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:
FULL PRICE CLOTHING
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.
BOOKS AND MAGAZINES
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.
COFFEE ON THE GO
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.
MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION BOXES
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.
WORKDAY LUNCH OUT
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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