Broke; that’s me. The holidays have left me on the precipice of a financial cliff! Well, I’m exaggerating slightly, but it is true that I overspent during the holidays and need to spend much less money over the next several months trying to get back on track!
The pastoral scene in the photo above was taken with a 300mm zoom lens from across a rural highway in the eastern part of San Diego County. When people think “San Diego”, they think sunshine, endless beaches and a big city environment. Yes, we have all of those, but we have a picturesque back country, too, filled with rolling hills, small quaint towns with farms and ranches dotting the landscape. We are lucky people!
I bet you are wondering about my photo above – why did I choose a photo of a cows grazing in a pasture as the lead photo for 42 Things Not to Buy When You’re Broke? Well, at the top of my list of 42 things not to buy when you’re broke is beef!
In my neck of the woods (Southern California), beef is at a record high. So, when grocery shopping, I’m choosing chicken or pork. Even fish, which is traditionally not cheap, is cheaper than beef.
I read online that people are adopting “Meatless Monday” in their weekly menu planning, like it’s a new concept or something. Well, as far back as I can remember (and that’s a lot of years!), that concept has been around as a way to save money or just as a way to encourage people to eat less meat. But, I guess with each successive new generation, concepts that have been around a long time take on a freshness as each new generation has their “aha” moment!
Anyway, I digress…Have the holidays left you on the precipice of a financial cliff? Here are 42 things NOT to buy… Click To Tweet
Here are 42 things NOT to buy when you’re broke (this post contains affiliate links for your convenience to free or cheaper stuff. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.):
- Beef – buy chicken and pork
- Magazines – read blogs
- Newspapers – read online
- Books – borrow from the library and online
- Sodas – drink water, coffee or tea
- Fancy coffee drinks – make your own
- Chocolate milk – make your own with powder or syrup
- Movie candy – bring your own
- Microwave popcorn – make your own
- Packaged snacks – make your own
- Exotic fruit – stick with the basics
- Liquid soap – buy bar soap
- New clothes – do without, wear old
- New shoes – ditto
- The newest, latest, greatest whatever – do without and wait for several updates (or wait a few years)
- Stamps – pay bills online & email family and friends
- Greeting cards – use free online resources
- Hobby and craft supplies – use what you have
- Gifts – make your own from hobby and craft supplies you already have or create a gift certificate for a service
- Gift wrap – make your own from stuff on hand, i.e., use a paper bag and decorate it creatively
- Plants – propagate yourself
- Bottled water – drink tap water
- Fast food and restaurant food – eat at home
- Gas – don’t drive anywhere unless you have a minimum of 3 places to go; walk or ride a bicycle
- Paper products – don’t buy unnecessary ones, i.e., paper towels (use cloth), facial tissue (use only for their intended purpose)
- Plastic food storage bags – use plastic or glass containers, jars, bowls
- Printer ink – take your cartridge in and have it refilled
- Expensive cleaning products – pare down to basics
- Low fat or fat-free milk – buy whole milk and add water
- Buttermilk – add vinegar to regular milk to make buttermilk
- Biscuit mix, pancake mix – make your own from scratch
- Spice mixes – make you own from spices you have on hand
- Barbecue sauce – make your own
- Canned sauces and gravies – make your own
- Canned soups – make your own
- Frozen dinners (aka TV dinners) – cook from scratch
- Other frozen items, such as garlic bread, appetizers, pancakes, waffles, pies, ice cream treats, etc. – make your own
- Convenience foods, such as boxed foods – make from scratch
- Fruit juice and frozen fruit juice – eat whole fruits instead
- Toys, games, puzzles, sports equipment – use what you have
- Tools – if you don’t have what you need, borrow it from a neighbor
- Things in bulk unless you will use them by the expiration date! In other words, don’t waste!
I’m sure there are many more things not to buy when you’re broke, other than what is on my list of 42! But, you know what is the best way to save money? Don’t spend it!
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How to Live on Beans and Rice for a Week by Crystal at Money Saving Mom
Budget Living: Readers’ Tips for Living on Next-to-Nothing from Apartment Therapy
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