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If you’re looking to be the most frugal shopper that you can be, there is a list of things you should buy while there are their more expensive counterparts that you shouldn’t buy. In some cases it is nothing more than just making a different selection that is more economical. In other ways you will need to put forth some extra effort to make things on your own rather than buy them.
Many of the things on my don’t buy list are convenient, and believe me I understand how nice convenience is. But, in the name of being frugal you are often giving of your time in order to put more of your hard-earned money back in your pocket.
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If this convenience seems hard for you to part with, try thinking of the money you save on the don’t buy items being like an hourly wage. If you spend an hour making some of these things rather than buying them and save $20 in the process, in essence you just earned a $20 an hour wage.
Living frugally is always a trade off. However, in my case, it is a trade off that has paid off in spades as we are paying off our mortgage in the next couple of months. And, we have a really nice house.
This isn’t all we have done, however, we also have a fully funded emergency fund, have college savings for our kids, and are raising a family that now includes eight children. While we do make frugal choices, we do live life, too.
I have shared everything I know about living frugally in an e-course, called How to Be Frugal. You can find out about it here and even try the first unit for free!
I am sure I could add more to this list of what to buy and what not to buy, but here are plenty of things to get started with including several recipe links as well!
When it comes to being frugal, buy this…but don’t buy that!
(this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you)
Buy quick cooking oatmeal in bulk, whatever flavorings you like, and sandwich bags. Don’t buy individual oatmeal packets. Here’s how I make my oatmeal packets.
Buy a bread maker to make your own breads and dough. Then you can make your own cinnamon rolls don’t buy ones that are already made. They really are easy. Here is my white bread dough recipe and cinnamon rolls recipe.
Make your own cinnamon bread don’t buy the expensive bakery kind. Using your bread maker and the same white bread dough, you can transform it into cinnamon bread.
Buy the ingredients you need for breakfast sandwiches. Buy bagels, English muffins, eggs, cheese, ham, sausage, even croissants. Do this rather than buying packaged breakfast sandwiches. Yes, you can freeze the ones you make! Don’t buy frozen breakfast sandwiches.
Buy some basic baking ingredients and you can make your own pancakes and waffles. Don’t buy pancake and waffle mix.
Make your own pancakes and waffles and freeze them. Don’t buy frozen pancakes and waffles.
Buy big bags of snack items and create your own individual sizes. Don’t buy individual snacks, salty and sweet, in snack sizes.
Make your own frozen pizza dough and homemade pizzas. Don’t buy pizza dough or ready made pizzas. Again, these things are really easy to make on your own. Here is how I make my own dough. Here are a couple of more gourmet pizzas BLT pizza and taco pizza.
Make your own French bread and use some butter and fresh garlic to make your own garlic bread. Don’t buy frozen garlic bread. Here is my French bread recipe, and it doesn’t use a bread maker! So easy!
Keep reading. There are still more tips!
When you buy your own chicken, you can add some vegetables and make your own stocks and broths. Don’t buy prepared broth and stock.
Buy yogurt in the large tub. You can even make your own. Add your own fresh fruit, and you’ve got something much more healthy, too. Don’t buy the expensive individual yogurt cups.
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season and can or freeze them. Don’t buy canned or frozen vegetables and fruits.
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables and fruits in their natural form and clean and cut them yourself. Don’t buy these things already washed and cut for you. A salad spinner makes this pretty easy.
Just a few more tips!
Buy a full portion of things like watermelon. Find a creative way to use “extras” like watermelon popsicles. Don’t buy smaller amounts. In most cases, you pay nearly the same price for the smaller portion as you do for the full portion.
Make your own salad dressings. Don’t buy already made salad dressings. There are numerous recipes all over the Internet, they are so easy to make, and they are much more healthy than the ones you can buy. This one is our favorite.
Buy milk and white vinegar or lemon juice to make your own buttermilk. Don’t buy actual buttermilk.
Make your own sweet snacks. Our favorites are these cookies, caramel corn, brownies, sweet breads, almond bars, and then there is this Mexican fried ice cream. It is all SO good! Don’t buy sweet snacks and things in the store.
Being frugal certainly takes some intention, but it also has great reward. Not only will you be saving money, but you will also be eating more healthy meals as you control what you put in them. When it comes to being frugal, make sure that you buy this…and don’t buy that!