7 Things I Stopped Buying & Started Making Myself Instead

The Wandering Elf
by The Wandering Elf

I want to share with you seven things I stopped buying which resonate with my desire to practice simple living. My sole intention for choosing a simple lifestyle is to minimize unnecessary expenses, allowing me to work less. I have found it easier to stick to a goal if the intention is clear.

Also, sInce I'm spending less, it opens up more free time to do things I love, such as go out in nature, create new recipes, paint, crochet, or nap. It's not about extreme minimalism but living simply and intentionally.

Here are the seven things I stopped buying for the purpose of frugal and simple living.

Almond milk at the supermarket

1. Milk

The first one is milk. I used to buy almond or soy milk, and although they're great for my body and taste good, the cost adds up quickly. I decided to stop buying milk and make my own using oats. 

I make oat milk with my high-powered blender using rolled oats, water, coconut sugar, and pure vanilla extract. I usually make 600ml, and it lasts for three days.

I use it to make cafe latte, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, or an addition to a bowl of breakfast oats. A pack of rolled oats costs under $2, and I can make about three liters of oat milk with it.

On the other hand, a liter of ready-made oat milk costs $3. That's a significant saving for me. 

Chocolate cake with strawberries

2. Snacks

Other things I stopped buying are cookies, crackers, and snacks. I like snacks and sweets, but they can be expensive and unhealthy too. I decided to make snacks instead of buying them.

We don't have an oven here, but we have a blender, and that's more than enough for making desserts. The Nutribullet is perfect for making cakes, cookies, waffles, brownies, and more. 

Making snacks using a blender

3. Flour 

When I make cakes, I use oat flour, which is cheaper and healthier than white flour. I grind rolled oats to make oat flour, which I then use to make chocolate mousse cake, tiramisu cake, chocolate cake, and so on. 

Using local herbs for tea

4. Tea

I love tea and used to order several kinds online, which can be very expensive with shipping and import fees. I realized local herbs are just as good, if not better than those pricey imported teas.

Going to a family-run coffee shop

5. Coffee

 I also make my coffee, and we occasionally buy at a coffee shop. Whenever we go to a coffee shop once a week, we go to a small family-owned coffee shop. We like to support small businesses where we live. 

Making greeting cards

6. Greeting cards

I love writing letters and sending greeting cards to loved ones, but I realized that although store-bought cards are pretty, they don't hold as much value as handmade cards. I started making my greeting cards. The love and positive energy put into making these cards make them extra special, and making them is cheaper and much more fun. 

7. Clothes

I used to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes each year, but for about a couple of years now, I have started making my clothes instead of buying them. I also made my jacket and sweater, and I love them a lot.  

Ever since I learned how to crochet to make clothing, I have even been making my bags and purses, which allowed me to be more creative and resourceful while being more frugal at the same time. 

7 Things I stopped buying & started making

These are just some of the things I stopped buying and started making. You can stop buying things and live simply, all while saving money. I hope I've given you a few ideas to help you start easily living as a minimalist.

Join the conversation
4 of 28 comments
  • Jodi Murray Hendon Jodi Murray Hendon on Sep 03, 2022

    How are you saving money by making your own clothes? I used to sew all the time, but the cost of patterns, fabric, notions, even thread are so much more expensive than just buying off the rack or from catalogs.

    My niece had a skirt she’d borrowed from a friend and she asked me to help her make one like it. The friend had bought it at a discount store for about $8. I showed her how to draw a pattern from the skirt, so she saved money that way, but by the time she bought fabric, zipper, trim, and thread, it cost $18. The last time I bought a spool of thread, it was $4.

    • See 1 previous
    • Arlene Arlene on Jan 06, 2024

      Suggestion, view her video, you will see the author made absolutely beautiful intricately crocheted clothes (sweaters & vests) and purses (use recycled hardware from retired purses or use surplus button closures). Often fabric (textiles) and yarn is less expensive in her country as it is in many other countries. Check out furniture stores for large retired fabric samples to make reusable shopping bags and purses. You can always be creative by repurposing items you already have (turn shawls into shirts, ponchos, add sleeves to a short sleeve shirt from another shirt, old blanket throw make vests using buttons). Pattern templates can be made the old fashion way from brown paper or newspaper.

      I believe the author enjoys creating and making things. Yes I go to the dollar store and buy greeting cards, however, I appreciate my girlfriend sending me a homemade card (I feel her love.) She finds card making relaxing, therapeutic and an expression of showing how much she cares. Her 3-D cards are so beautiful, I frame

      many of them.

  • Gloria Gloria on Oct 18, 2023

    You might consider "remaking" like-new, high quality clothing you find at resale shops. The fabric is much better than anything you can buy nowadays, and if you can tailor something to fit you, you'll save a lot. High quality thread is a must, however!

    Also, you might consider getting a toaster oven. Being a vegetarian, I cook most everything from scratch. Several years ago, I bought a like-new toaster oven very cheaply at a yard sale and have used it to bake many things -- casseroles, falafel, veggie burgers, cookies, cakes, quick breads, yeast rolls, muffins, pies, pizza, etc. It doesn't heat up the house in the summertime like the oven would do, nor does it use as much energy.

    I'm with you regarding making your own plant milk! Big savings there! And no unnecessary (chemical) ingredients.