This month marks one year since our family became debt free. There are a lot of things we did on our journey to dumping debt.
We learned to budget. We started meal planing. I could go on. But I think one of the main reasons we were able to pay off debt and free up income was because we cut a lot of little things (and a few big things) out of our budget.
So here are five things we don't spend money one. Note: I don't think ANY of these things are bad, or wrong, or inherently wasteful.
1. Paper towels and napkins. I actually don't use paper towels for a lot of reasons, one of them is I think they're kind of gross. They always shred on me, or bunch, or leave something behind. It's grody. (Adult work there, grody.)
But also, I don't see the point in wiping my counter tops or child's face with something and then trowing it away.
So instead I use t shirt rags, which are basically free.
And instead of napkins we use cloth napkins. I purchased some at Michaels' four for $1.
And in case you were wondering, this adds one load of laundry a week to my rotation and according to this handy calculator, it costs me $1.34 to run my washer and dryer per load.
Plus it's one less thing to have to keep up with, I don't have to track when we are running low on paper towels and napkins.
2. Shopping clubs. Paying to shop? We did have a membership to Sam's Club that we got when Groupon ran a special.
But I found the hours we were "allowed" to shop limited me and that I ended up buying a lot of stuff I didn't need and spending MORE money than I needed to.
I could just as easily order toilet paper and other bulk items from Amazon for the same price. And then I don't have to put on shoes or leave my house. WIN!
3. Subscription boxes. You know what I am talking about. Those really fun and colorful boxes filled with all sorts of great goodies like snacks, make up or treats for your kids. They are certainly fun to receive, but are they a good value?
A lot of them are between $10 - $20 a month and you have no choice in the items you receive.
I did get a Bluum box for three months last year and it was a total disappointment. You can watch an unboxing here. I had ordered it during a special and had not paid full price for it, but it still wasn't worth the money, even in a sale price.
I would rather save my money and then go and purchase quality items I want to have.
4. Cable. I have talked about this a lot. But no, our family doesn't have cable. Not even a basic plan. We have an antenna, a subscription to Netflix and an Amazon Prime membership (worth every penny!).
We save over $75 a month and I feel we are better able to control what our children see.
My husband is a HUGE football fan and we live in Alabama where football is king, and I feel like if he can give it up I can give it up.
5. Movie rentals. I have written about this before, but we don't pay for movie rentals. We either rent movies with our free Redbox codes, check them out from the library or wait until we have some sort of iTunes or Amazon gift card.
I realize $1.50 isn't going to make or break anyone, but when you add up ALL of these things over the course of time it can really make a big budgeting difference.
What about you? What things are you NOT spending money on to save cash?