Diabetes supplies are expensive. They’re also non-negotiable. We need them, plain and simple. While there are a few tips and tricks that can sometimes make them cheaper (like NOT going through insurance or a distributor), the real way to save your money is by minimizing the OTHER things you buy. Here are eight things I don’t buy anymore so I can have more money for diabetes supplies.
The 8 Things…
1. I broke up with fast fashion
In college I had a love affair with fast fashion. I went shopping every other weekend. In my mind, the cheaper and more “in” the better. I didn’t think about who was making my clothes, what their wage or working conditions were like, how long that item of clothing would last me, or where it would end up once I trashed it – why? because it was $5. It’s embarrassing to say, but honest.
Consumption is addicting, especially today. You can’t watch a Youtube video or read a blog without running into at least 2 advertisements. While I’m not demonizing the ads (because this is often how people make money off their side hustles – myself included) it is imperative that we as the viewers stay aware of how much we’re being advertised to.
Here are the steps I took to quit fast fashion and save a ton of money:
- Define your everyday style. While you might love the look of a pretty blouse and heels, is that truthfully what you wear on a daily basis? Or are you more of a sneakers, leggings, and an oversized tee kind of gal? Before any piece of clothing is added to your wardrobe, ask yourself “Am I really going to wear this? On what occasions and how often are those occasions happening in my life right now?”. Think about your current wardrobe and how that new piece will fit it. How many outfits can it go with? Are you able to throw this is the wash and dryer or does it have to be hand washed/dry cleaned?
- Buy 2nd Hand. Second hand stores are the way to go! And because quality brands holdup well, you’ll find a lot of these quality brands in secondhand stores. Also, you’d be surprised how many are brand new with tags! My two favorite online stores are ThredUp.com & Swap.com. My #1 tip for ordering clothes online is to know what styles look good on you. What necklines typically flatter you the most? How long do you like your shirts to be? What colors looks best on you? Etc.
- When you do buy new, shop quality & sustainable brands. I like to use the app Good On You. They rate brands based on three criteria: Labor, Environment, Animal.
2. I avoid most packaged/convenience foods
I’m talking about the pre-sliced carrot sticks, the peeled and diced fruits, the salad dressings, cookies, and mixed spice seasonings (like Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, etc). These can be made/prepared cheaper at home. Plus, in regards to the pre-cut produce, when you prepare it yourself at home you’re not ingesting all the preservatives that the stores sprays on it to keep it looking and tasting fresh.
3. I ditched conventional pads & tampons
The average woman spends $100-200/year on menstrual supplies every year. That’s 1-6 months of insulin depending on your insurance! Now I’m not suggesting free-bleeding (unless that’s your thing), but instead menstrual cups & period underwear. A menstrual cup is a great swap for those who like tampons, and period underwear is great for those who prefer pads. I love Asile’s period underwear and wear them at night. I have only tried one brand of menstrual cup and the fit wasn’t great so I’m still on the search for a good one. Here is a good place to start your menstrual cup search.
4. Said goodbye to sponges & bag clips
While these don’t add up to a whole lot, it’s the cumulative amount that matters here. The average person spends about $60/year on sponges and probably $20/year on bag clips…. that’s $80! Which is 1-3 months of test strips depending on your insurance! Instead of using a new sponge every week, we use machine washable dish rags. And instead of bag clips, we use rubber bands that we get from our produce.
5. Let go of having my drinking glasses match
A set of 12 drinking glasses can range anywhere from $40-$80. And because we humans are clumsy, we might be replacing those every year or so. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret… honey jars, pickle jars, and mustard jars make amazing drinking glasses!
6. Trashed all my candles
aka Kryptonite. These were definitely the hardest for me to stop buying. Who DOESN’T want their home to smell like warm vanilla sugar? But at $20-$40 a pop (+ the fragrance headaches they bring on) it’s not worth it! Especially when you can make your house smell like REAL warm vanilla and sugar from REAL fresh baked cookies! Simmer pots are another great, healthier alternative to candles. See how I make my simmer pots HERE.
7. Ditched single use cotton balls
If you’re buying these every other week, like I was, then I’m going to share with you a tip that will save you $130/year….. You don’t need them for applying toner (use your fingers or a mini spray bottle instead!) and for everything else, use reusable cloth pads. Take your $130 saved and throw it towards a medical alert ID and diabetes bag.
8. Said ‘sayonara’ to conventional wrapping paper
Wrapping paper is one of those sneaky buys that you don’t really realize how much you’re spending on it; like your daily coffee. The $5.99 seems harmless in small doses. Birthday party here, Baby shower there. But when you realize Americans spend 2.6 BILLION dollars on wrapping paper a year, you’re like, “woah, let’s invest that money somewhere else…. like diabetes supplies!”. One of my favorite ways to wrap presents is with packaging I get from online orders or grocery shopping. Most companies are savvy to using as little plastic as possible and wrap your items in tissue paper or some form of paper packaging. That packaging is perfect for gift wrap! And when you go grocery shopping (and have forgotten your reusable bags) ask for paper. I’ve also used blankets when gifting items here at the home (to Miles or Justin).
What are some savvy saves that you’ve adopted recently (or over the years)?
Let me know in the comments!