Saving Money

16 Things I Gave Up To Save $5,000 A Year

Many people struggle to save money. Maybe you are one of those people?  Saving money is really not as difficult as most people think it is. It’s not about making drastic changes to everything you do, because as you know, this usually ends in failure.

I’m not saying that this is always the case, but more often than not it is. Resolving to totally change everything you do is really hard. And with one or two little slip-ups, most people tend to give up and go back to their old ways.

Saving money can be accomplished by making small manageable changes. Making small changes is much easier which, in turn, keeps you motivated to continue. You are much more likely to accomplish your goals if you’re not turning your whole life upside down.

For this reason, I put together 16 things you must stop buying that will save you a lot of money every year. Try implementing a few of these changes every couple of weeks and you have the potential to save $5000 a year or more.

  1. Brand Name Food

    There is a generic version of just about every brand named food out there and they are way more inexpensive than the brand named version. Did you know that most of the store/generic versions are made by the same manufacturer as the brand name? Really the only difference is that you are not paying for the pretty packaging and advertising of the more expensive versions.

  2. Paper napkins/paper towels.

    Paper products that are just thrown in the trash after one use is a huge waste of money. You are literally throwing your money in the trash. Instead, why not by some reusable paper towels and cleaning rags that can be used over and over again.

  3. Gym Memberships

    If you are paying for a gym membership, then think about how much you actually use it. Is it worth the hefty gym membership fees? Are you using it enough to get your money’s worth out of it? If not then cancel it. There are many ways that you could get a workout at home or outdoors that don’t cost a dime.

  4. Fancy Specialty Coffees

    If you are a regular at Starbucks then you are throwing so much money in the trash every month. Even if you have just one specialty coffee a day, it’s costing you over $100 a month. Why not make your own at home, you can find many “copycat” recipes online and still get your fix.

  5. Magazines/Newspapers

    Just about everything you pay to read in magazines and newspapers is available to read online these days. So why would you spend your hard earned money on the physical versions that just end up in the recycling bin or worse the trash?

    If you must buy magazines, get a subscription through Best Deals Magazine. A one-year subscription cost about the same as one or two magazines sold in stores.

  6. Bottled Water

    Just like specialty coffees, bottled water is a big waste of money every month. Why not buy yourself a filtered water pitcher instead. If you like the convenience of grabbing a bottle of water and heading out the door, just save the many empty bottles that I’m sure you accumulate pretty quickly and fill them ahead of time at home to save money & waste.

  7. Individual Sized Meat Portions

    This is another item that you are just paying for convenience. Instead, select a larger cut of meat that is less expensive per pound and then ask the store’s butcher to cut it down into smaller portions for you.

  8. Store bought cleaners

    Store bought cleaners are super expensive, you can make most of these cleaners with some very inexpensive products that you probably already have at home. You can find DIY recipes for just about every cleaning product that you use now that work just as well and are so much healthier for you and your family.

  9. Disposable Dinnerware

    Just as the name implies, you are just throwing your money in the trash if you use disposable plates, cups or utensils. These are very convenient but the convenience costs a lot of money over time. Really, how long does it take to wash and dry a few extra plates, forks and cups?

  10. Junk Food

    Junk food is not only a huge waste of money but it’s also terrible for your body. Instead, make some healthy single serve snacks at home that you can take with you to work or when you’re on the go. This way you can grab a healthy snack when your tummy starts to growl instead of hitting up the vending machine at work.

  11. Dried Fruit snacks

    Make your own dried fruit snacks at home instead of paying for the very pricey store-bought version. Think about it how much does it cost you to buy a bunch of bananas versus a bag of the dried version? You’ll have to make an initial investment in a food dehydrator but that investment will save you so much money down the road. Not only are these snacks amazingly healthy for you but also can make a great gift for that special someone on your list.

  12. Music Streaming

    Why would you pay for a music streaming service when there are so many out there for free? Ok, you might have to listen to a commercial every now and then, but who cares. It’s worth it in the amount of money you will be saving every year.

  13. Keurig Pods

    This is another disposable product that isn’t worth the cost. You can buy some very inexpensive reusable pods along with your favorite coffee and fill them up yourself to save so much money.

  14. Pricey Personal Care Items

    Many personal care items such as body scrubs, shaving creams, facial masks and much more can easily be made at home for pennies compared to the high prices you pay at the drugstore. And most of them can be made with items that you already have on hand at home. Pinterest is a great resource to find DIY personal care recipes for just about anything under the sun that will save you so much money and will be a blast to make.

  15. Soda Soda is another item that is not only pretty costly but is not good for you too. Get in the habit of drinking water instead. It is so much better for your health and it’s free.
  16. Takeout

    Take out can become quite expensive, especially if it is a regular occurrence. I get it, there are some days where there is so much going on it’s hard to find the time to make a healthy dinner. Instead of turning to takeout, prepare yourself in advance for these types of days. Next time you make a casserole for supper, double your recipe and prepare another one for another time, then on those busy days, you simply need to pop it in the oven for a healthy and less expensive meal.

     Meal planning & freezer cooking are great ways to save time so you don’t end up grabbing takeout on those busy days. Check out this FREE freezer cooking workshop to see how easy it is to save time and money!

    Giving up even a few of these things will amaze you just how much money you can save. Give it a try. Remember, start slowly adding a few more items here and there as you go. Let me know how those changes go. Do you have other things to add to the list that helped you save money?

    Remember, DREAM BIG… the possibilities are endless!

    Take care,



Dream BIG... the possibilities are endless!
Take Care,

Kelli M. Riebesehl|This post contains affiliate links; I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase. Read my disclosure for more info.

Welcome. I’m Kelli and I’m really glad to meet you. I’m an adoring wife to my soulmate and mother to four precious kiddos. I’m on a journey teaching others what I’ve learned so far making money blogging and creating and selling digital products. In addition, I love blogging, brownies (the gooey kind :)), the Living Well Planner created by Elite Blog Academy’s Ruth Soukup (just love love love her too!), and oh so many more things and I’ve created this here little blog to share it all with you so grab a cup of whatever it is you’re drinking and sit back and enjoy the ride!
~And let’s make money! I’ll show you how to make extra money online blogging and creating digital media products, and indeed even how to turn it into a full-time career!

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