Five things I no longer buy

I purchase fewer things than I used to. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, things cost money, and I am an inherently frugal person and a heavy saver. Secondly, things create clutter and/or require maintenance. This adds stress to my life. The fewer things I purchase, the clearer my mind. The more things I purchase, the more things I need to tend to. Here are five things I no longer buy.

1. Cheap clothing

Boring start, but this is by far the most impactful change for me. We know fast fashion is terrible for the environment. It’s also poor quality and won’t last you. Although for several years I’ve managed to maintain a relatively small wardrobe, it didn’t occur to me until a couple of years ago (when I began to budget and track my spending) how often I was actually buying clothes. So although I was donating and selling clothing regularly, keeping my wardrobe small, I was still purchasing far too often. The reason for this was because I was purchasing cheaper clothes. These items do not last, and even after just a few washes start to show signs of wear and tear. When I purchase clothes now (which I only do when I need to replace a current item), I pay careful attention to the fabrics, opting for cotton, linen, wool and viscose over synthetics.

2. Hair salon visits 

Maintaining salon-coloured hair costs so much money. In 2019, I coloured my hair regularly, spending between $250 and $300 each visit. I didnt even intend to! What started as a balayage that was decided on largely due to the lack of maintenance required, became many foils requiring an 8-weekly appointment schedule. I got addicted to the process: the relaxation in the salon for a few hours (needed change from PhD work), and my freshly-toned, blonder, blow-dried hair. Each time I went I would add more colour, and higher on the hair, which meant more maintenance. To me, even balayage was a slippery slope into a regular cost. Now I will get regular cuts (one day I hope to learn to cut my own hair..), but do not colour my hair.

3. Knick-knacks/souvenirs 

I’ve never had a souvenir that really added joy to my life, and they almost always end up collecting dust or cluttering furniture (or fridges). On your next holiday, try taking photos instead, and stay out of the souvenir store. I guarantee you’ll bring back just as many memories. 

4. Candles

I actually really like candles, and frequently burn them. But I never buy them. Why? Because I am frequently gifted them, presumably because I am a mid 20s white woman ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I could be gifted candles on at least two occasions a year, my birthday and Christmas. The supply acquired through gifting is more than enough to use throughout the year, so I don’t need to buy more. The same could apply to you for socks, shower gel, body lotion, or even alcohol. 

5. Meat 

This one won’t appeal to everyone, but eliminating meat from my diet does mean it is one thing I no longer buy, saving me money as a result. I began to eat a vegetarian diet six years ago. My grocery bill is far cheaper than that of most people I know, and I credit this mainly to the lack of meat on mine (as well as shopping specials, and shopping generic brands). Saving money wasn’t the reason I made this change, I did it for ethical and environmental reasons. However, it’s a definite benefit, and perhaps could serve as an incentive for you to cut back on meat each week, and incorporate a few meat free days.

So there you have it! Five things I no longer buy. What are some things you stopped buying?


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