Frugal Living – 22 Things We Stopped Buying to Save Money

By | January 3, 2019

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My family have stopped buying these things to increase our savings. What we have been doing works for us, as I have included the amount of savings every year.

I’ve compiled this list as a way for you to give yourself some food for thought about your own spending.

If you feel happy buying the things you can’t do without, please feel free to do so. Under no circumstances must you refrain from buying these things as we did. 🙂

So with that out of the way, let’s begin!


22 Things I stopped buying to save $2680

1. Stopped Buying Tons of Health Supplements

Savings: $200 per year.

I used to buy every imaginable type of health supplements you can think of – multi-vitamins, zinc, iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, probiotics, fish oil capsules, CoQ 10 and so on.

Noticed something? Many of them are duplicates. If I buy multi-vitamins, why would I need to buy the same ones like zinc and vitamin C?

I used to ruthlessly ignore Mr MMT’s (MoreMoneyTips) protests against these costly purchases, but now I’ve bravely admitted my folly. I wasn’t being frugal 🙁

My pantry would have done a pharmacist proud!

There was such a huge range of health supplements. Ok, I admit it – I often had to throw most of them away (hundreds of dollars’ worth) because they expired 🙁

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Now, I’m frugal and so only go for what my family truly needs: multi-vitamins and algae oil capsules.

A little note about fish oil capsules. I stopped buying them now because of the risk of mercury contamination.

Although I came across a manufacturer who uses molecular distillation to remove toxins, I’m still not totally convinced.

Read this article to learn more about it.

My solution is algae oil from marine algae.

It’s rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. The main source of Omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil actually comes from algae. It’s a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans too.

By reducing the range of supplements and being vigilant about using them, I’ve saved hundreds a year. And reduced wastefulness.

What about you? Can you reduce your supplements too if you take them?

22 Things We Stopped Buying to Save Money

What does frugal mean? Watch this fun Video to find out the difference between frugality and unwise savings.

2. Stopped Buying Brand New Books

Savings: About $90 a year

I used to fall for new books – they’re attractive, pristine, and smell delightful.

Library books are not always clean.

But spending so much money on new books is not frugal at all, so I have since changed my perspective 360 degrees.

What have I done to become frugal?

Simple, I just borrow newer books, and clean them well before reading.

I don’t buy magazine subscriptions at all. If you do, maybe it’s time to stop. Head to the good ol’ library instead 🙂

3. Stopped Buying Fast Food

Savings: $120 a year

To be honest, this was a very difficult thing to do.

Lured by discounts, our family used to gorge on KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King.

Since we knew they’re not healthy, why did we do it?

They were cheap. They saved us time and effort in food preparation. They smelled irresistible and tasted real good.

What have I done to be frugal and therefore save well? Stopped eating them.

Some folks may find it impossible to cut this out completely. If so, how about reducing the number of visits to fast food restaurants?

What’s another great alternative?

The $5 meal plan. You pay only $5 a month for healthy recipes sent to you each week.

You’ll spend less than $2 on food per person.

Not sure if it suits? No worries. You can cancel it any time with no questions asked.

Try the $5 meal plan 2 weeks for FREE and see if you like it. It’s 100% risk-free.

4. Stopped Buying Bottled Water and Fruit Juices

Savings: Up to $60 a year.

Buying bottled water and fruit juices had never been intentional on my part. When I forgot my water bottles, I needed to buy water.

If you’ve been buying bottled water, the facts aren’t rosy.

According to this report,

-A gallon of bottled water costs nearly 2,000 times the price of tap water.

-64% of bottled water comes from tap water.

-Tap water is monitored more closely for quality than bottled water.

Get these unique BPA-free water bottles that are safer for you and fill them up. Drinking plain water need not be boring.

These collapsible water bottles are fun to drink from, non-toxic and eco-friendly. They’re leak proof, dishwasher safe and come in 4 eye catching colors.

Getting yourself or your children to drink more water will now be easy and fun!

What have I done to be frugal and save well?

Planning and organization. I get all my water bottles ready before I set off.

22 things we stopped buying to save money

5. Stopped Buying Kitchen Appliances

Savings: Up to $100 a year

I used to buy tons of kitchen appliances, as I truly believed they’d make a chef out of me!

Of course, I didn’t consider if I really needed them. I wasn’t frugal 🙁

Are you laughing at me? Perfectly fine with me. I’m shaking my head too.

Most of my appliances are still in their original boxes. However, I’ve managed to sell several of them. Phew!

So, what have I done to become frugal and save well?

I avoid recipes that call for a mixer, a blender, an electric chopper, an electric weighing scale…

My substitutes are a hand whisk, elbow grease and tears when dicing onions!

6. Said ‘Good-Bye’ to New Clothes

Savings: Up to $50 a year

Last year, I was really frugal! I bought only a new top and that was it. I got it for almost half price and it wasn’t even on sale.

Read how I did it in 12 Surprising Frugal Tips that Thrifty People Love.

I already have newish clothes that I’ve hardly worn!

As for Mr MMT (MoreMoneyTips), he has far more new clothes than me! The result of being an avid online shopper!

I’m secretly glad that 99.9% of Amazon products are out of bounds to him. Shipping is usually unavailable to my location 🙂

To my huge dismay, he has since discovered a cheaper alternative – Aliexpress. I’ll have to keep an eagle eye on him!

To date, I’ve bought only a beautiful shirt for my son from a recycle boutique. He wears mostly hand-me-downs from his dad’s younger days 🙂

What have I done to be frugal and therefore save well?

Being firm with Mr MMT: No more new clothes for him!

What about you? Can you think of how to be more frugal?

You can mix and match your clothes to get different looks? Sell off those that you hardly wear or that don’t fit you anymore and get some cash back!

You can sell your clothes at:




22 Things I quit buying to save $2680

7. Stopped Buying Envelopes

Savings: $20 a year

Doesn’t this sound strange to you?

Me too, at first.

Mr MMT re-uses envelopes. He opens our mail carefully without tearing the envelopes. Then he glues blank paper (cut to size) over the old envelopes and uses them again.

What have I done to be frugal and save well?

Re-use my envelopes.

What can you do? Here’s a little challenge. See if you can open your envelopes without tearing, and re-use them 🙂

8. Stopped Buying Organic Liquid Hand Wash

Savings: $50 a year

Another frugal decision I made – I stopped buying organic liquid hand wash soap regularly because they cost so much more than the usual bar of soap.

An important health note here : It’s best to avoid ordinary liquid handwash as they contain harmful ingredients like cocamidopropyl betaine, (read more about it here) cocamide DEA( read more about it here ) and polyethylene glycols or PEG for short. (Read more about it here)

Avoid buying products that contain them as they’re harmful to humans, especially young children.

What have I done to save well?

Switch to eco-friendly soaps since using ordinary liquid hand wash is not worth the health risks.

9. Stopped Buying Organic Hair Conditioners

Savings: $60 a year

10 years ago, a one-litre organic hair conditioner bottle cost me $28.80.

This quantity should have saved me money as it was a bulk buy, but sadly it didn’t.

Not finding it effective, I’ve banished it to an obscure corner of the bathroom where it’s reduced to giving my cloths a wash now and then.

What have I done to be frugal?

Stopped buying any type of hair conditioner altogether.

Do you really need hair conditioners? Maybe it’s time to ditch them.

10. Stopped Buying Clothes that don’t fit me. Huh?

Savings: $50 a year

No, you read this right.
I used to buy clothes that I couldn’t wear.

In the past, I had come across beautiful pieces of clothing that I couldn’t bear not paying for.

What a waste of my hard-earned money! My only consolation was that they were usually sale items.

What have I done to save well?

Stopped this habit.

You may have bought clothes online that don’t fit you. How about selling them off to get some cash back?

Stuff I won't buy to save money

11. Stopped Buying Paper Towels

Savings: $10 a year

I’ve only ever bought paper towels a couple of times out of curiosity.

I soon realized that they are unnecessary as I need only 3 cloth towels in my kitchen at any one time.

Two towels are used for drying hands or cutlery. The third is a general cloth for keeping wet surfaces dry.

What have I done to save well?

Use cloth towels.

You can be frugal and ditch the paper towel habit too, and save more!

12. Stopped Buying Different Cleaners for Specific House Areas

Savings: $30 a year

Do you spend more on buying different cleaners?

Buying one cleaner for the bathroom, one for the shower, another for the windows and another for . . . the list goes on because the bottles say so.

Now, I have countless bottles of cleaners lying around our house.

What’s a good way to save?

I’ve discovered that a general cleaner that is environmentally-friendly and cost-effective will do the needed jobs – cleaning the bathroom mirror, shower, toilet seat and toilet bowl itself.

It works well for practically anything.

What have I done to save well?

Buying only a general cleaner to clean almost everything. You can do the same too.

13. Stopped Buying Unnecessary Skincare Products

Savings: $800 a year

Beauty consultants will have you believe that you can’t do without anti-aging serums, day protection cream, night repair hydration cream and so on, if you want to look your best!

I used to take down notes! Such as when do I use the toner? Do I use the toner after the moisturizer?

Now I am more frugal and so stick to the barest minimum –

Antipodes Organic Rejoice Light Facial Day Cream (for my day and night use),

Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream

and Antipodes Divine Face Oil (made from avocado oil), which I only use at night.

And that’s it.

I’m confident in Antipodes as their skincare products are organic and have been scientifically proven to work.

I’ve meticulously checked their ingredients to make doubly sure that they’re safe and work well.

You’re probably using your favorite skincare products, and that’s fine.

Just check to make sure that the ingredients are not harmful for your skin.

But if you’re thinking of going for skincare products that are organic and are proven to work, why not consider Antipodes?

I’ve used many famous skincare products that are usually overpriced and can’t even come close to Antipodes in terms of quality and effectiveness.

Have a look at my amazing Antipodes skincare products which I use and love.

Antipodes Products

14. Stopped Buying Storage Containers

Savings: $50 a year

Don’t throw away your takeaway containers. Clean and reuse them. They’re good for your pocket and this also helps to reduce landfill waste.

15. Stopped Buying New Furniture

Savings: $200 a year

Our work tables, office chairs and TV with its stand were bought second hand. I actually made some money off one of the office chairs by re-selling it, after I didn’t need it anymore.

Look for used items on

Oodle Marketplace

You’ll save lots by buying used stuff in good condition. You get to use them cheap.

Then, if you don’t need them anymore, you can sell them off.

Guess what? Often you get your money back! That means you’ve used stuff for FREE!

Better yet, if you get good deals buying good condition used items, you can even turn a profit when reselling them.

16. Stopped Buying Chocolates and Deluxe Cookies as Gifts

Savings: $60 a year

This was not for special occasions like Christmas . . .

My habit of being overly generous was not good for my wallet.

I loved buying these items as gifts for delivery people or repair persons who came round to our house.

Of course, these folks were delighted with their unexpected gifts!

But I had to curb this habit to help myself and my finances.

Offering them tea or coffee and my home-baked cake should be enough, don’t you agree?

17. Stopped buying disposable desiccant dehumidifier

Savings: $30 a year

Mold and mildew lurking in my closets aren’t my favorite “guests”.

To counter them, I used to buy these disposable desiccants to place in closets.

They worked, but were an unnecessary cost. Nowadays, I simply open my closets to clean and air them from time to time.

18. Stopped buying cheap thermal wear for winter

Savings: $60 a year

I thought I was very frugal by buying cheap thermal wear.

But it was sadly false economy!

The low quality fiber became rough only after 2 washes.

They gave Mr MMT contact eczema which later developed into hives.

In the end, we spent far more money, as he needed medical attention and medication. Not to mention the suffering he experienced 🙁

19. Stopped Buying Cheap Dental Floss

Savings: $30 a year

Wrong frugal move – buying cheap and nasty. Poorly-made dental floss caused me both pain and bleeding gums.

They’re definitely not worth the price. I use Oral-B Dental Floss for safety and ease of use.

20. Stopped Buying Cheap Footwear

Savings: $150 a year

Another wrong frugal move – I bought cheap footwear that lasted me only about 4 months!

I used to replace my “cheap” shoes 3 times a year.

Despite using my Skechers shoes for 2 years on a daily basis, they are still nearly as good as new.

I love walking in them, even on hilly tracks with uneven terrain.

They’ve proven to be comfortable too. My feet are thanking me for giving them quality support and protection.

Have a look at my trusty 2-year-old Skechers shoes below.

My 2-year-old Skechers shoes

Cheap footwear is therefore not a good buy.

You actually end up spending more as you need to replace them quite frequently.

They tend to fit less well and are less comfy too.

They could also contribute to foot problems, which often hurt and need costly medical attention and care to recover 🙁

21. Stopped buying Shaving Foam

Savings: $60

The male members of my family made an important discovery!

There’s no need to buy special shaving foam. Substitute shaving foam with facial wash, which works well too.

Actually it doesn’t matter.

Would you consider using this substitute?

22. Stopped Regularly Buying Takeaways

Savings: $400

I’ve reduced buying takeaways like fish and chips by about 80%.

When I realized that takeaways could cost just as much as eating out, I cut the number of times I bought takeaways.

Cutting back on takeaways has brought health benefits too, as we eat less oil and salt.

Have you noticed the deep frying oil that many takeaways use?

It tends to be very dark as it’s not changed frequently enough.

Mr MMT exclaimed that it looks more like his used motor oil!! (He does his own oil changes).

How many infinite number of times has the oil been reused? For how long?

Health alert!

A 2016 scientific study concluded that eating food fried in reused oil harms your health – “the thermal oxidation of cooking oil generates free radicals and dietary consumption of such oil results in detrimental health effects”.

Also, “histopathological observation depicted significant damage in jejunum, colon and liver of animals that received oil heated repeatedly for 3 times.”

Do yourself a big favor – cut back on buying takeaways, save money and drastically reduce serious health risks.

Well, there you have it.

All 22 things We Stopped Buying to Save Money. I hope this post has encouraged you to look into different things which you can also stop buying and save your way to riches.

Reader’s contribution:

One of our readers Susan has a great frugal tip –

She hardly uses any paper towels. She also cuts up hand towels that are wearing out and hems the edges, keeping them going for much longer. Thanks Susan 🙂


The above are some stuff I’ve stopped buying to save lots of money.

We can’t take advantage of multiple cash backs or any special discount stores, because they aren’t many where we live. But YOU CAN.

This post lists the free budget apps and tools that you can sign up for to get $5 bonuses. Even better, they’ll help you save money on automatic mode.

Despite our situation, my family have come up with creative ideas to trim our daily expenses as much as possible, while living a comfortable life on our modest income.

Find out how we’ve managed to save more than $40,000 in 2 years.

The good news is that you may only need to use some of these strategies to achieve far more savings if your country has a wide range of saving tools you can use like apps and cash back programs.

There’re so many opportunities for all of us to save money in our daily life.

Read about how our family uses these 20 Fun and Frugal Tips to Save Money every single day!

Want to find out 32 more things I wouldn’t waste my money on?

Share this to help others. It only takes a few clicks! Thanks so much!

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What are the things that you’ve stopped buying? Have you found cheaper but better substitutes? Do let us know.

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22 Things I won't buy to save $2680

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8 thoughts on “Frugal Living – 22 Things We Stopped Buying to Save Money

  1. Shane

    I had the EXACT experience with the dental floss. That Oral B glide really is amazing though

    1. moremoneytips Post author

      Hi Shane, you’re right! These things do make a difference – quality and value are always worth paying more for.

    1. moremoneytips Post author

      Thanks Annice! Not doing guest posting, sorry.

  2. Daniel Hiefnar

    Hello! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice information you’ve got here on this post. I can be coming again to your blog for more soon.

    1. moremoneytips Post author

      Many thanks Daniel, for your encouragement 🙂

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