Believe it or not, if we wanted to become minimalist we had to stop buying so much. Here is my huge list of 43 things minimalists don’t buy. At least this is what we don’t buy anymore as a minimalist family of 5.
When I decided to become a minimalist I dove straight in. There was no thinking about it, I started decluttering right away.
I was convinced minimalism was all about decluttering what we already had. It wasn’t until I was done decluttering that I realized it was also about not buying as much as I used to.
In general, minimalism is more about changing the way we think about things rather than the exact amount of things we have. As we decluttered more and more we also bought less.
This was a gradual change over the last 4 years and it is still evolving.
But after 4 years of decluttering and becoming minimalist, this is what we don’t buy anymore.
43 Things We Don’t Buy Anymore as Minimalists
We slowly stopped buying these items as we found either we didn’t really need/ want them or we found a more eco-friendly alternative.
Every person has a different minimalist journey so if you still use these items that’s great, but this is what we decided to do without.
Here is the exact decluttering process I used in an actionable Decluttering E-Book.
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Minimalist Home Decor Category
As we were becoming more minimal and doing a lot of decluttering it hit me that I didn’t like fake plants.
I decided that I would be much happier with real plants. The fake ones just looked FAKE. I also questioned what the fake plants really brought to our home.
Real plants brought life and air and they are always changing. The fake plants just collected dust.
Decor with No Purpose
Another thing that really stood out to me was all the decor that had no purpose. At one point I had a ceramic fish that was on a stand on one of my shelves.
This was a fish I found at a garage sale, and I thought it would make my home feel beachy.
43 things we don’t buy anymore as a minimalist family video:
As a minimalist, I don’t decorate for every holiday anymore. Yes, we decorate for Christmas, but we don’t decorate for Valentine’s Day and all the other small days.
Kitchen Stuff We Don’t Buy
Plastic Water Bottles
I can’t believe we went so long buying one-use plastic water bottles! After I came across minimalism I started researching how to become eco-friendly.
The first thing we stopped using was plastic water bottles. When I did the math this ended up saving us over $1000. every year!
We bought a few reusable bottles and have been using them every day since. This saves us money and the environment.
One Use Gadgets
Most kitchens are filled with one-use gadgets. Apple slicer, garlic press, ice cream scooper, rice maker, and the list goes on and on.
I decluttered all of these one-use gadgets and only kept the few that we use every week. It is easy to see a normal spoon can scoop ice cream and we can make rice on the stove.
Plastic Grocery Bags
We no longer get free plastic grocery bags when we buy our food. I always bring my reusable bags with me and use them.
One tip I have in case you forget your bags in the car. Just put your groceries back into the cart and then bag them in the car yourself.
Sometimes this is actually easier!
Most air fresheners are full of chemicals and you are paying for a spray!
As soon as I realized this I stopped buying all air fresheners and my house still smells great.
Plugin Smelly Stuff
I don’t buy smelly plugins. Not for my car or my house.
Most of the smells make my stomach turn and what is wrong with smelling nothing?
Whenever I do smell these perfumy smells now I want to run away.
We switched to cloth napkins. I thought this was going to be a huge hassle, but it really isn’t.
I bought two sets of cloth napkins and I wash them with all our towels. They work perfectly!
If you want to save money and the environment then ditch the cling wrap.
Instead of cling wrap, you can use beeswax wraps or I like to use glass containers to store food.
Plastic Sandwich Baggies
First, buy some reusable sandwich bags and then you can ditch the one-use plastic bags.
All Things Wardrobe We Don’t Buy
Seasonal Themed Clothes
Yes, I buy clothes for different seasons, but I don’t buy seasonal-themed clothes.
What I mean is I don’t buy a special 4th of July shirt just for that one day. I no longer buy my kids all the seasonal “special day” shirts.
Over time I realized these shirts were never worn and by the time the holiday came around again no one wore the “old themed shirt.”
More Than One Type of Shoe
I am trying to only keep one type of each shoe. One pair of tennis shoes, one pair of heels, and one pair of flip-flops.
It is great to have variety, but I only wear my favorites anyway so why have more?
Just because a new trend comes out does not mean we all need to go for it. Recently I heard skinny jeans are out and some kind of balloon pants are in.
Well, I don’t fall for the latest trends unless they suit my style and body type.
The latest trends are something I don’t buy anymore.
After we bought some dryer balls I realized I didn’t need to buy dryer sheets.
This is so much better for the environment! Once we were used to not smelling that artificial smell our clothes actually last longer and smell better.
I don’t buy scent boosters for the laundry. This is a newish product that we have all lived without forever.
I tried them once before realizing we don’t need extra scent on anything.
Uncomfortable “suck it in” Undergarments
Since becoming a minimalist I realized I am not going to dress in a way that is uncomfortable for me.
Nothing is worth that! This is why I don’t buy any restricting undergarments.
Believe me, we aren’t fooling anyone!
I no longer buy jewelry as a minimalist. It was never something I was into, but I realized I don’t really like wearing jewelry.
This was something I did for fashion and now I don’t see the point. I do wear my wedding ring and I have one set of earrings but I no longer buy costume jewelry.
Kid Stuff I Don’t Buy
Toys Bought Under Pressure
I think we have all been here as a parent. We are at the store and our children start screaming they want something.
In the past I would just buy it to stop the screaming, but not anymore.
Now I explain that I will not be buying any toys we don’t need before we hit the store.
Seasonal Theme Sheets
I don’t buy Christmas sheets or any other type of sheet that is only used for a portion of the year.
We don’t buy the latest toys. There is always something new coming out.
This would be a never-ending cycle.
Bigger is not always better. I have realized bigger toys almost never get used in our home.
Of course, this is different for everyone, but after I realized this early on I stopped buying large toys.
Things I Don’t Buy for the Bathroom
I don’t buy nail polish anymore. Every time I would paint my nails they would get brittle and break.
Plus all the time spent painting my nails only to have them chip and have to redo it a week later.
After becoming a minimalist I didn’t see the point in having nail polish. It was not how I wanted to spend my time.
Back up Towels
After a lot of decluttering, I stopped buying backup towels. Each of us have 2 towels and I replace them when needed.
I have the standard blow dryer and curling iron, but I don’t buy any more hair gadgets.
New Makeup Styles
Since becoming a minimalist I don’t buy new makeup styles.
I know what works for my face and I don’t fall for all the marketing of new products.
I no longer buy face creams and face routines that promise perfect skin.
There are a few products that I have used for a long time and I rarely buy “new to the market” products anymore.
I don’t buy any anti aging face products besides sunscreen and a hat. Show me, one person, who does not look old after using them.
Everyone gets old and will look old eventually, no cream is going to stop that.
Expensive Hair Products
Expensive hair products can be the same as inexpensive hair products.
Especially shampoo and conditioner, I have tried inexpensive and expensive and realized just because something costs more doesn’t mean it’s better.
It is more about the quality of the product and what works for your hair.
All The Other Things We As Minimalists Don’t Buy
DVDs / DVD Player / CDs
I donated all of my DVDs and the DVD player since everything is now streaming. We ended up keeping a few CDs but I no longer see any reason to add to the collection.
I now take advantage of all the apps that have free music.
Expensive Name Brands
Buying expensive name brands just for the name is a complete waste of money. Since becoming minimalist and taking all the value off of things I now see them for what they are.
The product itself is what matters and if it solves the need you have. Take a purse, for instance, you can have a super well-made purse for a reasonable price. Slap a name brand on it and now it doubles in price. We have to ask, why we would fall for this.
Before minimalism, I use to get a magnet from every location I went to. Soon my refrigerator was filled with magnets.
Then I decided I don’t like the cluttered look of the magnets on my fridge. Which is when I asked myself if I really needed to keep all these magnets.
The simple answer was no LOL.
I had this grand plan to make a big photo album of every year of our lives. This idea came about when my first son was born. I bought a bunch of large albums and printed out a ton of photos.
Sometimes I would print 10 to 15 photos from one event. Putting these albums together quickly became somewhat of a burden. When I was about halfway through putting the first album together I lost steam.
After decluttering a lot of the things in our home I decided to rethink the “album every year idea.”
I decided I could print one or two photos from important events and stick them all in one album. Hopefully, this one album will cover many years in our lives.
I have found that sale items are only a good deal if you actually need the item. Whenever I get a coupon or catalog it goes straight into the recycle bin.
Going with the theme of avoiding chemicals and mysterious fragrances, I have decided to stop buying perfume.
New Phone Every Year
With every new year, there is the opportunity to upgrade your phone. I now see this as a never-ending cycle.
Now I use my phone until it doesn’t work anymore.
There is a difference between a product being inexpensive and cheap. In the past, I have bought cheap products to save money.
Most of the time they break pretty quickly and I find myself having to buy the well made slightly more expensive version anyways.
The first thing we stopped buying on our minimalist journey was cable TV. I thought long and hard about whether we needed it or not.
It was expensive and it took up a lot of time. TV has a way of sucking you in and wasting your time.
6 years later and we still don’t have cable TV. This was the best decision we ever made! We save $50 a month, which works out to be around $600. a year.
Most magazines are full of ads that made me want the newest trend. This was so easy to give up.
I tried an essential oil subscription box for a month and decided it wasn’t for me. Initially, I thought it would be great because I could use the oils for all sorts of things.
But I quickly realized I only liked a few oils in the box and all the other things became extra clutter.
Now I don’t buy any subscriptions of any kind.
Gaming Devices / Games
This is a personal choice to not have any gaming devices in my home. I feel we are in front of a screen enough between computers, tablets, and phones.
Things we Don’t Buy Conclusion
So what changed after we don’t buy these things anymore? Well, one big thing is we have a lot less clutter. It is easier to stay minimalist with every item we add to this list.
We save a lot of money! Read this post on how we save thousands every month. Everything we buy equals time spent earning money. Also, each purchase takes time to research and go out and buy. So now we have extra time too!
Here is a great post on 10 Minimalist Practices That Changed My Life.
Looking to Declutter?
Check out my decluttering Ebook where I lay out the exact method I used to declutter everything extra in our home.