It’s a new year and like many of you, I’m on a mission to save more money. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to save money these days and it still feels like you’re spending more than you’re actually saving. Am I right?
The budget will be solid until we get to the grocer and realize all of the things that weren’t factored in like: body wash, detergent, things for the cat, etc. Every month, usually on a Saturday, I write down our monthly spending budget. We then have a visual representation of what monies will be spent, but we’re still going over budget by a couple bucks.
I’ve created a short list of items that we all could stop purchasing to keep a few more dollars in our pockets and our budgets in tact.
- Bottled Waters
Individual bottles of water could cost up to $2.50 each depending on the brand and size. Waters like Smart Water, and others like it, promise consumers more vitamins and minerals, and this could very well be true, but eating a well balanced diet will give you even more of those promised vitamins. Purchase a Brita filter or something similar and fill a reusable water bottle.
Paying monthly or even yearly membership fees for things we hardly use is a waste of money. If you find yourself making promises to go to the gym and you haven’t gone yet, maybe you should cancel the membership. Companies like Amazon, Costco, and LA Fitness charge an upwards of $50 per month or $100 per year for “exclusive” savings. I love Amazon, but I don’t order enough things throughout the year to need their Prime Membership. To save money on your gym membership, cancel it and workout for free at home. YouTube has amazing fitness videos and there are hundreds of mobile apps like Nike Training Club that will give you a great workout.
3. Overpriced Cosmetics
Make up is all the rage right now and it’s also a very expensive investment. Now, I loves me some MAC lipstick, but I am not in the mall every weekend purchasing a new tube. I believe investing in makeup that will last, not only on your face, but in general is important, however, you do not need 3 of the same foundations. Only purchase when you run out! Same goes for us natural curly queens, being a product junky is ruining your pockets and savings accounts. If you don’t like the product, resale it on 5 Mile or Craigslist as a return on the investment.
4. Individually Wrapper Foods
Have you noticed that 8 slices of Cheddar cheese is more expensive than the one pound block variety? That’s because pre-sliced and individually wrapped things are purposely priced higher. There is no need to purchase shredded cheese or the $5 box of 8-granola bars. The block cheddar tastes just the same and shredding cheese is pretty fun. It’ll tone your dominate arm that’s for sure.
5. Cellphone Data Overages
Cellphone usage is programmed into our every day routine. I actually wrote this entire blog post on the WordPress mobile app. Fortunately, I have my service through Sprint and they offer unlimited data coverage. Some of the other companies give an allotment of data like 10 GBs per month and then charge for any extra. To prevent this from happening:
- Always make sure you’re connected to your WiFi at home.
- Download your music/podcast prior to going to a workout or riding the train to work.
- If you’re at a cafe or restaurant, ask if they offer WiFi if you must use your device.
6. Disposable Products
Ladies, I know this one is mostly for us regarding disposable toiletries, but we live in the 21st century and have access to reusable products. Not only are tampons, maxi pads, razors, and travel sized soaps a waste of money, but they aren’t good for the environment either. Items you can use instead:
- Diva Cups
- Period Sponge
- Period Panties
- Reusable Razors (like the ones they use at the barbershop)
- Refillable travel sized liquid containers
7. Organic Pet Treats
We love our pets as we’d love our own blood children, but we have to create a budget around how much we’re going to spend on them. I’m an advocate for all things organic, but I’m also aware that our pets will eat what we give them.
If you must spend the $48 per 7 pound bag of dog or cat food for your pet, by all means, but if you’re wanting to save more money, you may need to reassess and look for homemade alternatives.
8. Cleaning Products
Dollar General has the same quality cleaning products as the next super store around your neighborhood. If you’re into the “less” chemicals route, then I have news for you! You can make cleaning products at home. The key ingredients are: white vinegar, lemon/orange oil, water, and a spray bottle. The best part is vinegar can be used on all surfaces in the home is is a great disinfectant as well.
9. Cheap Clothing
Investing in the higher priced clothing upfront will save you tons of money down the line. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great sale too, but the clothes I’ve gotten from fast fashion/trendy stores end up in the donation bag soon than later. Higher quality breeds a longer lasting wardrobe and more money in your bank account.
10. Separate Cookware
How many pots, pans, or baking dishes do you own? You have 5 cakes pans, a casserole dish, Pyrex dishes etcetera. What if I told you that Pyrex has baking dishes that you could also use to carry tomorrow’s lunch? 😨
My mind was recently blown when I realized that Pyrex sales the “baking glass set” and the “storage glass set.” Guess what? They’re both made of the same dishwasher and oven safe material. This means that all you have to do is purchase one set, clean it properly, and that one set will last you a long while. Then you can get rid of the raggedy plastic “tupperware” crowding your cabinet space.
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Let me know some other items you believe we all could stop purchasing to keep a few more dollars in our pockets.
Peace + Love