Need to start saving some dollars? One of the best ways to do this is look at things you are buying on a regular basis and then identify and stop buying things you don’t really need!
There are many things you are probably buying on a regular basis without thinking twice. If you aren’t paying attention to what you are buying, it is easy to spend money on unnecessary things. But if you need to save money, you need to cut these things from your regular spending.
Some people think that saving money is too hard. But by cutting out unnecessary things completely or cutting back on them, you can save money each month. Sometimes lots of money, hundreds!
You can put that extra money toward savings, a retirement account, or any other financial goal, depending on your saving priority.
If you are looking for stuff to stop buying to spend wisely, here are 16 things you can stop buying to save money each month.
16 Things You Can Stop Buying to Save Money Each Month
1. Fast food
Eating fast food is easy and convenient for lunch, but it is not only bad for your wallet but also for your health. If you eat fast food often, you would probably be shocked by the amount you spend on eating out each month.
Most people spend more than $100 a month on fast food, usually between $100-$500 a month or more. But you could save that money when you eat your own home cooked meals at home. You can eat healthier when you cook your meals at home too because you can choose the ingredients and portion sizes of your meals!
If it is not easy for you to completely give up on eating fast food, cutting back on eating out is probably the best way to save money each month. And you can still save money when you occasionally eat fast food by looking for coupons or visiting on a kid’s free night.
2. Bottled water
Spending money on bottled water is an expense you can eliminate from your spending to save some money every month. If you spend even $1 per day on bottled water, this can add up to $30 per month. And if you drink the bottled water of fancier brands, the cost will be much higher.
Invest in a good water filter and a refillable water bottle to refill with filtered water and take with you wherever you go. This is my favorite water bottle that helps me drink 64 oz a day (and my bottle stays ice cold at all times).
3. Takeout coffees
If you are a coffee-lover, buying your favorite brewed fancy coffees at the coffee shop every day can be really very expensive. Instead, brew your own coffee at home or work to save money every month.
If you are spending at least $5 at your favorite coffee shop every day, you are spending about $100 per month. It is an expense you can cut out or cut back on to save money every month if you make your own coffee at home.
Stopping buying coffee everyday is really going to save you a lot of money each month!
Related reading: 51+ Creative Ways to Save Money
4. Prepackaged food
If you want to save money each month, you have to stop buying prepackaged food. This includes pre-made sandwiches, pre-made meals, pre-sliced fruits and vegetables, etc.
While buying prepackaged convenience food can be a huge time saver, you can save a lot of money and eat healthier and fresher food if you prepare it yourself by buying the necessary ingredients for a fraction of the price.
So make your own salad and sandwiches to save money each month, while eating healthier and tastier food!
5. Sale items you do not need
Just because an item is on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it now. You will not save money by buying things on sale if you don’t need them in the first place! Sale items tend to entice us to buy because it is easy to think that we are saving money, but it’s a tactic retailers use to get you to spend more money.
Do not purchase an item on sale unless it’s in your budget.
6. Name-brand products
Generic or store-brand products are usually similar to brand name products. Often there is no or very little difference between generic products and their brand name alternatives in terms of quality and ingredients.
So when you go shopping from now on, don’t hesitate to buy store brand or generic brand products instead of name brand products to save money each month.
7. Gym memberships/subscriptions
If you are currently a gym member and not using the gym enough, then you are just wasting your money. Even if you are using your gym membership regularly, you could cancel your gym membership to workout at home for free.
You can find and watch great workout videos on YouTube that relate to your specific needs to exercise at home. Going outdoors for a run or walk is another free alternative to an expensive gym subscription which can cost you many hundreds of dollars per year.
You can use an app like Truebill or Trim to help you find and trim down rarely used or unused memberships and subscriptions or cancel them all together.
8. Cable TV subscription
If you really do not watch TV much anyway, a simple way to save money each month is to stop paying for your cable TV subscription package. Cable TV is expensive. Don’t pay for your cable subscription if you really aren’t watching much TV anyway.
By cutting the cord, you can save anywhere from $60-$130 per month, depending on your package. That is a lot of money you can put back in your pocket!
So cut the cable and go for much cheaper on-demand streaming services like Hulu and Netflix and live TV streaming services like Sling TV and YouTube TV.
9. New books and/or magazines
If you love reading books and magazines, buying new books and magazines can add up to a lot of money over time. Books are expensive. Typically, we read a book once and then put it on a shelf where it only collects dust as time goes by.
But you can read a good book for free or without spending a lot of money if you go to your local library.
Another option to stop buying new books to save money is to check out second hand book stores or thrift shops for used books.
10. New cell phones
Do you really need the latest model of your current cell phone? If the cell phone you already have has all the necessary features you need, don’t upgrade your phone when your cell phone plan comes up for renewal.
Don’t pay for an expensive phone plan if you really don’t need it. Even consider calling your current phone provider to negotiate a better rate on your current phone plan if you do not need all the extras you are paying for.
11. Paper towels
Purchasing paper towels adds up to your monthly shopping bills. But you can easily cut down on this expense by using a few rags to do the job of cleaning kitchen counters, mirrors, etc.
You can reuse the cloth towels by washing them every other day. If you stop buying paper towels or use them for something really disgusting or messy, you will save a lot of money. You can also help the environment if you stop buying paper towels.
12. Haircuts at salons
Well, this one is probably not for everyone, but doing home haircuts can really save you a lot of money! Especially if you have young children who don’t have a lot of opinions about their hairstyle yet.
There are lots of YouTube tutorials online on how to cut boys’ or girls’ hair. All you need to cut your own hair and others in your family is to watch those video tutorials and buy a nice pair of scissors and clippers.
If you are married, you could give your spouse and/or others in your family haircuts and your spouse can cut your hair.
Beverages (other than water) are expensive and not so great for your body. If you’re thirsty, drink water. Drinking more water can help reduce the cost of buying juice, soda, and energy drinks!
If you keep a refillable water bottle with you, you can stop spending money on beverages every time you are thirsty.
14. Big-name brand medicines
Did you know that generic medicines are equally effective like their brand name counterparts, but cost much less? You can cut the cost of medicines by buying generic medicines which are much cheaper than brand name counterparts. So stop overpaying for your prescriptions by buying generic medicines.
GoodRX is my favorite way to save money on prescriptions. It’s free to use, they have coupons for hundreds of drugs, and all you do is show a GoodRX coupon to your pharmacist and they can give you discounts!
15. Bank fees
Are you currently paying a monthly fee for a bank account? There is really no reason to pay a monthly fee for a bank.
Does your bank charge bank fees such as minimum account maintenance fees, minimum account balance fees, overdrawn fees, foreign transaction fees, and more? If you are likely to incur any of these fees, then consider switching to a bank that offers basic bank accounts with no banking fees.
16. Cigarettes and alcohol
This one is hard to part with, but if you quit smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, you can save a lot of money. More importantly, smoking and drinking are terrible for your health.
So quit your vices and save a lot of money each month!
Saving money can be tricky, especially if you are on a tight budget. But you can still save money each month if you take a look at things you are buying on a regular basis and then identify what things you can stop buying to spend wisely like these 16 things you can stop buying to save money each month.
Related reading: 51+ Creative Ways to Save Money