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Alright! The wonderful world of budgeting!
I absolutely love finding ways to save money and to pay off debt on a daily basis.
So, I team up with my husband to see which areas in our household we were spending too much money on. To our surprise, there were quite a few areas that we needed to cut back on to build our savings and emergency fund. I know it can be super hard to save money when you have a family so I looked over our list of this thing we cut back on and stuck to a plan.
That plan has helped us save thousands each year and make extra money as well. This post shares 10 things we stop buying as much to save thousands each year.
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10 Things I Stop Buying to Save Over $300 A month
1. Too Much Fast Food
One of the first areas my husband and I look to cut back on expenses was fast food. If you are like me you know that at times it can be easier to go to a fast food place while you work from home and handle mommy duties daily, right?
You probably also know that a person can spend a ton of money on fast food really fast without even knowing how much they are really spending. Not only is fast food not the best option in my opinion but it can also cost a person or even a family a lot of money each month.
After our decision to cut back on fast food my husband and I downloaded an app called Every Dollar and it really helped us see what we were spending on fast food every month. One morning my husband and I went to our bank statements from the previous month and wrote down every time we spent money on fast food. What we found out was that collectively we spent over $400 in one month on fast food alone. Whattttttt! Yes, $400 on fast food alone.
We were shocked but not surprised!
It also helped us realize that we were spending too much money on fast food and that we needed to cut back. The next month we decided to only get fast food twice and to stick to that plan.
That plan worked and the following month we only spent $52.00 dollars collectively on fast food. That was a $348 difference in saving. #WHOA! The every dollar app really helped us set up our monthly budget within’ minutes and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a budget app to use online and on your phone.
2. Extra Groceries
Raise your hand if you go to the grocery store multiple times within’ a week. If you raised your hand, you and I are TWINS!
In my household, I am normally the person that goes to the store to pick up items and before we can up with a plan I would go 3 to 4 times a week to pick up stuff which resulted in spending way too much money. When my husband and I decided to cut back we also looked at our grocery bills and it was pilling up to over $400 a month on groceries. We are only a family of four ( 2 adults & 2 little boys) so we realized that we didn’t need to spend that much money on groceries each month. 3 main factors helped us stay focus and cut back on our grocery bill.
- Weekly grocery list: Setting up a grocery list helped me see the items and food we needed on paper. I also helped me stay focus in the store to get only the food items that we needed for the week.
- One day a week: My husband and I also picked one day a week that we would go shopping and stuck with that. We also picked on an emergency day just in we needed something that we completely forgot.
- Deals and coupon: Another area that helped us stay focus was finding stores with weekly deals and finding quick coupons. I am not a huge coupon person but I found out that finding the right coupons can really help a family save on food each month. If you are looking for more ways to save on your grocery bill I have a post on this site which shares exactly how we save over $200 a month on groceries now. Check it out here.
3. Extra Makeup
Oh, how I love Makeup! I am a true girlie girl so I love getting new makeup all the time. When we are started to cut back I knew that I needed to cut back on buying makeup items. Most of the time I never end up wearing all the makeup that I brought because I had too much. I found makeup items thought I brought twice and still never used so I decided to cut back and use the items I had first.
4. New Clothes Every Week
I love new clothes and I really love buying new clothes for my boys but I knew this was another area we needed to cut back on. After I had baby boy number two I decided to use most of the clothes I had from my first son. That worked perfectly since newborns grow our outfits so fast. I was able to get some wears out of the cute little outfits. I also looked into buying clothes for discounts at thrift stores and I also looked into getting items from Poshmark online. With Poshmark people list different items for sale that you can purchase right from your app.
A lot of the items are for a discounted price which is huge!
Another pretty cool place to find outfits is OfferUp! Like many others, I have sold shoes and clothes on the platform and made extra money. I have also found amazing items from the app as well.
5. Buying A Ton of Baby Toys
Oh! I love little baby toys and have brought a ton of them since having children but I noticed that my house was being taken over one toy at a time. =) So, we decided to cut back on toys and use the toys that we had to make our boys play area fun. We decided to start reading more books to them and being more hands-on with the daily. Not only did we start to save more money but we also got to spend even more FUN time with our little guys! Some activities and places you can go to and do instead of buying a ton of toys are:
- Go to the park
- Have a play picnic
- Go to a free activity center
- Have a play date with other children in your town
6. Getting Cable
Ok! So cable can be mega expensive! I chatted with my mom one morning and found out that she pays around $200 a month for cable. I couldn’t believe it at all! So my husband and I decided to sign up for Netflix and Hulu and only spend $23 a month for both. To me, $23 is much better than anything over $100 per month. Also, if we feel like having an indoor date night we stop by Redbox and pick up a movie and it works perfectly for us.
7. Gym membership
I love working out but I believe that if a gym membership is too much for you to pay right now you can totally work out from your home or outside. When I lost over 30 lbs in 3 months I didn’t have a gym. Since I didn’t have a gym I had to get creative and add some things to help me stay focus. The items I added to my workout plan were:
- Fitness Pal: Fitness Pal is an amazing app that can help you count calories each day. I learned that staying healthy and losing weight is 20% working out and 80% of what you eat. So, I decided to stay focus on my calorie intake and cut out carbs and bad sugars with this app. Oh! And the app is FREE to use!
- Calories Watch: So, I had to invest in this purchase but it was so worth it. With a calorie watch, you can see how many calories you burn while working out. For me, this helped me stay motivated and focus.
- Work out gear: Buying a set of work out gear also helped me stay motivated and helped me have worked out instead of wearing my normal everyday clothes to work out.
If you want to learn my full plan to how I lost 30 lbs quickly, healthy and on a budget you can check out a post that shares my whole plan by clicking here.
8. Buying More Home Decor
I love buying home decor but I knew that I had to cut back on buying something new every week for my place. I also started to check out different places I could buy items for a cheaper price such as the Dollar Store.
Yes, the dollar store to the rescue! So, if you love buying items for your home on regular check out stores that have items for a discount such as a dollar store or even Walmart. Check out this post to find out how I save $200 a month from buying these items from the dollar store
9. Expensive Cell Phone Plan
Did you know I use to have a phone bill that was over $120 almost every month?
Yup, I did!
So, basically, I gave my cell phone company at the time around $1400-1600 each year. Can you believe I stayed with that company for almost 4 years?
Yeah, do the math. =)
So, I decided to change my phone plan and switch to a company that had great service but was cheaper in price called Cricket Wireless. I actually ended up really loving the service and I ended up saving over $700 dollars a year on my phone bill. I also got my husband on board and we just recently sign up for a “Family” plan and pay $110 for unlimited everything for both our phones. #Winning If you are looking to cut down your phone bill definitely check out Cricket Wireless by clicking here! They have great service and the customer service is GREAT!
10. Unnecessary Subscriptions
Yes! We have almost all have come victim to the subscriptions! First, they get us by letting us sign up for FREE with our credit card or for a super low price than BOOM we get charged a monthly fee the following month because we forgot to cancel the trial. To combat this, my husband and I looked through all our subscriptions and found out that we had some we didn’t even use at all. So, we canceled all unnecessary subscriptions that we weren’t using and we saved over $200 per month.