Stuff I Just Don’t Buy Anymore

Don't buy it

We haven’t had a significant salary raise in this household for quite some time. Yet, despite the fact that our income hasn’t gone up very much, our standard of living has increased. We’re able to travel more and buy more of our wants. Not all, but some. I wondered how this could be. If our income isn’t going up significantly, how is it that we were able to increase our standard of living?

Part of the answer lies in aggressively shopping for the best prices on the items we need and use, using coupons, buying used when possible and using more store brands. In other words, we are more careful to pay the least amount possible for what we buy. However, there is still m

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18 Responses to Stuff I Just Don’t Buy Anymore

  1. zenith says:

    I liked this article and agree that too much money is spent on “stuff” like you mentioned.
    I am reading “The Tightwad Gazette II” and trying out some of the ideas in the book. Some of her ideas are too radical for me, but some things I am willing to at least give it a try to save money.
    You are right. Some times we are too lazy to do things differently, but at this point with gasoline prices and food prices going up so much we have to save where we can.
    I want to try to learn to clean without commercial cleaners.

  2. chris h says:

    I’ve been cutting my own hair for 10yrs. that has saved me more money than probably all the other things combined. Also I read that george clooney cuts his own hair so i drop that tidbit to impress the ladies. I splurged and bought a flowbee a year ago, it’s nice b/c, unlike clippers there is no clean up. It might work for female hairstyles too.

  3. Tim says:

    I disagree on the entertainment books. I got 2 for $8 each with free shipping for 2008. The best deal they have is 5% off a ticket from American Airlines.

  4. I’ll have to remember that about the envelopes!

    I don’t buy magazines or newspapers, either. There’s a free student paper here if I want to read the news in print. Usually, I read it online or watch it on t.v. And I read magazines at the library or gym. I get a couple subscriptions for using eRewards.com.

    We use cloth hand towels here instead of napkins most of the time. I need to get out our microfiber clothes so that we think to use them for cleaning.

    I also get a lot of samples of toiletries. I’ve stopped buying conditioner altogether (I don’t even use it that often). I picked up a huge bottle of shampoo for $5 at Big Lots because my hair is picky because it’s so fine.

    Right now, we’re loaded up on pencils, notepads, envelopes, and cleaning supplies and we aren’t going through them too quickly. When we’re done with what we have, then I’ll definitely try homemade cleaning supplies, but getting free pencils might be a little more tricky.

    We got a free calendar from our real estate agent, but we haven’t even hung it up yet. With so many online options, I don’t ever need to buy one.

    I wish my husband would let me trim his hair, but his cuts only cost about $8. I trim my own bangs and sometimes get an $8 hair cut (and the very occasional $50 cut and style).

    We usually don’t use bags in our small trash cans. We put messy stuff in the large can in the foyer where the cats can’t get into it. Then we just wash out the small cans as necessary.

  5. Cortni says:

    My husband recently started cutting his own hair with clippers and that now saves us about $15 a month (he’s in the military so he needs to cut his hair often). Not only that, but he also cuts his 3 brothers’ hair (all also in the military) and makes a little extra cash doing so! And the clippers cost less than $20!

  6. PennyPinceher says:

    What about vegetables? I summer i start a vegetable garden. Its inexpensive and tastes better! In winter i grow herbs on my window sill.

    Keep the seeds from plants and put them back next year!

    Great list, btw.

  7. PennyPinceher says:

    i forgot one thing – Jars.

    I keep every jar that i buy stuff in. after its washed out i use them as cups. i keep the lids for quick storage of a beverage or other leftovers. my goal for my next place is to buy as little kitchen ware as possible.

  8. poundwise says:

    I live in a cave and catch lizards for dinner.

    To be frugal is one thing but give it a start in some people’s lives and pretty soon they aren’t just using cloth diapers and napkins, they’re disconnecting from the power grid and digging a well.

    I’ll pay for some things, be frugal on others, and avoid the rest.

  9. Amy says:

    This is great advice and I couldn’t agree more. I was nodding my head as I read through this as these are all things that we do in our house. Even though we could afford to splurge on these, it seems like a waste now that I know all that I can do myself.

  10. Wow! Impressive. That’s a solid list of frugal choices. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Fred says:

    dont forget about tradepub.com for more free magazine choices…they have hundreds.

  12. Alexandria says:

    We do a lot of the same. I don’t even think about it. The thing is a lot of these choices are also environmental (cloth napkins and using paper envelopes. I have a stack of about 100 unused envelopes since I switched to online bill pay – doubt I’ll ever use them – but I keep getting them. I may freecycle them).

    I think a lot of people are ignorant to how simple some of this stuff is. It doesn’t take a lot of time and effort. Like I said, we do a lot of this without even really thinking about it. Just common sense and conserving. I am kind of responding to the cave comment. I mean, come on. We have that much money for our luxuries then, which is the point. We live pretty darn well.

  13. vsjhoc says:

    You’re not paying for oil changes: I hope this means you’re doing them yourself, rather than not doing them at all!

  14. UrbanFrugal says:

    I still buy calendars, after the new year starts but I use the reverse side of the page a day type calendars for scratch paper. I have tons.

    My friends in Italy do not use paper napkins in their homes they use cloth napkins, a few days per napkin. Each person has an assigned napkin and when it’s too dirty, it goes into the laundry. I have tried this intermittently at my house and this may be the year to try this.

    Plastic bags for small garbage cans, even though I have started refusing bags at many stores I have enough to last me several months!

  15. SMB says:

    Lucky you–my dog poops more than we shop! I supplement store bags with biodegradable poop bags from Dirtworks.net.

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  17. sylvia says:

    I’ve saved money on “female” products by buying a menstrual cup instead of tampons or pads. I read something online about saving all the trash you threw out in a year, and when I really thought about it, the most trash I take out besides the kitchen, is the monthly bathroom bulk. Despite the initial investment ($20-$30), and learning curve, it pays for itself in a couple of months too.

  18. Hilary says:

    I use a menstrual cup too (DivaCup). It is by far the best investment I have ever made from a frugal standpoint. It’s good for ~10 years, and I haven’t had to buy feminine products since (it’s been 3 years now). Also, it’s much more comfortable than the conventional stuff. And it’s much more environmentally friendly, and has no risk of TSS or yeast infections. Basically, it’s my best friend :).

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