Recently I posted on our Facebook page asking people to share something they don’t pay for, so many people do. I’ve collected the most suggested ideas in this post in hopes that it will inspire you with some ideas on ways you can simplify and save money.
However, remember that being conscious of your finances does not mean being stingy and miserable. Paying for something on this list doesn’t mean you’re not frugal or you’re failing. You choose where and how you spend your money. These are just ideas to get your creative wheels spinning, especially if you’re looking for ways to save more money.
20 things you don’t have to pay for
Handyman Services – YouTube Can Teach You How To Fix Almost Anything! A few weeks ago our dishwasher stopped working. Jesse researched online, found the part we needed to order on Amazon and watched YouTube videos to fix it! (Note: I wouldn’t recommend fixing things you’re not sure you want to fix. We’ve had a few situations where trying to fix something ourselves ended up costing us a lot more in the long run. So be sensible about if you’re comfortable doing the repair before you start!) Manicures/Pedicures – Kaitlynn taught herself how to do gel and dip manicures by watching (again!) YouTube videos. You’ll have to invest in a few products to do it yourself, but if you’re a more artistically inclined person, you should be able to learn to give yourself (and others!) a great manicure quite easily – for pennies compared to what you would pay in a nail salon. (By the way, you can also “cheat” and use something like Impress nails – which works surprisingly well!) TV streaming services (or cable) – You can often watch free shows online (such as via Tubi or Peacock). Yes, there are commercials, but free is free. 🙂Paper Towels – We stopped buying paper towels years ago and found we could use rags/washcloths just fine! You can see what we use instead here. Bottled water — Purchase a water filter and refill a reusable water bottle or cup. (Read more about how I drink a gallon of water every day.) Haircutting — With a simple groomer kit, you can learn to cut boys’ and men’s hair. Janelle responded on Facebook, saying, “My husband is an active-duty Marine and has to get a haircut every week without fading. That cost us over $60 a month (sometimes more, depending on where he was stationed). I cut been her and now save us over $7200 in total!” Books — Use your local library, Libby and Hoopla, or earn free books from MyReaderRewards.(Here are other ways to get books for free or nearly free.) Amazon Prime – While it can be useful, you can just wait until you have enough stuff in your cart to qualify for free shipping (I wrote a post a while ago about whether Amazon Prime is worth it or not.) Dining Out — Learn how to cook restaurant meals at home and/or buy take-out n-bake or frozen pizza when it’s on sale to have in the freezer when you don’t feel like cooking!Beverages — One of the most expensive items is soft drinks and coffee in restaurants.Drink water or bring your own water from home if you go out and are tempted to stop and have a drink. (Here’s an idea to drink more water!) Animal Care — Dana responded on Facebook, saying: “I groom our dogs myself. Only one is more than $75/br onion gum. When I find out that they need grooming every 6 weeks and we have 3 that need regular grooming, I save our family a lot of money by learning this skill and doing it myself. K-Cups – Buying coffee in bulk packs is much less expensive than buying K-cups. Kimberly said this on Facebook: “$10 for a box of 12 is ridiculous if I can finish it in 2 days. A Maxwell House bus lasts more than 3 weeks.” And you can use a reusable K-Cup if you want to brew coffee in the Keurig without paying high prices for K-Cups. (And don’t forget, now you can get unlimited coffee and tea for 3 months at Panera for FREE.) Oil changes — Learn to do them yourself and you’ll save a lot of money! Gym Membership — You can invest in your own workout equipment (my treadmill that I use almost daily and have had for years has paid for itself time and time again!) or get out and go for a walk/run or find free workout routines on YouTube. (Another very inexpensive option is to buy a one-year subscription to GetHealthyU TV for just $3 for a whole year!) Prepackaged Snacks – Find some quick and easy snack recipes your family will love and make them yourself. It will probably be a lot healthier too! (Here are some of our favorite homemade snack ideas.) Straws – I invested in some steel straws several years ago and we use them pretty much every day! Hair coloring – You can do it yourself at home or ask a friend to do it for you. If you’re not comfortable with that, see if there’s a local beauty school that offers services to the public. Magazines — There are often so many options for getting free magazine subscriptions (we always post them here when we find them!) You can also often read magazines or access them online for free from your local library. Music streaming services — You can listen to music for free on YouTube or Spotify (with a free subscription). Photo Prints — Walgreens and CVS regularly offer free photo prints! Take advantage of this for gifts and for your personal collection.
What else would you add to my list? What’s something you don’t pay for that other people do?
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