Buying Things You Don't Need: 20 Things I No Longer Waste Money On

Gabe Bult
by Gabe Bult

Buying things you don’t need is hindering your minimalism journey and leading you to spend money unnecessarily.

Living minimally has helped me distinguish between need and want. More and more I realize there are so many things I don’t need to buy. Here are some of the things I don’t buy anymore.

Black t-shirt

1. Style

To make things easy for myself, I pretty much wear all black all the time. I’ve stopped trying to chase style and keep up with trends. Even my socks are all black and they’re all the same socks, so I don’t have to worry about finding matches.


2. Supplements

Instead of stocking up on protein powders and supplements, I simply eat a healthy diet. I do drink a multi-vitamin powder every day because I don’t eat enough vegetables, but that one powder gives me everything I need.

I used to take tons of different supplements, for pre-workouts and post-workouts, but now I’ve found that a balanced diet eliminates the need for all those extra supplements.

Feel grounds logo

3. Shoes

I do have shoes, but I used to buy them for fun every couple of months. I had multiple pairs depending on what I was doing.

Now that I’ve simplified my wardrobe, I wear a pair of barefoot shoes and sandals during the summer. I only have to buy shoes once every year or two depending on how much I use them.

Playing games on phone
Water bottle

4. Games

I used to play a lot of games, especially on my phone, and I would end up spending hundreds of dollars. Now I do not allow myself to keep any games on my phone because I know I can’t control myself.

5. Bottles of water

Instead of buying bottled water, I just use my non-disposable bottle. I fill it up before I go out and I take it with me everywhere.

Online shopping

6. Impulse purchases

It is way too easy to buy impulsively these days. That’s why I took Amazon off my phone.

I started keeping a list. When I think of something I need or want, I write it down on the list. This helps me take a beat before buying anything, and I’ve avoided accumulating things I don’t need.


7. Name brands

Switching from name brands can save a lot of money. I used to use Verizon for my phone plan, but now I’ve switched to Mint Mobile. I also switched my WiFi to a competitor of Comcast because it works just as well and is half the price.


8. Razors

I switched from shaving to simply trimming my beard once a week. This saves me time and money. I’ve had the same trimmer for years and it cost me about $20.

9. Cheap gear

I love living frugally, but I have learned that sometimes buying cheap ends up causing me to spend more. Cheap gear is poorly made so it doesn’t last. For things like computers and cameras, I’ve found that it makes more sense to buy high quality so items last longer.

10. Subscriptions

I try not to bother with paid subscriptions. There is so much you can subscribe to for free these days. I’ll even use 30-day trials and cancel them after 30 days.


11. Cooking spray

I used to cycle through cooking spray all the time. I switched to non-stick pans and I haven’t had to buy any cooking spray since.


12. Tupperware

We used to have tons of Tupperware and we were always losing lids. Now we got rid of all that and bought a set of nice containers.


13. Disposable pens

I used to use disposable pens and they added clutter to the house. Now I have a nice non-disposable pen. I never lose it because I only have one so I take care of it and keep track of it.

14. Gifts and toys

My daughter’s favorite toy right now is a cardboard box. My wife and I don’t buy gifts and toys. We spend that money on experiences instead.

Playing guitar

15. Hobbies

I used to pick up new hobbies all the time and buy a bunch of gear to support the hobby. Then a month or two would pass and I’d lose interest and move on to something else.

Now, unless I’ve been sticking with a hobby for a long time, I don’t spend money on it.

Getting hair cut

16. Haircuts

My wife and I learned how to cut each other’s hair and now we don’t have to spend money on haircuts.


17. Junk food

We have stopped buying things that come in packages or pre-made. We try to stick with whole foods or make things from scratch.

The Simple Path to Wealth

18. Investing fees

Instead of hiring someone to manage my investments for me, I bought a book on managing investments so I could do it myself.

Pouring coffee

19. Coffee

I don’t buy coffee out. We have a coffee maker at home and we buy high-quality coffee from a local shop. It's delicious and still cheaper than big-brand coffee beans.


20. Cars

My wife and I share a car. We both work from home and haven’t had a real need to each have our own car. Getting rid of our second car has saved us more money than anything else on this list.

Buying things you don't need

I hope it’s been helpful to you to hear about things I don’t buy as a minimalist. I’ve learned a lot living minimally and it’s gotten easier for me to weed out the things I don’t need.

Let me know in the comments which things you’ve stopped buying to foster your minimalist lifestyle.

Next, check out these 10 Minimalist Rules That Have Improved My Daily Life.

Join the conversation
2 of 4 comments
  • Css28732905 Css28732905 on Mar 31, 2024
    That's a great list of savings! The only one I disagree with is the non-stick pans. They are coated with carcinogenic chemicals that leach into your food. These are nicknamed "forever" chemicals because your body cannot get rid of them. I like iron frying pans because when taken care of properly they are virtually non-stick and the only thing you might absorb from them is a little iron. I don't buy cooking spray, I have a refillable oil sprayer and I refill it from my larger bottle of healthy oil (avocado oil is my choice). Have a great day and a healthy year!
  • Abd67543878 Abd67543878 on Apr 28, 2024
    Experiences are wonderful. And, children get value (emotional, mental/educational) from playing with things. I think certainly too many toys don't make sense but some are useful. What's good for you may not be good for children (in the extreme).