Things NOT to Buy

Following is a list of things you no longer buy by using less expensive options, or things that you no longer throw away.  For detailed instructions, see the Food section or Household section.

Bottled Water – really?  It comes out of the tap for free, and in many cases bottled water is just tap water bottled by a company.  Sometimes it is not even filtered.  Unless you’re buying distilled water for your first aid kit or your iron, stick to the free stuff.  Get your family sports bottles for Christmas.
If you live in an area where the water quality is not so good, use your money savings to invest in a filter.  It will save you money over time.
Note:  Did you know it takes the equivalent of 9 bottles of bottled water to produce 1 bottle?  Not only economically unsound, that’s ecologically unsound. 
Beef/Chicken Boullion Cubes
– use your saved Ramen™ seasoning packetSprayBottle-3
Cooking Spray – use oil (and flour if needed) or butter wrappers.  You can also get a mini spray bottle at the drugstore or a discount store and fill it with oil.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
– save the seeds when you clean bell pepper.  Dry only the seeds in the oven about 10 min at 250 degrees until seeds start to turn color.  Watch closely, do not burn.  Cool and store.
Popcorn – stop buying microwave.  Pop on the stove or in a popper.
Stock, Chicken – save what you get when you boil chicken bones/skins
Stock, Vegetable
– save what you get when you boil vegetable tops/peels, cabbage cores.  This is a good place to use the tough outer skin you peel off the broccoli stalks before cooking.  Your stock will vary in flavor depending on which vegetables you use.

Blue Window Cleaner – use vinegar/water solution
Ceiling Fan Lightbulbs
 – replace only 1 or 2, not all 4 or 6.
Fireplace Matches – light a strand of spaghetti instead.
Kitchen Gadgets – see article at although I disagree about the bread machine.  I constantly use mine to make dough for pizza, calzone, pretzels, cinnamon rolls, french bread, etc.

Notepaper or Paper Labels – cut your recycle paper from your printer into small pieces for notes or small strips for food labels.  If you have printed on both sides (double sided or drafts to check a document), cut the unprinted margins to use for leftover food labels or replacement labels for your tab index or file folder plastic index tabs.Placemat-Square
Paper Chains/Colored Paper – If the paper is colored, use the margin strips for making paper chains.  Use colored bits as flipchart/posterboard margin ornaments or let the kids use them to make and decorate paper placemats.  See Crafts.
Note:  The trefoil is a registered trademark of Girl Scouts USA; registered Girl Scouts are allowed to use it in craft projects without requesting permission.


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