Our goal for 2019 is to be less of a consumer and more of a frugal minimalist. In a world driven by consumerism, we want to contribute less to the ever growing need to not be bored. We want new clothes, new books, new cosmetics, new cars… new anything and everything.
Our quest to be less of a consumer has been motivated by our minimalist journey and our frugal tendencies. D and I have curated a list of things that we no longer wish to purchase or be a part of. And we have good reasons too:
- They don’t align with what I want to accomplish or hinder my goals.
- They take away from my time that could be better spent doing something productive.
- They just don’t fit in with our lifestyle.
This is a list that should not be considered the end-all-be-all list that no minimalist should buy. Each person that has embraced minimalism has done so for different reasons. Each item on this list might be something that brings joy to someone else.
If you’re on your minimalist (or even frugal) journey and struggle with bringing items into your home, read through this list and ask yourself if you need to continue to purchase these items or if you could do without.
For the Home
- Air freshener – I’m talking about the aerosol variety here. All the chemicals contained in those fragrant bottles can contribute to allergies and other health issues. We have created our own by using a small spray bottle, witch hazel, and essential oil.
- Cleaning Supplies – One of my goals has been to become a chemical free house. I have stopped buying commercial cleaning products (think Scrubbing Bubbles, Lysol, etc) and opted for all natural cleaners that we DIY (like our dish detergent)
- Home Decor – Man, I’m a sucker for Hobby Lobby and their rotating 50% off sales. One thing that I am beginning to embrace is the “blank wall”. Which is really just a wall in your home with nothing on it. It lets your eyes rest between the constant stream of information that is constantly thrown at us.
- Kitchen Gadgets – As much as we love to be in the kitchen, we absolutely do not need another gadget to go in it. We have pretty much everything a person could need to do cooking and baking in our kitchen.
- Books – During our big purge in 2017 we did away with the majority of our books. Most of which were purchased at a going out of business sale for 10 cents a book. I shamefully never read them (except one) and we passed them along to a friend and sold the rest at our garage sale. Now we love the library and read more often! Funny how we own less books now too!
- DVDs and Video Games – This is an area where we would mindlessly buy. A particularly bad habit was Black Friday shopping when DVDs are $3 each! We sold many at our garage sale in 2017 luckily.
- Small Trash Bags – This one might sound silly but we have always bought those little trash bags for our bathroom and bedroom trashcans. I recently put Command hooks on the sides of our bathroom trash can so we could use a grocery sack and it wouldn’t fall down into the bin. Win!
- Processed Food – healthy foods aren’t necessarily fast, and they shouldn’t be! D and I love to cook (he likes to cook more than I do!) and getting back to a healthier state is achieved by what we put into our bodies. No junk foods, no processed frozen food. Just from-scratch meals that are healthy and delicious.
- Soda – This goes for restaurants as well as bringing it into our home. No one needs that much sugar. We recently discovered that Aldi has a wonderful line of seltzer waters that have completely curbed our cravings for fizzy drinks!
As our world has shifted to be more baby-centric, we have bought less and less for ourselves. That being said, I think less thought went into our purchases over the last year because we were so focused on what our Little Guy needed.
- Fast Fashion – If you have Netflix, I highly recommend watching ” The True Cost”. It is a heartbreaking documentary on the world’s demand for faster, cheaper clothing. So many of us are addicted to buying new clothes every week. This for us has stopped. If we need new clothes (in particular for my husband’s job) we will purchase them secondhand. Read more about how I eliminated over half of my wardrobeor how we shop secondhand.
- Cosmetics – Since I’ve been a SAHM, I haven’t worn too much make-up or any type of cosmetics. I will sometimes do my beauty routine but often I just straighten my hair and go on about my day. I even have several unopened tubes of mascara, foundation, and eyeliner pencils. I think I’m good for a few years!
- Perfume – In our quest to be chemical free, we will no longer buy perfume or cologne. On top of it being full of chemical-y fragrance, it is another thing to store. We have created a spritzer with witch hazel and essential oil.
- Bottled Toiletries – I used to be a coupon addict several years ago. I had dozens of plastic bottles of body wash and shampoo lining the shelves of my hall closet. Now with all of the issues I’ve had with skin allergies, I can no longer use the cheaply made stuff from the drug store. We now purchase locally made bars of soap and will purchase shampoo bars once our current bottles run out.
- Jewelry – I used to be alllllllll about giant bangles and earrings. Now with a wee little fella that likes to pull and chew on everything, it’s hard to wear nice or really any type of jewelry. It also doesn’t match my simple style. I have silver earrings, a few simple silver necklaces, a watch, a silver charm bracelet, one Rustic Cuff, my wedding ring, and one statement necklace. This is more than enough for any occasion.
My sweet little guy is spoiled beyond belief – in love and in material items. We have been very fortunate to not buy a whole lot on our own which is why the following items are listed below.
- Toys – We were graciously gifted a shelving unit (seriously, a WHOLE shelving unit) filled with bins of toys. Most aren’t age appropriate yet, but Little Guy loves dumping the bins of blocks out and banging everything around. We also have toys that haven’t been taken out of the package from Christmas as well as plenty of toys that are just waiting to be played with at the grandparents’ houses.
- Extra Clothing – I use “extra” here as to avoid buying more than what he needs. We buy plenty of clothing for him secondhand (baby stuff is plentiful at the thrift store!!! just wash it when you get home 🙂 ) and receive a lot as gifts. He isn’t even one yet and he has clothes to last him through the end of 2019. The only clothing we will most likely buy will be a coat and a few more pants.
- Baby Gear – Just like kitchen gadgets, baby gear tends to accumulate and a lot of it you don’t even need.
- Books for Baby – I love a good children’s book as much as the next mom but there is no reason to buy all of them. Children crave routine, so with our rotating system of a small selection of books we are able to provide that to him. Any extra or new books we want to read will be checked out from the library.