This got me thinking...
What would my "don't buy" lists consist? I came up with some items and then I asked you guys. You had some really great ideas, which really inspired me. I've included the top ideas from our compiled list.
Paper Towels - I stopped buying paper towels a few years ago. I found that not only was it better for the environment, but I could knock quite a bit off my monthly budget. We use rags for cleaning up. These are great because when you've finished cleaning, you can just toss them in the wash. One wash cycle and they're like new. I keep a reusable grocery bag near my washer. I toss used rags in there. When the bag's full, I do a load :)
All-Purpose Cleaner - this is my favorite thing to make homemade. It cost very little and is safe for the whole family. Just mix vinegar, water, and some essential oils together and you're good to go. Check out this tutorial to make some today.
Ashley also shared her recipe for Windex, which I'm dying to try out. You can find the recipe here.
Greeting Cards - if you know me in real life, then you know I am NOT a huge fan of greeting cards...especially with birthday gifts. Yes, sometimes it is nice to get a card in the mail and I love my grandma's annual holiday cards, but I think greeting cards are expensive. $3 or more for something that will just get thrown in the trash? No thank you. Going homemade on cards is a great way to save. You get to still give the sentiment of a greeting card, without spending a bunch of money. I also think homemade cards are so much more personal. I love to create 4x6 prints via picmonkey and print at Costco. You can print for under 50 cents a piece. Much better than $3+ right?
Pre-Made Cookie Dough - I've found that making cookie dough at home is not only cheaper, but you get more bang for your buck. Chocolate chip cookie dough is my favorite. You can double batch it and either freeze the dough or freeze the baked cookies. This helps to have some yummy treats always stocked in the freezer. I also find that when I stock myself with yummy items, I'm less likely to toss treats into my cart when I'm grocery shopping. This keep impulse buying to a minimum.
Freezer Meals - we all love having a few saving graces in our freezer. Having a few quick casseroles or lasagnas is great when you don't feel like making dinner or you need to bring a meal to a friend. I have found that doubling recipes when I make them allows me to stock the freezer without needing a full freezer cooking day. Also, making your own freezer meals means you know exactly what's going into your food.
Garbage bags - Jen and Ashley shared this idea and I thought it was brilliant! They save by reusing plastic grocery bags. Jen says "I don't buy garbage bags. We use the sacks from the grocery store for most of our garbage and our recycling goes into our garbage can without a bag around it. When the grocery bag is filled, it goes outside into the big garbage can and (hopefully) keeps our kitchen from stinking up ;)". Ashley said "I reserve all my stuff that gets stinky in the fridge till the night before garbage night, that way we only have to take out the garbage once a week and reduce the number of bags we use." Brilliant ladies!!
Baby Wipes and Diapers - Going the cloth route is a great way to save. Dayna said "Cloth diapers & cloth wipes (cut up squares of old tshirts). Wipe solution is water with a drop of lavender or tea tree oil. Saves so much $!"
Music CDs - I love listening to music and I use to spend a lot of $$$ on either CD's or singles via Amazon. I could easily spend $20+ on music in one shot, then I learned about Spotify (thank you Tanya). Hubby and I pay $10 a month and we get unlimited access to music. It's been a great alternative to how I got my music before.
Cable - you know I'm a BIG supporter of Netflix and hulu. We haven't had cable in over 8 years. We spend less then $20 a month and we have a huge library of shows for the whole family.
Land Line- we joined the strictly cell phone club a long time ago. We realized that we didn't have a need for a landline anymore. All of our friends and family have cell phones and we have unlimited minutes and text, so it makes sense. Save yourself some money and kick the land line.
I was so blown away with all the ideas you guys shared this past week. Thank you for always being so inspiring!!
Do you have an item you don't buy that didn't make the list? Share it in the comments below :)