This week, as we start to (hopefully) see some milder weather in the UK, it’s been back to the decluttering. In the post-Christmas sort out, I’ve been making inroads into the untidiness that is my son’s bedroom. Sorting through books, clothes and toys that he’s outgrown; it strikes me that it doesn’t take quite as long as expected … partly because we’re bringing less things into the house than we were at this point last year. I started thinking again about things that we no longer buy; and these are just five more things to add to the list. 

Products that promise to be healthier, more nutritious or vitamin laden – as I walked round the supermarket yesterday, it struck me that there were several products I no longer buy. Usually with gimmicky, boastful labels – drinks and squashes that contain “real fruit juice”; sweets that contain “real fruit” and foods that contain “less fat”. Yet, if you follow the news, our children (and some of the adult population) have never been so unhealthy/overweight. I try to keep things simple. If I want something to contain real fruit then I’ll buy a piece of fresh fruit; or if I want it to contain less fat, then I’ll choose regular foods/staples that aren’t sugar laden. Similarly if I want a treat, I’ll buy a treat!

Multi-size snack or biscuit packs – the more I buy, the more my family eats. So those 24 packs of crisps and large biscuit packs are gone in favour of smaller, regular packs. If we run out, we run out. There’s bread in the freezer and fruit on the counter top, so no-one is going to go hungry. Packed lunches? I buy enough snacks for the week and we make them last. A bonus is that it saves me a few pennies, too.

Every little toy craze going – I used to be terrible for giving in, and coughing up, when my kids wanted the latest toy craze. The loom bands, the fidget spinners, the football cards….but we’re getting to the stage where they’re realising, with a little negotiation, that they don’t need every toy going. We missed the recent “squishies” craze and no-one felt left out. After always worrying that my kids would be the ONLY ones without such toys, and that they’d feel left out, it was a relief to find out that they really weren’t that bothered. And I’m not left with a load of plastic junk to dispose of 🙂

Single-use kitchen items – Here I’m thinking of all those gadgety/gimmicky items that profess to make our lives easier, yet instead often spend most of the time languishing at the back of our kitchen cupboards. Sandwich toasters, knife sets (with multiple knives for different purposes). spiralisers, bread makers, chip makers – most of these aren’t really needed if you’ve got the time to learn some new skills, an oven and a good-quality kitchen knife.

Free things – So not really things that you buy; but all the same they’re things that you bring into your home that can take up so much valuable space. Here I’m thinking about leaflets that get pushed into your hands on the street, samples proffered to you in stores, multiple take away sauces on those occasions you need to eat on the run. The free pens you get at the bank and the free greetings cards sent to you in the post by charities who want you to donate to their cause. The free store magazine shoved into your bag with your food shop or the free gift bags/samples received with your online order. Some of these are easy to forego…some might take an email or two. But I’m working on it.

So there you have it … five more things that I no longer buy. I wonder what’s on your list? Are there purchases you regularly avoid making or perhaps you enjoy receiving free samples so you can try before you buy. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also enjoy – Minimalism – Things I No Longer Buy

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32 comments on “Minimalism – Five More Things I No Longer Buy”

  1. We stopped buying cold breakfast cereals. Yes, I know they are convenient and full of fiber (if you get a grown up cereal and not sugar frosted cocoa bombs), but we are enjoying cooking simple, warm breakfasts like eggs with a side of sliced fruit or hot oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon.

    I’m with you on those free pens. I no longer pick them up. They would just clutter up a kitchen drawer, and they aren’t a pleasure to write with like a special pen I chose for myself.

    • Hi Priscilla 🙂 I love reading your comments, as always. I need to work on more warming breakfasts like yours. I love it when we come home at the weekends from an early walk and the kids will make their own breakfast of scrambled eggs or such. Very satisfying to see them eating healthy food x

  2. I am definitely on a stationery buying pause at the moment as I have so much, and I am definitely trying to be more mindful about not taking free samples ‘just because’. The same goes for my make up and perfumes too. I have also tried to avoid buying water and use my own bottles instead.

  3. I think multi-packs are the one thing I couldn’t stop buying, simply because of the cost implication (but that’s how stores and supermarkets get you, so you’re loaded up with stuff!) However, I make things last and buy when they’re on offer. I definitely agree with the one-use kitchen items, which are forever clogging up cupboards in our house. Great points and I think I probably also need to work on saying no to too many freebies, unless I know I’m going to use them. x

    • Thanks, Caz. Saying no to freebies can be difficult can’t it? I think we’re all accustomed to accepting something for nothing, even if it’s sometimes just a marketing ploy in disguise x

  4. Totally with you on not picking up free pens. I stopped doing this a few years ago and it’s been successful to the extent that I actually needed a new one recently! I usually write with a cartridge pen but carry a black biro in my bag for when I’m out and about. My last one broke & I was glad to find another in a goodie bag before Christmas – I valued it so much more than when I was always gathering them up.

  5. Hi Rachel, I totally agree with you about products offering ‘nutritional benefits’. It does make me a little cross to think that there are people who will be fooled by the claims on the packet. It may contain a trace of fruit juice, but really?… And if I want a pen, keyring or crappy toy it makes more sense to buy one I really need and like than pick up the freebies just for the sake of it… I love these adverts that offer a free parker pen or radio alarm clock when you sign up for life insurance. I’d much rather have a discount, thank you…. I’ve actually started buying multipacks for some things, only to help prevent waste, which works for us. We can then enjoy things when we fancy them with no fear of half a packet being left.


  6. I don’t buy most of your list – I try to eat whole foods which means I cook from scratch. Don’t pick up pens, but I do sometimes take samples from the health food store. They have a bowl of individual packs as samples. Sometimes I do want to try the cream, etc. Great post! #MMBC

  7. I make most of my own food from scratch so that sorts the first 2 points. I was better at being stubborn than my boys were at nagging for useless toys so I rarely bought into the latest craze and apart from the odd Ikea pencil that I always seem to end up with I am not hot on collecting those freebies. BUT, I do have a fair few kitchen gadgets and I do use them (see sentence 1) – I love my Kenwood chef for making bread, often eat toasted sandwiches, make oodles of ice cream in the summer. For me they are not single use items at all! #mmbc

    • Ahh, that’s the beauty of simple living 🙂 We’re all so different and have different joys and passions…Your kitchen sounds wonderful, with all that home-made food and ice cream. Thanks so much for stopping by x

  8. I used to buy vitamin water with my lunch at work but I’ve realized it’s all a bit of a fad really so I just take a multivitamin every day instead! I’ve definitely been trying to keep the clutter down as I live in quite a small apartment. One thing I’ve really cut down on is DVDs! Now we have a Netflix subscription I don’t need to buy DVDs or Boxsets of TV series because we’ve always got something to watch. #MMBC

  9. We rarely buy multipacks unless it offers good value. Biscuits are rationed these days too. I’ve got a really sweet tooth so usually I have to put in some effort and bake a cake or biscuits if I want a treat with my coffee. Totally know what you mean about the nutrition thing too. Like you, we just buy fruit and veg. Don’t bother with low in fat yogurts either as usually find they are full of rubbish instead of the fat.

  10. You’re doing great!

    Thanks to my husband we stopped buying all those food items that offer low fat/no fat/less sugar/extra fibre. If it’s tampered with to change it then we figured it can’t be great, so we try and buy real food.

    If there’s junk food in the house I’m going to be sniffing round it so we don’t buy it unless we fancy it and have to nip to the shop! I’m also conscious of only buying multipacks if we’d normally eat/use them otherwise I’ve been drawn in to an offer pointlessly!

    The same goes for those ‘free’ things, it’s easy to be attracted to the word free, but unless you would have gone out of your way to buy it in the first place, it’s simply free junk and who wants that?!

  11. With you on the freebies! I used to love the feeling of getting something for free, but I’ve seen the light. It’s all just extra clutter, not to mention the environmental impact, so now I resist.

  12. As soon as the post lands on the doorstep it is sorted and the leaflets trying to sell something get binned straight away here. I still need to work on a few other things though. #mmbc

  13. Sounds like you are doing a fab job of keeping things that you don’t really need to a minimum. I need to follow your lead and do some minimalising myself! I totally agree with you on the misleading info on food and drinks labels, it’s quite naughty of them to try and draw people in this way.

    Thank you so much for sharing with #MMBC. Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see you Monday x

  14. Such a good read. Will be taking so many tips from this. I cannot actually buy big bags of snacks and crisps though because I end up eating them all! Not good at all! 😀

  15. I’m trying very hard to show my girls that we don’t need to take items just because they are free. It’s a tough lesson because we are so conditioned to be attracted to those words, and to think we are getting a deal. Really we are getting extra recycling to just put out at the curb! Good luck with your (continuous) de-cluttering – I’m right there with ya!

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