Skip to Content

10 Things We Don’t Buy (or Pay For)

Money Saving Mom posted a list of these a little while back, and I thought it would be fun to sit down and see if I could think of 10 things we don’t buy or pay for.

1. Cable TV

I wrote a post all about how we live without cable TV service recently.

2. Cell Phone Contracts

I’ve written about that too, actually.

3. Credit Card Interest

We do use credit cards, but we never use them to purchase items we couldn’t pay for in cash.

4. Sweetened Beverages

life factory water bottle mighty fix

We drink mostly water (we love our Klean Kanteen water bottles!), plus some homemade iced tea or hot tea. This means my grocery budget for beverages is next to nothing, and I like it that way.

5. Paper Towels

I’m cheating with this one a bit, because we do keep a roll or two on hand for things like catching bacon grease. But since we use cloth towels and t-shirt rags for most purposes, we hardly ever have to buy paper towels.

6. Frozen/Prepared Meals

I do sometimes splurge on things at the grocery store, but never on these. Frozen meals for a family of six are crazy expensive, plus I don’t think they taste very good and they come with a lot of packaging.

7. Commercial Yogurt

ball plastic lids for yogurt jars

Except for the occasional starter cup, I haven’t bought any yogurt for a long time.

(Unless we’re on vacation. I don’t make yogurt on vacation, thankyouverymuch.)

I’ve made it at home so many times, I can do it without thinking. The hands-on time is pretty minimal, and the yogurt is delicious and cheap.

Yes, please.

(here’s how to make homemade yogurt)

(you should know, though, that you don’t have to make yogurt!)

8. Dryer Sheets

I air-dry a lot of the sorts of things that would get staticky (synthetic fabrics, mostly), and so I just never really have a problem with static cling.

9. Bottled Water

I’m not dogmatic about most frugal issues, but bottled water is something I typically refuse to buy.

(I wrote an unusually firm post about that a while back.)

10. Cleaning Wipes

These are a lot more expensive than a bottle of spray cleaner and a sponge or washcloth, and I don’t think they really save a lot of time. It’s not that hard to spray Windex and then wipe it with a t-shirt rag. And a t-shirt rag takes up almost no space in a load of laundry.

disclaimer: In case you didn’t read my You Don’t Have To Make Yogurt post, I want to say that I’m not necessarily saying that YOU shouldn’t buy these 10 things

(ok, maybe the credit card interest is an exception. I don’t think you should pay credit card interest!).

I’m just saying that for me and my household, right now it makes sense to skip these 10 expenses. You shouldn’t just blindly skip these along with me…you need to evaluate your life and priorities and make the decision that’s right for you.)

How about you? If you want, you can list some things you don’t buy in the comments!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

brook hart

Monday 17th of April 2017

I implement almost all of these idea's. I guess the biggest thing we don't buy is anything at full price . I attempt to purchase everything we need at a marked down or reduced price . My budget is extremely limited . Thankfully , we have several salvage/scratch and dent stores in the area . Using coupons and rebates etc ..... it is rare for me to purchase anything at full price. I absolutely refuse to purchase any alcohol refreshments or tobacco . These are luxury items in my mindset. I find that the internet and You Tube to be an incredible money saver.


Monday 17th of April 2017

That's an old post but I'll answer anyway, just for fun! We don't pay for.... * cable tv (we pay Netflix) * cell phone contract (we have a pay-per-usage one, and we limit greatly) * Car payments (we have a 2004) * services like cleaning lady, people to shovel or cut grass, gardener, etc. We do it all ourselves * Haircuts. Myself and the girls keep it long. I shave my husband's hair every couple weeks. * Cosmetics. I wear no makeup except for lipstick, and I don't put creams, toner and god knows what else women use. Shampoo and soap is whatever is on sale. I'm very low maintenance on that front! * High price clothes. I look for sales or Goodwill. * Entertainment at home. We still have a VCR, a DVD player, a "big box" style tv and a Super Nintendo, so you see what I'm talking about here...! We also have 2 tablets, to be fair. * Drugs, cigarette, magazines, books (yay library!), minimal alcohol (hubby likes a good beer from time to time. I don't drink at all) * etc, etc!


Wednesday 9th of April 2014

Now I live mostly alone it makes no sense for me to make or freeze large batches of things, they get wasted if I local supermarket always has something reduced, like the good Greek yoghurts, so I just buy one then.

Bottled water do like and my supermarket own brand 2 litre is 89 cents or less, so that's my treat!

None of the other things listed I buy except I have resisted changing my cellphone, think I will read your article and research that next.

Leigh Ann

Friday 13th of December 2013

Great post! We don't use credit cards - only debit. We also stopped buying envelopes. My kids and I like writing letters but we use scrap paper to make our own envelopes now.


Thursday 20th of December 2012

Your post & the comments have inspired me to work toward cutting out a few additional things, such as dryer-usage (need a clothes-line!) & paper towels - with a house full of pets, we seem to go through a lot of paper towels :(

Our current list of "no buys" include: 1) soft drinks (soda, pop) & any juices that aren't 100% juice (we cut HFCS) 2) coffee filters (have reusable ones) 3) laundry or dishwasher detergent (make our own for less money & toxicity) 4) dog food (make our own - maybe not cheaper but reduces vet bills!) 5) eggs (raise chickens - again probably not cheaper but healthier) 6) pesticides (we have guinea fowl &/or use natural methods) 7) vacuum bags (have bagless) 8) potting soil & fertilizers (we compost) 9) fancy cleaners (use vinegar or vinegar solutions for most cleaning) 10) water (have a well to refill reusable bottles - the only time we buy bottled water is when we may be out & the only other choice is soft drink)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.