Every mom should have an option to stay home with her children, regardless of income

15 Things I Don’t Spend Money On

If you’ve followed me for long, you know that I’m a quality girl. I love getting the best quality at the best price. Because of this, there are very few things that I purchase off-brands for. So, how can I do this and still come in under budget?

I'm a single SAHM. Like I don't WANT to pay for everything I have. I've found that the more items I can get free, the more my income is opened up to spend on the finer things in life. Join me as I show you 15 main things I do not pay for and how you can do the same! 15 Things I Don't Spend Money On

By getting a lot of the things my family uses for free or eradicating them from our home all together.

15 things I don’t spend money on…


Just as my rule is, I don’t WANT to pay retail for the items I buy, such is the same with free stuff. Some things I just don’t WANT to pay for. I find that by doing this, my budget and income is opened up on a much larger scale, and I’m able to focus on buying the things that ARE really important to me.

1) Kids Clothes

I have found ways of going around paying for kids clothes. Read more here: How to Get Kids Clothes Free

2) Movies and Movie Rentals

Rarely do I watch TV, but when I do, you can find me watching the Disney Channel, Food Network, or cartoons like Looney Tunes. 🙂 Since I rarely watch movies, I don’t buy them. If the kids want a movie, usually they get it for Christmas or birthdays. Another trick is not to pay for movie rentals. It makes a lot more sense buying the movie to me for $5-$10 on eBay than to rent it for nearly that same amount, and the gas it takes to pick up the rental and to return it.

3) Household Cleaners

Between ePantry, Norwex, and Essential Oils, I never have to pay for cleaning supplies.

For every friend that signs up with ePantry, you get $10 and they get $10. It’s a win win! The products ePantry sells are amazing. Things like pull ups, cleaning supplies, candles, lip balm, trash bags, and so on, are products that I never have to pay for thanks to this company.

Since I have a few Norwex cloths that were given to me by a friend, I don’t really need a whole lot of cleaning supplies to begin with. I have the Envirocloth and I especially love the polishing cloth that does windows. It makes things sparkly (like my stainless steel appliances)! You buy the rags one time and can wash them all you want. Never have to replace them, so long term, saves money.

With the essential oils, I really only use two homemade cleaners and they do most of my cleaning.

4) Video Games

We just don’t play them. When we do play games, they are board games. My favorite at the moment is Sorry, though I’m telling you, I lose every time! Grrr. Other good media choices for us are free apps on apple devices.

5) Many Office Supplies

Staples has so many Free After Rebate (FAR) items. We are usually able to stock up on pencils, pens, scotch tape, printer/copy paper, and all those little office supplies for free. It’s easy. Get items you use everyday for FREE at Staples.

6) Virus Protection for My Electronic Devices

Every year, there are FAR rebates that I use and get my computers protected for free. I use Slickdeals to find AH-mazing deals all year round! Simply click Forums, then Hot Deals.

7) Dry cleaners

I do not purchase clothes that need to be maintained at the dry cleaners, although I do have one jacket as such. I use Dryel on it.

Bonus Tip:

Another idea is when you get free samples from company’s, you could make a care basket and donate to homeless shelters or give as gifts to your friends for birthdays, etc. or even sell them. I know people who make the baskets & keep for overnight guests when they’re family is traveling and I’ve donated to homeless shelters. When you’re getting as many things as you can for free, then we, save our money and can then AFFORD the things we WANT. 🙂

Click here: How to Enter the Secret World of Free Stuff

8) Furniture

I got my dining set (pictured above) that includes the middle leaf and 4 chairs for free outside someone’s home. They had a free sign on it and while I was yard saleing, I stumbled upon it. There are also several other occasions where I get free furniture by reselling. You can see my reselling process step by step here.

9) Salon Costs

Haircuts, mani, pedi’s. I’m a simple girl. I have found that doing these things myself gets me much better results, and I like my wages: free. See my article “Save $160/year on Salon Costs.”

10) Some Herbs and Veggies

This year, we started a garden. This is my daughter pulling weeds before we start planting. We have Chives, Squash, Tomatoes, Yellow Onions, and a couple others. This helps keep our food bill down a little bit as we get the herbs and vegetables for free from our garden.

11) Homeschooling Material

With all the free homeschooling material that is available online, there are really only a few occasions to actually pay for lessons, at least in the early years before your children hit junior high.

12) Kindle Books

There are SO many eBooks you can get FREE on Kindle. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the app to your computer here and read Kindle right on your PC! One of the places I love to find out what free eBooks are available at the time is on Money Saving Mom.

13) Synthetic Medicines

Before I started using essential oils 5 years ago, I was on 4 daily medications. It was very much a domino effect for me. Thanks to my essential oils, I am on none. I do take vitamins and supplements, but again, through my essential oil company, those are free for me.

14) Doctors Visits

I won’t say that we never go to the doctor, but that it is a lot rarer now that we began using essential oils in our home. Maybe once a year for routine checkups. Whenever there is a need to seek medical advice, I have my handy Zyto Bio-Scanner that is amazingly accurate. 

15) Energy Efficient Products

You’ll want to call your power company or get ahold of your local LIHEAP program, but every city has a program where the power company will come out to your home to make it more energy efficient or put on some sort of class to help teach people how to reduce their energy costs. At that class or at the walk-through when they come to your home, they completely hook you up with a ton of free energy efficient products and upgrades for your home to make it more energy efficient. These things can include CFL lightbulbs, electrical outlet plate covers, aerators for your sinks, shower timers, and many other things.

I'm a single SAHM. Like I don't WANT to pay for everything I have. I've found that the more items I can get free, the more my income is opened up to spend on the finer things in life. Join me as I show you 15 main things I do not pay for and how you can do the same! 15 Things I Don't Spend Money On

What’s your favorite thing you get for free?

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  1. BTW, there are many FREE computer antivirus programs out there that are generally better than the paid versions (& you don’t have to bother with a rebate or renewing every year). I’ve personally used both Avast & Microsoft Security Essentials with no computer problems, and there are other good ones out there if you do a little research.

    • Cynthia, yeah…for years I had tried the free ones, and then even started paying, but I kept getting hacked all the time. Still kept getting viruses. I took my PC to two different computer repair shops and BOTH highly encouraged me to get the one I have (which I can’t say on an online forum like this due to hackers) and I haven’t gotten hacked once since. No viruses at all. Nothing. Even before I ran a blog, I was always getting bad stuff, and I don’t go to any bad sites! I have WOT for Chrome and everything. So, for me personally, I’m very happy to take the time to do a rebate. 🙂 Totally worth it for me, but I could see if someone doesn’t use the computer as much as I do. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your list. I am going to have to try the trick with Staples. I have a rewards card with Staples and I turn in my cartridges. I had declined their promotional e-mails but after reading you blog, I will have to change my account setting so I can receive their promotional e-mails.

    • Melanie, your welcome! 🙂 I would highly encourage you to get on the promotional emails. I will be the first to admit, about 75% of them are direct trash and annoying, but the other 25% of them are SOOOOO worth it. Just this past couple days, I got one email with a 20% off one item coupon and another with a 15% off any purchase code. I was able to use both, stacked with my rewards, and Ebates, I seriously score big at that store! 🙂 Emails = YES!

    • I do use the On Guard toothpaste. I go back and forth between Crest 3D and that one, as the Crest 3D seems to make my teeth whiter. Haven’t made my own yet. What do you store the toothpaste you make in?

    • I am having trouble figuring out how you are getting all of this free stuff with doterra. I signed up for a wholesale account 2 months ago, and all I have done is spent hundreds of dollars on oils. 😉 So, when does the “free” stuff start?

      • Heather, great question. It may just be a matter of you haven’t been in doTerra long enough. They are forever sending out free stuff. Every Christmas, they send us something of high value. Every 3 months, they run a promo for free products when you spend 200 pv, every month they give a free product when you spend 125 pv on the LRP, and of course, you can earn up to 30% back on all your purchases, depdending on which kit you start with. I started with the Diamond kit, which is the 30%, but you can also earn the 30% after a year of continual purchases on the LRP.

        Since I use the products, spending 100 pv/month for me is no problem, but you can spend as little as 50 pv and still qualify. I JUST cashed out my points yesterday, which was at 380! $380 worth of FREE stuff on top of all the other free stuff JUST for ordering every month the things I NEED to keep my health under control. It’s soooo cool. It adds up super quick. On top of that, they give out free magazines when they come out, and they give you your shipping back in points. Basically shipping is free because you just get them back in credits to spend.

        I’ve been with doTerra for more than 4 years and their prices have not gone up once, nor their service down. They are awesome and always treat us so well. This month, they are having a promo where if a new person signs up with 100 pv order, they get 50 pv free!You have to spend the points within 30 days of getting them if you don’t make a second order of 50 pv that next month, but it’s still so awesome! Tons of free stuff everywhere. 🙂

  3. The public library has a great selection of DVDs–movies, documentaries, entire seasons of TV shows, and others. I believe they even have games, both educational and entertaining. Can’t beat that for free! Thank you, Benjamin Franklin, for our public library system!!

    • Our library here is far away from me, so the gas wouldn’t justify it, but for a lot of people, that is a great idea. They have a lot of activities at the library, story time, etc. and a lot of great resources for every member of the family. 🙂

    • Your library may also have free access to ebooks, and digital versions of games, magazines, movies, etc. through services such as Overdrive, Hoopla, Zinio, Tumblebooks, and more!

  4. I love your site; looking forward to newsletters from you. I learned a lot and looking forward to saving money. We have some things in common. Thank you.

  5. I love getting my kids school supplies for free. Even though they are young I still find great deals and add them to our stockpile so that we have it when they are ready to use the supplies.

    • I do the same thing Addi! I have a Sterilite drawer cabinet in my garage where I keep all the school supplies, especially since the teachers ask for school supplies each year to contribute, so I can just take out of my drawers, knowing the supplies were dirt cheap or free! 🙂

  6. About antiviruses, there’s AVG, Avira and others.
    As for software you can even do without Microsoft Office (Word, Excel…). You can use OpenOffice. It’s totally FREE and has almost all features. You just have to get used to the menus and where the functions are. This becomes easy after a couple of uses.

    • You’re definitely right about having a lot of options. For virus control, I’ve tried the free ones, including AVG and don’t feel it helped enough. So, I’d rather purchase a solid one that I trust and works well and get it free with a rebate. 🙂 Never tried OpenOffice. Great trick. Thank you for sharing.

  7. On the gardening, I would research any plants you intend to buy. Stuff with invasive growth habits such as lemon balm, catnip, any of the mints, etc. are easily grown from cuttings. If you have friends growing these, just ask for a cutting – then you don’t even have to pay the cost of the initial plant or seeds. Furthermore, many of these return yearly. Just make sure to grow these in containers and not the ground.

  8. I want to start by saying you now have an additional loyal follower in me! I am a working mom who would love to stay home with my daughter and have the option to give her a sibling or two before I’m too old and disinterested. (Which is quickly approaching as my daughter is 9 and I’m 36.) I want to start a blog, as I am a pretty good writer. I plan to buy and read your book this week. I will be checking out your suggestions with sites like Ebates and a few others. I just joined a great health and wellness network marketing company, but even doing that takes time that my Healthcare Marketing Career barely gives me a second to do. I’m very creative and if I can earn $5-7K a month I would replace my current income. What else do you suggest? I’d be willing to be a success story/protégé of following your ideas and suggestions. Let’s talk!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a source for moms today who want to earn a living and still spend more time with their children at home.

  9. What essential oils do you use? I just bought tee tree, lavender, lemongrass and three others. I’m using them to help my son with add fall asleep at night in a calm routine. Suggestions on how / when to use?

  10. Remember your local library folks! Instead of buying movies or books (unless they’re Walking Dead LOL), I have a free membership at my local library (used to be $30 a year until they got their proposition to raise a $0.30 county tax approved) so I just use the library to watch movies and read books, magazines, etc. All I have to worry about (and anyone who doesn’t have one there yet) is if I lose my card then I have to pay $3 for a new one. My library also has books/magazines donated to them that they sell so I’ve gotten the first three books of the Twilight Saga for $1.50 & *several* other books for $5 or less. (E.g. I got a great conditioned copy of World War Z for .50 cents.) And I get some magazines for light reading/pictures for collages in my room.
    However, video games are a must for my fiance and I, but we are always trading in old games for new games at GameStop on top of a pretty reasonable Pro membership that gives more trade credit & saves sometimes up to $3 for a game. I’ve have gotten a few games for free or only paid a dollar or so. But we do play LIFE or SkipBo once in a while. 🙂
    And lastly,100% peppermint essential oil is the only thing that helps my migraines/headaches anymore. It’s also great for getting rid of mice and spiders. Thanks for another helpful blog!

  11. Wow, I would have never thought of all of that! The only thing I do sometimes is forego trash bags since I get bags from the store instead (and I compost food scraps).