If You Want To Spend Less, Here Are 5 Things To Stop Buying

It’s easy to list ways friends blow money, but tougher to turn a similar focus on yourself. If you step back and evaluate your spending with a fresh eye, you’ll probably find several areas in which you can cut spending significantly.

Main Street lists several suggestions for unnecessary products and services you can cut out of your life in order to save big. Here are five:

* Visiting the coffee shop. Well, you can still visit. Just stop ordering stuff.

* Bottled water. Filter your own water and use your own bottle again and again.

* Subscriptions to stuff you don’t read. If you get too busy, magazines and newspapers can become nags, making you feel bad for not taking the time to read. Make them shut up by canceling.

* Cable. You can stream plenty of entertainment online. Just stop by friends’ houses to watch sporting events.

* Simple home repairs. Take the time to learn to fix your own stuff, rather than calling in professionals to do everything for you.

12 Things You Should Stop Paying for in 2012 [Main Street]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cat says:


    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      It’s a good thing people are making lists of things that are common sense. How else will we know that buying things we don’t really need will save us money? If you’ll excuse me now I have to go read the Top 10 ways to not hit yourself in the head with a hammer.

      BTW I preferred Duane Dibbley

      • Cat says:

        Duane Dibbley?

        That can’t be right…

        • layton59 says:

          I am a 52 year old non-nerd male living in Ohio USA and I approve of all the Red Dwarf references. Now who all wants to go to that wonderful amusement park known as Rimmer World. At least let us visit the planet where the historical wax figures at at war with each other. So much for spending less. Smeg and double smeg.

      • Don't Bother says:

        Honestly, some people don’t understand where their money goes each month. Yes, it is common sense to say “This is not essential, therefore I can’t pay” … but some people have different definitions of essential.

        I know some people who would spend money on cable and not pay for a new dish washer.

        Many of the things in our lives are conveniences–microwaves, washers, tvs. Heck, some people would see electricity as being a convenience. It’s all about finding the conveniences that you “need” more and doing out the ones that are “wants.”

        I agree with you that I know I don’t need cable in my life, but at the same time… it’s a hard leap. Even if I can pay for Netflix and other streaming media. I mean, how am I going to watch Celebrity Wifeswap the night it airs?!?

        • LiveToEat says:

          With an antenna.

          • Don't Bother says:

            You, with your logic.

          • cameronl says:

            I came in here to comment about the antenna. Every time I see “lose the cable” comments, they add “streaming on line” as an alternative, but no one ever mentions just pulling stuff out of the air… for FREE!

            Then you can save by reducing your high speed internet to not-so-high-speed-but-fast-enough-for-Facebook-and-email-because-really-that’s-about-all-you-use-the-computer-for-on-line-anyway speed.

            • wen says:

              Sometimes it’s not an option. I couldn’t pull anything with an antenna (could have been because of trees with branches over the house that were taken down earlier this week) so I’ve been utilizing Netflix for about a year and a half, maybe even 2 years :)

            • Anna Kossua says:

              Indeed! Broadcast TV is pretty good these days! Pretty much all the broadcasters now have a .2 and a .3 channel. So on like 9.1, they’ll have the regular network programming. 9.2 and 9.3 may be a different rerun channel like AntennaTV or MeTV. The rerun channels are great, and they don’t run infomercials in the middle of the night. The best, though, is PBS. There are 3 PBS stations in my area, and each operates 3 separate channels. In total, my rabbit-ears TV picks up about 30 channels.

              The only problem is it’s digital broadcast, so the channel will randomly go out if you turn your head or stand up. It’s always at the worst time:

              “I have solved the murder! The killer is…” NO SIGNAL
              “Emergency evacuation! People living in the neighborhood of…” NO SIGNAL “…need to leave their homes immediately!”


    • bsh0544 says:

      Seriously? This was disemvoweled? It’s a valid comment. These same things have been on the last 9347234 lists of “how to save money” and they’re no less obvious this time. I only open these threads for the snarky comments these days.

      • Galium says:

        I am sorry but you are wrong #2 was not on list 9326234, nor was #3, 4 on the 8347334 list. All four where not on lists 1347176, 7138234, 4387134, and 9176893. When list 1 through 198439 came out bottle water was not even around . Not a criticism, just trying to keep the record straight. Definitely a Duh article.

    • CosmosHuman says:

      Just had to say “double ywn”!

  2. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Visiting the coffee shop

    Sorry but this one doesn’t work for people in Canada. No matter how hard we try, no matter what completely batshit crazy brewing methods we use, we cannot perfectly replicate the taste of a Tim Horton’s coffee at home.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      I’m so happy Tim Hortons is in Maine, too. Love the appl cider and timbits.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        The coffee TH uses/sells in the US is different that what they use in the Great White North.

        By law. Because at least some of their beans come from Cuba.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      Stop using matted moose fur as coffee filters.

    • microcars says:

      just hire someone to bring it to you at home.
      problem solved.

    • Lethe says:

      Not to mention the psychological factor. I don’t drink coffee, but whenever I suggest to co-workers that giving up one or two of their daily half-dozen double doubles would save a considerable amount of money in a year, they look at me like I suggested selling their children.

    • sparrowmint says:

      Why would you want to? It has a disgusting taste. The addiction to it must be similar to that of cigarettes. I’ll never understand how people can sit in a 20 car line at the drive-thru there, they must be afflicted by some sort of mental illness.

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        I bypass those chumps by parking for five minutes, walking up to the counter, and then out again with my coffee.

        Haha, Drive-Thru suckers.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Sure you can. Just buy a gallon jug of moose pee.

    • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

      Well, that’s what I’d expect from America’s Hat. ;o)

  3. LightningUsagi says:

    Just make sure you’re not saving *too* much.

  4. Jack T Ripper says:

    I think the SNL advice is still the best. “Don’t buy stuff you cannot afford”

    And f-u and your ‘dump cable’ comment. Tell that to my kids. Tell them that Mickey Mouse doesn’t live here anymore and that is why dad is always on the computer.

    How about this… You don’t need a bazillion meg download speed on your home computer. Dump your netflix account and slow down your internet and I’ll bet you save more than dumping your unnecessary cable channels.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      My high speed internet is $50 a month.

      Adding just basic cable (no Disney channel, etc) is another $89 a month (no promo price for me).

      Netflix is $8 a month.

      Not sure how you came to your math.

      • Scuba Steve says:

        My cable bill is $103 a month. $45 internet, $45 Phone, $13 Taxes and rental fees. If I remove the phone (I work from home, gotta have something) its $65 + Taxes and fees.

        • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

          But that all doesn’t include basic cable tv right? I pay about $17 a month for the over the air channels in HD (worth it to me, I get it from two major cities). But basic cable is almost twice as expensive as my standard high speed internet service.

          So I don’t see a way of lowering my internet cost to offset a basic cable bill (let alone, premium channels like Disney).

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            Where I live, basic cable is only OTA channels, which I can get for free OTA. If I recall, it costs in the ballpark of $20/month plus another $7 in taxes and doesn’t count towards the bundle discount for internet.

            If I could get expanded basic for $27/month, I might consider it, especially if it was coupled with an internet discount.

            • HomerSimpson says:

              Many areas have it where if you drop cable from the cable+internet they’ll just raise the HSI part so you’re paying as much as you were anyway (looking at YOU Comcrap)

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Prices seem to really vary for this.

          Where I live…

          Expanded Basic TV – $65
          Mid-Tier Internet (bundled price) – $35

          I dumped cable TV and the internet price went up to $45. We cut the cord 3 years ago (when Roku came out) and were already paying for Netflix and cell phones. We got rid of cable TV and a home phone and came out significantly ahead. It was worth spending $10 more for internet if it meant saving $55 by dumping cable TV.

        • NeverLetMeDown says:

          I pay $94/month including taxes for cable (~300 channels, including HD and DVR), 25Mbps internet, and phone (Verizon FiOS). When my first year promo is up in a few months, I’ll either get them to extend it, or just swap to one of the two other cable options I have (Time Warner Cable or RCN). Should be able to get a deal that might even be a bit better.

        • gman863 says:

          Switch to OOMA. It’s the top rated VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service.

          The box is a one time investment of $199 at Fry’s ($249 at Best Buy). From there, all you pay are federal and state taxes (in my case, $3.42 per month). It comes with the usual goodies (free long distance, caller ID, call waiting, etc) and – for an additional $40 – you can transfer your existing phone #.

          At a $40/month savings versus what you’re paying now, the OOMA box will pay for itself in 5 months – the rest is gravy.

      • Jack T Ripper says:

        Prices are different depending on where you live I guess. My internet bill is more than half of what my cable bill is. In fact, I could cover my internet bill just by dropping 4 channels off my cable. I’m not to the point in my financial situation where I have to start cutting things out, so that isn’t necessary right now, but you better believe those channels are going to go before my internet does.

        • LabGnome says:

          Yeah. From what I have seen most people will save significantly more by going internet+netflix over cable which is why it is a common suggestion for saving money. I imagine people who live in areas where you have to get more fancy for broadband internet pay more.

          The advice is still sound in that it is something to look into as a way to reduce costs.

        • dwtomek says:

          So your initial stance is f-u I cant dump cable, but when pressed your stance is f-u cable you are the first to go! I like the cut of your jib. Have you considered politics?

    • Cat says:

      My kids are better off without Mickey and his marketing machine. Educational and entertaining programming on PBS and Roku is free. And the latest Disney marketing toy is not being begged for.

    • teamplur says:

      My son watches sesame street and some times dora on the netflix all the time. He had his alphabet, and numbers 1-20 learned before he was even 2. He can recognize all the letters and mostly sing the song in order, and he can read all the numbers and count to 20. Can you say that about anything the mouse does? There’s plenty for kids to watch on netflix and it’s always on for like $7. VS $60 for cable TV? That’s an easy choice

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Visiting the coffee shop. – I stop for breakfast and coffee, and I’ve seen that (if I want to) I can cut what I spend there in half. Smaller coffee, smaller sandwhich, etc, which is healthier anyway.

    Bottled water. – From what I know, it’s not good to continually drink out of one plastic bottle (as in, backwash, bacteria, stuff like that). I’d rather just spend $1 for a big, icy cold bottle of water when I am thirsty, instead of having a room temp bottle of water I carry around all day.

    Subscriptions to stuff you don’t read. – There are many forums where you can find people posting about free magazine subscriptions. If you are just looking for stuff to read on the throne, subscribe to any and all free magazines. You may find one you really enjoy.

    Cable. – 100% agree, cable is a waste. Get yourself a Roku, or similar device.

    Simple home repairs. – 100% as well. Even if you have to lay out money for tools you don’t own, you may very well have a use for them down the line. Plus, your repair skill goes up 1 point per repair.

    BTW, I don’t know what the rest of the 12 are since I clicked on the link, didn’t see it on THAT page, so I left it alone.

    • KixStar says:

      Make your sandwich and coffee at home, and wash the water bottle you reuse every day. Dur.

      • chiieddy says:

        I think the poster above thinks they’re being advised to re-use a purchased plastic bottle over and over. This is not recommended. You should knock out $15 and buy something.

    • chiieddy says:

      Re: Water. Buy a metal water bottle. I use a Thermos Roho I got cheap on a 2 for 1 deal from Woot some time back, but they’re going to be about $15 max each. Amazon even sells them for about $14 ea.

      I fill mine to the brim with ice and a bit of filtered water out of my PUR pitcher (stored in my fridge) each morning. The ice melts through the day, keeping my water cool.

      I keep a beer/can cozy on mine as well for two reasons. 1 – to keep the sweat from the bottle as the ice melts from making a water ring on my desk and 2 – to differentiate my bottle from the exact same bottle (2 for deal on woot, remember) my husband has. We get beer/can cozies for free at various area sporting events. I think my husband uses a NE Revolution one and I use an American Outlaws (USMNT Soccer supporters) one. We’re soccer fans.

      I’ve been using the bottles since June and it’s worked very well.


      Re: Home Repairs – Home Depot will rent tools and for some bigger jobs (we once had to rent a jack hammer, yes, a jack hammer) there are sometimes independent tool rental places you can do better with.

  6. conquestofbread says:

    Cigarettes. Easier said than done, I know.

    My boyfriend has tried to quit a few times and hasn’t been successful. The medication gave him weird night terrors and he was sleepwalking.

    I think it’s because he doesn’t really want to quit. He enjoys smoking too much and his job is highly stressful.

    I try to get him to buy loose and roll his own, but he hasn’t listened.

    • iamjustjules says:

      cigarettes are a crusher. $5 a pack in virginia is cheap compared to everywhere else. I Just started nicorette and going to the gym to keep healthy. a monthly gift is a good help to keep off those smokes

      • Cacao says:

        My uncle had a scam going with the truck driver who transported parts to his NY plant from VA. Driver would sell my uncle cartons of cigs at low VA prices. My uncle would resell at lower than NY prices. Win/win?

    • chiieddy says:

      Thankfully, I don’t smoke, nor does anyone in my house.

      That said, states are looking to crack down on the self rolling machines for cigarettes. Be aware.

    • KyBash says:

      Check out vaping. Google for a forum on (the wildly misnamed) e-cigarettes and learn what it’s all about.

      As long as you start with a simple kit (about $25) and don’t go wild with mods, vari-volts, and tanks, vaping will probably cost less than $2 a day. That’s it’s healthier, more convenient, and tastes better are perks.

    • Not Given says:

      I got my DH to switch to a pipe for several years. Then a little over a year ago he announced he was ready to quit. He used the drug but he didn’t have any weird side effects and the insurance company paid for it. He said the first week as it built up in his blood it took more and more of the reward out of smoking. He still wanted it but smoking didn’t help so he was able to quit.

  7. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    As long as I can pay my fool to dance for me every third night, that’s all I need in life.

    Ah, the simple pleasures in life.

  8. Dallas_shopper says:

    Only things I pay for on that list are cable and laundry detergent. Eyeroll.

  9. evilrobot says:

    #6) Take your kids to Petco and tells them it’s “the zoo”.

    • Tim says:

      Ehh. I live in D.C., so the zoo is free anyway. As are most of the museums.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I have a coworker who does just that with Cabellas. His kids call it their favorite museum because of the taxidermy and fish tanks.

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        I knew a divorced guy that only saw his kids on weekends or every other. He would take them to Toys R Us and let them just play with everything and anything. Didn’t buy much, but it was cheap entertainment, if just a smidge sad.

  10. bendee says:

    “If you get too busy, magazines and newspapers can become nags, making you feel bad for not taking the time to read. Make them shut up by canceling.”

    Got it. Canceling my Consumer Reports subscription now. Thanks for the tip, Phil!

    • JusticeGustine says:

      Me too. Most of the content that is useful is online. Visit the library for anything else.

  11. chiieddy says:

    Let’s see.

    1. I dropped my SBUX visits to 1x per week and thinking about killing my AM visits already. Completely stopping is unrealistic since my husband works for them.

    2. Have been doing this already

    3. I only subscribe to one magazine (Money) and I read it front to back. Sorry.

    4. I haven’t had cable since 2009. An antenna on the roof gives me access to networks and ESPN streams a lot of events. The rest can be found at the local pub or city soccer bar. 1 or 2 beers = ~$10 or so depending.

    5. We do what we can. I will not do my own roof (we paid for that last spring). I will not do my own floor refinishing (we’re paying for that this spring) but I did (well my husband did) reconstruct the rotted wooden basement stairs for under $500. I’m looking at some refurbishment for my 1960s/70s kitchen at the moment (i.e. replacing the orange and yellow linoleum floor with black and white checked sticky tiles = ~$100).

    So… where can I cut spending again?

    • chiieddy says:

      Expanded for the full list off the RTFA [Note: Slide shows suck] :)

      Incandescent Light Bulbs – I only use these in a 3-way lamp that WILL NOT take CFLs or LEDs for some reason. It’s from the 50s which might have something to do with it.

      Baggage Fees – I have never paid. I pack VERY light and use a small bag (NOT a roller board) to pack clothes when traveling. I have done up to 9 days in one small bag. I just do laundry on the trip.

      Baby Food – No kids. However, my sister has one of those things and she never bought baby food. She purees vegetables for my niece.

      Credit Score Fees – Wait, people still pay for those?

      Land Line – Haven’t had since I moved in 2009. Same as the cable. We use dry loop DSL for Internet.

      Cleaning supplies – Time vs. Money saved. My time is money. I get about 6 months of detergent for $10 at BJs. Sorry. Not worth my while to make my own. I do use vinegar for many cleaning purposes, but I still buy bleach.

      ATM Fees – Charles Schwab is my bank. They pay me back all ATM fees. ‘Nuff said.

      So, there. Only somewhat valid may be the laundry detergent, but I submit they’re not saving me money there.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Where can you get a free (FICO) credit score?

        • chiieddy says:


          • One-Eyed Jack says:

            Credit Karma is a credit score simulator. It’s not exactly what a potential creditor will see (but probably close).

            I have an account there and just checked it yesterday.

            • chiieddy says:

              Yes, but there’s really no need to pull your score officially unless you’re about to do a big time loan, so this shouldn’t be a regular expense.

    • thrillcook says:

      Damn I wish I had ESPN3 still, my ISP Time Warner Cable requires a cable and internet subscription to have access. A roommate requires DirecTv(redzone) so ESPN is getting our money from Directv and TWC is getting our internet money, but we still can’t get to watch ESPN3. TWC is being greedy

  12. nybiker says:

    The full list includes baby food. Well, that was an easy one to stop doing. ;)

    The credit score suggestion does not apply to the FICO credit score which is the one I thought all the companies pull. So, getting a free KreditKarma score doesn’t seem like it’s the way to go. Am I wrong or right with that thought? I know about getting credit reports and do so already.

    I can’t get rid of my landline since my Verizon DSL is tied to it. But I do use my cell, and VoIP to make calls. And recently Verizon tweaked my account so that my dsl is now 5-7 megabits/second instead of 3mb. As part of the tweaking my landline now has caller id / call waiting / free local and regional calling. And I’m saving about $5 as a result.

    The home repair suggestion is good, but at least I’m somewhat there in that I have a tool set (so if I ask my brother to help me he wouldn’t have to schlep all his tools to my place).

    All the others I am already doing (or not doing as the case may be). Or have already done (like cut out Directv and gone with OTA and Netflix with dvd/Roku).

    • Mikey1969 says:

      These lists are about 20% good advice and 200% BS… I have a landline, and I don’t want to drop it, my cell phone isn’t comfortable, I have 4 regular phones shared throughout the house, so I don’t have to run like crazy to find it when it rings. Of course, I don’t have it through a traditional provider. I bought an Ooma box for $140, but I pay only $3.50/month, and that’s only for taxes. My actual service is absolutely free.

      And yeah, the credit report thing is useless. Took us 2 years of trying to find a house before we finally found a mortgage guy who told us that the FICO was all that mattered for most things.

      And home repairs? I also already do what I can, but the dumb thing about this list is that the most expensive stuff is the typpe of thing you have to call a pro for anyway(Electrical, plumbing, roof, etc…).

  13. CosmosHuman says:

    McD’s has a coffee special here, all sizes for $1. But it is a short promo. Coffee whole beans bought at Aldi are not that bad. I refill my own bottles at home. I have Obama $20/month cable cause I tried the rabbit ears and they did not work. Glad I kept receipt. No repairs, as I live (for now) in an apartment. I just signed up for the free Obama cell phone as I am unemployed. 250 free minutes a month, will come in handy when Verizon terminates me when I can’t pay. I have plenty of light bulbs, no baby to feed, no chance in hell of flying on an airplane unless of course I just disappear somewhere after my UI runs out (really thinking about this scenario).

    I just wish there was a guide on how to survive on UI, especially when there is no hope of ever finding gainful employment. As a social worker, I do know where to call for help. I still have my checking account for right now.

    • ahecht says:

      Your “Obama $20/month cable” isn’t a result of a federal program. The various low-price cable offerings that showed up in 2009 were due to a combination of state programs and cable companies taking advantage of George W. Bush’s Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to attract new subscribers.

      The “Obama Phone” service was started in Fall 2008, when GWB was still president. http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/cellphone.asp

      • CosmosHuman says:

        TWC already had a basic cable price of 19.95 a month, and it was just raised about $1.50. TWC sites “ongoing expenses”. Many people here nick-name it the “seniors” special, although I am far from a senior. if I could get descent reception with rabbit ear device, I’d ditch the cable. The Obama phone (what everyone calls it here) will be a lifesaver to me when I can’t pay the Verizon bill. Lucky with Google VM, I can just check my emails, as every call is recorded; even with a transcript when they leave a message. I really don’t care if it was Obama or Bush who came up with theses programs. There is no income requirement for the basic cable, just the phone. I figure I have paid into the system for a long, long time with full time employment that I feel no shame in accessing these programs. What would you do in my situation, I ask?

        I can’t afford COBRA neither my Byetta, so I applied for program to get the Byetta, but it takes tine and I am almost out. I can get Metformin free at Giant Eagle. I take hctz/enalapril combo and it is $10 for a 3 month supply. I also have borderline HP, and don’t want to stroke out from all the stress now. I have amassed quantities for test strips so I am ok for about 6 months I think. But I need to be seen by a MD every three months.

        I am getting $400 a week in UI. I don’t know what to do. I’m too old to be a hooker! (made you laugh, I hope)

        • RockerGal says:

          damn, $400 a WEEK??? I work full time and make $500 every TWO weeks.
          maybe moving to a cheaper area? in my area you can rent a full house for about $400 a month and an appt for $250 a month

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The last one may be the most useful – it really counts to know how to do the basic home repairs. It’s a pretty big waste of money to pay someone $100-150 for one hour of labor for a job that takes 5 minutes to fix.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      Not everyone is proficient enough to do this nor has the tools or skill to do home repairs, a $100 job could easily turn into a $1000 or more job if you screw it up. Personally I would rather pay the $100 and have it done right.

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        Technically, you can swap out outlets, wall switches, and light fixtures in your own home without a trade certification or a permit…

        But there are plenty of people I could think of who would probably kill themselves doing this.

        • Cat says:

          But there are plenty of people I could think of who would probably kill themselves doing this.

          If they can’t learn to adapt, then they must die.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          In most jurisdictions, a homeowner can pull a permit and perform any work himself. As long as it passes inspection, inspectors don’t care who’s doing it.

          Off the top of my head, I know Chicago is an exception and you need to have an electrician do 99% of the work and you aren’t even allowed to run regular NM (it all has to be MC or in conduit). But this has more to do with the political clout of trade unions than safety.

        • chiieddy says:

          TECHNICALLY (and this is really dumb and I’m admitting this) you’re not supposed to do any of your own electrical work in MA. This includes switching out outlets and switches and rewiring ceiling fixtures. I don’t know anyone who pays attention to this law, but there it is.

          • Cat says:

            I’m not an electrician (But I am an electronics technician, fwiw), but the guys who wired my house were allegedly electricians. And they pull some boneheaded maneuvers putting things in. I do better work, and wish I could have done the whole thing myself.

        • sponica says:

          my Nana has a turn of the century house (built in 1908)….she hires an electrician for her wiring needs..bc she doesn’t want to accidentally burn down her house

    • chucklebuck says:

      I still feel like you need to have at least some aptitude though. I am completely unhandy, and my big fear is turning a simple $50 repair into something way bigger because I screwed it up and ended up having to call in the pro anyway.

    • chiieddy says:

      I highly recommend this book for new DIY-ers: http://amzn.com/0696238500

    • sprybuzzard says:

      My husband is familiar with electrical and plumbing from general contracting and construction work but those are two things he will not touch without a professional.

      • Not Given says:

        My husband is a licensed for heat and air and electrical. I just wish he would stay away from the plumbing. Really, it’s a nightmare every time.

  15. Jack T Ripper says:

    Ok, new list. In no particular order.

    1. Cigarettes
    2. Drinks at the bar. (did they stop selling booze at the liquer store so you have to pay $12 for a $.47 cent drink?)
    3. Porn (c’mon now… you know it is out there for free)
    4. Anything on itunes (they don’t need any more money and you don’t need any more apps)
    5. The ‘hottest and latest greatest thing’. Seriously. Do you really need the newest iProduct or you will die?
    6. That guy who comes to fertilize your lawn. I’m pretty sure they are just getting their chemicals at Home Depot anyway.
    7. Anything you can make at home. Porn, alcohol, cigarettes, hmmm…So far other than iProducts, this whole list is on number 7.
    8. Bring your damn lunch to work and don’t spend ten bucks every day for it.
    9. Start drinking more water and dump the soda. You’ll save big bucks there.
    10. Your gym membership isn’t necessary. Work out at home. If you are trying to save money then this is one of the things you have to consider.
    11. Quit spending $20 bucks to get your car washed. Those coin op places work just fine. Or wash it yourself. Sure you are going to destroy your paint, but its not like those 17 year olds at the detail shop know how to do it any better.
    12. Quit paying for everybody else. Tell your freeloading friends to get a job or bring their own booze and buy their own smokes. Quit giving all your stuff away and you won’t have to buy it as often.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Until I can start getting all my favourite beers on tap in my house, I’m going to keep going to bars. Somehow I think it’s cheaper to grab a pint at my local than order a whole keg — and even if it isn’t, it’s definitely better for my liver!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’d pay $20 at a wash if they detailed it. That shit is annoying to do.

      Also, a gym membership might be necessary if you want to swim. That being said, your local community gym is probably cheaper.

      • Jack T Ripper says:

        Right, but if you are trying to save money then sacrifices have to be made. I don’t necessarily want to ride my bike, but if I live close enough to work to do that, then I would if it meant saving money on gas and it would make a difference. If it was just me and nobody else then it might be different, but I would gladly dump my gym membership and not swim for awhile if it meant I had extra money to provide for my kids.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I’d love to wash my car myself but we’re under Stage 3 watering restrictions across the area….so no washing of cars. They’re talking about going to Stage 4 which basically means all you can do is water your foundation so your house doesn’t twist itself apart.

      Side note to people from other states: STOP MOVING TO NORTH TEXAS. WE’RE OUT OF WATER. K THX BAI.

      • Kuri says:

        SO how hard is your governor praying?

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          Not hard enough apparently. God hates him and THAT’S why he finished second from last in Iowa.

          Seriously, Rick Perry sucks. I’d rather have him as the weak governor of Texas than as the President of the US. I still care enough about my fellow Americans to not wish him on them.

      • Cantras says:

        … water your foundation? Tell me about this piece of home care I had no idea about.

        (I visited my brother once and he was pouring a pitcher of water into a funnel tube that disappeared into the piano. “What are you doing?” “Watering the piano.” “…. Okay, well, *yes*, obviously, but what are you doing?
        Apparently some old pianos need to be watered.)

        • Doubting thomas says:

          Most of N TX is essentially built upon clay. When the clay dries out it shrinks and suddenly your foundation is sitting on irregularly shaped air pockets. This causes 1 or more corners/sides to settle twisting your house.

    • madanthony says:

      People often go to bars less for the opportunity to purchase drinks and more for the opportunity to meet other people who are purchasing drinks. It’s hard to make your own drunken hookups at home.

      • Jack T Ripper says:

        May I refer you to item number 3 then. ;)

        I’m just saying… if money is tight then this is a good reason why that might be the case. I’ve seen the drink tab when I go out with friends and it is always much higher than the food bill. Why spend $12 on dinner and $80 on drinks? That just doesn’t make sense… Well, maybe it does about $30 into those drinks, but I’m sure it doesn’t make much sense the next day. How many times have you vowed never to spend that much at the bar again?

      • RandomHookup says:

        I find crack to be way cheaper for hookups than alcohol (and they are not as picky).

      • CanadianDominic says:
    • Sarahlara says:

      A lot of us have to get a gym membership if we ever want to work out. Loud exercise or exercise equipment is often against rental leases or HOA rules (and unfortunately my place is banded by highways so I can’t easily go for a decent walk or jog). But the good news is we canceled Netflix and just go to the Cardio Cinema room at Gold’s a couple times a week to catch a movie.

      I also have no nearby hose-style car wash and can’t hook up a water hose to my condo building, so the car wash is sometimes needed to get the salt off after a snow.

      • Kuri says:

        That’s why you don’t get a home in an HOA controlled area. No point in owning a home if some jagoff is going to tell you what to do with it. In that case you might as well rent.

  16. ShruggingGalt says:

    But what if my friends cancel cable as well? Go to their friends’ house? And then their friends’ house?

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      What if I don’t have any friends?

      • CubeRat says:

        I’ll be your friend…I prefer cable to watching shit on the computer.

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          Come on over then; I don’t have any real friends. When you’re in your late 30s, single, and childless….most people don’t want to have anything to do with you. At least around here. Seriously.

          • The Twilight Clone says:

            Got news for you. You can be in your 30s, married, WITH a child, and people don’t want anything do with you.

          • CubeRat says:

            Well, it doesn’t get better in your 40s.

            So, we just need to start a single’s cable watching club for the over 30 childless members of society. Do you live in Dallas?, if so, we have to start separate groups, as I live in Pasadena CA.

  17. Outrun1986 says:

    Ugh home repairs, trying to do it yourself and screwing it up could lead to a more expensive repair instead of just calling the professional in the first place! Not to mention the costs of tools and supplies. Find a good, local professional and pay with cash. Our local repairmen give pretty big discounts for paying with cash. If you know someone you can also pay a friend or family member to do the job, just as good as a professional if you know the person.

    Magazine subscriptions are often dirt cheap, I see nothing wrong with paying $3-4 a year per maga

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I think the trick is to know when you’re outclassed.

      For me:

      Anything having to do with plumbing = call a professional.
      Anything having to do with gas = call a professional.
      Anything having to do with electricity where a permit is required = call a professional.

      I do my own painting, minor electrical work, minor cosmetic repairs, etc. but there are certain things that I COULD probably do myself, but a pro would do a much better job…like laying a floating hardwood floor, tiling walls and floors, mounting a new ceiling fan, etc. I also had a pro put up a new partial fence and repair my whole-house fan.

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        +1 to this. Every home fix/improvement effort for me begins with, “Is this SERIOUSLY something I’m capable of?” Followed by: cost to fix myself vs. cost of hiring pro, potential savings vs. potential damage if screwed up, etc.

        A few months ago I tried to replace a bathroom tile wall… unsuccessfully. Fortunately I didn’t get so far into it before I realized I was outmatched that the contractor I eventually hired had to repair/redo any of my work.

    • SalesGeek says:

      Yeah, I tried fixing my garage door opener and it cost me roughly $22,000 in surgery/ER costs to repair my broken wrist after I missed a step on the ladder. Then there was the two weeks out of work and a boatload of other costs (paying someone to clean my house for example). The pro that I had to hire afterwords fixed the garage door opener for $147. I sure saved a lot of money on that home repair.

  18. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    * Cable. You can stream plenty of entertainment online. Just stop by friends’ houses to watch sporting events.

    In my circle, this is impossible because there are several games a week, and also called “freeloading.” It’s nice of you to want to watch the game with me, but I don’t want to always watch the game with you. If you want to spend less and cut the cord, but don’t want to give up sports, don’t be a freeloader; just buy the NHL/NBA/NFL/MLB/whatever package to watch on your computer. It’s still cheaper than a year of cable.

  19. Steve says:

    Paper towels! They’re a bloody ripoff! Use a sponge or a dish towel instead, then rinse it out or throw in the washer. When stores started jacking up the prices of paper towels a few years ago, we stopped buying them. We now keep 1 roll hidden under our sink and only bring it out for emergencies. This is probably better for the environment, too, depending on how much water you need to wash the towels.

    • oloranya says:

      We started only used paper towels for really gross messes like when one of the dogs doesn’t get let outside soon enough or the cat decides to leave a dead mouse on the kitchen floor.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        This. I’ve been using the same stack of washable microfiber cleaning cloths for about 3 years now.

        • dicobalt says:

          Same here I got a big stack of towels I use. Paper towels don’t work very well. It’s the same reason nice restaurants put down cloth hand towels instead of a paper towel dispenser.

  20. dicobalt says:

    Eating out everyday should be on that list. I watch some people march down to the resturant every single day and plop down $10+ for lunch. 10dollars * 20days = $200/month just for lunch alone, add those people who do this for breakfast and dinner, then add the people who do this for their entire family and you end up with a boatload of wasted money.

  21. rockelscorcho says:

    I do it already…now what?

  22. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Why the hate on Forbes when this site spreads it’s article out over 14 pages one short paragraph at a time?

  23. Rachacha says:

    What a stupid article. For those of you that don’t want to RTFA, the ideas are provided below.

    1) Coffee Shop – Check, I don’t drink Coffee, and the only time I visit a Coffee shop is when I am traveling and want to avoid paying $25 for a continental breakfast at the hotel.
    2) Bottled Water – A case of bottled water will last my family of 4 almost a year. Sometimes the bottle is just more convenient, and at $3 for a case of water that lasts a year, we are not breaking the bank. I refill when I am at work, and use a glass and drink my filtered water at home.
    3) Drop Incandescent Light Bulbs – Most of my bulbs have been switched to Quartz Halogen which are more efficient than traditional tungsten, or CF bulbs where possible.
    4) Baggage Fees – I typically can fit 1 week’s worth of clothes into Carry On, and I get free checked bags with my preferred airlines
    5) Subscriptions I don’t use – I used to subscribe to 2 magazines, one went digital only and I stopped subscribing, the other I canceled long ago, but they keep sending me the magazine free of charge.
    6) Baby Food – My kids are now grown up, no need for the stuff.
    7) Credit Score Fees – Really? I get that there are free services, but how many times does the average person check their score in a year to make it into a Top 12 list?
    8) Cable – Bundle deal with my phone and internet. If I cancel, I will save a few bucks, but not enough to offset the cost of other TV streaming services.
    9) Landline phone – See #8 above, but with young kids at home who don’t have a cell phone yet and a security system, the few dollars a month is cheaper than getting them a cell phone, and my landline will likely still work even during a power outage.
    10) Cleaning Supplies – They only address laundry detergent, but by the time you figure in the cost of the raw materials and the energy required to cook the raw materials to make detergent, you are looking at only a few dollars saved every year when you buy detergent in bulk from Costco.
    11) ATM Fees – I only use my bank’s ATMs therefore avoiding all fees.
    12) Home repairs – Already do it. I am currently finishing my basement which will save me an estimated $20-30,000 over hiring someone to do it for me.

  24. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I wish I could drop cable, but it’s the only way I can get what’s considered “local” channels, or every network station. My daughter lives in Maryland, and just using rabbit ears she can get 27 channels OTA, although two are in Spanish. Where I live in PA, nothing. I also suspect people would get wise pretty quickly if I showed up at their house every Saturday late Sept through Nov to watch college football :).

  25. tbax929 says:

    I have friends who come to my house because I have the football package and a setup that allows me to watch multiple games on multiple sets at the same time. Not having the package is not an option for me. I used to go to the bar on Sunday for football, but I felt obligated to keep spending money since I was sitting there wathching their televisions.

    Right or not, I tell myself I save money by ordering the football package and watching the games at home. As for my friends, I don’t charge admission but I do ask that they provide food and drinks if they’re coming to watch the games at my house.

  26. WhoLikesPie? says:

    But if everyone dumps cable then whose house are we going to go to in order to watch cable…?

  27. maddog2727 says:

    Cut the cord on cable. Tried that…doesn’t work with me. Why?
    I’m a Hockey fan. Fan of the Sabres. I live in Rochester. I’m in the Sabres television area. Therefore, if I cut the cord and buy the NHL online package, I’m blacked out of Sabres games. So I’m forced into cable (even though right now the network was pulled by Time Warner…).

    Go to a friends house? I’m not free loading for 82 games…and possible playoffs.

    Go to a bar? Really? For three hours? I’m sure I can’t sit there for free. So beer…food…yeah, that adds up after 82 games.

    Sorry, if you’re a sports fan (except for the NFL), and you live in the area of you’re favorite team, you’re pretty much stuck with Cable.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yeah, NHL blackouts are a horror for any local fans. It’s been well-worth the money to pay for cable and the sports package so we can watch the Capitals on local CSN, NBC Sports, and NHL Network. 82 games is a lot more bang for your buck versus say, football, which only plays a handful in comparison.

  28. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Hopefully someone will come up with a way to save on groceries, I mean real groceries, like fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, and raw meat. I just paid $2.09 for one dozen large eggs. I’m already making bread at home with my thrift store breadmaker. I stocked up on steel cut oats from a local fresh food mart, at about 10% of the cost if I bought them at the grocery store.

    I toyed with the idea of raising chickens, since I live in a zoned agricultural neighborhood, but feed prices are really high, and I’d have to deal with angry hens and even angrier roosters.

    I’m really running out of ideas on how to save money on food bills.

  29. AEN says:

    I changed the transmission on my Lexus – even the dealership was impressed.

  30. One-Eyed Jack says:

    Our toilet has a leaky seal and I’ve already put in a call to the plumber. Yes, we could probably fix it ourselves. But by the time we read up on how to do it properly, take the thing apart and realize there’s no way it will go back together (because in this 90-year-old house that’s the standard), have two or three arguments with the spouse, say plenty of bad works, take two or three trips to Home Depot on the other side of town because every small hardware and plumbing shop on our side of town have gone kaput, I’d just rather spend the money and let someone else worry about it. My time and sanity are worth more to me than what it would cost to ask our plumber to do it.

    • Starfury says:

      This is an easy (but messy) fix. I’ve done if a few times and it’s NOT worth paying what a plumber charges.

      1. Shut of water to toilet. the flush
      2. use shop vac to suck out leftover water
      3. remove 2 bolts holding toilet down
      4. remove toilet, remove icky wax ring.
      5. replace ring…good idea to get it warmed up a bit by microwaving or putting in warm water for a bit.
      6. stick ring on toilet, carefully line up and set down.
      7. bolt toilet back into place…don’t over tighten the bolts.
      8. Turn on water and test flush a few times. If done right it won’t leak.

      parts: $3.
      time: 30 min
      Feeling of accomplishment when you’ve fixed it yourself: Priceless

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I live in a 100 year old home and have learned to multiple both the projected time and expense by at least five. I have yet to experience a project that took anywhere close to the amount of time I originally allocated for it.

  31. Starfury says:

    Even “simple” home repairs can be expensive. I have some floodlights in my back yard and I’m expanding them around the corner to where the garbage cans/back gate is. Cost me $100 in parts (wire was most expensive item) and I’ll be putting it in this weekend. I don’t even want to know how much an electrician would charge to do this.

  32. chemmy says:

    1. stuff
    2. stuff you don’t need
    3. stuff to replace stuff you have that isn’t broken
    4. stuff to give others as gifts (that they don’t need)
    5. stuff to keep all your stuff in because you’re not using it

  33. Not Given says:

    I tried filtering my own water, I upped my intake of sodas. So, back to bottled water for me. I even ran that crap through the filter 5 times and I still couldn’t stand the taste.

  34. balderdashed says:

    To reduce one Cable’s bill, “just stop by friends’ houses to watch sporting events.” Huh? Well, while you’re at it, why not give up cigarettes — by throwing out your last pack and mooching off your tobacco-addicted friends. It’s easy to stoping paying for things you want, if you can find other people to pay for them for you. Maybe you can talk your friends into fixing up your house, too. Tell ’em you’re painting your fence, but it’s so much fun, you wouldn’t think of letting anybody else do it, unless they begged. Seems that worked for somebody.

  35. Galium says:

    Sleaze list.

    1. Borrow from your neighbors. A cup of sugar here, a roll of paper towels etc. Adds up to a nice sum especially if you live in an apartment building.
    2. When buying items with a long line use cash and always be short a small amount of the total price. Then make believe to be searching your pockets, wallet, purse etc. until some impatient person in the line doles out the amount needed.
    3. Go to food kitchens with some of your old take out containers from Mc D or other fast food place. Get the meal pack it, and go home.
    4. Find a church that serves coffee and cake etc. After service. Show up late, praise whatever they worship, get as much food as possible (see #3) go home.

  36. Andreth says:

    I want to get rid of cable. I swear I do. I just cannot figure out how.

    We’re in an apartment on the bottom floor, so I can’t pull off the antenna thing. And we could buy packages like mlb.tv for sports, but they block the local teams so that’s pretty worthless.

    Yes, I realize that we could go without, but baseball, football, and hockey are not things that we’re willing to give up in our house. So we have cable until I can find a way around it.

  37. maxhobbs says:

    Yes, it is great that people SHOULD stop buying these daily stupid items, I mean come on, make coffee at home for a freaking nickel a cup and who on earth pays $1 or more for a bottle of water?

    But what truly kills people is they just HAVE to buy that $50,000 car they can not afford.

  38. gman863 says:

    Since you’re sitting at your PC right now, here are a few more:

    * Paid anti-virus software. Norton, McAfee and other paid services cost up to $60/year per PC.
    Microsoft Security Essentials is free and works on any XP (SP2 or SP3), Vista or Windows 7 PC. AVG Free Edition is also a good choice.

    * Geek Squad. Assuming anyone reading this is stupid enough to consider taking a non-warranty PC issue there (or any other “big box” store), prepare to pay between 2-4 times more than taking it to a reputable local PC repair shop. Disclaimer: I own and run a local PC repair shop. Over the past six months, my biggest source of customers has been people who stopped at Geek Squad, got an estimate, freaked out at the price and drove a few blocks to my store for a second opinion.

  39. DarkPsion says:

    Let’s see;

    1 : Don’t drink coffee
    2 : Changed my light-bulbs a long time ago
    3 : Use metal water bottles
    4 : Don’t travel
    5 : All my favorite magazine cancelled out on me
    6 : Don’t have any kids
    7 : My credit score is 819
    8 : Cable, no. That I do use and enjoy
    9 : Landline phone, No This is Oklahoma, we can lose power anytime of the year and then that landline is your only form of communication. And if you just lost power, you may need to call for help.
    10 : Please, how much time are you wasting “making your own laundry detergent”? That is not saving money, it is costing me money.

  40. tooluser says:

    How come the list is 5 items long? Why not 4? Why not 6? Or 10? What is the optimal number of items in an “X things you should or should not do” article? Does the number of items vary by article topic? Is the number of list items in this article optimum? Why or why not?

    Show your work.

  41. thomwithanh says:

    Coffee shop: I disagree. Get a Starbucks card, register it for rewards, and the coupons and free refills you get for being a member make it surprisingly affordable if you do it right.

  42. cromartie says:

    #6 Children. The ultimate unnecessary expense. Stop having them.

  43. Mikey1969 says:

    //”* Cable. You can stream plenty of entertainment online. Just stop by friends’ houses to watch sporting events.”//

    Yeah, you can eat me.

    Streaming sucks, it’s never consistent. Sometimes it’s great, other times, it’s ‘Buffering Hell’. Nobodyhas the same streaming player on their site, some don’t let the player controls disappear, you can’t pause and leave the room for any length of time or it drops you. You can’t ffwd/rwd half the time, even though the controls are there. Some shows up uploaded in such a low res format, I’d do better to watch TV from a lock away with bnoculars. I also can’t skip the commercials when I’m streaming.

    Besides, bandwidth IS a finite thing, and we’re reaching our limits. It’s why the cell companies are dropping ‘unlimited data’ plans, they were just stuck adding a bigger and bigger pipe with no end in sight.

    On top of it all, when everyone on your block is streaming ‘American Idol’, you’re going to see your internet slam to a screeching halt.