Minimalism helps me live more intentional with my time and money on what’s truly important to me. Over the years, I stopped buying a ton of things to save money. Buy less and live more minimally can also help to reduce the clutter at home.
I wrote an article 16 Ways to Save Money with a Minimalist Mindset almost two years ago. I think I would like to share some other things I don’t buy anymore.
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10 Things I Stopped Buying// Minimalism & Save Money
1. A Second Car
We’re a one-car family. Downsized to one vehicle was the smartest decision for our family. We saved thousands a year when we got rid of a second car.
Think about it. Gas, auto insurance, car payment, tires, oil change, and all kinds of maintenance and repair cost summed up. The amount of money is huge.
Being a one-car household can be tough. It’s very hard for us to share the car during the weekdays. My husband has a 12-hour work and an hour drive to work daily. If I need to go out on weekdays, I have to take the public transit. The good thing is that we live in a city that public transport is easily accessible.
We need to go to after-school classes 3 to 4 times a week. If we drive, it takes about 10 minutes. Since I can’t use the car during the weekdays, I take public transit with my daughter. From our home to school, it takes about 45-minute time.
Is it easy? Definitely not, But, when I realized I saved thousands a year not having this car, I’m willing to cope with the inconvenience. I would rather save that money and put it to better use like paying off the mortgage.
2. Trendy Clothes
I didn’t buy new clothes for 2 years. It’s not that hard for me. I gave away many bags of clothing when I decluttered my closet. At that time, I’ve learned that I really don’t need that many pieces of clothing.
I have all kind of clothing in my closet that I love. For sure I’m not at any point of owning a capsule wardrobe. I really enjoy having all the pieces that I love and wear right now.
In the past, I liked to buy clothes that are on sale, even I didn’t need them. I bought them only because they are at good prices.
Also, I gave up wearing high heels and underwired bras. I ditched all those uncomfortable bras, lace bras and underwired bras. No more 3 inches high heels.
I bought them because I thought they made me pretty. Now, I take care of my body and health more by getting rid of the things that make me uncomfortable.
3. A Ton of Beauty Products
I was obsessed with makeup and bought a ton of cosmetics in my 20s. High-end makeup brands and skincare products, makeup brushes, fragrances, etc. were all my favorites.
I’m in my 40s now. Over the years, I have experimented, learned and found my own style. I know which makeup suits me best and realized that I don’t need so many beauty products.
When I was holding 2 or 3 sets of eyeshadow palettes which have over 20 colors there, I really just kept using 2 colors.
Simplifying my makeup routine and downsizing the beauty products make my life easier. I only buy quality products that I genuinely love and use.
Cosmetics brands like Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadows, Chanel Lipsticks, MAC Foundations, Dior Lip Glow are the things that I keep using year after year.
Don’t spend money on the beauty products that you don’t use. They just clutter your spaces. Also, they all have a shelf life and you’re just wasting your money of not using them.
It is time to get rid of the beauty products that you don’t use. Keep an amazing quality of stash that you truly love and use.
4. Watches and Jewelry
I stopped buying watches in the past 10 years. Now, I have 1 watch for daily wear and 1 watch for special occasions.
Though I know many people don’t wear watches these days, I still like to have my watch with me when I go out.
And I have a weird habit that I wear a watch when I sleep. I want to know the time when it’s dark.
I’ve always bought jewelry when I was in my 20s. Most of them are gold and platinum jewelry. Earrings, bracelets, chains, rings are all my favorites. I was so obsessed with them.
I’ve stopped buying any jewelry when my income drastically dropped. I didn’t have extra money to spend on that luxury. Plus, I don’t think I need more.
Did I regret spending so much money on jewelry? No, I’m not. Because I bought the pure gold jewelry. What I bought can be sold in good money nowadays when you compare the cash value 20 more years ago.
5. Plastic Food Containers
I stopped buying plastic food storage containers for years. I know, plastic food containers are much lighter and cheaper when compare to glass food storage containers. However, the potential health risk is the concern that stops me from using them.
Keep in mind never microwave food and liquid in plastic food containers. And never put hot food into plastic food containers. Though some plastic food containers are marked microwave-safe, I don’t feel comfortable to use them. I don’t like the plastic smell onto the reheated food.
I love using glass food storage containers to store, freeze and reheat the food without worrying about any potential chemicals leaching into the foods and liquids.
You might think the glass is more expensive than plastic. Yes, sure it is. But it is a one-time investment which can bring you convenience and save money in the long term.
For me, glass food containers are essential to meal prepping. Use them to store the veggies and they will stay fresh longer. And the glass is the perfect solution to store the food from freezer to refrigerator to stove or microwave to table without transferring the food.
Glass food containers are usually safe for freezer, oven, and microwave. They are super easy to use and clean. You can also put them into the dishwasher at high temperatures.
6. Single-Use Items
I don’t buy single-use items for convenience purpose. Single-use items like disposable utensils, coffee cups, plastic straws, bottled water, plastic shopping bags, plastic take-out containers, etc.
Plastic waste can take hundreds to thousands of years to decompose. They are killing the environment. Study shows that not all plastic has been recycled. Most of them finally end up in the environment, ocean, and landfills.
In order to reduce waste and save money in the long term, I buy reusable items. There are tons of alternatives to disposable plastic items that suit your lifestyle.
Bring a travel mug when you go out for a coffee. Keep a set of durable grocery bags in your car. Have a cute reusable shopping bag in your purse so you’ll never need a plastic bag when you go shopping.
We have this water filter pitcher at home and have our own reusable water bottles so that we don’t have to buy bottled water. Using produce bags can eliminate plastic use which can save you money and it also helps the planet.
There are a lot of reusable alternatives to single-use items. You might spend a little more money in the beginning but you will save money in the long run. And, you’re helping to reduce waste and protecting our environment.
7. Seasonal Decors
We don’t buy seasonal decorations for our home. I think it’s a very personal choice and there’s nothing wrong if you’re a minimalist buying seasonal decorations.
I don’t do most seasonal decorating because I like to keep things simple and I’m lazy to store those decorations after the season. We only decorate for Christmas and we simplified the Christmas decorating.
Instead of putting up a bunch of Christmas decorations, we have minimal decorating at this festive season. We reuse the decorations from the past Christmases. We repurpose and DIY Christmas decorations.
When I traveled in my 20s, I have always bought souvenirs. I bought the souvenirs for family, friends and myself. I thought I care about them, I’ve to buy something for them when I travel.
Honestly, I think most of the souvenirs I bought might not be useful for them. It might be a city’s signature souvenir, but who cares about it when it’s a decorating item and my friend is trapped with nowhere to display.
Since I’ve simplified my life, I purged a lot of souvenirs that included I received in the past and I bought for myself. I felt guilty but I know I need to let go of them.
In rare cases, I still buy souvenirs for families if they ask me to buy, and I’m always so happy to buy for them.
Today, I would love to spend money on some memorable experiences rather than those overpriced souvenirs.
9. Craft Supplies
I used to spend money on my hobbies. I’ve always loved to buy stationery, craft supplies, craft books and magazines.
I was so addicted to the Japanese beading. I kept buying Swarovski crystal beads, seed beads, glass beads, Japanese beading magazine, tools and supplies every month. I bought most of them online because they were unavailable at our local stores.
After my daughter was born, I barely have time for all of my favorite hobbies. I realized that there’s an unfinished beading project that’s been sitting around and I never have enough time to sit down to do it.
I stopped buying craft supplies since I don’t have time with the beadwork. I still keep all the craft supplies and craft books at home as I have space for them. I may not have time to read the whole book again but flip through pages randomly bring me joy.
Be careful that most scented candles are made of paraffin wax that releases harmful toxins into your home. If you want to place candles to make the home feel cozier, look for 100% pure beeswax candles.
There are so many natural ways to make your home smell good. I like using essential oils in a diffuser to add all-natural and calming fragrance into our home. While oils considered not safe for some people, always do your research first.
I don’t buy the above things since simplifying my life. Mindful shopping helps me save money and reduce waste. With a minimalist mindset and purchasing with intention, I only buy what I need. When I buy less stuff, I have less to clean. And I’m always trying to reuse and repurpose the old things.
More Ideas about Minimalist Living:
What did you stop buying to save money? Please share in the comments.