I am always looking for tips to save money. When you don’t have extra money and you have financial goals, finding ways to trim the edges are important.
Most of the time, you are paying for convenience with many of these things, but if you can catch a few extra minutes in your day to prioritize saving money, these ideas will do just that.
My husband has always said, “We have more time than money.” I enjoy tracking all the money saved.
This long list of tips on things to stop buying to save money range from food to kids. These tips will save you and your family money with minimal effort. In our house, many convenience foods are just not worth the money spent.
As I was writing this post, I was also reminded that being frugal goes hand and hand with being a better partner with the environment.
Making your own is often cutting down on wastes that can harm the environment, like plastics and toxins.
I also realized (again) that saving money could be better for your health. By making your own, all those preservatives and dyes are not making their way into your body. It is a win/win! Tips to save money and be healthy.
Table of Contents
Before I get into all my tips for saving money, I wanted to touch base quickly on long-term financial freedom.
All of these savings hacks will help when you are trying to pay off your student loan, build an emergency fund, or pay off your credit card debt (that many people have).
But having a clear picture of what you want your future to look like will give you the motivation to carry out these tricks in the long run.
Spending habits and savings goals should be considered when building a life that you love. Paying off debt needs to be considered a high priority.
And there is always the side hustle.
Tips To Save Money In The Kitchen
1. Bottled water
We all know this one. Refill a reusable water bottle and if you chose to, buy a water filtration pitcher.
2. Paper towels
We still buy them, but I rarely use them. I dry my hands on a towel and use cleaning cloths.
I have made a bunch of fabric napkins out of fabric that I have either already had or found on clearance. They have worked well for YEARS!!!
4. Plastic wrap
Invest in glass containers with lids. It will save you in the long run. Again, better for you and better for the environment.
How to Cut Expenses On Food
5. Shredded cheese
Many times you are paying more at the grocery store for the convenience of the cheese already shredded. If you can find the same ounces at the same price, buy the shredded. If not, grab a grater and shred your own. It only takes a few minutes.
6. Deli meat
With the price of good deli turkey at around $9 a pound, you could buy your meat and slicer for much less. You could buy a whole turkey for $1.49 a pound, or even turkey cutlets are less than $5 a pound. Probably much better for you, too!
7. K cups
This one is a tough one for me. I like the convenience but not the environmental impact or the cost! Use a drip coffee maker with a timer or a percolator. You could even stick with the single-serve and refill your k cup.
It will take a little time, but making your ketchup and mayo can save money and improve the taste. Do some research on this – it’s a lot easier than you might think.
9. Cookies and baked goods
Again, make your own. It is cheaper and healthier. Don’t forget those silicone baking liners for PERFECT cookies!
10. Pizza delivery
This is something I struggle with. For me, it is a night off from cooking. I want to try to make a big batch of pizza crusts, dress, and freeze. This way, I can pull it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven. Make sure you have a good pizza pan. It makes all the difference in a crispy crust!
A basic bread recipe is straightforward to make. It will cost you pennies on the dollar. And who doesn’t love homemade bread? To make it easier, bread makers are a great way to get a perfect loaf. Or go old school and bake them in the oven with regular bread pans!
Really. It’s the best way to cut unnecessary food spending when grocery shopping. If you create a meal plan, then you have a solid idea of all the items you will need for the week.
12. Specific brands
Don’t be brand loyal. Branch out and see if other, less expensive brands taste better. You might be surprised.
13. Jarred pasta & pizza sauce
Both are very easy to make and so much cheaper. Hunt down the recipes online and make a big batch in the crockpot. Then freeze it for the future.
14. Canned soup
Make a large batch and freeze. This is one of my very favorite things to make and freeze. I love a good veggie and bean soup; freezing them makes for a quick lunch. That way, there’s no excuse to eat healthily.
15. Canned pasta
Very easy to make your own. Asa matter of fact, I have a Special Needs adult son that goes to a day program every day. He loves pasta, so I bought half a dozen of the 2-cup Pyrex dishes, made a batch of some sort of pasta dish, and froze it. This makes a very quick lunch for him daily and makes my mornings less hectic.
16. Pie crust
I’m afraid I can’t get behind this one. I’m the worst pie crust maker ever. But many have told me it’s easier and can save some money, so I put it on the list.
So many ways to make yogurt – countertop, slow cooker, and pressure cooker are three techniques I’ve read about. The only one I’ve tried is the Instant Pot technique. I like it because it’s cheap, but also I get to control the sugar content.
18. Bread crumbs
I remember growing up. My mom always threw any leftover bread into a bag in the freezer. Loaf ends, hamburger rolls, bagels, and stale English muffins. Then she would put them through the food processor to make bread crumbs.
19. Salad dressings
Make your dressing. The internet is FULL of great recipes at the touch of a screen! Store it in a fancy bottle for next time.
I love making my salad dressings. I rarely have a salad with store-bought dressing. One of my favorites is simple: rice vinegar, a dollop of peanut butter, coconut amino, and a splash of hot sauce. It’s similar to the Thai dressing from Panera.
The frosting is super easy to make. There are many simple recipes, from buttercream to peanut butter to whipped chocolate fudge. The internet is full of great ideas for a fraction of the cost of a can in the grocery store.
21. Pasta & rice side dishes
Just open up your spice cabinet. Garlic parm noodles. Spicy chili lime rice. The possibilities are endless.
You could go through the process of canning pickles to make them shelf-stable, but refrigerator pickles are super easy. And it doesn’t just have to be cucumbers. Cauliflower, asparagus, and green beans all make delicious pickles. Add them to a jar of vinegar and stick them into the back of the refrigerator until they fit your liking.
Making your granola can be both fun and economical. Adding the things you love the most, like craisins and cashews (or mini chocolate chips), is much better than store-bought. And I’m unsure if you’ve noticed, but store-bought granola is CRAZY expensive. You also get the privilege of making it as sweet as you wish.
24. Bagged salads
These things are a waste of money for sure. It takes you just as long to cut open all the individual packets in a Caesar salad pre-made bag as it does to chop the lettuce and pour on the dressing (or make your own).
25. Taco seasoning
I like making my own Taco mix. I buy all the seasonings and mix them in a big canning jar. Lasts for months. Plus, I use it for more than just taco meat.
26. Spice packets
I’m talking about those envelopes for beef stew, chili, ranch seasonings, and gravy. They are easy to make, and you probably have most things in your pantry anyway. Do some research and see if you can skip those.
27. Frozen convenience foods
My son loves Amy’s frozen mac and cheese. It’s his favorite. This past weekend, I found a recipe I thought would be close and made a HUGE batch. I then put it in freezer containers. Now we have lots at $1 a serving instead of $4.
28. Individual portions
I’m thinking of things like chips and cookies here. Buy a big bag and divide them up. It’s pennies on the dollar for things like this. The markup for individual serving-size snacks is ridiculous.
Save Money Quickly On Personal Care
30. Glasses at the eye doctor
Without insurance, you can pay $1,000 for a pair of glasses. With proper insurance, you can still pay $300! Grab your script and look online at places like Googles4you and Coastal Contacts to get frames and lenses for under $50.
31. Shaving cream
I bought a rechargeable razor that can be used dry. That razor works well. I have also used a pretty outstanding hair conditioner, too. Also, there has been something I have heard of lately called the “PinkTax,” which means the same thing marketed toward women is more expensive than it is for men. Shaving cream is one of them. Buy men’s.
32. Lip balm
You don’t need to buy moisturizer for your lips. You could use any kind of oil – I love coconut oil for my lips, feet, and elbows.
33. Makeup remover
I have these really great washcloths made by Norwex that work so well with removing makeup. I’m talking fantastic. It removes all the eye makeup and makes my face feel so soft and clean with just water. Stores now sell reusable cloths that only need water to remove your makeup. Gone are the days of adding an oil-type solution to cotton rounds.
34. Feminine hygiene products
Reusable products are now available for monthly feminine needs. There’s no need to buy every month and toss. Save money by purchasing one time.
Do it yourself. Invest in a nail kit and a bottle of polish and learn to paint your nails. If you’re stuck on technique, watch a few Youtube videos.
Frugal Living Secrets With Kids
36. Juice boxes
54 ounces of juice in 8 boxes for $2.50 compared to 64 ounces for $1.89. Buy refillable bottles to travel with if you want a single portion.
37. One serving of snacks
A six-pack of animal crackers totaling 9 ounces is $2.99. For $2.39, you can get 16 ounces!!!! Just take the time to portion out your snacks in refillable snack bags.
38. Sandwich bags
Use containers or reusable snack bags, or make your cloth sandwich wrap bag.
39. New clothes
Shopping at thrift stores for kids (or anyone) is smart. The majority of us find clothes to be expendable. We wear it a few times and then decide we don’t care for it so we donate it. Kids grow so fast that clothes are often in great condition when donated. Cut the expense of paying full price.
Making reusable wipes from baby-friendly soap and water will save you money. Simply add them to a bucket of water after use and dump them into a washing machine to launder and reuse.
41. Disposable Diapers
This is a pretty old-fashioned practice, but it has come back around. What’s old is new again. There are many different “fancy” cloth diapers instead of the basic white with safety pins I had as a baby. The initial investment might be a little more, but the savings will be substantial in the long run.
Things I Don’t Buy Anymore – Cleaning Supplies And Laundry
42. Fabric softener
Just don’t use it. I don’t find a need for it.
43. Dryer sheets
I use wool dryer balls. They also help with drying time and static cling. If you want, you can add essential oils for smell goods!
44. Cleaning wipes
Those Clorox cleaning wipes may not work like you think they work. The surface has to remain damp for a certain amount of time to kill the germs that they say they do, and rarely does that happen. They may be a waste of money. Use a microfiber cloth instead.
45. Laundry soap
For years I made my laundry soap. I loved it, but then I got lazy. A simple, quick Google search will yield dozens of recipes for both liquid and powder versions.
46. Cleaning products
You can make your versions of just about everything. From white vinegar for surfaces and glass to leather cleaner. You can find a nice write-up about that here.
47. Swiffer cleaning pads
Places like Amazon and Target (and Etsy) sell reusable pads for your wet or dust mop. I ditched my Swiffer and bought a mop with a sprayer and reusable fabric pads. I add Murphy’s Oil Soap solution to the bottle and quickly mop my floors.
Other Thrifty Hacks
When did cable become so expensive??? Turn it off. There are many other options if you have internet, from Netflix to Sling to Youtube. Grab an antenna or go directly to the channel websites to watch your favorite shows – no more cable bills!
49. Gym memberships
Go for a walk, lift your children, and plank at home.
Used bookstores, garage sales, and libraries are tremendous places to get books for cheap or free. Stop buying books at full price.
51. Greeting cards
I’m amazed at how much a greeting card is when I go to Target. Try finding alternatives. Make your own. This is great for the family when you have children. They can make their own, adding a unique touch that no Hallmark can compete with. Dollar stores sell their cards 2/$1. Check out other favorites to buy at Dollar Tree!
52. Try a no-spend weekend
Cut unnecessary shopping for an entire weekend. Learn more in this article: How To Do A Spending Freeze To Improve Your Life
53. Collect gift cards
Ask for holiday gift cards instead of things you don’t need. That way, you can cut out take-out, coffee, clothes, and book spending while appreciating the thoughtful gifts your loved ones give you.
54. Evaluate your bank accounts
Make sure your checking account is not imposing high fees. Consider an alternate bank, credit union, or online source if it is. Also, check those savings accounts. Are you earning a little on that emergency fund with a high-yield savings account? It may not be a lot of money, but every penny helps.
Final Thoughts on Things to Stop Buying and How to Save Money in 2022
Those are the things to stop buying to save money. Whether you incorporate a few of these suggestions to save money or all of them, you will undoubtedly be able to use this money for other things. But, it is a trade-off. You have to be willing (in many of these cases) to put the TIME in to SAVE.
Sometimes, saving money requires a little money spent upfront. Investing in a water bottle or cleaning cloths may be an initial expense, but the future costs for bottled water and paper towels will be non-existent.
Also, the impact of all that plastic and paper were produced, recycled, or disposed of would be greatly reduced or eliminated. It could be a win all around.