I started to write this list, thinking I’d share ten things that I no longer buy,  but then the list grew. It seems that once you start, it just gets easier! It’s rather a random list…but then again I don’t think there’s a “right way” of trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle, no list of items that you should or shouldn’t have. Like most things in life, it’s just personal choice. So this is how the journey’s working out for me and these are some of the things that I no longer buy….

Window/mirror cleaner, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, handwash. This one was super easy and started off by wanting to save money, as well as space. I still clean – obviously – I just use a multi-purpose product. I chose a liquid castile soap – diluted with water. It works great and I spend about £1 a month on all the cleaning needs as listed above. 

Magazines, books & newspapers – don’t they just clutter up your home so fast! Anything that I want to learn about, I can look up online. And as for celebrity news, and glossy mags, I’m afraid they just wind me up…..I’ve no desire to know what the Kardashians or the Beckhams are doing, nor do I want my kids to think they’re great role models….I want them to tread their own path.

Christmas/beauty gift sets – It’s taken me a while to give up on these. It’s so easy to get wowed by those half price offers, those free items, that extra mirror/hand cream/lipstick (in a shade you’ll probably never wear). And years after buying or being gifted one of these sets….here I am with those “free” items. They don’t get used and I feel too guilty to toss them. Now, if I want to treat my daughter I’ll pay for a professional manicure or spend time with her choosing make up in a perfect shade for her. 

A tumble dryer – a dehumidifier in a small room works just as well. Plus it’s cheaper and is great for making sure there’s no damp in the house.

Vitamins. This might be a controversial one – and they’re definitely something that I used to buy when the children were younger. I’m no expert – clearly – just a mum. There’s no medical conditions in our family – so no doctor’s advice to take any medications/vitamins. My ethos is, if the kids are under the weather, then I try to bolster them with extra fruit and veggies…other than that, they seem to do just fine 🙂 

CDs & DVDs – replaced with radio, YouTube, Netflix & podcasts. Who knew there were so many great, free podcasts out there? I’m clearly behind the times, but I’ve been amazed by what’s available if you do a quick search from comedy to music, to documentaries and sport. 

Pens, sellotape, pencils – honestly, once I started to clean up and sort out, I was amazed by just how much stuff I had! I don’t think I’ll ever need to buy a pen again, just how do we accumulate so many? And sellotape – it seems that I must have bought a roll every time that I bought a gift. I found 9 rolls. Ridiculous. 

Patterned wrapping paper – I have so much…why, oh why, did I buy different rolls for different occasions? I’m going to try and keep it simple from now on. My most recent purchase was traditional brown paper with gold stars, it’s so pretty and does so many occasions. It’s even unisex and will work for Christmas, too.

Items that are on sale/coupon shopping. This week…I’ve had no less than 24 coupons given to me. Once upon a time, I would have used them all….now, I’m a bit more cynical. These stores aren’t giving me these coupons to save me money – right? They want to encourage me to spend my hard earned cash. I prefer to make my own choices, spend only when I need to and save money in simpler ways, such as home cooking. Plus, it’s satisfying seeing my savings build up as I buy less! 

Paper towels/napkins – I buy regular cloths and wash them. Saves money and is more eco friendly, too.

Cheap shampoo/conditioner – this was false economy. Buying decent products means it’s better for my hair in two ways – it contains less nasties (read the labels) and I wash my hair less. 

Fruit sqaushes/cordials – having gone from having kids who wouldn’t drink plain water, to ones who now do so regularly, this was a good one for me. I always worried about the big list of ingredients on these diluted drinks; now I just buy fresh juice or water.

minimalist lifestyle

Take- away coffee. Not only is there so much negative press about take away coffee cups right now (sign the petition here) but where’s the luxury in take-away coffee? Take time out, take a seat, watch the world go by and enjoy your coffee at a table, in a cup.

Alcohol – having shared my life with someone who would rather drink than spend money on things that mattered and were important in life, this was an easy thing to give up.

School photos – don’t get me wrong I love photos of my kids. However, there’s so many beautiful locations to take photos, and smartphone cameras are so brilliant these day, that these are the photos I want to frame. 

Fitness equipment – my Fitbit has gone  and now that my garage is almost cleared, I’ve come across another item – my long lost treadmill. I brought it into the home, thinking it would be great for winter but who am I kidding? I’ve walked precisely 2 km…it’ taking up too much space and it’s going on eBay this weekend. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts about things that you no longer buy….or perhaps things that you just couldn’t live without. Please comment below, I love reading each and every comment.

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46 comments on “Minimalism – Things I No Longer Buy”

  1. I enjoy posts like this. Not only do other people open my eyes to things I may be needlessly buying, but also it’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one who thinks, for example, that vitamins are unnecessary. That particular one, the vitamins, I stopped buying when I took an honest look at my eating habits. If I wasn’t eating a lot of nutritious vegetables, and I was eating brownies, then I had no business spending my family’s money on vitamins to fill the nutrition gap. It made me start eating better. And then I felt better. And THEN I figured I was eating enough good produce that I don’t need vitamins to fill the gap!

    • Thanks, Priscilla – I love your analysis of using vitamins. That makes a lot of sense…your comments are always so insightful. Lovely of you to stop by and share your thoughts 🙂

      • There is little to no scientific evidence that taking vitamins helps or is even efficacious since they are not regulated in any way. Unless a doctor deems us deficient in something and a vitamin supplement can address this, buying and taking vitamins is a big waste of money but many if not most people don’t want to believe this. I think the better safe than sorry/if some is good more is better attitude helps. Oh dear I have far too much to say on this topic but just know I am another one who agrees with you that vitamins are generally something to stop spending money on! Enjoyed your list. It’s always interesting to see what other people have decided.

  2. I love this post! I have also given up buying many things. I bought some bamboo kitchen roll about six months ago (a box of 6) and we still haven’t used them. There is rarely an occasion that I feel like wasting a piece of paper is acceptable when, like yourself, a reusable cloth will do.
    Not sure I can quite kick the stationary habit though. Mine is a long, deep-rooted addiction.
    Where did you get your brown paper with stars on? I’m already fretting about Christmas wrapping paper. Have been saving the WGAP wrappers and that’ll be fine for family, but I feel like other people will not get it, you know?

    • Thanks so much, Lu. I’m sorry but I can’t remember where I got the paper, I’ve got a terrible memory sometimes! I’m wondering what WGAP wrappers are now… 🙂 Hopefully, it’s the thought that counts with gifts, and people will appreciate the sentiment and not worry too much about the wrappings 🙂

  3. Another great post that gives us something to think about.

    Here’s the short version of my list:

    Makeup- I didn’t really wear it anyway and goodness knows we could go broke if I did – not financially feasible in the grand scheme

    Takeaway Coffee & Coffee filters – Like you mentioned, we only buy takeaway coffee rarely (usually on a date day) and I just bought a reusable coffee filter so we wouldn’t have to buy the paper filters.

    Salon stuff – I’ve decided that getting my nails done doesn’t matter to me, and I only went once a year anyway but that’s still $40 we could save per year.

    Thanks so much for this post.


    • Thanks for sharing your list, too, Melanie 🙂 I think I can join you on the make up front…I wear mascara now and then for work, but little else. Love keeping it simple. Thanks for stopping by x

  4. I too love these posts!! I have one of those faulty tumble driers that might catch fire, so I’ve switched it off and not used it for ages. The thing is, I’ve gone for so long without it now that I realised I don’t actually need it!

    • Oh, my goodness….how terrible to have such a fault. I’m so pleased that you saw the warning and stopped using it. It’s so interesting to find out the ways that people stop using/buying things. Thanks for stopping by and sharing 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment and for stopping by 🙂 Extra space on those shelves is great, isn’t it? Funnily enough, when I started decluttering I found my daughter’s old Kindle. It’s a good three years old, but works just fine. I love finding these little treasures when decluttering x

  5. I buy brown paper and then stamp it myself. I bought a star stamp over 20 years ago along with silver stamping paint. Everything was on sale. I have to remember to spend a winter evening stamping a roll of paper before Christmas. I do it on a cleared dining rooom table a table length at a time, wait for it to dry, unroll next length and roll up stamped section.

    • That’s a really lovely idea, Chris! Thanks so much for sharing it with us….I may have to put that into practice this year 🙂

  6. I can say that I cut out buying take away coffees too, if counted it can make quite a sum of money. I also like to use vinegar and soda instead of some cleaning products. I also stopped buying magazines, I read them in the public library and just buy the big autumn issues.

    • Hi Georgiana, thanks for stopping by and for your tips on the cleaning products. I really must give vinegar and soda a try. The castile soap doesn’t work so good on my oven, so maybe this would work better 🙂

  7. I never buy school photos. They just seem too posed. Also interested in the dehumidifier working just as well. Tumble drier shrinks clothes too much for my liking. Does it really work? X

    • Hi Niki, thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, the dehumidifier works wonderfully well. In fact, ours has a special laundry setting, so I think it must be quite a popular thing to do now. I know my parents use one as well. You could combine it with a decent-sized clothes rack or create something yourself. The running costs are much lower than a tumble dryer, and as you say no shrinkage 🙂

  8. A great blog post to read on a Sunday morning! I too have been cutting back on things lately to save some money. I’ve decided no more car washes – I can do it myself! I’ve stopped buying books every week (my shelves are full and I can’t keep up – just one every month or so is fine). I’ve cut back on bulking up the food cupboards too and try to buy fresher food locally for dinners. I’m also very minimal with toiletries now and use as little as possible. I can now open my bathroom cupboard without a lot of things all falling out. The list could go on and on! One thing I can’t agree with is the cordial as it’s all I drink because I don’t like hot drinks! 😋 Thanks for posting!

    • Hi, thanks so much for your lovely comment and for sharing your minimalism wins 🙂 It’s lovely to hear from you, thoroughly enjoyed reading your post this morning, too! Hope you enjoy the rest of the day x

  9. I must admit I haven’t bought much on this list for years! I don’t like wasting money on stuff I don’t need, although I do love a coffee shop 😉 But so with you on the takeaway cup… have to sit in! I only work part-time, term time only so we have to sacrifice for me to able to do that and be with my children x

    • How lovely to be able to be able to stay home with your children, Carolynne. These are special days, aren’t they? I can totally relate with you on this and I’ve worked from home since mine were little, too. Thanks so much for stopping by x

  10. You have managed to give up some many things! There were a good number which I think I could also definitely live without; it’s crazy to think how much stuff we just accumulate without even thinking about it. Not sure I could give up books though to be honest!!

  11. I love this! We have the week off this week and I would really like to spend some time getting a real declutter on. Since following your blog and reading around the subject of minimalism (and getting sucked in to YouTube), I know there are areas I can definitely cull, including future potential purchases (definitely going to give liquid Castile soap a try!). The only two changes I have made recently are buying books on my kindle – I was running out of room on the shelves. I am also getting a tiny bit better at asking whether I really need something or whether it is a fad purchase (the “this will make my life better/easier/whatever”) and if I think it might be, I am trying to hold off buying it.

    • Thanks for your lovely comment, Steph. I hope you have a nice week off and it sounds like you’re doing great with buying less. I find it definitely gets easier once you start 🙂

  12. A lovely post. There are so many things I used to buy that we never required so I’ve also decided to buy only necessary things. My children drink much more water now so I don’t buy squashes and juice too.

  13. I love this list! It’s so inspiring, and also interesting to see where your choices overlap with mine. Likewise I never thought I would run out of sellotape but one day I did! I also use brown paper for wrapping unless I have some tissue paper or similar that I can reuse. Can’t beat a bit of old school thriftiness!

  14. This is such a great blog post idea. I’ve also stopped buying magazines, and am cutting back on books unless I have a voucher for them! I feel like I’ve really earnt having them in the house then!

  15. Love this so much! I try so hard to declutter but what I find is it’s not the stuff I buy so much as the stuff that other people buy.So much of it is pointless and I am quite ruthless with taking it to the charity shop or giving it away. I cope so much better when I am not surrounded by clutter!

  16. This is such a great post. You have really given me some great ideas and alternatives to minimalise in my home and actually save on money too. I also use a multipurpose product to clean the window’s and mirrors too xx

  17. I love the point about beauty sets, there is always some gimmick that catches your eye and you think ‘I must have that’, when really you or the person you are gifting it to doesn’t need it at all. I haven’t brought a magazine in ages. I have recently been getting into podcasts.

    Tasha x

    • Thanks, Natasha, I’m so glad you can relate about the beauty sets. It’s a great way to avoid waste, isn’t it? Podcasts are great too, aren’t they…I think I’m getting even more addicted – nowadays I find I’d rather listen to them than watch TV 🙂

  18. Great post! Some of these I do already – never been a drinker, and it has saved me so much money over the years! – and others I’ve just recently woken up to – when we were moving house this summer we realised we must have had at least 100 pens, some of them not even working, around the house. Why? As a big fan and regular user of libraries,not buying books is the one thing that I feel bad about, but luckily you can now buy them in electronic format.

  19. I love this post, such a great list of things to de-clutter. There’s some things on this list that I’ve never used, like newspapers and magazines, but I am a sucker for keeping beauty gift sets. Especially bath ones! I have so many, and they just take up lots of room! Definitely made me think about what I can de-clutter from my house!

  20. Its crazy when you realise how much you actually didn’t need the things you give up in the first place isn’t it! Like you I gave up magazines/newspapers and I don’t even know why I enjoyed them so much before! I’ve also given up buying so many toiletries and have reduced my routines drastically. It’s just not worth the time and money to buy so much!

  21. I totally agree on the Christmas/beauty gift sets. They always look so nice but you probably wouldnt have bought the single items if not part of a box. I also prefer to select stuff individually and that I really like.

  22. Loved this post!
    When I was decluttering my stationary supplies, I counted at least 50 pens and 45 pencils (my family had a corner store years ago and they sold stationary among other things), so… I won’t have to buy a single pencil ever again!!
    There are so many things we don’t realize we don’t need, I’m impressed.


    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Marina 🙂 Wow, you have a great stack of pens there!! It reminds me of my sellotape stash…I’m still finding rolls even now. It’s strange, what we accumulate over the years! Thanks so much for your comment and for stopping by x

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