Lazy Budget Chef: 12 Things I Do Not Buy

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

12 Things I Do Not Buy

 Sometimes saving money is not about what you buy on sale but what you don’t buy at all.

Now I’m not speaking as a super money saving expert on a mountaintop because I’m just as guilty as anyone else who ran to the store to buy two things and came out with a cartful of stuff because it was on sale – oopsie.

The light bulb went off when I decluttered and organized the basement of our old place. Most of the Donate Pile was stuff I bought on sale because I thought I was saving money at the time – oopsie again.

  Pin this list of ideas to your Pinterest board! Share it with your friends!

That’s when I started to use my lazy ways to save money. I stopped buying items even if they were on sale because I gave up using it, found a reusable for a disposable, or repurposed something to take its place.

12 Things I Do Not Spend Money On

1. Credit card interest. We run a cash only house with the exception of our house and car payments. At first, I hated it (sometimes I still do) but after adding up how much money interest payments added to my student loan (scary money!) I went along with it. Now I realize waiting and saving for big items sometimes saves me even more money because I can change my mind about wanting the item and do not buy it at all.

2. Paper towels. I color code my kitchen sponges – one color for counters and one color for dishes. I wash them in the dishwasher to prolong their life. For bigger messes I cut and hemmed old bath towels to the size of a paper towel. I keep them under the kitchen sink.  I use them once and pop them in the laundry hamper. When I run out, I don’t run to the store I do laundry.

I have a roll of emergency paper towels for anything involving bodily fluids 
because I’m squeamish. I have had the same roll for almost three years.

3. Most premade commercial cleaners. I make most of my cleaners. I know exactly what is in them and my house has never been cleaner!

  • Scouring powder – baking soda. When I change the box in the refrigerator, I use the old box to scrub the kitchen sink.
  • Counter cleaner – vinegar. A 5% solution right out of the bottle is a disinfectant.
  • Shower cleaner – I make my own. Get the recipe here.
  • Jet Dry - I pour vinegar in the Jet Dry dispenser in my dishwasher. My glasses have never been cleaner and they don’t smell like pickles!

4. Furnace filters – Husband bought an allergy blocking reusable furnace filter (this is the exact one we have) because we had to keep changing our disposable furnace filter so often because of my allergies. Now we clean it the first of every month (in theory.) (I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

5. Land line – We were one of the first people to dump our land line for a cell phone only house. It’s cheaper to call our family (all are long distance) because we have an unlimited talk, text, and data family plan.

6. Wrapping paper – I made cloth reusable gift bags (learn how to make my gift bags here) to save my sanity and clear some of my fabric stash.  I use wrapping paper if I have to ship something but most of the time I use a reusable gift bag.

 Do you believe these bags used to be a dress?

7 Dryer sheets – Static cling is an issue especially during the winter. I use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine and pop a couple of dryer balls like these in the dryer. No more static cling and no pickle smell either!

8 Bottles of carbonated water – We make our own with a Sodastream carbonated water maker (learn more about it here). Husband likes to drink fizzy water with a splash of juice. We don’t drink soda often but will use the Sodastream to make soda for guests. Tip: Sodastream gives you a discount on new CO2 cartridges when you recycle them.

9 Coffee filters – I use a reusable coffee filter. It’s supposed to make a better cup of coffee. I don’t know about that because I never used the disposables so I can’t compare. They have cone and basket reusable coffee filters (learn more here) and they even have reusable K cup cups too.

10 Gym memberships – Husband has a gym at his office and uses the public running trails. I use dance games on our Wii and bike on the public trails weather permitting.

11 Laundry detergent – I make powdered laundry detergent (get my recipe here) because I couldn’t find one that didn’t make me break out and worked in my high efficiency washing machine. 8 years later I have more store bought options but I like the homemade laundry detergent so much I still use it.

12 Razors and shaving cream – I use an electric razor. Yep they have women's electric razors too. I have a wet/dry electric razor which works great if I need a leg touch up in the middle of the day when changing from pants to a skirt or to shorts for a workout.  Not shaving at all would be even cheaper but that is. Never. Going. To. Happen. Ever

Update 2/25/2013: Several readers asked about my woman's shaver. I bought the Panasonic Close Curves Wet/Dry Ladies Shaver from Amazon.(The bikini trimmer works great for underarms.)

What is on your list?

Did you like this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Lazy Budget Chef RSS feed or by subscribing to Lazy Budget Chef by email.