10 Things We Don't Buy or Pay For - We Save Money Instead!

10 Things We Don't Buy or Pay For - We Save Money Instead!

Living frugally and saving money now can make things easier in the future. In a recent video I shared 10 things we don't buy or pay for, and an alternative way that we either get the item or service or fulfill the need.

Read on for some helpful money saving suggestions in these 10 categories:


Cookbooks can be expensive and take up a lot of space in your kitchen. Instead, create a recipe box, Pinterest board, or binder with your favourite recipes that your family loves. 

For books that you read, use the library, where you can also get free ebooks and audiobooks. If you want a hard copy book, use a Book Outlet website, where you can get books at a fraction of the cost of regular bookstores. You can use my BookOutlet.ca referral link for $5 off your first purchase of $25 or more.

The library is amazing for getting kids interested in reading early, too! One of my first blog posts (14 years ago!!) was about using the library with kids, and I'd say it worked because now I have two teenagers who are obsessed with reading books!

10 things we don't buy or pay for

Aesthetic Services

Hair and nail services can add up if you get them done professionally every time. Invest in a pair of hair scissors and try trimming your hair or your family's hair at home. Consider asking a family member or friend who has experience instead of paying for a professional. Use high-quality nail polish to do manicures and pedicures at home instead of paying for a salon every time. It's convenient to be able to easily do touch-ups at home, too!

There are fun ways to get kids involved in this, too.  Just make sure to keep the nail polish out of their reach!! (Learn from my mistakes... and this goes for the scissors too!)

things to stop buying to save money

Car Wash Services

Save money by washing your car yourself instead of paying for a car wash. You can also save money by detailing your car yourself. Consider paying your kids to do it as an extra chore, or make it a car wash family activity.

things to stop buying or paying for

Cell Phones

Spend as little as possible on your cell phone. Use hand-me-down phones or buy second-hand phones. Look for open-box phones at cell phone stores for a cheaper price. Don't be tempted to buy the latest and greatest phone every time. 

Shop for a cheaper cell phone plan that can work for you. 

Skincare & Makeup

Use the same products regularly instead of buying a huge variety of makeup. Wait until the products you're currently using have run out before buying something new. When it comes to skincare, resist the urge to try new products and stick with what works for you- at least until you run out of them. These are just a few examples of things to stop buying to save money.

how to stop buying things

Home Décor

Avoid spending money on décor by sticking with a color scheme and keeping the same look as long as possible. Sell items you no longer need before replacing them. Consider DIY projects to refresh your home décor. 

We made over our living room 5 years ago and have kept our décor the same, even though we've lived in 3 different homes since then!


Save money by making coffee or tea at home instead of buying it every day or every week. Meal plan and cook at home instead of eating out. Buy groceries in bulk and look for sales and coupons. 

stop buying things like unnecessary groceries


Eating out can be expensive, so consider packing your own meals when you're on the go. When you do eat out, look for coupons or deals, and order water instead of fancy drinks. You can also split a large meal with your partner to save money. 


Save money on laundry by using a clothesline or drying rack instead of a dryer. Replace dryer sheets with reusable dryer balls. Use cold water instead of hot water to save on energy costs. Wash clothes less frequently and wear items more than once if they're not dirty. 

how to save money

Gym Memberships

Save money on gym memberships by working out at home or outside. Use free workout apps or YouTube videos for workouts. If you prefer working out at a gym, consider a cheaper gym or negotiate a lower price. 

These are just a few examples of how to stop buying things that you don't need. Living frugally doesn't mean you have to go without the things you need. With a little creativity and effort, you can save money and still have everything you need to live a happy and fulfilling life.

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~Heather Lynne

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