23 Things I No Longer Buy as a Minimalist & Save Money

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It is funny how much your value and ideals change when you become a minimalist. There are so many things I no longer buy as a minimalist that I didn’t used to give two seconds to think about before becoming a minimalist.

It is crazy to think about how much my consumption has reduced as a result of not buying these things. This just goes to show you how strong marketing can be and how unconscious we’ve allowed ourselves to be when it comes to consuming things.

There are so many things I no longer buy as a minimalist that I didn't used to give two seconds to think about before becoming a minimalist.

Things I No Longer Buy as a Minimalist

1 // Seasonal Trendy Pieces

Having a sustainable wardrobe is key for me since becoming a minimalist. Purchasing pieces that only last one or two seasons creates an excess in not only my home, but it also creates a bigger demand for fast fashion.

Related Post: Create a Capsule Wardrobe; My Project 333 Experience

2 // New Clothes

While I do buy clothes I need, I purchase them secondhand. It is an eco-friendly option that keeps me away from trendy clothes and allows to invest in better quality pieces at a much lower price.

Small disclaimer: I do purchase undergarmets new, but I invest in pieces these pieces so they last much longer.

Related Post: How to Rebuild Your Wardrobe; Building a Wardrobe from Scratch

3 // Wax Warmers, Candles, Aerosol Sprays

These all may smell great, but they are full of harmful chemicals that I no don’t want to breathe. I have since switched to essential oil diffusers, and DIY room sprays.

Now my home is full of pure, natural products that I do not fear breathing in and at the same time I am able to purify the air in my home!

If you are someone who just loves candles, there are organic coconut waxed candles made with pure essential oils. You can find a lot of small businesses who make these on Etsy or Instagram. Just do your homework on the ingredients before you say it is safe.

Related Post: 15 Things I No Longer Buy as a Homesteader

3 // Non-quality Products

Minimalism’s main focus is to reduce consumerism in your home. When purchasing non-quality products, consumption occurs more frequently and can cost more in the long run.

However, it is less likely to occur when spending a little more money for a product that can last multiple times longer. This also helps the shopaholic that lives inside of me stay deeply buried.

4 // Conventional Household Cleaners

Like #2, these cleaners are full of very harmful chemicals. These chemicals are not only toxic to ingest, but also toxic to breathe.

Since changing to natural cleaners, I have noticed a big difference in cleaning my home. It takes fewer cleaners, too, because I just need an all-purpose cleaner, vinegar, and baking soda.

Related Post: Minimalist Cleaning Routine to Maintain a Tidy Home

5 // Satellite/Cable TV

I used to think we had to have all of these channels with hundreds of options. Overtime I realized that I did not have all of the options I thought. I began to waste time finding something to watch.

One day, I decided enough was enough. I was tired of overpaying for TV I did not watch! I cancelled it, paid cancellation fees, and switched to Netflix.

Now I have the freedom to watch what I want, when I want. The best part is I am paying a sliver compared to what I was paying.

Related Post: 39 Ways to Cut Expenses Out of Your Budget

6 // Single-Use Items

By switching to reusable items, I’ve eliminated the need for single-use items almost completely within my home. The reduced consumption and cost savings are both amazing benefits, but most importantly the waste I’ve reduced in my home is best of all.

I still purchase toilet paper, but I’m not about the family cloth thing…. No offense to anyone who is. It just isn’t for me.

7 // Alcohol

In December 2016, I gave up drinking alcohol. I just decided I had drank enough for my lifetime and have lived without it ever since. The money I save and my health far outweigh any glass of wine I used to enjoy.

8 // Magazines

I used to pick up a magazine when checking out at the grocery store and subscribe to a few via snail mail. However, I never really read or looked through them, so I put a boundary in place to stop purchasing and subscribing to magazines.

I don’t miss them. If I think a headline is worthy of picking up a magazine, I flip through it in the store and put it back. But that is a very rare occasion.

9 // DVDs & CDs

I used to have a HUGE CD collection, but after realizing that it was a space filler, I decluttered it. CDs are really things of the past anyways.

When it comes to DVDs, I was never an avid buyer. With Netflix and other streaming options, I don’t feel the need to buy them.

10 // Jewelry

I used to have an armour full of jewelry, but it was mostly due to a job I used to have. The women I worked with were big into jewelry and I felt needed a lot of jewelry to fit into their crowd.

After leaving that job, I realized what I did and slowly started to declutter my collection. I haven’t purchased a new piece of jewelry in years, and don’t see the need for it. I have my staples that I wear daily and that is good enough for me.

Related Post: How to Downsize and Simplify Your Home

11 // Nail Polish & Manicures

This is another thing I used to spoil myself with and don’t anymore. When I learned how toxic nail polish is and all about the germs with nail salons, I eliminated both from my life.

I’m a country girl, so unless I invest in acrylics there isn’t any point. I’ll chip the polish within the first 24 hours.

Instead, I keep my nails trimmed and hands moisturized. I don’t worry what other people think, because it isn’t about them.

12 // Face Wipes

When I found the world of oil cleansing, I stopped using face wipes altogether! I wasn’t a big fan of them to begin with, so I was beyond thankful to find a replacement.

Now I use jojoba oil and a wash cloth to remove my makeup. It is way more effective and gentler than any face wipe I’ve ever tried.

13 // Dryer Sheets

There are so many reasons I don’t use dryer sheets, but the primary reason is because wool dryer balls work better. Dryer sheets aren’t good for the environment and are costly compared to wool dryer balls.

Related Post: 101 Ways to Reduce Waste

14 // Just In Case

Just in case things I no longer buy include something that is on sale that I could use one day but don’t necessarily need it today. An example would be a notebook, pens, or a book that I may or may not read.

Just in case items are more so about buying impulsly due to an urge or habit. 

15 // Mugs

I love a pretty mug, but I don’t need any more mugs. I have four that match my plates and that is more than enough.

If they break, I will replace them. However, I will not purchase a mug just because I can.

There are so many things I no longer buy as a minimalist that I didn't used to give two seconds to think about before becoming a minimalist.

16 // Plastic Kitchen Tools & Containers

This is a hard NO in my home. Plastic is toxic and can leach chemicals into your food, and I want no part in poisoning myself or family. 

Glass, stainless steel, or wood for me please!

Related Post: Kitchen Declutter Challenge: Let’s Declutter the Heart of the Home

17 // Purses & Wallets

I used to purchase new purses and wallets frequently. There used to be a collection at one point…. Now, I have exactly one purse and one wallet.

I have had my wallet for 10 years now, and I don’t plan to replace it any time soon. It is of great quality and will probably last me another 10-20 years.

My purse will probably be replaced in the next couple of years, but when the new one arrives, this purse will be donated or recycled.

FYI, vegan leather is often times plastic. Please don’t purchase plastic leather, because it claims to be vegan. Instead opt for natural materials.

18 // Dog Toys

Even with purchasing natural fiber ropes, I’ve come to realize that my fur babies prefer to play with each other. The toys will sit in the same place for a month undisturbed, so I’ve stopped wasting my money on dog toys.

19 // Gift Wrapping

It is too easy to reuse a gift bag that someone doesn’t want at the end of a party. Thanks to this, I don’t buy gift wrapping of any kind.

It saves me a lot of money and keeps unnecessary waste out of the landfill. You can reuse a bag multiple times, so there really isn’t a need to go out and purchase new things for every occassion.

Related Post: 4 Things to Declutter for a Simple, Clutter-Free Holiday Season

20 // Craft Supplies

I used to have an entire room dedicated to craft supplies, hopeless dreams, and wishful thinking. Once I realized that I chose to not be crafty, I stopped buying craft supplies.

If there is a project I do need something for, I will get the supplies I need, but just what I need.

21 // Lipstick

I’m not a lipstick person, but I tried to be for YEARS! Don’t get me wrong, I love a deep berry lipstick. It can be very beautiful.

The problem for me was actually wearing it, reapplying after drinking or eating, and not leaving it in the car during the summer months. Really it was just a pain altogether.

Instead, I prefer a lip balm that is low mainenance and just needs to be applied in the morning and before bed.

Related Post: My Minimalist Beauty Routine

22 // Shaving Cream

I really don’t know when or why I stopped buying shaving cream. I just know that at some point it happened.

It really isn’t an essential, because water works just fine. If I want to spice things up, I use conditioner or soap.

23 // Cooking Spray

When I found out about the Misto Oil Sprayer, I stopped buying cooking spray. If you don’t know what the Misto Oil Sprayer is, it is an air pump sprayer that allows you to put any oil in it you want.

It is refillable, so you never have to buy overpriced cooking spray again. You just use what you have in the cabinets.

You can purchase the Misto Oil Sprayer from Amazon, and I highly encourage you do so now! It really is my favorite minimalist kitchen gadget!

I love getting to save time and money on things I no longer buy as a minimalist because it has grown the quality of my life. In my home, the focus has shifted from material possessions to quality time together or working on passion projects.

We are investing in higher quality things when necessary and think about the things we need to replace before heading to the store to settle on whatever they have. I don’t buy things without thinking about it for at least a week, because I don’t want to be a victim of impulse shopping or spending money I don’t have.

These are just a few things I no longer buy since becoming a minimalist. I’d love to know in the comments what you no longer buy and why.

There are so many things I no longer buy as a minimalist that I didn't used to give two seconds to think about before becoming a minimalist.

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60 thoughts on “23 Things I No Longer Buy as a Minimalist & Save Money”

  1. LavaidaVandelia

    2 questions: -can essential oils be burned, like in an oil lamp with a wick?
    – could essential oil be added to a fairly clean carrier oil and then used in the Misto?

    1. Hi Lavaida! Those are great questions! I don’t recommend burning essential oils, as it changes their properties. However, people do put them in candles, so I think adding them to an oil lamp should be okay. They aren’t going to harm you if you burn them, but diffusing them is best. As for your second question, I don’t see why you couldn’t. I haven’t tried it personally, but I’m sure it would work just fine. Hope this is helpful!

  2. Great article! Love these ideas. I use most of them too. Thank you for sharing. I noticed when I started cleaning for a friend with COPD she can’t do candles, cleaners, fabric sheets and so on. Bad for health. Shes not supposed to breath those things. I thought if it bad for your health. How is it good for ours. I cut those things out and for candles I use my essential oils now. Specially Pine this year mixed with peppermint feels like I’m in the mountains. Better smell and so fresh n clean. ♥️

    1. That is great thinking, Amber! You’re right, too. If it isn’t good for someone with COPD, odds are it isn’t good for anyone. I also have been using pine and peppermint for my diffuser and completely agree with you about the benefits!

  3. Michelle L Twitchell

    I am older female in a small home. I dont have cable, I have empty cupboard space in kitchen. Mostly just ditch the stove in my tiny kitchen. Instead I put potting bench in the space. I eat plant base so I have crockpot for my soups, chilies and other dishes. I have a toaster oven that bakes, roast, toast and broil. Lastly I have 1 burner hot plate which I can do the rest of meals on. Love the space now focus on creating great meals

    1. That is very creative and unique, Michelle! I bet you really enjoy your kitchen, as it is set up to serve your needs best. We don’t have cable, and I really want to shut off Hulu. If it weren’t for my husband wanting to watch it, we wouldn’t have it.

  4. The one and only Eric

    I haven’t used shampoo since 2012. If your hair gets too oily it gets absorbed by your pillow case. I rarely use soap. My skin is much healthier now.
    You know what is good for shaving? Pure vitamin E oil. It’s good for your razor and great for your skin.
    I also got rid of my pillow. My neck and back pain went along with it.

    1. I didn’t realize Vitamin E oil was good for shaving! That is amazing and good to know. Thank you for sharing that, Eric! While I won’t say never, giving up shampoo and conditioner would be extremely difficult for me. Soap is another thing that I love, and only use organic soaps.

  5. Great tips !! Beware soy and essential oil candles, they are still not great options. Beeswax is the really only truly safe option. Great podcast about this on Low Tox Living.

    1. Thank you, Vanessa! Yes, it does take some rethinking. It also takes practicing and implementing new habits, so always remember if you slip up that it is okay and you can always do better the next time! 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing! It is amazing how many things we can really live without. So much more time for other things!

  7. I know this post is a little old but I just read it and loved it so much. I just recently began the minimalist journey for my family and it has been so good for us! I appreciate that you are going chemical free as well because I feel the two go hand in hand!

    1. Julia, this is post is one of my favorites! I do update it from time to time so that it stays relevant, and I am glad you enjoyed it, too! They definitely do go hand in hand. It is crazy how much our mind shifts as we start our journey, even if all we originally wanted to do was declutter our things a bit.

  8. Keating | Why Hello Lovely

    We currently don’t pay for cable either, but not for financial reasons. Simply because there are zero good cable companies where we’re currently living haha drives me insane. And I will always be a huge fan of candles. My husband and I have so many of them in our home.

    1. I know what you mean, Keating! We live in a rural area where there is only one internet provider. I can understand being a fan of candles. I used to be, but now I use an essential oil diffuser and love it!

  9. love these ideas – I’ve mostly ditched the candles (although I’m a sucker for christmas tree candles this time of year) … and next on my list might need to be the cleaners!

  10. We haven’t had cable in probably 3 or 4 years and I don’t really miss it all that much (except for Food Network and HGTV!). We have Amazon Prime Video and Netflix and it’s been great for us, plus a big money saver.

  11. I liked you switching it up to things that you don’t purchase anymore. I’m to minimize the consumerism in my house and I’ve also taken a few of these things out of my life. I haven’t done the household cleaners yet so this makes me want to get on that.

    1. Thank you, Erica! I enjoyed switching it up a bit as well! If nothing else, I would definitely suggest switching out household cleaners this year. You will be amazed at the difference of how clean your home is by using natural products.

  12. To point #4, I had friends over last night who said they clean EVERYTHING in their house with just white vinegar, water and essential oils. Everything…from the stovetop to their windows. I am definitely going to make this switch this year and no longer buy regular cleaning products.

    1. You definitely need to try it, Sarah Jean! I enjoy cleaning tight spaces much more now that I am not breathing in toxic chemicals. I can clean my shower in one go, instead of taking breathing breaks! For me, that is HUGE!

    1. I do not currently, but I can definitely come up with something in the near future! I have been meaning to do it for a little bit, but I wanted to play around with different smells before I shared a few favorites.

  13. I’ve been debating cutting cable for a while now. I live with three other roommates, so I wouldn’t be able to do that while I live with them, but it’s something I’ve seriously considered for when I move out. Anything I watch, I can just find on Netflix or the internet!

  14. I know this might come as a shock, but I completely agree with the first rule on not purchasing trendy/seasonal pieces. Leggings with halloween cat print on them might be cute, but as far as practicality goes you probably wont’ get much wear out of them. I try to steer clear of trendy items like those for that very reason. Great post!

    1. You are right, Cara! I am a little shocked, but I do see what you mean. I think a lot of your pieces on your blog are trendy, but not so trendy that you cannot make them work for a few years. I think having personality within a wardrobe is just as important and finding pieces that will work until they have no more wear in them.

    1. I feel the same with Netflix sometimes, Belle. My husband and I both enjoy shows from the History Channel and Discovery Channel. But with all of the options Netflix offers, we always have something to watch.

  15. I need to get an oil diffuser! I LOVE candles, but had never thought about the harmful stuff it puts into my air. Thanks for these awesome Friday Faves 🙂

      1. If you are buying organic, soy wax candles made with only pure oils and no chemicals, I’m curious to know what the concern is with the candles. ?

        1. Jen, that is a great question! Within this post, I am only referring to conventional / chemical filled candles. I need to make that distinction, so thank you for addressing it! 🙂 When it comes to organic, soy wax candles made with only pure essential oils, I do not see an issue. At the time that I wrote this post, I did not know these candles existed, which was not that long ago. It shows you how quickly things can change when the demand for it is there.

  16. Numbers 1 and 3 went hand in hand when we started with minimalism. Just those two simple concepts had huge ripple effects – fabulous ones!

    1. That is great, Jenna! I definitely agree! At first I tried to purchase basics second hand, but you do not always find quality clothing that way. If I have to search elsewhere, I make sure the piece is made by an ethical brand.

  17. Lauren @ Imperfect Adventures

    These are great suggestions! We are slowly trying to become more minimalist and I think my next step will be to have a less seasonal wardrobe. I will have to look into fast fashion.

    1. Thank you, Lauren! Having a less seasonal wardrobe is a great start! I was blown away with all of the things I found out about sweat shops and the resources it takes to produce clothing. I now try to focus on second hand shopping or purchasing things made by ethical brands.

  18. I am trying to cut down and haven’t been shopping in ages. I wish we could get rid of the cable but hubby refuses. Maybe someday.

  19. I love my wax warmers though 🙁 but you are so right! I want to get rid of cable so bad but I live in my dads old house and just took over his bills and our Time Warner Cable account has all of our employees emails associated and if we get rid of it – the email addresses go away too so my dad won’t let me!

          1. There are 100s of free channels for the roku. I bought. Roky player for about 30.00 it was less than the cheapest antenna. Right now i am watching the olympics on nbc sports channel. Check out roku website for all the free channels abc nbc cbs so many. All you need is internet. Youtube also has information on the roku. I just talked two more friends into purchasing the roku. They are more than happy with what they are able to watch. Also available is news weather sports and of course you can use netflix. Amazon prime and hulu. Also use spotify or pandora among others for your music. There are even holiday channels for holiday music scenery etc.

          2. Pam Anderson

            Hi Erin, I went to my laptop rather than trying to add the website for the Roku; https://www.roku.com/index . I bought the Roku Express at Walmart. It was about $30.00. I could not even buy the smallet antenna they had for this price. Please check out there website as they are tons of information there about how it works, what types of Roku are available and all the channels that are available at this time. There are updates almost daily of new channels available. One nice thing is that you can add channels that you pay for if that is something that interests you. I find more than enough to watch for free. Also are you all familar with Amazon Prime. If you are a student you get this for half price which is about $45.00. When you sign up, you are given the first 6 months free, after that you will be charged for one year membership. Check this out too as you not only get movies, videos, but you also get free shipping free music, Also free reading of magazines and books!! Hope this helps~

    1. You can frequently scale back your cable service. I kept Xfinity internet and they give me basic cable for free. I use Amazon Fire sticks on my televisions and get my programming through PlayStation Vue. I tried Hulu which was a little less expensive but Vue is easier to use. I have gone from over $200 a month to just under $150 for tv programming, cable, and Blast internet. I gave up my home phone. I wasn’t using it. No PlayStation is needed for PlayStation Vue.

      1. Where I live, the internet and phone are a package you cannot split apart. The co-op is our only option currently. We went from paying close to $200 a month to $90. I love the savings, but the lack of TV options, such as the History or Discovery channel is taking its toll. We enjoy a lot of those shows, so I am thinking about purchasing them individually.

        1. Mary Paitsel

          Services like Playstayion and Hulu are not too pricey and have many channels. You can stream Vue on up to five devices at a time

    2. You can export the email addresses from the address book, just Google how. There is usually an option near the address book to export and then you can import them into a new gmail or similar email address or even just excel

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