Stopped Buying – My Guide to Buying Less to Having More

We buy so many things day to day many of us don’t even think about the costs.  When we sit down and look at what we’re spending, it can be eye-opening.  Let’s look at some of the things people commonly stop buying and how much money you could save.

In a world ruled by consumerism, there are many things we buy daily that we don’t have to. Stopped buying looks at what can be practiced to save and lead to a simpler life, more experiences, cleaner spaces, more relaxation, and happier living. Some helpful things to buy less of are disposable items, expensive services, and overpriced experiences.

Have you ever looked around your home and thought about how much some things are costing you?  Are you spending on consumables that are like throwing away money and ready to start saving? Let’s explore some ways that we can do more with less and be happier along the way – it’s easy and opens up so many opportunities.

What is the Concept of Stopped Buying?

People stop buying things for several different reasons.  Sometimes it’s due to changes in life or lifestyle, other times it’s because of growing up.  When you stop buying something, you’ve probably figured out that you don’t need it, have room for it, have money for it, or that you can just make it!  We don’t need things to bring us happiness, so in order to save space, time, and money we can choose to stop buying things.

The concept of stopped buying refers to the intentional effort one puts toward purchasing and consuming less. This mindset is similar to the concept of minimalism, which encourages resourcefulness and a “less is more” principle. The concept of stopped buying offers a responsible approach to consuming and makes you wonder, “Do I really need this?”

Piggy bank - Stopped Buying - Gone Minimal
Piggy Bank – Save More with Buying Less

Benefits When One Stops Buying ThingsMore with Less

There are so many benefits to find when you stop buying things!  Whether you choose to stop buying to become more minimalist or to support a cause, here are some of the perks of this practice:

  • Less clutter: When you stop buying a certain item, you start to decrease the clutter in your home.  When it’s several things you stop buying, you can really simplify your home.  This leads to less cleaning, less organizing, and less stress!
  • More time: Once you’ve stopped buying things, you have less clutter to organize and clean which leads to more time.  More time you can spend performing self-care, caring for others, pursuing your passions. 
  • More money: It goes without saying-when you stop buying things, you save money!  What can you do with more money?  Save up for that trip to Hawaii you’ve always wanted to take.  Pay off student loans.  Put some money in savings for your kids’ college tuition.  Do that bathroom renovation you’ve been talking about.  The sky’s the limit!
  • More happiness: We’ve decreased the clutter, saved time with less cleaning and organizing, saved money, and found peace of mind, and all of this leads to the potential for much more happiness!  I’ll say it again-stuff doesn’t bring us happiness!

What I Stopped Buying as a Minimalist – Easy Changes

Perhaps you’ve heard a few different stories about minimalists paring down their stuff and living off very little, and perhaps I’ve sparked your interest with the potential for more time, money, and happiness?  Let’s review some of the categories of items minimalists often stop buying to fit better with their lifestyles:

  1. Bottled Water: First off, we know plastic is terrible for the environment.  Rather than spend $1 per bottled water, I spent $10 on a good water container and use the water filter from my refrigerator.
  2. Makeup: Unless you’re an influencer whose livelihood depends on makeup tutorials on social media, you really don’t need hundreds of dollars-worth of makeup! 
  3. Expensive Cable TV: No one, and I mean NO one, needs 300 channels at their fingertips.  We cut the cord several years ago and only pay for streaming.  I was reminded of how useless cable is while on vacation-200+ channels available and couldn’t find anything interesting to watch!
  4. Jewelry: It’s really not necessary to have fancy baubles for every occasion or even every outfit.  I’ve got a couple of necklaces and hoop earrings I wear pretty regularly, otherwise I don’t own much in the way of jewelry. 
  5. Clothing: My closet contains the staple items (jeans, leggings, a few t-shirts, work casual, and scrubs) that I wear on a rotating basis.  I don’t go to fancy parties or buy the latest trends, and I’ve still got more clothing than I actually need. 
  6. Smartphones: Just because your phone contract tells you you’re eligible for an upgrade doesn’t mean you need one.  I tend to use a smartphone for several years before I get a refurbished, older (never the latest version) smartphone. 
  7. Décor: Our home has a very eclectic style, and simple at that.  I’ve pared down many of the decorations that just took up space and made our home feel cluttered.  I’ve picked out the things that bring me the most joy with happy memories and put those out.
  8. Souvenirs: Why buy shells from the souvenir shop on vacation when you can pick them up on the beach?  We’ve stopped buying décor and t-shirts from the shops on vacation and make our own memories instead!
  9. Mugs: Unless you’re regularly hosting coffee parties out of your home, you don’t need 20 coffee mugs.  I’ve got 6 coffee mugs in rotation (some for the kids to sip hot cocoa or whatever they’d like) which saves almost an entire shelf in my cupboard.
  10. Excess Streaming Services:  There’s so many available nowadays it’s mind boggling!  We turned to streaming services once we cut the cable cord, and we’ve tried a few different ones out to find two that work best for us.  It’s great that there are add-on services rather than entire platforms, so consider a free trial to see what works best for you.
  11. Produce: Not all produce, mind you, but several types that we use in bulk we now grow in our backyard.  During the spring, summer, and fall I grow tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers, strawberries, cantaloupe, pears, peaches, lettuce, cilantro, basil, and sugar snap peas.  When I have too many tomatoes, I roast them and jar pasta sauce.  I freeze the fruit for smoothies.  I even give some to friends and family!
  12. Movie Tickets: I remember when movie tickets were about $4 for the matinee showing.  Now it’s more like $8, and that’s if you go alone and don’t buy popcorn or drinks or candy! 
  13. Haircuts: I’ve got to admit-I stopped having professional haircuts a long time ago.  I could not continue to justify the cost and started doing it myself.  I’ll even use the box dye once or twice a year to cover the grays I’m just not feeling yet!
  14. Eating Out: We’ve cut back on fast food and restaurant visits to about once or twice a month.  This is compared to several years ago when it was at least once a week!  Fast food isn’t healthy most of the time, and we’re trying to set a better example for our kids. 
  15. Brand Name Anything: I was raised in a household of store brand and cheap whenever possible, and my husband is the exact opposite.  It’s taken years of training but he’s learned that the store brand (most of the time) is the same as the brand name for a more reasonable price!
  16. Paper Napkins: I used to clip coupons for paper napkins for years!  I thought to myself, “We’re just throwing these away.  We’re throwing away money!”  I bought about a dozen fabric napkins 10 years ago and haven’t looked back!

Here is an insightful video on how to stop buying things:

How to Resist Buying Things – It’s a Process

It may be hard at first, but some things are easier to resist than others.  Make yourself look at price tags and set a budget.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need it to survive?
  • Will it make me happy?
  • Does it serve a purpose?
  • Why am I buying it?

Once you answer these questions, you may automatically find yourself buying less and even stopping buying some of the things you’re used to!

How to Make a Stopped-Buying Plan

Start small.  Look at what you’re buying every month or every day and what you can cut out.  Start with the expensive coffee and brew at home.  Try that for a few days or even a week then cut something else out.  Paying someone to walk your dogs or pick up their poop? 

Do it yourself and save some dough.  If it doesn’t work for you, cut something else out for a week.  Work your way up and remember-you don’t have to eliminate everything, just what you’re ok with. 

It goes without saying-when you stop buying things, you save money!

Examples of Things to Stop Buying – From Real People

I polled 5 family/friends what top 3 ways they would consider to stop buying, and the monthly savings if they were to stop. Here is what I learned and what they shared. There are some incredible savings that can inspire you.

Stop BuyingHow Much One Could Save (Per Month)
Cable tv vs. streaming$65/mo. vs. $12/mo. per platform
House vs. apartment/rent vs. buyMonthly cost similar, but apt. life means no yardwork, no maintenance costs, no property taxes, approx. $500/mo. potential savings
Fancy coffee every morning$5/cup average, $35/week or $140/mo. potential savings (or more!)
Drinking at a bar vs. at home$5/drink average vs. $20/bottle liquor
Fast food/eating out$20/meal average, potential $180/mo. savings
Buying brand name groceries$20-40 savings with store brand each weekly trip, potential for $160/mo. savings
Bottled waterBrand name $10/case, potential for $40/mo. savings

Other Resources:

You don’t have to convert to a minimalist lifestyle to stop buying things and save money.  You can, however, cut out the things that don’t serve a purpose or don’t contribute to your happiness.  And, it can be easy to do. Finding the frivolous things you are spending your hard-earned money on will not only save space and time, but potentially a great deal of money long-term! Enjoy the freedom, and the process.

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