May 13, 2020

Things I stopped buying as a minimalist

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about my minimalism journey and how it started. A lot has changed in my life since then – I switched jobs, travelled to a few countries, even moved to another country. Thinking about all of those things today, I realised that there are a lot of things I don’t buy, use or even need anymore.

I’ve stopped buying these things primarily for financial reasons, to save money. I know, this list may not apply to everyone as each person’s priorities and values are different. So, please don’t treat this list as the ultimate list of things minimalists don’t own or buy, because I believe there is no such thing. Exceptions do exist, but these are the things I stopped buying regularly.

But I hope that this post will inspire you to evaluate everything that you consume or buy and maybe to create your own minimalist living checklist and work towards your own minimalism goals.

So, here are things I stopped buying as a minimalist.

Trendy clothes or clothes on sale

I used to spend a lot of money on ASOS – buying lots of tops and dresses almost every month. The ease of online shopping, home delivery and free returns – are major bonus points of online shops. However, since reading more blogs about minimalism, I’ve come across the term – ‘capsule wardrobe’.

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that are timeless and easy to put together as an outfit. Creating a capsule wardrobe for myself eliminated the need to shop for clothes as often as I used to.

I also don’t buy clothes on sale just because they are discounted. If I really need the item and it is discounted – then great. If not, I’ll search the internet to find it cheaper or add it to my wishlist because it will eventually go on sale.

High heels

No high heels for me anymore. I prefer to be comfortable in what I’m wearing and there’s no way I can ever feel comfortable wearing high heels.

If I have to or want to wear heels, it would either be a block-heel or max 3 inches.

Watches and Jewellery

I stopped spending money on watches and jewellery in the past 3-4 years. I have 2 watches – 1 for daily wear and another one for special occasions.

Same as with capsule wardrobe, I have created ‘capsule jewellery’ for myself. I have a few pieces that I wear all the time and they go with pretty much anything I own.

Planners and notebooks

Planners, journals, project notebooks… let’s be real, they are not a necessity.

There are many apps out there solving almost every challenge; productivity, time planning, budgeting etc.

For my personal time management – I just use Google Calendar. I colour code different activities and reminders there – it’s very simple and easy to use. If there’s a reminder for something you need to do today, and you haven’t – it flows into the next day so you never really miss a thing, until you tick it off or delete it. I just love the simplicity of it.

Paperback books

Out of all the things I stopped buying as a minimalist, books were the hardest. I still own over 15 books and don’t plan on liquidating them anytime soon. Nevertheless, I stopped buying books around 6 months ago.

This is by no means an excuse to read less. Quite the opposite.  Instead of buying books, you can rent it from your local library or switch to digital books.

If I bought a book and read it – I’d just give it away to friends and family. Because I don’t like keeping clutter in my house.

Newspapers and magazines

Cutting down on newspapers on magazines shouldn’t be hard these days. Google is your best friend for anything you want to know. And pretty much every newspaper/magazine outlet have a digital website.


Do you know what subscriptions you are paying for? You might have small amounts of $5 coming out of your account each month, but if they add no value then it is worth finding them all and cancelling.

Ready meals

I used to buy ready meals or get takeaways quite often when living in London. Since moving to Amsterdam, I’ve noticed the supermarkets don’t have a massive ready meal section as those have back in the UK.

Dutch people love cooking their meals from scratch or perhaps that’s the impression I got so far.

Single-use plastic shopping bags

This doesn’t even need explaining I guess. I’m trying to be more conscious of my plastic consumption more than ever before. These days, I always carry a foldable fabric bag in my purse for that last-minute groceries shopping.


I used to love going souvenir shopping when visiting a new country. The little souvenir or two I’d buy will always be reminding me of that trip and the good times we’ve spent there.

After years of this mindset, and dozens of ‘souvenir’ mugs later – I’ve decided to abandon buying souvenirs. Because souvenirs are just another type of clutter. The people you’re with and the memories you make are better than any souvenir. And pictures are all I need to remember from that trip.

These are the 10 things that I no longer buy.

How about you? What are you not buying anymore? Let me know in comments.

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