Things I Don't Buy Anymore

I recently realized how our new way of living really is saving us money, and in turn is also keeping us healthier.  I sat down and made a list of all the things that I no longer buy whether because I have found a less expensive way to do it myself, or because I want to avoid the harmful chemicals contained in the products.  This is what I came up with.

  • deodorant - contains harmful chemicals and the cost adds up.  Let's say I was buying three sticks of deodorant each month for myself, Russell, and Boy 1.  Let's also put the price on a more modest scale of $2.50/ea.  That is a savings of $7.50 each month.  I now make our deodorant using coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and essential oils.  I'll post a recipe and how to in the future. 
  • laundry detergent - I wash anywhere between 4 and 8 loads of laundry a week.  The cost of laundry detergent definitely adds up.  By making my own (laundry detergent recipe here) I am definitely saving a good chunk of change.  I figure the cost of my homemade detergent is around 0.05 cents per load.  I am also avoiding strong perfumes and other chemicals AND I am reducing waste by reusing containers and not buying more! Sounds like a home run, saving around $20 each month.
  • fabric softener - I won't lie.  I miss fabric softener.  I love the smell.  I love the way it makes clothing smell.  There is just something so comforting about it.  But, alas, it is not necessary, and it does contain chemicals.  I use vinegar now instead.  Thankfully vinegar does the job without leaving a stinky smell on the clothes.  Savings estimated at around $6 each month.  
  • household cleaners - I buy zero household cleaners now and instead make my own.  I mostly use vinegar but I also use homemade concoctions from rosemary tea, lemon juice, alcohol, borax, fels-naptha, etc.  I'll estimate $3 each month since this was not a monthly expense.
  • toothpaste - I read bad bad things about fluoride and glycerin in our toothpastes and that was the end of that.  I now make ours.  It doesn't taste fabulous, but it gets the job done.  Savings: $3 each month.
  • dryer sheets - another luxury I gave up.  Totally unnecessary, serves little purpose.  Saving me $5 each month.
  • chap-stick - This was an easy one to get rid of because I really enjoyed making our own lip balm.   I found some local beeswax and a simple recipe.  A very little goes such a long way.  Look for a recipe in the future.  I won't include this in the monthly savings because it was purchased on an as needed basis.  
  • cold medicines - We went the entire cold season without purchasing cough syrups or sinus medication.  Instead, we used things like our vaporizer, neti pot, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, and vitamin C.  Again, I won't include this one since it was an as needed type of purchase.
  • face wash - Boy 3 has teenage acne, and I, who had beautiful clear skin as a teenager, am developing the horrible stuff now in my 30s!  I was buying a mid-priced acne face wash for the both of us to use but not any more!  We now clean our face with homemade soaps that we purchase locally and then use Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar as a topical treatment.  It REALLY works. Saving me $4 each month. 
  • lotions - so many yucky things in lotion.  We just skip it altogether and use either olive oil or coconut oil for moisturizing now. I believe you should not put anything on your skin that you would not put into your mouth.   Let's say around $2 a month saved.  
  • prepared granola - This one is HUGE for me.  I love my granola recipe and it saves me so much money.  By making my own I know exactly what is going into it.  Look for a recipe soon.  Total saving for my large family are at the very least $10 each month. UPDATE: GRANOLA RECIPE POSTED! 
Total from the off-the-top-of-my-head list: $57.50.  That's a full tank of gas! (for now)

This list doesn't even include the things I have been able to cut back on buying.  Trash bags come to mind.  By recycling, reusing, and composting I have noticed we have far less trash and thus use  fewer trash bags.  That's a very good thing.  I always hated spending so much money on something that was immediately being thrown away.  

How does your family save money on every day expenses?  I would love to hear from you! 

Money in the bank!

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Sunnybrook Farm said...

Wow, you are way ahead of me on things you don't buy anymore, I seem to just use less or do without. I don't usually buy new clothes and prefer old tools except for the chain saw, got to have a new chain once a year.

Angela said...

I couldn't tell you the last time I bought new clothes for me or for my husband. The kids are a different story as they are hard on clothes and grow like weeds! Thanks for visiting!

Daisy said...

You can have the scent and softness of dryer sheets or fabric softener without the expense. Make your own dryer sheets. Mix 1 part liquid fabric softener and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray 4-5 squirts on an old thin washcloth and throw in the dryer with your laundry. One bottle of fabric softener lasts me over a year for a family of five.

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