I’m frugal, not a cheapskate, but there are some things I just won’t spend my money on any more. They may be cleverly marketed as essential, but I’m not buying it (or them)! I don’t miss them! Perhaps I will relax and shell out for some of the goods and services on this list in the future, but at the moment I am happy to do without and I don’t have any sense of deprivation. Here is my list of 15 things I don’t waste money on.
Don’t waste money on these things
Plug in air fresheners
Yuck! Indoor air pollution. Just open a window.
I find so called air fresheners one of the most ridiculous products. They don’t and can’t freshen your air. In actual fact they simply mask smells. They are not good for people with asthma and breathing difficulties either. Horrible things!
A tumble dryer
I don’t have a tumble dryer and line dry everything outside in the summer. Winter in the UK can prove trickier for drying laundry, so I use a dehumidifier or a heated airer if I need to. Both are much cheaper to run than a dryer.
We splashed out on a Meaco dehumidifier similar to this one*, but so far have had it for 6 years and it is still going strong. A worthwhile investment I believe.
When I got married years ago and had more money than sense, I employed a cleaner for a few hours each week. I wish I had done my own cleaning and put the money in a high interest savings account!
Ok, it saved us a few hours at the weekend, but we could easily have whizzed round in a couple of hours and given our two up two down terrace a good going over.
I love doing the garden. Fresh air and exercise – you can’t beat it for stress relief. Mr Shoestring is my head gardener and he doesn’t charge :).
Gardening as a hobby actually saves us money. We have two small veggie patches, a fruit bed and a greenhouse and grown quite a bit of our own food in the summer.
A car wash
It really only takes 15 minutes to wash my little car so I save myself at least a tenner. I take the vacuum cleaner and some cleaners out and give the inside a good going over too.
It smells a lot less chemically when I do it too. The car wash people always leave a very artificial air freshener hanging from the mirror when they do it, which makes me feel sick!
I always colour my hair myself. A while ago I invested in a little pot and brush to enable me to mix up half a pack of dye at a time. It costs about £2.50 tops. I even cut my own hair on occasion. This may be a bit extreme for some, but when I need to be super frugal that is what I will do.
Newspapers and magazines
I no longer waste money on these. You can get them online. I beg old ones from work colleagues to line the cat litter trays, though.
When I look back, I dread to think how much money I spent on glossy magazines. I did enjoy reading them, but they also made me dissatisfied with my life – my clothes, my home and my lifestyle. Better off without them I think.
Branded goods (unless they are second hand)
I can’t afford to pay for a marketing campaign. Designer clothes really don’t appear to be better quality much of the time. I frequently pick them up second-hand and sometimes the quality seems quite shoddy.
Generally speaking I don’t waste money on branded goods because I can always find a cheaper alternative. The number of expensive designer and branded items I pick up in as new condition at boot sales is amazing!
Salon beauty treatments
I go for a DIY approach. For example, I don’t pay to get my nails done; I am a gardener so what would be the point?
VERY occasionally I will go and get my eyebrows waxed at the local beauty college at just a few pounds, but generally I am a low maintenance kind of gal.
I’m not saying I’m not partial to the odd massage – luxury! But again, I can get this done by the trainees at the local college, or I ask for vouchers for birthdays and Christmas.
I have paid for expensive gym memberships in the past but now I just walk, do yoga and dig the veggie patch. I am pretty fit for a woman of a certain age…
Now that we have finally bitten the bullet and got Archie the Shoestring cockerpoo, I will have no excuse not to walk even more!
We have learned some skills over the years and Mr S is particularly handy. Doing your own DIY, as we did here, saves hundreds of pounds.
We have our limits, though, and know when to call in the experts. You won’t catch either of us messing about with the electrics, for example.
I have purchased used items of furniture and home ware almost exclusively for many years. You can get quality items this way at a fraction of their purchase price new.
There is a lot of choice now that many of the big charity shop trains have furniture shops, such as the British Heart Foundation. Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree are also good. You can also pick up furniture for free from Freecycle and Freegle.
We have also done a bit of up cycling on occasion, such as refurbishing this old garden bench. It was free!
I always use one as I have dry skin, but I haven’t found any difference between my £2 pot from Aldi and the expensive stuff they sell in department stores.
These days I like a more natural type of moisturiser as I am trying to minimise the chemicals in our home, but I can still pick up a large pot of Jason Vitamin E Moisturising Creme* on Amazon at the reasonable price of around £7.
Furniture polish and cleaners
Again, because I am quite sensitive to a lot of chemicals, I found the Mr Sheen type furniture polishes made me queasy. Harsh oven cleaners are the same. I feel better without them and save money too.
Pricy greetings cards
I am often stunned at the price of birthday cards, for example. £4 for a card that will end up in the recycling in a few days?? I have been known to make my own Moon Pig type affair using print outs of photos, but when I don’t have time I pick them up in bulk from stores such as Home Bargains for 29p to 99p a card or at the boot sale even cheaper.
What do you refuse to buy as you think it is a total waste of money? What else do you save money on?
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