13 Things to Stop Buying Today to Save Money

Learn how to stop wasting money on things that you don’t need with this list of 13 Things to Stop Buying Today to Save Money.

A table with money and calculator

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The trick to not wasting your money and saving more of it is to learn to stop spending it on things that you really don’t need. Of course, there are always going to be things that you need to spend your money on such as bills, groceries, and other necessary expenses. However, it’s the other wasteful things that you could do without but you are choosing to buy, sometimes without even realizing it.

The first step in eliminating unnecessary spending is to sit down and look over your budget to see where your money is going every month. 

Once you have set up your budget and tracked your spending, then it’s time to start setting goals to determine where you want your money to go. Some of the reasons that people may want to save money include:

  • Building an emergency fund
  • Paying off debt
  • Saving for a vacation
  • Doing home renovations
  • Saving for retirement
  • Growing your savings account for a big purchase such as a new home or car.

When you use a budget you start to become more mindful of your spending habits which allows you to achieve your financial goals more easily.

This list of 13 things to stop buying today will help you save money even if you are living on one income or paycheck to paycheck as long as you are willing to make small changes to reach your savings goals.


13 Things to Stop Buying Today to Save Money

hamburger and fries

Fast food

Eating out less is probably the best way to save money. It’s also one of the hardest things to give up because it’s easy and convenient and honestly it can be a nice treat at the end of a stressful day.

However, if you stop for a minute and really think about how much money you are spending every time you get takeout or go through the drive-thru, you would probably be shocked. Most people spend between $100-$500 a month on eating out. That is between $1200-$6000 a year. That’s a lot of money you could be using for other things especially when planning and preparing your meals at home isn’t difficult and so much more economical.

When you prepare and cook your meals at home you are not only saving money but you are able to control the ingredients and portion sizes which can be helpful if you are trying to eat healthier.   

Related: Find simple ways to eat healthy on a budget here.

If you have a crockpot, you can put dinner in before you leave for work.  The temptation to get fast food will be less if you know you have a home-cooked meal waiting for you when you get home.

Another small appliance that can help you prepare nutritious meals more easily is an air fryer. An air fryer cooks your favorite foods in a healthier way by using little to no oil.

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I’m not saying that you have to completely give up eating out. There are ways that you can cut back on eating out and still save money. Look for coupons, go out for breakfast occasionally as a treat, or visit on a kid’s eat free night.

As long as you are preparing ahead of time you can still be frugal with your money. Find more ways to Eat out on a Budget.


I’ll admit, I’m a little addicted to coffee. It’s the first thing I grab in the morning after waking up. But, what I don’t do is spend money at pricey coffee shops when I know I can make it at home for much less and still get a tasty cup of coffee that I enjoy.

Honestly, why pay hundreds of dollars a year when you can make it yourself? If you find yourself missing your favorite drink, buy some flavored creamer, or look for copycat recipes on Pinterest.


Cancel any paid subscriptions and take advantage of free alternatives instead.  You can use many music services for free. They will shuffle through songs you’ve liked and recommend more. This is actually a great way to discover new music. I like to create playlists on YouTube of my favorite songs and artists.

Stop paying for pricey gym memberships when you can purchase inexpensive equipment at garage sales, on Craigslist, or Facebook marketplace.

You may like: 12 Tips for Losing Weight on a Budget- you can find ways to lose weight at home without spending a fortune.

popcorn and tickets

Movie theaters

Movie theaters are so expensive these days between the tickets, popcorn, candy, and soda. There are so many great alternatives such as borrowing from the library, renting from Redbox, or snuggling up at home and watching a movie or series on Netflix.

Name brand items

It doesn’t matter if it’s food or clothing, you don’t have to be loyal to name-brand products. In most cases, you are just paying for the name and can get similar quality from generic products.

If you are in need of new clothes and prefer certain items because of the quality. Then check out thrift stores or garage sales. You can usually find great prices on your favorite brands.


Cable is so expensive and such a waste if you are not using it. Why pay for hundreds of channels if you are only watching a few?

We cut our cable almost 2 years ago, and haven’t regretted it, especially when there are so many better and less expensive alternatives such as:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • HBO Max
  • Amazon Prime

You can try Amazon Prime free for 30 days and get access to tons of movies and TV shows, in addition to all the other benefits that it provides.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

If cutting the cord seems too drastic and you’re not quite ready, then at least give the cable company a call and try to negotiate a better deal. They will usually try to work with you. After all, they want your business.

New phones

Save money by not purchasing the latest model as soon as it’s released. If your phone is working fine, then you really don’t need it.

Also, look into prepaid options so you are not being locked into a contract and spending even more money each month.

Prepackaged convenience food

Prepackaged convenience foods are multipacks of crackers or cookies, and already sliced fruits and vegetables.  You are paying a lot more money just for the convenience of not having to do it yourself. When it really doesn’t take that much time to divide a box of crackers into snack bags for single servings.

This is just one of many ways you can save money on your groceries every month.

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Expensive date nights

Date nights are important for any relationship but that doesn’t mean they have to cost a fortune. There are many ways to show your partner how much you love them and want to spend time with them without breaking the bank. Here are 52 Date Night Ideas on a Budget for inspiration.

Related: 30 Cheap At Home Date Night Ideas

Dryer sheets

Skip the dryer sheets and invest in some dryer balls instead. Not only are you able to avoid harmful chemicals but it will save you money in the process.

If you are missing the nice smell from the dryer sheets add a couple of drops of essential oils to the dryer balls.

New books/ magazines

I love books, however, what I don’t love is how expensive they are to buy especially if you are the type of person who reads it once and then puts it on a shelf and never picks it up again.

There are so many ways to enjoy a good book without having to spend a lot of money. The obvious one is to head to your local library. Ebooks are wonderful for convenience and the ability to enjoy reading on your phone. But, I am one of those people that still prefer being able to physically hold a book and flip through the pages.

If you are like me then you can check out thrift shops or garage sales for used books. I have found some great options for less than $1.

Sale items

A simple way to save money that you may not be expecting is to avoid buying sale items especially if you don’t need them.

It’s easy to think that because something is on sale that you are saving money and while that may be the case in some instances. Most of the time, it’s a tactic that retailers use to get you to spend more money.

You may like- 15 Supermarket Spending Traps to Avoid

cutting hair


In our home, I have always given my husband and two boys their haircuts. I am definitely not a professional but with a great pair of clippers and watching Youtube tutorials, I have gotten pretty good at cutting hair. It has saved us a lot of money over the years.

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Hopefully, you’ve found this list of 13 things to stop buying today helpful.  If you are willing to make a few small changes then it will help you stop buying things you don’t need and start achieving your savings goals today.

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