43 Things We Don’t Buy Anymore as Minimalists

things I don't buy as a minimalist

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.

Check out my Get Things Done Printable to stay organized and on task.

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Minimalist Home Decor Category


Fake Plants

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.

Here is My Favorite REAL plant

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:


Holiday Decor

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.

Here is a link to my favorite reusable water bottle for my kids.

Here is a link to my favorite reusable water cup with a straw (this is what I prefer to use everyday).


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!


Air Freshener

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.


Paper Napkins

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!


Cling Wrap

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.

Here is a simple tutorial on how to make your own beeswax wraps.


Plastic Sandwich Baggies

First, buy some reusable sandwich bags and then you can ditch the one-use plastic bags.

Here are the reusable sandwich bags I really like. 

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?


Latest Trends

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.


Dryer Sheets

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.

Here is a link to the Dryer Balls I really like.


Scent Boosters

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.


Latest Toys

We don’t buy the latest toys.  There is always something new coming out. 

This would be a never-ending cycle.

Simple Living Quotes to Inspire you to Declutter & Simplify your Life!

Large Toys

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


Nail Polish

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.


Hair Gadgets

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.


Face Routines

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.


Anti-aging Stuff

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.

You can try Amazon Music Unlimited for 30 Days Free – Click this link to find out more information.


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.


Photo Albums

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.


Sale Items

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.

"collect moments not things." - Paulo Coelho

Cheap Products

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.


Cable TV

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.


Subscription Boxes

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.

declutter course

Read More About How We Became Minimalist:

21 Minimalist habits that will change your life!

5 Minimalist Myths

Minimalism at Christmas Time

What You Should Stop Doing


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43 things we don't buy anymore as a minimalist family

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30 thoughts on “43 Things We Don’t Buy Anymore as Minimalists”

  1. Sussn

    I found this very extreem, certainly don’t agree.

    1. SHANNON

      You don’t need to agree and that is why the title of this post is called “43 Things WE Don’t Buy as Minimalist” LOL.

      1. Love this!I decluttered everything this way also and more. And as fir dryer balls adding a few drops if tour favorite essential oils scent to dryer balls leaves clothes staying fresh scented.And hint in summer use lemongrass essential oil on dryer balls makes bugs stay off you!!!Thanks for the tips keep sharing please!

    2. Kelly

      Me too. Have a little bit of fun in life, right?

      1. Cigi

        I think you’ve gone waaay beyond “ minimalist” and ended up just plain cheap and boring !
        …. Moderation could be the key to some life in your life!

        1. SHANNON

          Wow your comment is so nice. Good thing you are going around and spreading joy and kindness LOL

    3. SHANNON

      You don’t have to agree that is why the title is things WE don’t do anymore. =)
      It might not be for everyone, but man we have a lot of money in the bank since we aren’t wasting it on things we don’t need.

      1. Linda Wheeler

        You are right on! The money saved is amazing. The health benefits are huge!! These ideas are not extreme at all. I have been a minimalist/environmentalist for decades. Hair conditioners are another thing for me because of my hair, but everyone must use what ideas work for them! Plastic and chemicals in the air and our homes is a real health hazard. Renew, reuse, recycle! Our world is drowning in “stuff”

  2. SARAH

    Your list your personal list and many give one pause when making my personal list. I’m currently decluttering my attic which (about 40 years of stuff) I find my best advice is to take things you’re donating to the donation spot as the last step each day. if it hangs around the house, it’s too easy to second guess my decisions and start taking things back out of the donate box. Decide once then get it out of the hiuse!

  3. Jean

    I lived your ideas. I do many different f these things already. I live with someone who likes to hang on to everything. So, allowing the other person. To live the way they want to us important. It takes a lot of patience and compromise. Good luck to all out there who are trying to live with less.

  4. Rebecca

    “Just put your groceries back into the cart and then bag them in the car yourself. Sometimes this is actually easier!”
    I saw a Pinterest post where they had 2-3 of those sturdy laundry baskets and put there loose groceries into them with cold stuff, squishable, others. It looked like it made it easier to carry in a couple baskets then a bunch of bags.

  5. Patricia

    I’m curious that you don’t buy tights or “nylons” any more. Do you live in a climate where you can do bare legs all year or do you just not wear skirts? You do have some great tips!

    1. SHANNON

      I guess I am just referring more to those uncomfortable “suck it in” garments. I do live in a warm climate and I don’t normally choose to wear dresses or skirts in cold weather. Just a personal preference. =)

  6. Eloise

    This is what I would consider a normal, environmentally conscious, non-consumerist lifestyle. Which is hard in your culture, I know. It’s great to hear your progress.
    One thing I felt at odds was that the blog is filled with ads for buying more clutter. 😆

    1. SHANNON

      Thank you, I don’t have control over what ads show.

  7. Love this!I decluttered everything this way also and more. And as for dryer balls adding a few drops if your favorite essential oils scent to dryer balls leaves clothes staying fresh scented.And hint in summer use lemongrass essential oil on dryer balls makes bugs stay off you!!!Thanks for the tips keep sharing please!

  8. Cherie

    I am so glad you included the idea of packing your groceries once you get to the car!! I feel like a dummy for never having thought of that! With that said, I have way too many of those re-usable shopping bags. Using a laundry basket is much easier and less “stuff” in my trunk.

    1. Though I completely agree that loading straight into the car is a good strategy, with society as it is, right now…I try to avoid putting myself in a potentially vulnerable position. I might consider putting the laundry basket in the cart.

  9. Liesa

    Even though I am not a minimalist and never considered my self to be called as one, I never buy those things, simply because i think these stuffs do nothing than inefficiency, do not worth to buy. Just consider the stuff will be useful for long period or leave it.

    1. SHANNON

      Great =) I hope you are doing well.

  10. Libby Ellis

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article ! It made me view quite a few things a lot differently. I’ve been doing good at decluttering, but this article is going to help me even more at reaching my goal of “less” clutter!! Thanks so much!!!

    1. SHANNON

      Thank you, I hope you are having a nice day.

  11. Janice

    This list started as a list for minimalism and quickly turn into a list of frugal spending. A lot of good and obvious ideas, but others seemed more like a preference and not necessarily “minimalism”.

    1. SHANNON

      Minimalism means something different for everyone and there aren’t any rules. That is what minimalism is “preferences”. This is why the title of this post is called “Things we don’t buy anymore as minimalists” =)

  12. Mary Kline

    I don’t consider myself a minimalist but I don’t buy most of these things listed. I’m not sure what that makes me except someone who uses common sense and doesn’t want to spend money needlessly.

  13. Love what you have done; I already do some of these…..don’t consider that what you have done is boring……rather it means a lot less landfill, and some people just buy for the sake of buying….one only has to look at garage sales and think, what was all that stuff for if they are getting rid of it!! If a household holds unnecessary stuff, then it needs taking care of and shifting it from one cupboard to another when having a tidy up, doesn’t solve the problem. Cheers and Good Luck.

  14. Donna

    Kudos to you!!!! Awesome ideas, thanks for sharing .

  15. Ruby

    I only disagree with the perfume, quality perfume is NOT toxic unknown chemicals like air freshener and plugins as you are implying here. I think it would be perfectly minimalist to own one to two high quality real ingredient perfumes. I think you might want to possibly consider your approach is largely financially driven and often departs from minimalism and more to budget conscious instead.

    1. SHANNON

      I agree with you but this post is titled what we stopped buying when we became minimalist. So this is a personal list obviously it’s not going to apply to everyone.
      For us, minimalism is getting rid of all the things that are not necessary and perfume was one of those things. =)
      Our approach is not only financially driven because we could easily afford all these things plus more but then there are more things to deal with even if it’s as simple as some smelly candles, plugins, and perfume that is not needed.
      This can become a slippery slope because we need places to store all these things and the more we have the more space we need and then all of a sudden it feels like we need a bigger house…

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