Things I Stopped Buying To Save Money

Things I Stopped Buying To Save Money

Today, I thought it would be fun to share with you a list of things that I stopped buying (or spend very little on) to save money and maybe encourage you to see what you can live without.

Since my husband retired 5 years ago, we have given a lot of thought to what we really need to get by, comfortably. We spend our money on what’s really important to us, but we’ve also managed to cut out things that really can take a lot away from the things that matter the most in our lives.

What we have found is that we don’t need these things and since we’ve stopped buying them, we don’t miss them at all.

Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t necessarily about pinching pennies and denying yourself things you want. Living frugally is about making your life easier and worrying less about money. Isn’t that what most of us really want? 

So, I hope this gives you some inspiration to see what you can cut from your life & save money.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you buy a suggested product, I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  For more information, see my disclosure page.


things I stopped buying to save money

things i stopped buying to save money

satellite/cable tv

We cut the satellite over 3 years ago and we haven’t looked back! Of all the things we’ve stopped buying, this one will probably save the most money (at least it has for us). We haven’t missed satellite TV at all.

We recently upgraded our antenna and it added almost 40 more channels. Like most people, though, we have our favorite go-to channels that we watch everyday. We are big fans of the 60’s & 70’s sitcoms like MASH & Andy Griffith Show, so we watch those on ME TV (Memorable Entertainment channel). We also enjoy Court TV and the Mystery channel.  

If you’re a fan of old westerns, there’s GRIT TV. I tell you…there’s something for everyone and it’s absolutely FREE! 

If you’re a fan of certain sports teams that happen to have their own network (Longhorn TV), you can pay for a subscription to SLING TV and receive your sports team for a fraction of the monthly cost for what you pay for cable/satellite. 

Do your own research and see what’s available for you. I might add…of all the things that we’ve stopped buying, this one has probably saved the most money.

Televes Antenna-This is the one we purchased.


We don’t subscribe to anything, anymore. Magazines, streaming services, wine clubs, etc. They’re all a big “No”!

With Pinterest & YouTube, I can find just about anything I want to look at and they don’t take up space like magazines do. 

As far as this goes, we actually watch the channels that are available with our antenna tv (see above).

The streaming service that we do use, i.e. Peacock, Hulu, Amazon Prime & Daily Wire are services that our kids subscribe to and they have generously offered to share their subscriptions with us. They would buy them anyway and it doesn’t cost them any extra to let us use them.

We do have a smart tv for our main tv and we have an Amazon Firestick for our non smart tv’s. It was a one time purchase of $30 from Amazon.

Amazon Firestick Lite[TAG2]

gym memberships

As a former personal trainer, I spent many years in the gym and paid quite a bit for gym memberships. Once I retired from training though, I decided that I didn’t need to pay the membership costs any longer. I still workout, but I do it in the comfort of my home and I use YouTube. There are literally thousand of videos to choose from for everyone, no matter your age or skill level.

My favorite (I plug her every chance I get) is Schellea Fowler from Fabulous 50’s. She’s fantastic and she motivates you to keep going. You can check her videos out here:  Fabulous50s

throw pillows

Let’s face it…pillows take up valuable space and having too many can present a big problem of how and where to store them.

I LOVE pillows on my bed, on my couch, in chairs, etc., especially seasonally, so instead of buying anymore pillows, I buy pillow covers for my existing ones. Amazon has a plethora of styles & colors to choose from and they’re CHEAP!! You can have pillows for every season just by changing the covers and then when it’s time to change them, you only have to store a small piece of fabric.

salon nails/pedicures

Last Fall, I said goodbye to my “every three week” standing appointment at the nail salon. I started getting the gel nails in September of 2018, prior to going on a cruise. I had told my husband that once he retired, that would be my one indulgence. After all, we were debt & mortgage free and the $28-$30 once or twice a month was not that much.

Well, after 4 years and a lot of money spent, I decided I had had enough. Beside the money, it took time out of my day where I had to drive to there and then it was usually 1-2 hours in the chair. By the third week, my nails had grown out significantly, so I felt I couldn’t afford to miss my appointment.

I took the opportunity when my nail girl went on an extended trip, which was going to put my nail appointment at the 5 week mark. It gave me the opportunity (and push) I was waiting for.

What i do instead to have pretty nails

I had a bottle of pure acetone (available at Sally’s), so I was able to soak them off myself. As you might have guessed, they were in poor shape. They were very thin and damaged. It took about 3-4 months for the damaged part to grow out, so in the meantime, I found “Impress” press on nails. I love pretty nails so these were PERFECT! I plan on doing a blog post about these very soon because they are simply amazing!

things I stopped buying to save money  things I stopped buying to save money

Salon quality nails for a fraction of the price! These are not like the Lee Press On Nails of the 70’s! They last 7-10 days, which is longer than a standard manicure & you can usually get 2 sets from one box. Cost is under $10. The best part is I can do them anytime, any where and it only takes about 15 minutes. Also, they don’t damage your nails.  That’s huge! For this reason, I’ll never go back to the salon…unless some one gives me a gift card for a pedicure. 🙂 Yes…I do my own pedicures, but you’d never know.

[TAG6] [TAG8]

Salon cuts/color

I haven’t paid for a salon cut in over 10 years. My youngest daughter went to hair school and she’s been cutting our whole family’s hair ever since.

I also do my own color and have for years. My favorite brand is Nutrisse by Garnier. It leaves my hair shiny & healthy and only cost about $8 unless I can get a coupon, which is most of the time. 

newest phone

I recently had to replace my old iPhone 7, due to the fact that I wasn’t able to get updates, anymore. Therefore, instead of opting for the newest & latest iPhone 14, I upgraded to an iPhone 11. It does the job & was a heck of a lot cheaper! 


In my kitchen, I have one cabinet that’s dedicated to nothing but candles & wax melts. I’m a sucker for a great smelling wax. Recently, I decided to clean it out and take inventory and I’m almost ashamed to admit that I have enough candles to last me for the next 5 years. Therefore, I’ve put myself on a candle diet. No more candles for the foreseeable future.

Is it just me or do you “save” them for whatever occasion and then end up just keeping them for years?

k cups

Anyone who owns a Keurig knows how expensive K-Cups are. That’s one reason why we went went back to a regular ole Mr. Coffee. For us, we’d rather have the coffee already brewed and waiting for us when we wake in the morning.  

But, if you can’t give up your Keurig, you can get the refillable K-Cups. That’s what we did before we decided to go ‘old school’ again. You can still have great coffee without the expensive price by just filling it yourself.



If an app isn’t free, I don’t get it…plain & simple. There are too many free ones out there that will mostly likely do what ever you need it for without having to pay. Do some research and look around before you sign up & pay for any app.

new clothes

My favorite motto these days is “never pay retail” if you don’t need to. I’m not ashamed to admit that just about all the clothes I have are from the thrift store. This is the place where you can get a HUGE bang for your buck and instead of paying $20 for one shirt, $20 can get you 2-3 whole outfits.

I have some beautiful pieces in my closet (many that are name brands) that I paid little to nothing for and no one’s the wiser…until now. I just let you in on my little secret! 😉

You may be interested in reading:  Best Tips For Thrift Store Shopping

new cars

Our one and only new car was purchased in 1985. It was a Chevrolet Suburban. Since then, we figured out that the car lost over half of it’s value within the first four years we owned it. Since then, we’ve only bought used and let someone else eat the depreciation.

soft drinks

We’ve never bought much soft drinks, even when our kids lived at home. If we did, it was usually for parties or special occasions. 

Now that we are empty nesters, we never purchase soft drinks. Too much sugar, unhealthy & expensive. For special occasions, we serve tea or water.

anything organic

I may get some blow back for this, but when I see the word ‘Organic’, I turn the other way. To me, organic is another word for over priced. I know that organic is better for the environment (and possibly our bodies), but raising organic produce is extremely costly for the farmer. This, in turn, makes it very costly for the consumer. 

When you’re trying to live frugally, every penny counts thereby making organic produce unaffordable, in most instances.

If this is important to you, though, this is where you make your budget fit this item. You may be able to afford organic by cutting expenses in other areas.You

dryer sheets/fabric softner

I cut dryer sheets out long ago. Aside from making your clothes smell good, they can also leaving a coating on certain fabrics and make towels less absorbent.

One option is to use dryer balls. They can be used over and over, they reduce static cling, they’re cheap & eco-friendly.

Wool dryer balls[TAG11]

Vinegar is also another great laundry additive. It makes a great fabric softer and it will get most odors out smelly towels or stinky, sweaty clothes.

You make be interested in reading:  25+ Best Household Uses For Vinegar

laundry stain remover

My favorite stain remover is plain old Dawn dish soap. This stuff is amazing for getting stains out clothes! I put it in an olive oil dispenser and keep it on a shelf with my laundry detergent. It works on oily/greasy stains, grass stains, you name it!

expensive greeting cards

Dollar Tree has a great selections of beautiful greeting cards for .50 cents to $1.00. I just can’t see spending more than that for a card that someone opens, reads & then probably tosses into the trash can.

shaving cream

I stopped shaving my legs with shaving cream years ago. Instead, I opt for inexpensive hair conditioner. In my opinion, it works better than shaving cream, leaving your skin super soft with a close shave. It lasts for a very long time as well, because you only need to use about the size of a nickel.

wrapping paper

Recently, I went through my wrapping supplies and reorganized everything. I threw away old scrap paper that I had been saving and did an inventory of what I actually had. Over the years, I had acquired quite a bit of paper, so I’ve decided to buy no more and use what I have. That includes Christmas paper, as well. 

I also keep a supply of plain old brown craft paper on hand. This makes wonderful wrapping paper and you can decorate it yourself or dress it up with any color ribbons or bows. Once my wrapping stash is depleted, this will be all that I buy from now on. One paper for any occasion. White wrapping paper will also work for any occasion.


Planners can get pricey and I’ve found that I don’t need anything more that a calendar & a notebook for my day to day planning. 

A few years ago, I found a daytimer type planner on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $7. It was perfect! It will hold a Dollar Tree Student Calendar (book) on one side and a composition notebook (for my daily to-do list) on the other. All I have to do is change out the calendar each year and the comp book will last almost a couple of years. I’ve stuck with the system for years because it works for me.

fast food

We very rarely spend money on fast food and if we do, it’s usually when we are traveling. It’s extremely expensive these days and it’s just not that good. Not to mention how unhealthy it is. For us, it’s much easier, cheaper & healthy to just fix something at home. 

seperate entrees at restaurants

We very rarely go out to eat anymore, but on occasion when we do, my husband & I will share an entree. Most restaurants give you ample servings (enough for two) unless one of you happens to be a big eater. By sharing an entree, there’s also usually room in the budget for an appetizer, a dessert or maybe even a glass of wine.

processed food

We try to stay as far away from processed food as possible. It’s more expensive AND it’s unhealthy. Any food that has been altered by cooking, canning, etc., can be considered processed, but…the ones I’m talking about are the ones most heavily processed like frozen or pre-made meals, including frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners. These are what you’d consider to be “convenience” foods. They require little to no preperation and are loaded with additives that most of us can’t even pronounce. Since we cook more at home than a lot of people, these are purchases that we have almost completely stopped buying and enabled us to save a bundle of money!


I LOVE jewelry (especially earrings) and I’ve accumulated quite a collection, over the years. My favorites are Kendra Scott & James Avery, so I usually have gift cards on my wishlist for birthdays, Mother’s Day or Christmas. If I don’t have a gift card, I don’t buy.

Here’s a tip:  Kendra Scott has a birthday discount of 50%! If you buy something during your birthday month (or anyone else’s birthday in your family) you get almost anything in the store for half off! This is a great way to stretch those gift card dollars!

expensive perfume

Like many people, I have my favorite fragrances like Calvin Klein’s Obsession & Chanel’s Chance. I have found that there are a few ways to enjoy theses fragrances with spending a lot of money. 

There are a couple of websites that I’ve used and have been very pleased with. One is I’ve bought from them several times, over the years and have always been very satisfied. Their prices are usually more than half off from what you’d pay at department stores like Macy’s or Dillards.

Another website that is more of a perfume dupe site is My daughter gave me their version of Chanel’s Chance (below pic) for Christmas and I can NOT tell the difference! Chance retails for $105 and Dossier’s version is $29. 

Why pay super expensive prices to smell great when no one will know the difference?

things I stopped buying to save money

Do you have any frugal tips, not mentioned here, that you’ve done to help reduce your expenses? Maybe you have some things that you’ve stopped buying to save money. Please share in the comments below.

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things I stopped buying to save money

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