Things to Stop Buying Minmalism

50+ Things to Stop Buying on the Minimalism Journey

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Are you wondering what things to stop buying along your journey to minimalism?

Minimalism isn’t just about physical ‘stuff,’ it actually permeates throughout your whole life. A minimalist lifestyle can mean simplifying your home, office and 3D spaces, as well as your finances, online life, headspace and other non-tangibles.

One of the biggest hurdles with joining the minimalist movement is our reliance and compulsion to just keep buying things.

We’re bombarded from all angles that more is better and that new and expensive items equal success and happiness. The reality is that on the quest for more, people’s joy often diminishes. This can create an unconscious addiction of chasing more in the hopes of finding that elusive happy place.

Minimalism offers people the chance to pare back their lifestyles so that true gratitude and contentment can be welcomed in.

Invest in long-lasting quality, rather than short-lived quantity.

A cool thing about minimalism and zero waste is that the two lifestyles very much cross over, although each one is not a prerequisite for the other. Living in a more minimalist way encourages less waste and vice-versa. So, as a minimalist, you’ve got the added benefit of being a more conscious creature as well.

Read on to discover a whole host of things to stop buying on your minimalism journey.

? Frugal Life Hacks >

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How to Stop Buying Things

Paying for purchase

First up, it’s all well and good to talk about things to stop buying on the minimalist journey, but how does one simply stop buying stuff?

I think it’s important to look at why we are making the purchases in the first place, so that we can then start to understand a bit more around our spending habits.

Here are some general reasons why people find themselves accumulating more things.


  • Like the ‘rush’ of the purchase
  • Want to impress other people
  • Feel like those things will somehow improve your life
  • Get swept up in advertising and sales tactics
  • Boredom
  • Discontentment (trying to fill a void)
  • FOMO (fear of missing out)

Ultimately, zoning in on our biggest fears and insecurities is big business in the marketing world and they’ve got it down to a fine art.

Identifying the triggers within yourself (which cause you to accumulate and purchase more things that you don’t need) is your ticket to freedom.

So, before you make any more purchases in the future, run through the following consideration and questions with yourself first.

I recommend walking away from the purchase for 10 minutes and really analysing it from all angles before whipping out your debit card.

Before making a purchase ask yourself:
1. Do I need it?
2. Do I truly want it?
3. Where will I put it/ use it?
4. Can I afford it (will it negatively affect my finances)?
5. Am I buying it for my own benefit, or to impress others?
6. Will it add value to my life?
7. Will I have buyers remorse?
8. Is there something else I’d rather put the money towards?

If you’ve gone through all of the questions and still feel good about buying the item, then go right ahead.

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Reasons to go Minimalist


So, why bother going minimalist in the first place? It sounds like a life of scarcity and constraint!

That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Minimalism is centred around living a simple life, filled with intention.

No more do you have to feel overwhelmed with clutter and being surrounded by too much ‘stuff.’ Your finances will be much more on track as you become a conscious spender and choose where your money flows. You won’t have to waste so much time on cleaning and maintenance.

And that’s just the beginning.


  • Reduces clutter
  • Increases positive energy flow around your spaces
  • Decreases cleaning, maintenance & storage of items
  • Reduces waste
  • Frees up your finances
  • Supports conscious spending
  • Increases happiness

Righto, let’s get on to the list of things to stop buying for minimalism.

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Things to Stop Buying for Minimalism

Cheap Quality

One of the big things to stop buying for minimalism are cheap quality items. They’re crap, they break, they’re disappointing and just plain wasteful. Not just in terms of money, but in the resources they take to produce, transport and dispose of.

New Clothes

New Clothes

Now, I’m not saying don’t ever buy new clothes again. However, I do recommend heading to the thrift stores and online second-hand market first. Particularly if you’re after a superior quality item, which you can often pick up cheaper pre-loved.

I find that when buying clothes new in shopping centre stores, we tend to be more likely to fall for marketing ploys (pumping music, big red SALE signs etc.). While shopping second hand, you really have to rifle through to find something that is the right size, style and colour for you – the experience tends to be much more mindful.

I mean, where’s the challenge in seeing a rack full of identical clothes, where you just have to grab your size? Meh.

Fashion Trends

Following on from the above point…

If you spend all of your time trying to keep up with fashion trends, you’ll burn through your money like that’s going out of fashion too!

Plus, high trend items end up wasted because no one wants to use them 12 months down the track. Find your own style and buy quality items that will last you years to come.

Single Occasion Outfits

I’ve never understood the act of going shopping to find an outfit for one single night, whether it be a night on the town or a wedding (unless you’re in the bridal party, of course). With a well-planned capsule wardrobe containing quality and versatile items, you should pretty much always be able to find something to wear.

If I am on the lookout for something in particular, I’ll wander the thrift stores until I find something that suits me. Then, even if it is a dress that I’ll never wear again, it didn’t cost too much and I can donate it back once I’m done.

? READ: Build a Capsule Wardrobe >

‘Already Own’ Items

I mean, you’d think this would go without saying, but it’s amazing how often people purchase more of what they’ve already got. Keeping all of your belongings organised and categorised is not only easier when you own less, but it’ll help you to use what you’ve already got before buying new.

‘Borrow’ Items

If you need use of an item, instead of buying it (then having to store it), see if you can borrow the item. Your dad might have a hedge-trimmer he could lend you, or maybe your neighbour has a printer that you could use, instead of buying one for yourself.

‘Free’ Items

You’d be amazed at how much stuff is advertised for FREE that people just want to get rid of. When I was pregnant with my second child, I was on the lookout for a single bed so that the cot would be freed up. I ended up finding a nice, timber one on Gumtree, which my son used for quite a few years.

If you’re looking for something in particular, have a look around and see if you can pick it up for free.

‘Can’t Afford’ Items

Next in the list of things to stop buying for minimalism are the things that you simply cannot afford. Not only will your wallet thank you, but so will your house. No longer will you find yourself with extra things to try and store and no longer will you feel guilty for overspending.

Excessive Takeout

Takeout food

Takeout is a total treat for me and I enjoy it all the more because of that. I always cook dinner at home and always make sure to have a ‘junky’ option on hand if I feel like a lazy Friday night. Homemade nachos and a Netflix movie is a far better option than spending $20 on one gluten-free takeaway pizza (yep, gluten intolerance can be pricey).

Bottled Water

Seriously, bottled water is more expensive than fuel, it’s ridiculous! Not only are the bottles atrocious for the planet, but you’re paying a premium for potential bottled tap water (cos who knows where that particular water really comes from?). I’d much rather fill up my insulated bottle at home with my fluoride and chemical-free water from the fridge, plus it’ll stay cold all day.

Montiico Stainless Steel Drink Bottle
Insulated Water Bottle →

Takeaway Coffee

I’m not saying that I never treat myself to a good chai when I’m out, but the point is, it’s a treat. I make all of my teas and coffees at home. If I’m heading out and want a coffee, I’ll make it in my BYO cup and take it with me, unless I’m actually stopping to have coffee with a friend.

Montiico Coffee Mug
Insulated Coffee Mug →

Cling Wrap & Baking Paper

Instead of using disposable plastic (cling wrap) to cover and wrap food, use beeswax wraps, containers, jars and food covers. Instead of baking paper, use a silicone baking mat or reuse your butter wrappers.

? READ: Eco Baking [11 Tips] >

Sandwich Bags

Rather than using disposable ziplock bags for sandwiches and snacks, get yourself some reusable snack bags, pouches or use little containers.

Fabric Food Pouch
Reusable Food Pouch (eBay) →

Excess Make-up

Once you find the brands and styles of make-up that work for you, stick to them. I know it’s tempting to walk past those sale bins filled with pretty bottles, but really, do you need them?

In fact, there’s even a trend going around called ‘skinimalism,’ have you heard of it? It’s all based around moving away from 10-step beauty routines and minimising what goes on your face. Sounds good to me!

Hair Removal Products

Hair Removal Products

Nope, I haven’t gone all hairy hippy, although that is another option if you so choose. I’m now halfway through the process of monthly laser hair removal appointments, effectively removing my unwanted hair forever!

Granted I do have a pack of razors left, because I need to shave before each appointment, but that’s thankfully now a short-lived task.

As for eyebrows, tweeze them yourself to save on eyebrow appointments and costs.

? READ: Eco Hair Removal Methods >

Make-up Remover

A damp face washer will do just as good a job (if not better) at removing make-up as any chemical concoction. Make-up remover is another one of the things to stop buying for minimalism.

Disposable Wipes

This goes for baby wipes, cleaning wipes, make-up wipes… ditch the lot of them. A damp face washer works just as well for personal use and reusable cleaning cloths are much better than thin, disposable cleaning wipes. The world existed just fine before the invention of disposable wipes and the landfill piles were significantly smaller.

? READ: Eco Baby Tips >

Cotton Tips, Balls & Rounds

Cotton tips, balls and rounds are all completely redundant disposable products once replaced with a few nifty reusable items.

Replace cotton tips with stainless steel ear picks. Replace balls and rounds with a damp face washer. Easy as.

Stainless Steel Ear Picks
Stainless Ear Picks (eBay) →

Face & Body Scrubs

For a nice face and body scrub, you can make your own by mixing a tablespoon of sugar with a teaspoon of honey or olive oil. There are many other great simple recipes online if you want to experiment and find the best one for yourself.


Homemade Deodorant

I’ve been making my own deodorant for years and as someone who sweats, it works far better for me than any store-bought chemical concoction ever did.

DIY Deodorant:

  • 2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 tsp arrowroot flour
  • Liquid coconut oil
  • 3 – 5 drops essential oil

Mix the powders together and add in small amounts of liquid coconut oil until you achieve a nice ‘paste.’ Add a few drops of essential oil for a nice scent.

Store in a cute little jar.

Salon Hair Dye

Granted, some hair types and colours need to be done in a salon (I’m definitely not confident to go blonde at home!). But if you go for darker shades, a box or two of hair dye at home will only cost you $10 – $25 instead of $50 upwards.

Manicures & Pedicures

Manicures and pedicures are expensive, especially if you get them on the regular. Plus, it’s just more appointments that you need to fit into the busy schedule.

Ped Egg
Ped Egg (eBay) →

Have a couple of nail polishes on hand that compliment your skin tone and wardrobe colours. Paint your own nails at home and treat your feet by smoothing them with a peg egg, followed by a nice moisturiser. Spending this time on yourself is a great way to add self-care into your routine.

? READ: 100 Self Care Tips >

Miracle Creams & Cosmetics

There’s no need to have multiple skin routine products, anti-aging creams and so on (do they even work?). A simple moisturiser will do and a damp face washer to remove make-up and clean your face. If you find a cleanser that works well for you, stick to it and avoid buying into more wonder products that only serve to empty your wallet.

Period Products

Go zero waste with your periods, cutting out the need to buy disposables month after month. Invest in a combination of period undies, menstrual cup and cloth liners for your moon cycle.

Check out the article below for a more in-depth look at eco periods.

? READ: Zero Waste Periods Explained >

Cleaning Products

You really don’t need a separate cleaning product for each surface in the house. That’s all just part of the ‘use more, buy more’ culture.

A set of good microfibre cleaning cloths will service many of your cleaning needs. The Norwex ones are great because they contain silver, which is a natural anti-bacterial agent. For things that need a bit of extra oomph, vinegar and bicarb soda will do the trick.

Norwex Envirocloths
Norwex Envirocloths (eBay) →

Air Freshener

Synthetic Air Freshener

Rather than buying plastic bottle chemical-infused air fresheners, you can make your own simple one at home. All you need is a little spray bottle – if you need to buy one, go for glass. Fill it almost to the top with water, then add in about 10 drops of peppermint, tea tree and/ or eucalyptus essential oils. You can add in more for a stronger scent.

As for the plug-in room sprays, ditch them. They’re filled with synthetic toxins, which aren’t good for you or your household. Instead burn a natural incense stick, natural scented candle or natural melt.

Phone Plans

When your old phone needs replacing, buy the newest model that you can afford outright, then stick to a prepaid deal with unlimited calls, data and sms. I’m currently on a $15/ mth prepaid set-up and with the wifi at home, I literally never run out of data.

New Cars

I’ve never owned a brand new car in my life and I actually never plan to. I’ve always paid cash for my cars and I will continue to do so. Even if you pay out a personal car loan in 2 years instead of 5, you’ll still end up paying a huge amount in interest. Not to mention that the car loses a fair chunk of it’s value the second you pull out of the car yard driveway.

Unless it’s a sought after vehicle, cars depreciate in value. You’ll never get your money back. I always have a running bank account which I put money into each month to upgrade my car when the time comes (with whatever I can afford, not the newest and shiniest) – that way I never need to take out a loan.

Latest Technology

There were at least 8 new smart phone releases in 2020. And that’s just phones alone, not including all of the other technology that we’ve become accustomed to.

Trying to keep up with it all is crazy and will do nothing but send you broke. When you’re due to replace a piece of technology, buy the best quality item you can afford at the time and use it until it dies, then repeat the process.

Credit Cards

Cutting Credit Card

One of my most favourite self quotes is…

“If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it!”

Not only have I never had (or needed) a car loan, I’ve also never had (or needed) my own credit card. I’m a huge advocate for savings.

I have multiple bank accounts to cover all of the different aspects of my life. Each month when I get paid, I put a set amount into each of those accounts. When I need to pay for something, whether it be expected or unexpected, there is always money allocated and ready to go. No credit necessary!

And no, I don’t earn a tonne – I’m actually a single Mum on a very standard income. It’s all about being organised.

? READ: Easy Money Organisation Tips >


Following on the from the point above, if you’ve got a healthy on-going savings regime, hopefully you’ll always have the money you need saved instead of needing to apply for a loan (mortgages excluded).

Example: If you’re regularly putting money into a ‘Car’ account, when the day comes that your car dies and you need a new one, there should be money sitting there to purchase one outright. Remember, live within your means.

Unnecessary Insurances

There’s an insurance for everything, these days. However, some of them are just not worth the money for most people. Before signing up for an extra insurance, consider putting that amount away into a dedicated bank account each month instead. At least if you never need to claim that insurance, you’ll have a lovely little stack of savings to show for it.

Insurances I wouldn’t be without include home, contents and car.

When it comes to Income Protection Insurance, have a look to see what’s covered in your superannuation as a standard feature. Also, read the fine print of the terms and conditions. Many income protections only cover you for 75% of your wages for 3 months, with a 1 month waiting period before you can claim. Basically, if you had three months worth of wages tucked away in a separate savings account, you’d be better off than needing to jump through the insurance company’s hoops.

Plastic Household Items

I know, plastic seems to rule the world these days. But when it comes to replacing household items, see if you can buy in a material that’s not plastic. Maybe you can opt for stainless steel, glass, bamboo, hemp or some other recyclable or compostable resource.

New Kids Toys

Plastic Toys

Very rarely did I buy brand new kids toys when my two were going through toy ages. Most kids toys on the market are plastic, which means they break and often aren’t recyclable.

Plus, kids toys can be expensive, all packaged up in their fancy boxes. However, once you open them and ditch the wrappings, there’s not really a lot to them. It’s almost like driving the new car out of the sales yard and losing a chunk of it’s value straight away.

Pick up kids toys second hand from thrift stores, Marketplace, Gumtree and eBay.

Clothes Pegs

Yep, you heard me right. One of the things to stop buying on a minimalism journey is clothes pegs. Invest in stainless steel Pincinox pegs and you’ll never have need of new pegs again.

Pincinox Pegs
Pincinox Pegs (eBay) →

Each one is made out of a solid, piece of stainless steel making it completely rust-proof and snap-proof. Read the post below for a full review.

? READ: Pincinox Review >

Plastic Coat Hangers

A big aspect when looking at things to stop buying for a minimalist lifestyle is quality over quantity, with coat hangers being no exception.

As you need to replace broken, cheap hangers, go for quality wooden hangers. They will display your clothes beautifully and last a heck of a lot longer.

Wooden Coat Hangers
Wooden Coat Hangers (eBay) →

Clothes Dryer

This one depends entirely on your climate, but here in Australia, there aren’t too many locations where a dryer is necessary much of the time. In fact, I’ve never owned a dryer since moving out of my parents house 20 years ago. If the weather is rainy, I hang the laundry on clothes airers throughout the house and it usually dries within 24 hours.

Fabric Softener

Fabric softener is a complete gimmick. All it does it add a synthetic residue layer to your clothing making them smell ‘pretty’ (if you’re into chemical smells). That chemical layer actually repels water, making them harder to be washed and cared for to their fullest potential.

If you want a natural fabric softener, add a dash of white vinegar to your washing, which will also clean out your machine at the same time.

Single-purpose Appliances

Kitchen Appliances

Gosh, there are so many appliances on the market nowadays, it’s mental! Consider if it’s worth filling up the cupboard with fifty different appliances, which could quite literally be made obsolete by the humble oven or stovetop.

A good example – I make toasted sandwiches the old school way in a fry pan, instead of having a toasty maker.

Below are some ridiculous single-purpose appliances and how to live without them.

Single-use ApplianceUse this instead
Hot Dog MakerSaucepan
Pizza MakerOven
Milkshake MakerBlender
Popcorn MakerSaucepan or microwave
Egg CookerSaucepan
Burger CookerGrill or Fry Pan
Cupcake MakerOven

New Books

As much as it’s great to support the author, paying $20 – $30 per print book is a lot. Below are some alternatives to buying brand new books.

  • Libraries
  • Audiobooks & eBooks
  • Second hand (thrift stores, eBay, marketplace, second hand bookstores)


Magazines are such a waste of resources. How often do you read them after you’ve made it through the first time? Probably never. You can catch magazines online and even borrow mags from the library.

Multiple Subscriptions

Do you really need Stan, Foxtel, Netflix and Disney? Pick one and cancel the rest. If you get bored with that service, cancel it and subscribe to another one for a while, then rotate around.

Knick Knacks

Honestly, knick knacks are really just dust collectors, which clutter up your space. What’s the point? Save your shelf space for items that you truly love and that bring a smile to your face when you look at them.

More Storage for ‘Stuff’

Storage Boxes

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll all about compartments and storage for organisation. But, if you need to buy a bigger shed or house to store all of your stuff… maybe it’s time to get rid of the stuff. The same applies for needing lots of new shelves, drawers and containers to stack away your stuff. Sounds like you need a declutter instead.

? READ: How to Start Decluttering →


Most souvenirs are just junky, gimmicky items. Unless it’s a genuine persian rug from Iran or something as unique as that, I’m out when it comes to souvenirs.

Pictures are where the memories are at.

I never understood the point in buying someone else a Paris or New York keyring… to commemorate my trip (not theirs). Seems pretty pointless and impersonal.

Holiday Decorations

If you’ve already got some decorations, keep reusing them instead of buying more decorations. Rather than storing a plastic christmas tree for eleven months of the year (just to use for one month), decorate a house plant instead.

If you are looking for a few more decorations, see if the kids can make paper chains with scrap paper (then recycle afterwards). Otherwise, buy some things from a thrift store, then donate them back after the holiday season. Alternatively, invest in a few good quality items (metal, wood, fabric) that aren’t disposable and will last many years to come.

? READ: DIY Bunting from Old Clothes! →

Holiday & Birthday Cards

Christmas Card

Cards for birthdays and other holidays are such a waste of money and paper resources. People just quickly glance at them, say thanks, then move onto the gift. If I want to give a card, I’ll make my own with whatever materials I’ve got at home already.

Unconscious Gifts

You know those novelty gifts and crappy stocking fillers? I just don’t buy them. Not only is it a total waste of my hard-earned money, but I know those gifts will only provide a brief moment of wonder, before ending up in the trash. What an incredibly wasteful society we live in!

I’d much rather gift experiences, useful items and things that the recipient genuinely needs and loves. Stick to quality over quantity and spread the experience of conscious gift-giving.

? READ: 60+ Clutter-free Gifts →

Cut Flowers

As lovely as it is to receive a bunch of cut flowers, they’re expensive and there’s always the disappointment of them dying before long. Not to mention the plastic wrappings that they always come encased in.

Go for a handpicked bunch of leaves, branches and flowers to string into your own beautiful handmade bouquet instead. Alternatively, buy that special someone a potted plant for the house, which will continue to keep on giving for many years to come (hopefully).



When it comes to notebooks for writing shopping lists and odd notes for around the house, use scrap paper instead of buying new notebooks.

Any paper that comes into the house (like school notes, letters and pamphlets), that has a blank page on the back, add it to the scrap paper drawer for notes.

You can even cut a bunch of A4 sheets in half, put them together in a pile and run some glue along one edge. Voila, you’ve got yourself a homemade peel-off notebook!

Plastic Grocery Bags

Plastic bags suck. Invest in some heavy duty jute grocery bags, which will last you for years to come. A few cotton bags are also useful for fruit and vegetables.

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