77 Items to Stop Buying to Help you Save & Minimize

Minimalism seems to be all the rage lately. There is a certain buzz around the idea of cutting down on consumerism and materialism and for good reasons. It is no secret that we are overindulgent consuming creatures at times. Somewhere along the way in our evolution, we have completely lost track of what we are consuming and why. We have lost the roots of our needs.

When we go beyond our basic necessities what impact does overconsumption really have anyway?

There are environmental impacts that we can no longer ignore, problems with debt, greed, and selfishness. Over consuming while in the short term may fill a void, in the long term can lead to feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction. Consumerism temporarily fills a void that is unfillable, making over consuming a cycle that cannot be aided through action.

Our perspective on need and luxury have been skewed in ways that leave most of us overly attached to the products we have in our lives.

Although minimalism in the extreme sense is not for everyone there are small things you can do to reduce the impact that material things have in your life You can reduce the junk, the clutter and help yourself get back on financial track.

To help you start you can stop buying crap you don’t need. Seems easy enough and in many ways, it is easier than you may think.

Here is a list to help inspire you to make those major or minor changes in your life. I hope this helps you save a buck and become a more mindful consumer.

  1. Dish clothes – Use rags instead.

  2. New leather – Buy second hand or knock-off leather.

  3. Processed foods – Buy local and organic.

  4. Fast fashion – Cheaply made fashion that goes out of style as soon as you buy it can be replaced by second-hand clothes or higher quality multi-functional pieces.

  5. Plastic bottles – Buy a good reusable bottle for filtered water.

  6. Coffee filters – Instead use reusable filters.

  7. Ziplock bags – Begin washing and reusing the ziplock bags you do have or using Tupperware.

  8. Magazines – You can download e-copies of many of your favorite paper magazines.

  9. Plastic utensils – Use your regular utensils for BBQs and picnics as an alternative.

  10. Jean shorts – Cut off an old pair of jeans or buy second hand. You can get creative and easily create any style that is currently fashionable.

  11. Florescent lightbulbs – Purchase LED or another type of longer lasting bulb.

  12. Tacky accessories – If you want to decorate your home spend money on quality meaningful decor.

  13. Cheap jewelry – Spend money on good long lasting jewelry instead of cheaply made jewelry that will break quickly.

  14. Flowers – Buy seed and grow flowers in your windowsill or garden so you can have flowers all year round

  15. Premade rice mix – Buy in bulk plain rice and add spices yourself. This uses less packaging and is also cheaper in the long term.

  16. Shaving cream – Use moisturizer or soap instead.

  17. All purpose cleaner – Make your own with a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.

  18. Toilet bowl cleaner – Make a natural cleaner using vinegar and essential oils.

  19. Body wash – Just use soap.

  20. Bread – Make your own.

  21. Pizza – Make your own at home, it’s fun and easy.

  22. BBQ sauce – Homemade sauces are often better or you.

  23. Fast food – Eat meals at home as often as possible, prepare meals when you have spare time and freeze for future use.

  24. Smoothies – Make your own at home.

  25. Shredded cheese – It is cheaper and often fresher to shred cheese yourself.

  26. Paper towels – Use reusable rags.

  27. Wrapping paper – Get creative and reuse old paper materials.

  28. Greeting cards – DIY, this is cheaper and more meaningful.

  29. Herbs – You can easily grow these on your windowsill. This way you can have them fresh all year round.

  30. Wine – Try making your own.

  31. Beer – Buy a kit and try making this yourself.

  32. Green onion – By placing the root in the water you can reuse the same green onion for months.

  33. CD’s – Download music instead.

  34. Lysol wipes – If you would like to use a disinfectant use the Lysol spray and a rag.

  35. Chicken broth – Make your own using a chicken carcass.

  36. Yoga supplies – You don’t need fancy supplies to practice yoga just your body.

  37. Tea bags – Buy loose tea and a steeper for less waste.

  38. Disposable rubber gloves – Wash and reuse reusable gloves when you can.

  39. Paper plates – This is a major waste. Use and wash reusable plates.

  40. Plastic cups

  41. Napkins

  42. DVD’s – Watch via Netflix or download.

  43. Bandaids – Homemade bandaids are equally as efficient

  44. Sugar – There is no alternative, it’s just bad for you.

  45. Pre-made foods – Ignore all the delicious premade foods in the grocery store and make salads, burgers, and sandwiches yourself. This is fresher and cheaper.

  46. Store bought cake – Make your own cakes and desserts.

  47. French fries – Make these yourself with a little oil and sea salt.

  48. Store bought paintings – These are often cheaply made and end up being thrown out after a while. Invest in something you really love.

  49. Pre-made spices – Buy spices in bulk.

  50. Aloe – Aloe plants are easy to care for.

  51. Breath mints – Bring your toothbrush and paste with you during your day.

  52. Bookmarks – Make your own.

  53. Coffee to go  – Make your own in a reusable mug.

  54. Maps – Download a map on your smartphone.

  55. Dictionaries – Google!

  56. Cookies – If you vow to make these homemade then you will eat less and save money.

  57. Boxes of cereal – Buy in bulk.

  58. Candy canes – This is a pointless treat that hardly anyone eats.

  59. Conditioner – Make your own using household items.

  60. Swiffers – Use an old fashion broom.

  61. Makeup Brush Cleaners – wash your brushes using a little oil, dish soap and warm water.

  62. Dryer sheet – Use tennis balls.

  63. Canned Soup – Make large batches and freeze.

  64. Books – Head to the library.

  65. Deli Meat – Cook chicken and beef and make your own sandwich meats instead. This is cheaper and way healthier.

  66. Plastic Tupperware – Switch to longer term more durable glass containers

  67. Body Lotions

  68. Face washes – The best thing to use can often be just water.

  69. Body Creams

  70. Body Moisturizer

  71. Gravy mixes – Make your own gravy.

  72. Instant Mashed Potatoes – Do it the old-fashioned way.

  73. Flavored coffee – Use spices and add flavor yourself while you percolate.

  74. Pancake mixes – It is just as easy to make your own with flour.

  75. Granola – Make your own using oats.

  76. Pens – Grab some free ones from businesses instead.

  77. Devices – Stop buying the newest hottest thing on the market. Be mindful of your actual needs.

For more ideas to help you live a full and simple life check out the post 89 Items to Remove from your Home and your Life.


  1. robin rue | 22nd Jan 18

    You have SO many great ideas here. I can’t wait to start putting some of these to use around my house.

  2. Alli Rutherford Smith | 22nd Jan 18

    I like that you mentioned “fast fashion” as something to stop buying. I try to invest in quality clothing that will last. I often make my own broth but when I’m in a hurry I do purchase it.

  3. sevenroses | 22nd Jan 18

    marvellous I am trying many of these, but still struggling with Sugar!

    • stephaniewp | 22nd Jan 18

      I agree! Sugar is a work in progress for me too!

  4. Amber | 22nd Jan 18

    I can stop buying some of these, but fast food is not one of them. I love it too much. I always grab pens from businesses 😉

    • stephaniewp | 22nd Jan 18

      Fast food is a tough one to stop thats for sure!

  5. 3boysandanoldlady | 22nd Jan 18

    Since we learned to make pancake mix, we make it rather than buy it. The mix lasts for months and it’s super easy to make.

  6. Sarah Bailey | 22nd Jan 18

    These are some great ideas, I have to admit I am sure there are some I could stop buying while some I just couldn’t, but hey giving up at least one is a start.

  7. kage2015 | 22nd Jan 18

    Some of these items we don’t use at all. Many of the other items we make from scratch. I even stopped buying paper towels and made my own.

    • stephaniewp | 23rd Jan 18

      Homemade paper towels sounds like a great idea!

  8. myrabevlife | 22nd Jan 18

    I think fast fashion is my weakness, I definitely need to work on this plus other items , impressive list.

  9. Sara Welch | 22nd Jan 18

    Skipping pre-made foods has really helped me save. I love making from scratch anyway!

  10. Kita Bryant | 22nd Jan 18

    Now that is a mega saving list. We all can save using this list for sure.

  11. rbekhaj | 22nd Jan 18

    There’s a few on your list I definitely won’t be getting rid of, e.g. face washes – I’ve got a skincare routine that really works for my skin so I think I’ll stick to that! However, things like paper plates and plastic cups I definitely never buy… I try to live as ethically as possible!

    • stephaniewp | 23rd Jan 18

      I agree with that, some of these items I myself can’t part with.

  12. Everyday Made Fresh | 22nd Jan 18

    These are all great! I much prefer shredding my own cheese, it always tastes better.

  13. Valerie Gray (@valmg) | 22nd Jan 18

    We’re not minimalists by any means. We have changed all of our light bulbs to led bulbs and I’ve found that I actually like the lighting better.

  14. Thank You Honey | 23rd Jan 18

    Yes! OMG you have so many on your list that I try really hard to minimize buying. It can be so hard.

  15. Our Family World | 23rd Jan 18

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic list. I am guilty of getting some of them, especially bottled water. I will try my best to reduce my carbon footprint and save more money.

  16. Mimi Green | 23rd Jan 18

    I legit laughed out loud at several of these things. Fast fashion/trendy clothes are never a good idea. Classic pieces are the way to go. For each item you purchase you should be able to style at least three ways.

    • stephaniewp | 23rd Jan 18

      That is such a great rule of thumb that I have never thought of.

  17. Angie | 23rd Jan 18

    These are super great tips! I’m pinning this so I remember to re-read again in the future. I need to minimize.

  18. Sandy N Vyjay | 23rd Jan 18

    This is an exhaustive list of items.The best ones that we would focus on is processed food, this is not healthy and can be best substituted with organic and natural food. We also have stopped buying Fluorescent light bulbs, buying LED’s instead.

  19. Chubskulit Rose | 24th Jan 18

    Sometimes buying the product the product is a lot cheaper than making it your own but I agree with a lot of these things.

  20. Carmen | Wellington World Travels | 28th Jan 18

    Oh boy! I think I have to go through my grocery list again. This is a great list especially we come from a single-income family.

  21. Erika Lancaster | 13th Feb 18

    Thank you for these ideas! We really throw so much money away on things we don’t really use! It ends up adding up!

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