Not everything that I used to buy was as necessary as I thought it was. I used to consider myself really good with money, I never got big car loans, hire purchases or took a holiday on a credit card.
But when we had our first baby and we had to live on one income, I suddenly realized just how much money we were throwing away.
I am generally in charge of the finances at home, we make all the big decisions together – houses, cars, and basically anything over $1000. But in the smaller day to day things, I tend to make the decisions. And that works well for us. I am quite money minded, and hubby trusts me to make good decisions.
I know we are lucky that we have actually never fought over money or our spending habits, but it might just be that this frugal fox married a man who prefers not to spend anything that isn’t necessary, but is too relaxed to worry about it.
I have hunted around to get the best deal on our insurance and power companies, and I continue to re-check these at least once a year to make sure we are getting the best deal.
Another big change we have had in our family has come more gradually, as we have had more children, and they have grown to realize their, and our, impact on our environment.
My children have become real conservationists, which is very lovely to see. It is nice to know that the next generation is taking care of our world at such a young age. Their view on disposable plastic and it’s effect on wildlife, has made us re-think a few things. As it turns out, the alternatives we have found are actually saving us money!
10 Things I have Stopped Buying to Save Our Budget and the Environment
So this probably isn’t the time or place for my rant on why women should stop shaving, and stick it to the ‘man’ that has told us that our God given body hair is bad. But I honestly do think that we have been sold a lie so a company could make billions from our insecurity.
On the other hand, I prefer my hubby to have a shaved face. SO, we have swapped from the razors that you buy at the store to one of the old fashioned safety razors. And do you know what?
They are great! Each blade, you can turn and use it 4 times, the blades are recyclable steel AND they aren’t as scary as they look to use.
These are the blades we use:
Along the razor, we no longer buy shaving gel or foam. It turns out a good lather from bar soap is vastly superior and a million times cheaper.
Fancy Hair Treatments
This one is also in the bathroom. So it turns out that the reason your hair is dry and straw-ey and you neeeeeed to buy fancy hair treatments is because you wash it with shampoo. Yep, they sell you shampoo so they can up-sell you conditioner and deep treatments for your hair.
There are so many shampoo free hair options these days. We go for a simple washing soda and vinegar treatment, but if that is too hippy weirdo for you, try one of the many shampoo bars. They last much longer than a bottle of shampoo (that is 99% water anyways) and your wallet and the environment will thank you for making the change.
I get that life is busy, and there are the odd times in my life that I will still buy a pre-made dinner, like when I am having a baby. However I am much more likely to make freezer meals of my own!
Pre made meals from the store are generally mass produced non-food. There is little nutrients left in food that is that processed, even the premium meals are designed to use the cheapest foods to produce them.
Learn how to make a quick salad and grill some meat. If you buy your vegetables and prep them in the weekend, you can keep them cut up and ready to go in the fridge, making throwing together a salad a really quick, healthy dinner.
I have grown up in a house full of girls. Do you know what? We never went to the hairdresser. It turns out it is not that hard to trim the bottom off of kids hair to keep the split ends away.
These days, I cut all my kids hair. I even cut my own! All it takes is some practice, a mirror and some good sharp scissors.
I have to be honest with you, this is something I have NEVER paid for. I have been blessed with strong nails, and I simply learned to look after them well. Even a fancy nail polish job you can do yourself with a little practice and the right tools. Save yourself a LOT of money each year by skipping the nail salon.
I get that many people LOVE their coffee. I personally think this is an addiction pushed on us by social expectations. But if you genuinely couldn’t possibly do without your morning coffee, learn how to make a good one at home and stop wasting money on the ones from the store.
Add up how much you spend buying coffee in a year. You can now spend that on a gadget that will make you coffee forever for very little input or running costs.
This one I have lied about a little. We do still go out for dinner, to nice restaurants even. BUT only 3 times a year – our wedding anniversary and our two birthdays. We go out and enjoy it, without guilt, knowing that we have budgeted for it.
We do not routinely eat takeouts or go out for dinners, this saves us thousands of dollars a year easily.
I was notorious for heading somewhere without a drink and inevitably ending up needing one. This was even more the case once we had small people in the house that also got thirsty.
Then one year we bought good quality, double walled drink bottles. I have not bought bottled water since.
The water that you get from your tap is less contaminated with plastic and other horrible things than the stuff you buy at the store! Fill a few bottles up with water and stick them in your fridge so they are ready when you are.
A metal drink bottle won’t taint the water taste like a plastic one will, and think of all that plastic you are saving from going in landfill, or worse, the sea!
Plastic Wrap, Straws and Pegs
While we are on the topic of plastic alternatives, here is a 3 for one deal for the last items I have stopped buying to save money and the environment.
Plastic wrap – I have not bought this in 8 years now! I have made my own beeswax wraps and we use those to wrap sandwiches and other things in.
Plastic clothes pins / pegs – If you dry your clothes outside like I do, you will have found that plastic clothes pins / pegs are notorious for breaking with the sunlight, there are some stainless steel ones that are available now, and they are SO GOOD. They even hold my washing on in the big winds that we get here.
So this is 10 things we have stopped buying to save money and the environment. Are these things that you would be willing to try? Your wallet and our wildlife will thank you!