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Chelsea explains the everyday products you are probably wasting money on, and how to give yourself a budget fix. Learn how to curb spending by learning questions to ask yourself before making a purchase:


Expiration Dates: Should You Pay Attention?:

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Hey, guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet with some new short hair.

And this week's video is brought to you by FreshBooks. So today I kind of want to hop right into it because I wanted to put together a list of everyday items that we're used to spending money on, that we almost think is kind of obligatory expenses, but are super easy to cut out in our budgets. Now granted, you might not be spending money on every single one of these items, but chances are there's at least one or two that you could cut out right away.

So let's get right into it. Here are 13 everyday items you should really stop spending money on. Number one is the most obvious, and that is individual bottles of water.

Get the Brita filter. And if you like sparkling water, like myself, get the SodaStream. Not only is it pennies on the dollar to fill your own water bottle, but it's also way, way better for the environment.

And yes, we all generally know this, but it always bears repeating. And for further incentive, you can get yourself a really cute water bottle. Number two is expired food.

So here's a fun fact. There's actually no uniform government regulation on how food companies are required to label their sell by dates, their good until dates, et cetera. For example, with milk, it's a state by state regulation, and there are many states that don't even have a mandatory regulation on dating milk.

And because these are very arbitrary standards in a lot of cases, put yourself in the mind of the food company. They want you to buy more of these items at a faster rate, which means that the sell by dates on these products are often way too early if they're not totally unnecessary period. On average, if food is stored properly, you can almost double the average sell by date.

And for things like raw meat and fish, you can put them in the freezer to store for months at a time if you don't think you'll use them right away. We've included a link below to a handy database that will give you a really good idea of how long each food item can be kept past their sell by date. Stop wasting money on unnecessary replacements for food.

Number three is all of the unlimited passes and memberships for things that you're not getting your money's worth on. This is everything from gym classes to public transport to Amazon Prime to Costco. Anything where you're getting a membership that allows you to do something in an unlimited fashion, but you're not doing it enough to justify the price.

For example, Holly, our managing editor, used to pay for the unlimited subway pass here in New York. It cost about $120. But she did the math and realized that she was only using about $75 worth of that pass every month.

So now she just pays per ride. On the other hand, for example, I use the hell out of my Amazon Prime membership, and it's totally worth it in terms of shipping. But you might be someone who almost never orders off Amazon so that $100 yearly fee is not worth it.

Just make sure that you don't automatically think unlimited means the best deal possible. Actually do the math on how much you use it. Number four is excessive paper towels.

We encourage you to limit yourself to one roll every two weeks. There are obviously certain times when you're going to have to use paper towels, so we're not saying never use them. But there are things like cleaning surfaces where you should not be using them because that's how you unnecessarily waste rolls and rolls of it.

We recommend you grab yourself a sturdy reusable pack of kitchen rags to do everything from wipe down counters to dust to just clean up when something accidentally spills. It's better for the environment, and it's also way cheaper in the long run. Number five is data overages on your cell phone.

There's a couple pronged checklist that you should follow to make sure that you're always getting the most out of your phone plan and never unnecessarily burning through data. A, make sure you are always connected to your Wi-Fi when you're home. You have to recheck it every so often because sometimes it will just disconnect.

B, if you want to listen to something like a playlist or a podcast while you're out and about during the day, make sure to download it offline when you're at home so that you don't have to burn through data listening to it. And C, if you're spending a long time in like a cafe or a bar and might go online, make sure to see if they have Wi-Fi that you can connect to, so even just for things like your applications, you're not using a ton of data. These are small changes, yes, but if you follow them religiously, you can find yourself saving dozens of dollars at the end of the month because you're not constantly going through data overages.

Number six is fancy pet treats. Now, something you are probably not aware of if you don't have your own pet is that treats, especially the nice organic treats that are not just 90% chemicals, are really weirdly expensive. No joke.

Just one of the bags of natural chicken chews that we have for Mona in our cabinet was $14. I don't even eat $14 snacks. We've recently tried making homemade treats for her, and let me tell you, the price difference is night and day.

You can literally make the same quantity of actual meat-based treats for your animal for like $2. Yes, it takes a little effort, but you can make them in bulk. And if your animal treat budget is getting into the $100s every year, it's definitely worth it.

We've linked you in the description to a great resource to start making your own DIY dog treats. Number seven is overpriced chemical-laden cleaning products and cosmetics. Most of the products in our cabinets, whether for our countertops or our faces, are extremely overpriced and full of chemicals that are not necessary.

For example, one of the big myths that we live with is that we need a separate cleaning product for basically every surface in our home. Not only are there great all-purpose cleaners out there that are good for everything from a floor to a stove to a wood countertop, but there are also super easy to make DIY in a lot of cases. Just a little lemon juice and vinegar will take care of about half of the cleaning that you've been outsourcing to these expensive bottled products.

And when it comes to cosmetics, things like oils and sugars are great for doing the everyday cleansing that we're used to doing with products. For example, everyday olive oil and a raw sugar make a great scrub for your body. And that same olive oil, by itself, is great to take off your eye makeup.

And one of the best all-purpose facemasks out there is just some organic honey. Put on your face, allow to dry, and then gently washed off. We've linked you to some great resources in the description to starting to make your own cleaning products and cosmetics at home.

And while you're not going to replace every item overnight, what's important is that you start shifting your mindset from how much of these products need to be store-bought and how many of them in total you really need. Number eight is stained or ruined clothes. Now this one is a little bit in reverse because instead of spending money on replacing clothes, you need to start spending money upfront on keeping things like little stain remover sheets, bleach pens, and Tide pens to keep with you.

So that when something happens, you can take care of that right away before the clothing item is ruined. For example, last night I was cooking, and I accidentally flicked a little bit of pesto on a white shirt, which if you're not familiar with the wide world of clothing stains, is probably one of the worst things that you can get on a piece of clothing because it's not only oil, it's extremely bright green. Luckily though, I had a bleach pen on hand right in my kitchen cabinet, which I was able to remove the stain with immediately, and then soak it in a little cold water.

Without having that on hand, I would have needed to replace the shirt because letting that stain sit would have ruined it. I can think of like five occasions in the past year or so that I've been able to use these wipes or pens, and each time it has saved an item of clothing. It's a tiny bit of planning ahead, but you will be so glad when you have it.

Number nine is full-sized jars of things like herbs and spices that you will probably not use again. It's important that from time to time we step outside of our culinary comfort zone and cook things that we are not used to cooking. And a lot of times, these dishes require something like a spice that we've never used before and are honestly not likely to use again.

And in that case, take the time to go to a store like a Whole Foods or a specialty store where they have bulk herbs and spices so that you can get just enough of what you need. Take it from someone whose spice cabinet is like 30% spices that I got randomly for like one kind of complicated dish and then never used again, such as this jar of turmeric that I have that I've taken with me through like four apartments and now it's just solidified and hardened into this weird like clump of turmeric. It's not worth it.

There are some spices that you will use on an almost daily basis and some that you'll never use again. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try it, but just don't get a $10 jar of it. Number 10 is sliced and individually packaged foods.

As a general rule, any time of food is pre-sliced or pre-portion or individually wrapped, it is going to be more expensive for basically no reason. And this is everything from cheese to bread to little snack cakes to meat. Start buying things un-portioned.

And if you absolutely want to have everything in an individual serving size, you can do it yourself with reusable containers. But generally speaking, taking the two seconds to do something like slice a fresh slice of cheese off a block for your sandwich is going to be way better in terms of money, in terms of taste, and also for the environment because you're not using a ton of plastic for no reason. Number 11 is separate kitchen storage and bake ware.

A lot of times, I think mentally, we imagine that we have to have separate items for each part of our cooking and food storage life. For example, I think a lot of times, we'll have like plastic Tupperware or bags for storage, and then you'll have Pyrex bake ware, and then you'll even have perhaps something else for freezer storage. Cut that shit out.

Get yourself one set of several different sizes of the Pyrex containers that have the plastic tops on them. You can use them to store food, to take it with you. You can bake with them, and you can freeze them.

You only need one item to serve all these different functions. And plus, they're way more chic than the plastic Tupperware or takeout containers. One tip though, never ever put a Pyrex dish straight from the freezer into the oven unless you love having exploded glass everywhere.

You must thaw them first. Number 12 is wasted space in your home. Start thinking of every square foot of your home both in terms of storage and practicality as having a dollar value because it does.

When you have a totally useless junk drawer or a closet that's totally unoptimized or a bunch of old clothes that are just taking up space, that is costing you money. At least once every six months, you should be doing a cleaning/purging/reorganizing in your home to make sure that every square foot, especially in terms of storage, is being used efficiently and for things you actually use. When you are paying rent to store things that you don't even use, that is throwing money out the window.

And that goes doubly for people who have houses with rooms that they don't even really go in. But I live in New York. I don't know people like that.

Number 13 is needlessly disposable products. There are a lot of products in our day to day lives that we're used to thinking of in terms of being disposable, and that is costing us money. And a great example of that, for women at least, is razors.

We're marketed those really nice Venus disposable razors that cost like $16. And you get like, what? A couple weeks of good use out of them before they get dull.

On a real razor, which are often metal or some other fancy material, the actual little blade that you swap out every so often is pennies on the dollar. The problem is they're really only marketed to men now as this sort of like vintage hipster thing that takes you back to the barbershop days. But Mark uses one, for example, and he must have saved like $300 in the past couple of years on disposable razors.

They're not marketed to us, but women should start using them too. There's no reason that we should be throwing our money down the drain, whether on the super disposable Bic razors or the fancy Venus ones that have to have the head of the razor replaced like every three weeks. Some other examples of needlessly disposable products are travel-sized toiletries.

Get those little bottles that you put your regular stuff into. Chopsticks, Swiffer pads, K Cups, non-rechargeable batteries, sandwich bags. AKA, Anything that you are constantly throwing away that could be easily replaced with something you use again.

Whatever your individual items happen to be, the point is that you get out of the disposable mentality whenever possible. Generally speaking, a disposable product just means costing you more money for a little bit of convenience. As always guys, thank you so much for watching and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday for new and awesome videos.

Bye. This week's video was brought to you by FreshBooks. So as you guys know, Lorne and I run.

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