I grew up poor. When I say that I grew up poor, I mean that my father never earned more than $12,000 a year poor. We lived in run down trailers while my parents skimped and saved every penny they could. Unfortunately, they were a bit frugal and a bit budget savvy but they never made it out of the rut that not having enough income can put a family into. The one thing they never did often though was waste money. If you’re finding yourself in a budget rut as well, make sure you’re not wasting money on these common expenses and if you are – stop paying for them today.
It can be really easy to fall into a budget rut and the fault is not always your own.
Things such as losing your job, not making enough money – as was the case with my parents – forgetting about expenses you no longer need and of course, overspending can all cause it.
And a budget rut will keep you struggling for years if you do not stay on top of it.
Common Expenses You Should Stop Spending Money On
The other issue with budget rut – aside from the obvious – is that you often end up spending money on things you either don’t need or shouldn’t be.
For me, I tend to notice this wasted money most often when I’m actively looking for ways to cut my expenses.
Chances are you’re the same way.
and that’s where this list of common expenses you should stop paying for comes in.
When you read this list, keep in mind that these expenses will be different for everyone. This list includes everything from making your own homemade cleaner recipes to cutting your own hair.
For some people, they’ll be over the line and things that they would never ever consider doing. For some though, they won’t be enough.
My advice to you is that you pick and choose which ones will fit with your own lifestyle and just skip over the ones that make you uncomfortable or that are over your own personal frugal line. It’s okay if one or more of them are.
At the end of the day, it is your home and your budget.
If you’re still paying for cable, you may want to ask yourself why you are still content to waste hundreds of dollars each month on a service that you can get much cheaper or even free.
These days there is no reason to pay much for tv and movies at all. There are a lot of places to watch tv online for free and Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Video are all great options for what you can’t find free.
None of them cost over $18.00/mo (individually) which means you can do all three for less than what you’re currently paying for cable.
A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, some guy sat on the back of his truck trying to figure out a problem he was having. He needed to transport ice to the lake to keep the fish he would catch that day cold and keep them from spoiling without taking up too much space in his cooler. Looking around, he spotted a large bag and an idea – and a millionaire – was born.
While I don’t know if that’s how it actually happened, but if you’re paying for bagged ice? You’re flat out wasting money.
Instead of spending $2.00 or more per bag, buy ice cube trays like THESE and make your own. If you really absolutely want it bagged?
Use a ziploc bag.
It’s much more cost effective and healthier to make your own bread than it is to buy it. Yes I realize that you can buy it for around $0.88/loaf at Walmart.
Homemade bread is still much cheaper. How much? Around $0.44 per loaf cheaper depending on where you live.
The biggest reason that people don’t any longer is that it takes so long to do, but that is an easy fix if you buy a bread machine to help.
Grab a jar of bread machine yeast and find a great homemade bread recipe to start. It takes about 10 minutes to get a loaf in the machine to get it started.
Two hours later, you’ll have a delicious, homemade loaf of bread that didn’t break your budget.
How much do you spend on haircuts each year? If you’ve got a family, it could easily be several hundred per year at $20.00 per haircut.
Why pay that when you can learn how to do basic haircuts online and buy a pair of hair clippers for much less than you’ll spend at the barber or salon? If you’re concerned that their hair won’t look great, get a few dolls at the thrift store and practice on them before you do the real thing.
Fabric Softener Sheets
Dryer sheets are great, but they’re super bad for your dryer and honestly, they’re quite expensive.
That’s why one of my favorite homemade cleaner recipes is my homemade fabric softener sheets.
They’re made from old t-shirts which means that they’re incredibly cheap to make and they’re reusable!
Why pay for the blue stuff when you can make your own window cleaner for much cheaper?
Homemade cleaner recipes use much simpler ingredients which means that they’re easy to make, quite a bit cheaper and much healthier for your family.
Like the dryer sheets above, laundry detergent is much cheaper to make at home than it is to buy. You can make your own powdered laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar and it works so much better than the store bought stuff.
If you would rather have liquid, make a homemade liquid laundry detergent pods for just as cheap.
Don’t get me wrong; I love a good pasta recipe. In fact, one of my favorites is my Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe.
However, I hate the cost of jarred pasta sauce. That’s why I stopped buying and started making my own homemade pasta sauce recipe instead.
I love that I can customize it and add meat only when I want, that I can skip it if I want, and that I am able to can it up to preserve it.
What’s better than jarred pasta sauce? Homemade jarred pasta sauce!
Deodorant is a necessity for most people, but there’s no reason to keep buying it.
Instead, head HERE and grab my homemade deodorant recipe. I guarantee you’ll love it!
It’s super simple to make and cost effective in the long run.
Plus? Most homemade deodorant recipes are all-natural which means that they are healthier for you while still working as well as you need it to.
Why buy a can full of toxic chemicals when you can use fruit peels to make a homemade simmering potpourri that will make your home smell amazing and help you to reduce chemicals?
You can make a batch of the potpourri for less than $2.00 that will last a good while!
Not feeling fruity? Mix baking soda with your favorite essential oil in a bowl. Place bowls wherever you want to smell good and you’re good to go!
Expensive All-Purpose cleaners
Buying commercial cleaners can not only get really expensive, but it opens your home up to harmful chemicals that can cost more in doctor bills if you happen to have a reaction.
In reality, you need very few items to clean your home. I personally use a homemade All-Purpose Cleaner that costs me just over $1.00 per batch to make.
If you want something that disinfects as well, you can make a homemade disinfectant wipes instead.
Your dryer is the single most expensive appliance that you own in more ways than one. That’s why there are so many reasons to line dry your clothing.
Is the weather warm? Keep the dryer off and use an outdoor clothesline. If the weather is too cool, you can use a portable drying rack instead.
You’d be surprised at just how much you can save this way and this is one way to save that you’ll notice from the first month.
Not only are paper towels bad for the environment, but they can be really bad for your budget too.
Instead, pick up some unpaper towels and you’ll save over time. We made the switch to herringbone weave kitchen towels about a year ago and we haven’t regretted it a single time.
For other uses, we use reusable paper towels like THESE.
We’re paying less and they work just as well, if not better than the disposable ones we used to buy. I picked up 24 total towels to start myself off with and haven’t had a single issue.
Also, one of my favorite ways to use old towels is to make cleaning rags with them.
Ladies, have you ever considered using cloth menstrual pads? If not, you should.
Cloth pads are more expensive at first, but they save you a boatload of money over their lifetime. Disposable pads are cheaper up front, but that cheap cost is one you’ll pay over and over again.
Plus, when you make the switch to cloth feminine pads, you actually will end up with an added bonus that you didn’t expect. Shorter and easier cycles since you’re putting fewer chemicals near such a sensitive area.
If you’re wondering if you can save money with cloth diapers, the answer is maybe. For the majority of people, cloth diapers will be a way to save, but for some they won’t.
Take a few minutes and do a bit of research on the reasons for new moms to use cloth diapers and the reasons you might want to use disposables.
If you do decide to go with disposables, make sure that you request free baby samples whenever you can. You’ll need them to help offset the cost of disposables.
New printer cartridges
New printer cartridges can cost a ton each time you have to replace them. Instead, stop buying them.
If you have an ink hungry printer, you can save by picking up an ink refill kit instead. Yes, they can be messy, but if you take your time filling them, they can save you hundreds over the course of a year.
If you have a laser printer, you’ll really want to look into toner refills. The savings that you’ll see will be well worth the time it takes to fill them.
I love Kroger brand chocolate milk, but I simply can’t justify the cost of it when I can make it myself.
You’ll pay almost twice as much per glass buying pre-made chocolate milk than you would if you just bought the syrup or chocolate drink powder and mixed it yourself.
Want to take it a step further? Make your own chocolate syrup.
You have an outside? Use it instead. It tends to be pretty free most of the time.
Talk a walk, ride your bike, go hiking or even head to your nearest beach and go beach camping.
It is all physical activity and will help you to get fit on a budget.
Stop wasting money on Arizona and other bottled teas.
Instead, grab a pitcher and some sugar and make it yourself. I use an iced tea maker like THIS one to make it easy on myself so that I can make a larger pitcher all at once.
It’s less tempting to pay for drinks if I have a pitcher of tea in the fridge.
If you’re baking a cake, you’re wasting money by picking up the canned stuff.
Most frosting recipes can be customized by adding an extract to get the flavor you want so all you really need is a good base.
When I’m looking for a cream cheese frosting recipe, I use the one that is used in my Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling recipe. It doubles very well as a frosting.
For buttercream, I use this buttercream frosting recipe. They’re both fantastic recipes and mean that I don’t have to spend money on the canned stuff.
Looking for more ways to save money? Try these:
Did you recently lose your job and are worried how you’ll make ends meet? You’re not alone! Use THESE tips to learn how to survive with NO income now before it’s too late to learn.
Need to replace something in your home? Put the new item back! THESE 10 things you should never buy new will save money and reduce waste at the same time!
Tired of the fresh veggies and fruit you buy going bad before you can eat it? Let me show you how to keep fresh food from spoiling so it lasts longer! It’s much easier than you think!
Is your budget ready for an emergency? If not, let me help walk you through how to create an emergency budget step by step! You never know when you might need it.