Things I Never Buy….To Save Me Money

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I think by now you probably already know the things that I do buy that save money. But what about the things I don’t buy? Things that seem like a good deal but actually aren’t?

There are some things that I never buy from the store that will save me time and money in the long run. Here's what those things are. #frugaltips #frugalshopping #thrifty #savingmoney

Today I’m sharing that list with you. Things that I’ve learned with past experience that I will never buy because even though they may seem like it, they won’t save me money and they likely won’t save you money either. Be sure and leave a comment with some of the things you never buy that many others do!

Things I Never Buy To Save Money

  • Any butter in a container. I only buy butter by the pound in the sticks. I don’t even buy or use vegetable spreads. To make whipped butter at home, soften one pound of butter and whip with a few ounces of olive oil. I even saved an old butter container to put mine in so there is no confusion in the fridge! So simple to make and not even close to being worth the extra markup that the store puts them at just because it’s “spreadable”. Another simple option that we’ve utilized is a Butter Keeper Crock. You can put straight butter in the crock and it will stay soft and spreadable.
  • Cheap paint. Learn your lesson from my mistakes, sometimes paying more money really is worth it for the end result. I painted my entire house in some paint I got free after rebate and now only 2 years later I’m going to have to paint it all over again. And I can tell you for sure which brand I will not be buying this time. The paint was so cheap that it would literally wipe right off the walls and any spots would stay in it permanently. It was awful and not worth the expense or the time spent painting with it.
  • Commercial cleaners. Vinegar at Sam’s Club is only about $1.50 a gallon. One gallon of vinegar will make me more cleaners than I could ever possibly buy for $1.50, plus you know what’s going into your cleaners! Here are some of my favorite Homemade Cleaners to make. I also have a lot of cleaning recipes in my book.

Recipe for Kettle Corn

  • Microwave popcorn. I buy popcorn kernels in bulk from Azure Standard and I have one of these Popcorn Poppers to cook it in the microwave with no extra oil and butter. It’s much healthier and much cheaper than I could ever get the pre-packed kind for. If you don’t have a microwave, you can simply cook the popcorn on the stove in a pan with a lid and a bit of oil in the bottom.
  • New Books. You can buy an almost new copy of the same book on Amazon or from Thriftbooks for much less than the original price. You can ask my husband…I buy a LOT of books from Thriftbooks!
  • A new cell phone. Why would you spend $300+ on a phone when most major carriers have free ones or really cheap ones all the time? You are just going to replace that phone in a year or two anyway. And the free one is going to work just as well as the $300 one. It may not have all the bells and whistles (or the name brand) but it still works for it’s intended purpose! I purchased my current iPhone for $50 from Straight Talk. It was refurbished and has been going strong for over 2 years.

homemade hot chocolate mix

  • Hot cocoa. The things they put in commercial hot chocolate scare me so I make my own. Here’s my favorite Hot Chocolate Mix recipe. SO easy!
  • Haircuts for my hubby. No, I’ve never gone to beauty school but I do know how to give my hubby a good hair cut. Where we were going before it cost $12 plus the tip to get his hair cut and it looked so simple! So we invested $20 in a nice razor and I’ve been cutting his hair for the last 10 years. It doesn’t take a lot of skill (unless your hubby wants a really fancy style, which still couldn’t be that hard, YouTube it!) And I know that almost anyone could do it because my husband is SO picky about his hair cuts and he thinks I do a pretty good job. I also cut my boy’s hair and my own hair.

There are SO many more things that I could list here but this should give you a bit of inspiration for some things that you can stop buying from the store and begin finding alternatives for as well.

I’d love to hear some comments on what you don’t buy to save you money also!

This article on Things I Never Buy was originally posted on Little House Living in October 2010. It has been updated as of December 2019.

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  1. We don’t buy napkins. I found some handkerchief style napkins on clearance several years back and we use those instead. No extra laundry is needed because they are so small they fit in with a regular load of towels.
    We also don’t buy dryer sheets or fabric softner. Instead we use wool balls and a couple of older plastic laundry balls I still have rolling around from before switching to wool.

    1. Great ideas on the cloth napkins, I might do this, we go thru and lot of paper napkins right now and they are not cheap! Thanks for the tip! I have 2 plastic dryer balls and one wool one. Great investment and inexpensive too, our clothes are just as soft and no perfumed chemicals on our clothes!

      Thanks Melissa for the great article! I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for nearly 40 years now, saved us lots of money!

  2. Household paper products.
    Paper towels are only for really gross clean up and draining bacon. Cloth napkins and vintage towels are fun to search for at thrift and antique stores and work great.
    I don’t buy facial tissues unless I’m really sick. That’s what toilet tissue and handkercheifs get used for. Paper plates and plasticwear? How lazy can a person get?

  3. Cut your paper towel roll in half with an electric knife. Now you have 2 rolls of
    pic a size paper towels. My husband complained because I would buy cheaper
    paper towels and he wanted pic a size which cost more. I made it work.

    It would be fun to start a website of how to save money, cut costs and have fun.