15 Things I Don't Buy as a Minimalist to Save Money & Live Mindfully

Connie Riet
by Connie Riet

Today, I’m going to be sharing with you 15 unusual things I don’t buy as a minimalist. Our minimalist journey started back in 2008, with the last recession. Throughout those years, we have lived many different lifestyles: in a house, in an RV, in a tiny house; we even traveled nomadically with just a backpack.


The things I don’t buy as a minimalist, that we have chosen not to purchase, changed with our lifestyle.

There is definitely no right or wrong way to live a minimalist lifestyle. I think that it’s really up to each individual person and household. I try to focus on living mindfully and being aware of how the items I purchase (and the things I don’t buy) impact my house, my family, and the environment.


The bonus to living mindfully is that it’s a great way to save money; the fewer things you buy the more money you can save.


These 15 money-saving tips include things I don’t buy that are pretty unusual; I think that most people do purchase them, so I thought I’d share them with you today:

Dr. Bronner’s shampoo

1. Shampoo

I’ve been making my own shampoo for the past 7 years. First, I use Dr. Bronner’s. Then, on top of Dr. Bronner’s, I mix in baking soda and water.

DIY conditioner with apple cider vinegar

2. Conditioner

Conditioner is one of the things I don’t buy. I make my own from a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. I spray it on my hair, leave it on for a couple of minutes, and then wash it off.

How to make DIY lotion

3. Lotion 

We make our own lotion using coconut oil, shea butter, and coconut butter. We just mix the ingredients around and heat them. Once it cools, it forms this really smooth texture. It’s probably the best lotion I have ever used in my entire life. We swear by it.

How to make your own deodorant

4. Deodorant

I know this is pretty shocking, but deodorant is a thing I don’t buy. We started making our own when I was having a reaction to store-bought deodorant. We use a combination of coconut oil, baking soda, and sometimes a bit of lavender.

Packing a lunch

5. Fast food 

We have not purchased fast food in, probably, over 20 years. I was in my early 20s the last time I had it. This is something I don’t buy as a minimalist that is a conscious choice. I made this choice for my family’s health. When we are out and about, we pack a lunch, and if we haven’t packed a lunch, we stop at a grocery store and pick up deli items.

Things minimalists don't buy

6. No impulse groceries 

I don’t buy any grocery items that are not on my grocery list. We are really diligent about creating a menu for the week, and we buy our groceries based on that menu. 


7. Pre-packaged or pre-made foods 

This includes frozen foods, like frozen pizza or frozen dinners. We just make all our own food from scratch; we cut our own veggies, and it works out great.

Refilling a water bottle

8. Soda pop, bottled water, and juice

We haven’t brought any soda into our house in over 20 years, at least. Water bottles are another thing I don’t buy as a minimalist. We choose to take water bottles and fill them up at home or refill them on the go. We don’t buy juice, juice boxes, or convenient drinks.

Things I don't buy

9. Cleaning sprays 

I make my own window cleaner, dusting spray, and all-purpose cleaner. 


10. Dryer sheets

We started not buying dryer sheets when we traveled abroad. Most of the houses we stayed in didn’t have a dryer, and we realized we didn’t really need dryer sheets.


11. Hair dye and cosmetic enhancements

I went gray really early in my life. It started in my 20s. I colored my hair throughout my 20’s and 30’s and chose to stop when I turned 40. I was tired of always trying to color my hair, and being unhappy when it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.


This was a money-saving tip too, since coloring my hair was so expensive. I stay natural now and I don’t buy cosmetic enhancements, like fake eyelashes, fillers, or botox.

Money-saving tips

12. Disposable dishes 

We don’t buy any kinds of disposable plates, napkins, tablecloths, or other disposable dishes. We use cloth napkins and real dishes.


13. Cable 

I like to be mindful of the shows we watch together as a family. I feel like cable has a lot of information that is unfiltered, coming into the home. Also, it is difficult to be mindful and present when there is chatter from a TV in the background.

Things I don't buy as a minimalist

14. Greeting cards 

We hand-make our greeting cards for each other. We draw a little picture on the front and hand write the letter inside. It makes it more personable and meaningful.


15. Knickknacks and seasonal decorations 

I don’t decorate for the seasons of the year, except for Christmas. Knickknacks for the house are a thing I don’t buy as a minimalist. Our house is decorated minimally and simply.


Things I don't buy as a minimalist

There is no right and wrong way to live a minimalist lifestyle. I think the most important thing is to just be mindful and aware of the things you purchase and bring into your house. Notice if they improve your well-being, health, and peace of mind and if they help the planet or harm it.


What are some things you do to live mindfully, through what you choose to purchase? And, where are you at in your minimalism journey? Let us know in the comments.

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