100+ Things to STOP Buying to SAVE Big!

Looking to save big money in 2019? This year you can make a huge dent in your family’s budget with these simple steps. Stop the items in this list one at a time. Soon enough you will be hunting down even more ways you can save money.

These are some great ways to save money

Personal care items you can make yourself

Shaving cream is one of those things you don’t need to buy. A nice thick shaving cream can be made by whipping 1 cup oil (any you have on hand will work) with one cup of melted Shea Butter until fluffy. Store in an air-dry container right in your shower.  This shaving cream is nice and thick making it perfect for preventing in-grown hairs and super moisturizing. You can add your favorite essential oil for fragrance. If you choose to buy shaving cream look for a bulk deal.

Skin lotion is one of those things we have a habit of buying when we can make it ourselves in a matter of minutes. Our calming bedtime lotion is perfect for every day and all you have to do is switch out the essential oils for unlimited fragrance options. I often simply use melted shea butter out of a jar I keep in the medicine cabinet. It melts in your hands easily making this convenient.

Shampoo is one of those easy to make or even do without things. Many love the no-poo method and it is great but for me I need shampoo. I make my own moisturizing shampoo bars with melt and pour goats milk soap, red raspberry seed oil, mild essential oils, and coconut oil.  This makes my long hair look and feel great while keeping it healthy.

You can save big money on body wash. You can give it up for simple bar soap or make your own with castile soap, essential oils, and a dash of your favorite lotion. Simply store in the shower and shake before each use.

Specialty soaps can run up to $5 a bar. That is crazy when you think about it. You can make your own fancy scented soaps with all of the great add-ins at home. Give our Milk and Honey Soap a try or go for a healing calendula soap.

Feminine products really cut into our budget. Totally unfair when you consider that you don’t really have a choice in if we have our cycles or not. The good news is you don’t have to shell out money each month. You have reusable options including cloth pads, and menstrual cups.

Deodorant is one of those things you need. It is also one of the biggest offenders for being packed with toxins you really should not be putting on your body. The good news is you can make your own safe and natural deodorant. Al you need is a simple base, even your favorite lotion will do and an odor-killing essential oil blend.

Save money by making these items instead of buying them

“You deserve to pamper yourself while you save money.”

Make your own setting spray by mixing water and glycerin.

It is really easy to make your own makeup brush cleaning solution from simple items around your house to clear away buildup of makeup, grease, and bacteria to keep your skin clear. You can even make your own makeup brush cleaning mat.

Lip balm is one of those things you spend a fortune on. If you’re like me tube after tube comes up missing (or get’s eaten by a toddler.) You can even buy a kit to get you started with your first time making all-natural lip balm.

Wrinkle cream is one of those things companies make for cheap and sell for a lot. Replace yours with a lotion made with argon oil.

Coconut oil makes one of the best and most affordable makeup remover options.

Apple cider vinegar makes a great skin toner.

Make your own face masks will simple ingredients. Avocado is a great soothing to the skin. Give this Avacado face mask with activated charcoal a try and you will never buy a facemask again.

Skin salves are easy to make with simple oils, shea butter, and beeswax.

Eye serum is so costly. The good news is I found the perfect one that does everything from making puffy dark circles disappear to preventing crows feet. And you can make this easy eye serum yourself!

Health and healing

Save money on pain relievers by giving pain-relieving essential oils a try.

You can sew your own heating packs or make one by filling a new sock with rice.

Do you have a hard time with sleeping? Skip the sleep medications and give a relaxing soak in Lavender Bath Salt a try.

Make muscle rub with your favorite oil and a pain soothing essential oil.

Make your own bug spray by mixing witch hazel with essential oils like lemon grass and peppermint.

Make your own sunscreen for a fraction of the cost. The key ingredient? Zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is the same ingredient used in sunscreen from the store.

Baby care

Diapers are kind of a necessity for babies unless you are a master of elimination communication. For us cloth diapers have been an amazing way to save money.

Baby wipes are much like diapers. A cloth version is the best way to save. If cloth is not your cup of tea make your own baby wipes with a roll of paper towels cut in half and a solution of water and a squirt of baby wash.

Burp clothes are one of those things they sell to parents that you don’t really need. A pack of flour sack towels make a great burp cloth, diaper, nursing cover, or swaddle blanket. Really the most universal thing you can buy.

Changing pads have one use and they can get in the way. Instead pack a baby blanket or flour sack towel in the diaper bag to cover changing tables.

Baby nail clippers make parents around the globe cringe. The good news is you don’t need them. Simply bite down babies nails after a bath.

Baby scratch mittens Make me laugh. honestly if you keep nails well trimmed you don’t need another thing to get lost. If you really need them baby socks work just fine and stay on better.

Diaper cream is one of those things you can make yourself for less. I love mixing simple coconut oil and zinc oxide for a smooth, healing, and protective diaper cream.

Home and cleaning

If you are not picky about your dish soap you can switch to a homemade version to save money. I prefer dawn because I use it on so many other homemade items but if you are not particular castile soap makes the perfect base for your dish soap.

If you have a dishwasher you can save a ton by making your own dishwasher detergent.

Window cleaner is such a waste of money. They trick you into thinking you are getting a great deal on that blue liquid. The truth is you can get a better streak-free clean without all of that for even less. The secret? Vinegar.

I love scrubbing bubbles when nesting my family knows to run when I pull it out. The good news is I discovered I can make my own with hydrogen peroxide and a bit of dawn dish detergent.

Scoring powder is a cleaning staple. The good news is you can use baking soda. I find it perfect for cleaning counters and such.

You can save big bucks by making your own laundry detergent. You can find dozens of great recipes to try to fit every need you have. This one might take some trial and error but once you find the perfect fit you will never go back to commercial brands. A key component to any detergent that is often overlooked in homemade versions is surfactants. Be sure to include several here are a few you can buy online, sodium chloride (salt), Sodium gluconate, and my favorite Decyl Glucoside Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate.

Make your own all-Purpose Cleaner by adding essential oils to rubbing alcohol, a squirt of dish soap, and top it off with water.

Replace your floor cleaner with a bucket of water, a squirt of dawn, and a cup of vinegar.

Swiffers are so handy but the cost of refills adds up fast. The good news is you can make your own washable Swiffer pads and solution. I like to use cheap microfiber cloths and a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner with a Swiffer sweeper base.

Cleaning does not have to take a chunk out of your budget.

Options for homemade toilet cleaner have been popping up including toilet bombs. Here are 3 great recipes for all natural toiliet cleaners.

Make your own grout cleaner with a bit of baking soda and dawn dish detergent.

Skip the bleach and put the sun to work getting stains out. Hang wet laundry in the sun with a spritz of lemon juice and watch the magic happen. Not only will the sun bleach and kill germs but you will save money by not running your dryer for a simple green change.

Furniture and silver polish can be made with high-quality oils and a bit of beeswax.

Replace your dryer sheets with wool dryer balls. For a bit of fragrance, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

Paper towels are a huge waste. Switch to unpaper towels or grab a couple big packs of flour sack towels. Toss in with your household linens to wash. for things like bacon grease, you can use the insides of boxes from cereal and other foods you already buy.

Disinfectant wipes are a staple in our home with so many children running around. To save money we stopped buying them and started making our own. When t-shirts get worn down I cut them up. The material does not need to have edges surged and the fabric gets a new life. I toss them into a storage container with disinfectant. I wash them in with the other household linens and restock.

These are some great ways to save moneyt

In the kitchen

Making your own chili and taco seasoning mixes is easy with just basic spices in your kitchen.

Skip the baking mixes and learn the basics of cooking from scratch for a big savings.

Homemade mayonnaise is easy to make and tastes great

You can make your own ketchup with tomato paste, vinegar, and a bit of sugar.

Making your own bread is easy and satisfying. Buy supplies in bulk and pay as little as 35 cents a gallon.

Buying gravy mixes is a covenant option but Homemade gravy is easy to make

Apple cider vinegar is great for improving your health.

Pumpkin-flavored coffee is a seasonal favorite you can make yourself with pumpkin pie spice syrup.

Canned soups are a budget killer when you can make large batches of homemade soup and store in the freezer. I love to fill freezer bags with everything needed for soup and dump them into the crockpot at the start of the day, still frozen solid. Soup is ready by dinner.

Making your own pasta sauce is a great way to save money on an already frugal meal. I a canned pasta sauce with a can of tomato paste and some dried herbs to make the perfect homemade pizza sauce that gets us a lot more than the small cans at the store that add up.

Frozen pizza can cut into your budget when making your own homemade pizza is cheaper and better for you.  Ready rice mixes

Ready rice mixes have a huge mark up over the cost of cooking plain rice and adding your own seasonings.

Evaporated milk can be made by creating a thick milk from powdered milk.

Make your own Jams and Jellies for huge savings. This is a great way to preserve your garden or deals you find.

Condensed sweetened milk works on the same principle as Evaporated milk but with the addition of a bit of sugar to sweeten.

Pickles are easy and cheap to make from your garden or cucumbers on found on sale.

Making simple changes in your kitchen will save money.

Pre-made pie crusts cost more than making your own in just a few moments’ time. Make your own pie crust quick and easy.

Buttercream frosting is a staple for your cupcakes and other treats. The good news is it is a breeze to make on your own.

When you buy shredded cheese you are often paying for the convenience and even fillers. Buy block cheese and put your cheese grater to work for big savings.

Nutella has been in the news a lot lately for being unhealthy for you. The good news is you can make your own chocolate hazelnut spread and even do it sugar-free. Blend cocoa powder, ground hazelnuts, coconut oil, and stevia extract together for a healthy and low-cost hazelnut spread.

Peanut butter can be made simply by running peanuts through a high quality blender. If it will not blend smooth add a bit of oil.

Homemade salad dressings are a breeze to whip up.

Instead of buying buttermilk make your own buttermilk, add a bit of vinegar to a glass of milk and let it sit for a few moments. Or use the whey from making homemade yogurt instead.

We use apple scraps to make our own apple cider vinegar.

Yogurt is a breeze to make yourself either with a yogurt maker or even with your crockpot.

Pancake mix is not worth the cost when you can make the best pancakes just as quick from scratch.

Syrup can be made at home easy. I love making everything from maple to apple cider, pumpkin pie, and even mulberry syrup. I have even figured out how to make it with natural sugar free sweeteners.

Making your own granola is so easy and can be customized to any style of eating you prefer. Hit Pinterest for plenty of granola recipes.

Granola bars are easy to make in so many verities you will never get bored.

Marshmallows are easier and healthier to make at home.

Frozen french fries are a waste of money when you consider the cost of cutting potatoes to make your own fries.

Poptarts can be made from scratch and filled with anything you can imagine.

Hotpockes are handy but full of things you really don’t want to eat. Make your own to pack for lunch and watch your grocery budget drop.

Kids love uncrustables and the good news is you can make them yourself with the right cutter.

Skip the sloppy joe mix and make your own for a fraction of the cost with my recipe here. If you like that try these sloppy cheeseburgers.

TV dinners can be handy but you can turn leftovers into your own TV dinner collection in the freezer.

Vanilla Extract can be made simply by cutting a vanilla bean long way and place into a bottle filled with cheap vodka. Let sit for two weeks and keep topped off for a nearly endless supply. When the color stops getting dark simply toss in another vanilla bean. Don’t have time to make your own vanilla extract? Try a simple substitution for vanilla extract.

Tomato Sauce is a cooking staple but you can make it yourself for less. Canning tomato sauce is a great way to preserve your garden.

Skip buying bread crumbs and make your own. This is a great use for the heals of your loaf of bread or dried-out cornbread. Just freeze until ready to use.

More around the house

One thing that feels like throwing away money is napkins. Sure they are cheap but they don’t get you much bang for your buck. A stack of cloth napkins can go a long way to save you money.

Disposable dishes are convenient but you save money by using washable dishes over and over.

Make your own fire starters with toilet paper tubes and dryer lint.

Stop buying bottled water and get yourself a water filter bottle.

Instead of buying storage containers and baskets look for items around the house, you can upcycle.

Stop buying this stuff for your kids and SAVE MONEY


Homemade play dough is a breeze to make. Try out peppermint, gingerbread, pumpkin pie and many more play dough recipes we have.

Kids love finger paints and you can whip them up yourself in no time at all. You can have even more fun by making scented finger paints.

White school glue can be made with flour and water for a quick paste for school projects.

DIY puffy paint is super easy to make with flour, water, and tempera paint.

Face paint can be so much fun for kids. The good news is you can make face paint yourself for next to nothing.

You can make your own bubble solution with water and dish detergent. Make bubbles stay longer by adding a bit of Glycerin.


Simple At Home - Making Life Simple Again
Huge list of things you can do to save money!

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  • Heather Barney says:

    Excellent list! Thank you!

  • Mommy Jhy | www.myfavoritelists.com says:

    Oh wow, what an exhaustive list!

    • Jenn Gerlach says:

      It is best to start slowly with just a few things and work up.