon and have 1000 boxes of cereal and buy insurance for their hoard. No what I mean is we all know saving means not spending. Not spending and we need to purchase things hmm? Therein lies coupons! If you look at those little slips of paper as money and treat them so that is what they are. When you are trying to pay off debt or stretch the budget why not take some things out of the equation? You can easily build up a plentiful supply that will cost maybe only tax and then take those items out of the grocery budget altogether.
I know many say there are never any coupons for things I use. Really? So eliminate food coupons, but don't discount the others do you brush your teeth, bathe, use deodorant and toilet paper? So even if you only save a little each year that is money still in your pocket. You could also gift the items or donate them or for example hamburger helper is easy to get free or cheap here you may not eat it, but there is pasta in the box, look at it as free pasta.
A few free or close to free items here and there add up. I have enough of a lot of things stockpiled that when my husband lost his job a year ago we didn't have to spend any of his unemployment for anything other than milk and bread and some really good sale items. So the house payment and other bills were paid. Plan ahead! You may not need the items now, but they will really save you later!
I don't buy newspapers I have friends and family and a neighbor who saves the Sunday papers for me. I get toothpaste and mouthwash coupons at the dentist, I get some from the paper recycling dumpster when we drop off our recycling off, I do print some if they are good ones.
If you cut coupons, but forget to use them just think you wouldn't go to the store without money, checks debit or credit cards to pay would you?
Now in Australia we don't have much in the way of coupons. But we do have samples and they can replace some items as we discussed last week.
Other things I have stopped buying have made a big difference to my budget. Some are things I haven't bought in a long time. Others more recent as I have made new discoveries. A few of them are major in that they save HUNDREDS a year.
So here is my list that I can think of...
I do not buy magazines. Once I had a major magazine habit. Now I will buy 10c ones in op shops on holidays but that is it. This saves a huge amount. With pinterest, blogs, magazine websites I do not need them. Good magazines are $8 or more each. You can do a lot of pantry building with $8.
Most cleaning products.
Cards or gift tags. (mostly!)
Packaged food. (rarely)
Exfoliator. Body scrub.
Carpet sprays or cleaners.
Takeaway food. (ok... but once or twice a year)
Any form of pay TV.
Other are services I don't buy:
The best things ever are things that by not buying them it means saving money and better health as well. One example is making Miracle Cleaner. This is wonderful stuff. It replaces so many cleaning products, saves a fortune, reduces chemicals in your home, makes the house smell lovely so you do not need air freshener or scents and saves space as you don't have lots of bottles of products.
When Lucy was pregnant we found out many scented candles are full or toxic chemicals. There are natural ones but the expensive ones I had loved were far from natural and it turns out they smell lovely but are really unhealthy. So they are gone. To get my vanilla fix I put vanilla extract in water in a cup and boil it in the microwave. The scent fills the house and then I wipe out the microwave as it is steam cleaned. Another win win! So that was a money saving plus healthy change. Many scent diffusers are the same, just a bunch of chemicals to add to your house.
I have loved finding things I just do not need to buy. Homemade wool mix and laundry detergent have my washing smell beautiful and feeling soft and I don't need dryer sheets or fabric softener as the sunshine makes things fresh better than anything else anyway.
I am still considering what else can go on the list. One thing that has helped is wondering if my Nan would have bought this or that? She had wonderful meals, a spotless home that smelled like yummy baking. Did she buy laundry scents? Scented candles? Plug in bug killer? Paper towels? No she never needed any of them one bit. Were we worse off without them? Well no!
Advertising has a lot to answer for! Yes there are wonderful things that I am glad we have like automatic washing machines! But lots of things really are not necessities and even maybe are bad for us. They can go.
I hope I find more things I can drop from my list! Even if we find one item we can stop buying and replace it with a pantry item we will get ahead.
So my Vicky Challenge savings...
Andy trimmed the hedge saving $100. (in our last home we paid one time to get the hedge tried and it was $120 so we bought a hedge trimmer and he has done it since.)
I did more painting and got quite a bit done saving at least $200
I made all the work lunches saving $100
Packed the fishing picnic saving $50.
Made three more heat packs saving $75
Andy came home yesterday with fish. After filleting there were 2 kilos of salmon = $50 saving approx.
Being the end of a month I add in my months savings on hair services = $225!
Also nail and pedicure = $100.
Now I am able to total up my week and also the month of March. I'm impressed. My efforts and our combined efforts equal far more than I ever would have thought. If anyone says to me the old "oh, you don't work then??" comment I will be ready for them!
What purchases have you cut out in your savings quest? Are there any new possibilities you can think of? I hope you had a great week and feel good about your work. Savings, at the end of the day, are tax free earnings.
There are so many ways we can build up our households! I can feel and see a difference here too. I am getting somewhere! xxx