things I stopped buying to save money

When I got the budgeting bug and started to look closely at where our money goes, apart from reducing our essential bills I also stopped buying certain things in order to save money.

There will always be things I our budget that we could improve or go without. In our household I am usually responsible for paying majority of the household bills (apart from the mortgage), childcare and grocery shopping.

Before children, I was a little bit lazy and sometimes spent money on things that I made my life easier or better. I treated myself much more often.  Now, running a four people household is a bigger challenge as well as expense.  I also came to realization that being a bit more frugal is better for my bank balance (and it gives me a little bit of satisfaction as well).

The change didn’t happen overnight.  It was very gradual and it is still work in progress, but I guess this is why I went from being an impulse shopper to a more conscious one.

Here is my list of things that disappeared from my shopping list in order to save me some money:


This is a big one for me.  Clothes & beauty shopping used to be my favourite pass time, especially on the weekend and then when things started to be available with next-day delivery!  However, these days I absolutely refuse to buy a fully prized item of clothing as I know there is always a sale and if not, at least between 15% – 40% off on selected days of the month.  There is a strange sense of satisfaction when you really like something and with very little time it gets reduced to at least 50% or RRP.  If I need something quick, and there is no discount or sale on the website I also check on-line for voucher codes for discounts / free delivery.

I stopped treating shopping as a form of escapism or reward for a rubbish day in the office. I don’t go and try things on to find something to buy and to be honest I don’t really find time to do that anymore with two young children in tow 🙂

In the last few years I did a few clear outs, where only clothes that make me feel good remained. Having fewer items in the wardrobe, which match each other makes things so much easier. I don’t follow each trend, try to pick things that will last and eventually I would like to build a capsule wardrobe.


I honestly do not remember the last time I bought a monthly or weekly magazine! I find them filled with adverts and articles seem to be all the same with themes recycled in different form each season.

These days I don’t have time to read too much and when I do, I prefer it to be a book.

I discovered my local library has got great resources, including some new releases, audible and on top of that Amazon has got a number of free Kindle books.  In fact, you can probably go years without buying a single book J  I’d rather have money in my bank account giving me sense of security than piles of magazines and books gathering dust on the shelves.


This is pretty self-explanatory J I love my travel mug and a couple of years’ back I invested in a coffee machine from Amazon, saving myself a small fortune.  There are still days when I will grab a cappuccino from my favourite coffee shop but it remains a treat and you can’t argue with £0.25 per coffee compared to almost £3 a cup when you buy one out.


Those are very popular, if you like an element of surprise and treat in one.  I was subscribed to a couple of those few years back and at first I loved the novelty of it, the surprise and trying out the products.  After a while I accumulated a sizable collection of sample / full size products that I had no chance of trying for one reason or another so I ended up giving it out to family & friends or they just landed in the bin.  After a while I realised that it wasn’t really value for money and whatever I was paying per month for subscribing to those boxes I could put towards products I really wanted and in fact needed in my daily beauty routine.


I love treating myself to a lunch out.  With my two previous jobs I worked right in the city centre with a lot of delicious little cafe that served amazing food, which each day would set me back between £5 – £7.  That’s just over £100 per month spent on lunch.

As I started to watch what I eat and got a bit more adventurous in the kitchen I discovered that I could prepare similar dishes for fraction of the price.  It doesn’t take long to prepare a salad bowl or set aside some left over dinner for next-day lunch and it tastes so much better than pre-made soggy sandwich or a bowl of leaves with three cherry tomatoes.

So this is it – my basic list of things that I stopped buying in order to save some money. There is a full list of everyday use items that disappeared from my shopping list but this may be another post altogether.

I am curious to find out whether you have something that you stopped buying in order to save some extra money?  Please share those ideas in the comments below!


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  1. Coffee is a big one for me to give up. Also monthly magazine subscription on my iPad is a lot of money and I barely have the time to read anything.

    1. Try not to renew your subscription and see whether you notice it not being there to read. I find there is so much stuff on line and usually Issuu has got all the magazines on line in one place. With coffee, it took a lot of will power, cute thermal mugs and a coffee machine to cut out coffee shop drinks

  2. I’m glad this didn’t turn into an extreme cheapskate piece, making stock from the neighbours 3 week old fish carcass. Great article though. Some brilliant ideas, but I’m too weak to budget

  3. Ah, it’s all the little things. I can’t believe how much money I wasted once I began budgeting. Now I fully consider each and every purchase. It’s taken a while to get used to not spending money, but now it’s fun to consider how much I want that specific item.

  4. Wow. I love it. I will definitely reconsider it. I buy coffee everytime i go out and it will make a huge difference to take it from home

  5. I no longer pay for a gym membership, instead working out at home or by running/walking outside.

    I also gave up takeaways, instead opting to cook a steak – it’s still a treat, but cheaper than a takeaway! And super quick to make 🙂

    1. Such a great idea about gym membership / working out at home. Have been doing it since having kids so it’s like a no brainer for me these days 🙂
      Steak as a substitute for a take away sounds amazing!

  6. I absolutely LOVE thrifting! I’ve gotten some amazing brands for literally less than $5!

    I also gave up my subscriptions and am getting ready to cut the cord on cable, so many things are not necessary with all of the options we currently have.

  7. I agree with saving from commercial coffee. I can’t function without my cup of coffee but it can be expensive. I love the one I have at home.

  8. I took a job that was walking distance from my house. I save on gas, wear and tear of my car, and time commuting. I also stopped getting my nail done, and eyebrow waxed. As well as, started using the public online library for books and magazines. I use to go to the mall, to window shop and I stopped because I would always come home with some great deal. I make myself stick with a capsule wardrobe, only letting myself purchase a few high end pieces of clothing, that I will wear every week once it is washed again. I look at my bank statement and try to only have as few purchase, instead of pages and pages of things I didn’t even know what they were. I think if you make a game out of saving, it can be fun, and cut your stress levels down a ton. You just have to create new habits you are not used to, and realize that impressing others with stuff, is just a trap for depression.

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