Recently I’ve been working on the idea of trying to “spend out” the items I already have in my house. In other words, I have certain items that I want to use up before I buy new ones. In doing so, I hope to save some money at the start of the year.
What Does It Mean to Spend Out?
I got this concept from Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. She talks about how there are both underbuyers and overbuyers, and each has their own challenges. I’m an overbuyer. I stock up.
And that’s okay in some ways. I never run out of things that I might need. When something basic breaks around the house (scissors, a phone cord), I already have an extra.
But recently, I’ve bought way more than I needed of a whole lot of things. So I’m going to try to “spend out.” I’m going to try to use certain things until they are all used up or all worn out. I won’t buy replacement until then, and perhaps not even then!
5 Things I Want To Spend Out To Save Money in 2021
Here are the things that I have too many / too much of right now. In other words, I can stop buying these things. I can use up what I have of each of them. I can spend out:
1. Toilet Paper and Paper Towels
I’m always going to have extras of these at my house. After all, I really don’t want to run out. (If I’m honest, though, running out of paper towels isn’t that big of a deal. I could always use a dish towel or sponge instead.) Either way, I have too much of both of these things.
Luckily, the solution to this one is simple. I have these items set up on auto-subscribe. All I need to do is go into my account right now and change my shipment settings. I can delay the current shipment. Moreover, I can create more space between future shipments. I’ll get close to spending out before I get another package delivered.
2. Shampoo and Soaps
I like a very particular brand of shampoo and conditioner. Therefore, I always buy extras when they’re on sale. However, I have enough to not worry about it for a few months. I also have plenty hand soap, body soap, body wash, dish soap, and laundry soap. I can hold off buying any more. These are all on autoship as well. Therefore, it’s another easy fix.
3. Other Cleaning Supplies
I actually could stand to order some wet Swiffers. But I could also make do with the other similar supplies that I have instead. It would be a good way to easily save just a little bit of money. And I definitely have way too much of many other cleaning supplies including air freshener, spot cleaner, sponges, dishwashing gloves, and Drano. When did I become someone who has an abundance of these things?
Honestly, I want to get out of the habit of purchasing chemicals for cleaning. I want to go back to the basics of vinegar, baking soda, etc. Therefore, I truly want to spend out in this category and not purchase more.
4. Clothing and Shoes
My house is overflowing with clothes, including everything from nighties to jackets. Shoes, too. I wear all of the ones that I have. And yet this is an area where I tend to impulse buy a lot. I justify it by saying that since I buy secondhand or shop small, it’s a good purchase. But, I need to take a break from buying these things.
I’m going with the container method of decluttering in this category. You pick a space and that’s the container that you are allowed to fill. So, all of the shoes need to fit in the shoe rack. I’ll keep the ones that I love the most as long as they fit in the container. I’ll donate the rest. But before I do, I’ll enjoy them for a little bit longer. I’ll wear out the shoes and clothes and jackets a few more times, really get use out of them, then send them off to a new home.
5. Notebooks, Pens, and Craft Supplies
I have such a fondness for these things. And it shows, because I have soooooo many of them. It’s time to use what I have. Then, but only then, I can enjoy the fun of purchasing more.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .