10 Things I Don't Buy Anymore & What I Use Instead

I'm so excited to tell you about all the things I don’t buy anymore and how that’s helping me save hundreds of dollars every year. The pandemic actually forced me into some of these that I'm going to share with you, but it ended up working in my favor long term.

Besides talking to you about what I don’t buy, I am also going to show you what I purchase to replace those items.

Linen napkins

1. Napkins

At first, I stopped buying them because you couldn't find them in the grocery store during the pandemic. I bought linen napkins instead, and I've never gone back. We use linen napkins for every meal. They wash up beautifully and bring so much beauty to our tablescape.

White washcloths

2. Paper towels

The pandemic helped me to stop buying paper towels. Next to my kitchen sink, I have a little white basket filled with white washcloths that are so inexpensive. You get a large pack for about $3, and they hold up so well.

I throw them in the washing machine with whatever load I'm doing. They get folded, rolled up, and put back in the basket.

French press coffee

3. Coffee filters

I no longer buy coffee filters. It is so easy to buy a reusable coffee filter or ditch the coffee pot completely and use a French press. I have used a French press for years. The French press makes a wonderful cup of coffee.

Reusable toner pads

4. Disposable toner pads

I bought reusable toner pads and I love them. I love that I don't have to throw anything away. After I use them, I put them in their little laundry bag and throw them in my daily load of laundry. These toner pads save me money. It might not save me hundreds of dollars, but it adds up.

Stasher bags

5. Ziploc bags 

I use Stasher bags now. They are high-quality, thick silicone bags with an amazing zipper top. They last forever. I have had mine for a few years now and they still look brand new. When you wash a Stasher bag, you can either wash it by hand or you can throw it in the dishwasher. 

Don't go for cheap reusable bags. They are awful. They end up not being able to zip. It's going to end up being a waste of money. Get high-quality ones. Wait for a sale.

Stasher also offers a mystery pack at a discounted price. I don't care what color the bag is, if it's the size that I want or if it serves a purpose in my home, it's going to get used.

Good-quality glass storage containers

6. Cheap disposable containers 

People buy cheap Ziploc containers, and they get thrown away. It's a complete waste of money. It's time to invest in some good-quality glass storage containers. You can usually find great prices at big retailers like Costco and Sam's Club.

Using the library instead of buying books

 7. Books

I don't buy books anymore. Unless you're my best friend and you wrote a book, I probably am not going to buy it. My husband loves to buy books because he's an English teacher. The library has been a fantastic resource for me.

Every few weeks, I go to the library and go through the cookbook section. I'll get on the library's website and scroll through the selection of cookbooks. If I find a recipe that I like, I take a picture of it, print it out, and put it in my recipe keeper. 

8. Cable 

We haven't had cable in ten years, and I don't miss it at all. We use Amazon Prime because there are so many videos and TV series that we can watch with our Amazon membership. I also pay for Disney Plus. Those are the only two that we pay for.

How to make your own lip gloss

9. Lip gloss 

I never buy lip gloss anymore. I learned how to make my own lip gloss and I love it. It's basically just three ingredients. I like to add some peppermint oil along with it, and that's it. It's a fantastic, inexpensive recipe that makes a lot of lip gloss.

Lip gloss can be expensive, but I pay about $0.40 for my homemade lip gloss, and I think it's the best. I don't think any store-brand lip gloss even comes close to mine.

Things I don't buy anymore

10. Plastic water bottles 

I never buy plastic water bottles anymore. I like the two-pack of ThermoFlask water bottles that they sell at Costco. You can get two for around $20. I also have the Stanley 40-ounce. It is kind of pricey, but I really like it. I love the handle. I love how big it is.


If you’re not good at drinking your daily amount of water per day, this bottle really helps. When we go on a road trip I fill our one-gallon thermos from Costco and I fill it up. Then we refill our reusable water bottles with that when we're on a trip.

Things I don't buy anymore

I hope that you found this article useful and that you will stop buying some of these items. Buy the reusable versions and save yourself some money.

One-time-use items will end up costing you more money and creating more waste in general. What have you stopped buying to save money? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Join the conversation
2 of 67 comments
  • Vicki Vicki on Mar 10, 2024

    I love your thrift and ability to "go back " to the days before water bottles and such. I would love to, also, and do personally where I can. However, my husband is set in his ways and never gives up anything. My kids did, though, during the pandemic, where one was unemployed, and the other was working limitedly via computer. They gave up all the things you did and have never gone back, even tho' both are back to work with more than adequate salaries.

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Mar 21, 2024

    I also gave up napkins..I use bandanas or cloth napkins. I've been doing filtered water and insulated drinking bottles for years. I also use a silicone food bags, but mine go from small to big silicone bags..got from qvc (shopping channel). I also use lock n lock and Tupperware for storage. Obsessed there. I tried rags in a vinegar cleaning liquid and used them to sanitize my counters but it didn't last..don't know why. We also don't have cable. We have an Amazon fire stick. Now, I use kindle unlimited for my books. My fiancée feels he needs physical books.