19 Things I Don't Buy as a Minimalist: How to Let Go of Things

The Wandering Elf
by The Wandering Elf

With the start of the new year, I think about the things and mentality I have let go of from the previous year and how they helped me achieve a simple lifestyle with less stress. There are things I don't buy any longer that helped me achieve a minimalist lifestyle.

As Henry David Thoreau puts it, the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. I would rather live each day doing what I am passionate about, even with minimal possessions than toil away at the job I hate to afford an expensive lifestyle.

These are 19 things that I don't buy or use as a minimalist to live a simpler, cheaper, and less complicated life.

Fast fashion

1. Fast fashion

There's nothing wrong with wanting to be fashionable; to each his own. Personally, I stopped supporting fast fashion because I prefer to keep my closet space to a minimum. I would rather own a few clothes that last long and serve their purpose well.

I used to own at least four pairs of shoes, but I bought cheap ones that didn't last longer than a year. It is very sad to know that roughly 300 million shoes end up in landfills yearly. So now I choose higher quality shoes that last long and are limited to just two pairs.

If I need shoes for certain occasions, I buy from a charity shop or join shoe swap events in town. 

Letting go of makeup

2. Makeup

I was hooked on makeup for a time, and I couldn't leave the house without it. Now, I care for my skin and health, giving me a natural glow.

3. Anti-acne cream 

I also used to buy a lot of anti-acne cream because of my desire to look flawless. However, these things cost a lot of money and only work when you use them. They are not a permanent fix. Plus, flaws are what make us real and special. To keep my skin healthy, I do my best to improve my diet and follow a wholesome lifestyle.

Anti-aging products vs aging naturally

4. Anti-wrinkle cream

I no longer buy anti-wrinkle cream. I no longer try to defy nature; instead, I accept the natural flow of life and welcome graceful aging and flaws as a special part of who I am.  

Walking instead of using a gym membership

5. Gym membership

I used to spend money on gym memberships and yoga classes, which cost quite a lot over time. Now I prefer to go for walks, which I find to work for me more because it does not cost anything, and I can do it on my preferred schedule. 

Unhealthy snacks

6. Snacks

There are some food items that I completely abandoned buying to minimize stress and clutter in my life, such as buying and stocking up on snacks. I make healthier snacks using simple ingredients that are cheaper too. 


7. Packaged juices and drinks

I make my own simple teas and fruit juices or drink water.

Things I don't buy

8. Processed cereals 

I no longer buy boxes of cereal that are heavily processed and unhealthy. I eat healthier breakfasts with simple ingredients.

Things I don't buy as a minimalist

9. Eating out

I used to love dining at fancy restaurants a couple of times a month, but now the expense Isn't worth the time I have to spend to afford it.

10. Ordering takeaway 

I got into the habit of ordering takeaway, but once I thought about how much I had to work to make the money I was spending, I started cooking at home. 

11. Impulsive shopping

I used to go to the mall and buy things impulsively. It was wasteful and a habit I broke right away.

12. Supplements

I used to hoard expensive supplements that cost me hundreds of dollars each month. Eating healthy and exercising have given me much better results at a fraction of the cost.

13. Coffee shop coffees

It was a habit for me to go to chain coffee shops twice a week. I make my coffee at home now.

Things minimalists don't buy

14. Books

I have free books in digital form but no longer have physical books taking up space.

15. Photos and frames

As a very sentimental person, I had difficulty letting go of things that meant a lot to me, but I realized there was no point in holding on to the past. So I let go of old photos. I keep digital copies of the images I cherish most.

16. Scrapbooks

Again, it was hard to get rid of sentimental things, but I realized these are just some of the things I used to hold strong attachments to in the past. I live in the present now.

17. Old clothes

I had old clothes that held sentimental value, but I no longer wore them and wasn't ever going to wear them. I got rid of them because living a minimalist lifestyle is more important to me than nostalgia.

Old jars and trinkets

18. Old jars and trinkets

I collected old jars and trinkets I would never use. Maintaining them by cleaning, dusting, and storing them took time. Removing them from my life has given me more time to do what I love.

Things I don't buy or use

19. Social media

I used to spend so much time on social media and scroll mindlessly for hours. The price was incredibly high because of the amount of life I exchanged for what was nothing more than a habit that didn't contribute anything positive to my life.

Things I don't buy or use

I'm constantly thinking of ways to live a simple lifestyle and minimize stress in my life. For me, the easiest way to do that is not to buy oruse things that don't have room in my life anymore. As I began to let things go to live a minimalist lifestyle, a lot of stress and unnecessary expenses disappeared.

Let me know something you're letting go of from your life in the comments below.

Join the conversation
2 of 35 comments
  • Pam Pam on Sep 21, 2023

    Not to mention time loss. Public transportation means two hours (or more) going to the doctor, appointments, and so forth.

    For example, if I need to go to a doctor's appointment, it's a half an hour walk to the bus stop, an hour and a half on the bus, and then another 10 minute walk. That's over TWO hours ONE way! By car, it takes 20 minutes. Sorry, but I really don't like spending nearly 5 hours on a bus for an hour at the doctor's office. Paying for the gas is less painful and gives me more time to do the things I need to do at home.

  • Thatsagoodidea Thatsagoodidea on Mar 29, 2024

    Fine line between meaning of minimalistic these days. I’ll leave that up to you. Other adjectives come to mind…..