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What I Don't Buy

February 10th, 2017 at 04:07 pm

I like to revisit this topic once in awhile for new readers (and us oldies, too). Down below is a list of things many people buy that I don't as a more frugal spender. Now, of course, the list is not all inclusive as it is hard to remember things I don't buy since I don't think about them at all. I was inspired to write this post after watching a lot of decluttering videos on YouTube. It was interesting to see what people had purchased that they were decluttering. Many items were things I don't even own, or now no longer own as I don't buy them.

Scented candles
I noticed that a lot of people buy these in multiples and then never use them fully. If I buy a candle I use it all up before I would buy another.

Nail Polish
I own two bottles of nail polish. Both are almost gone, but I've been using these on my toes in the summer for quite a few years.

Make-up
I have basic foundation, one lipstick, one palette of eye shadow, one eye liner, and powder. That is it! Very simple when I use makeup which is probably less than ten times a year. I read about what is in makeup and decided I didn't like putting it on my face everyday!

Magazines
I have had a few subscriptions in the past, but over time realized I wasn't getting any satisfaction reading them. Saves me time and money.

Books
I use the library!

Jewelry
I'm simple. I own one pair of earnings, a pearl necklace, and probably four rings, although I only wear my wedding ring daily.

Newspapers
Got of of the subscription habit of newspapers when we moved the last time.

Scented Lotions
Same reason I don't wear makeup, too many chemicals. I'm lucky that I don't have very dry skin. I do have some chemical free lotions, but I take forever to use them!

Valentine/St Patrick's Day/Easter/July 4th/Thanksgiving decor
I've come to see these items put out in stores as just a way to part me from our hard earned money. I only decorate for Christmas and rarely buy new items.

Appliances and kitchen tools for only one purpose
My waffle maker, coffee maker, toaster are exceptions. However, have you noticed all the new gadgets for kitchens that come out when a simple tool, like a knife, could do the same thing!

Multiples of anything (such as excess sheets, blankets, towels, scissors, pens) particularly those that don't get used up quickly.
We have one set of sheets per bed. We have two towels per person, plus a set for guests. We buy what we need, nothing more.

Stickers
This was one I saw many people decluttering. This is one that people probably accumulate because they are inexpensive or cute, but then they don't use them up!

Containers
I avoid buying baskets and bins. I have some obviously, but I'm not of the mindset that I have to go buy a container to be organized. I've let go of so much in the last few years, that I have bins I could probably let go of!

Phone cases and Purses
Why buy more than one, when one will do? I have a simple black purse that goes with everything. And if it doesn't? Who cares!

The newest electronics
I still have an iPod Nano from 2006!

Collectibles and knick knacks
I don't collect anything. I don't get the satisfaction at all from this kind of accumulation. And it costs so much money. And I dislike dusting around these kinds of things!!

Clothes
I do buy them, but very rarely. I purchased one new shirt during the fall/winter time period. I wear things until they are clearly out of style or have worn out. I only buy what I need. I own two pairs of jeans for example.

Pajamas
I simple wear a T shirt and workout type pants to bed. I don't need specific clothes for sleeping in.

Lingerie
I stick to the basics with bra and underwear. And I only own three bras.

Movies
These are expensive too and add up! We love movies, so we do watch some of them over again. However, we only buy two to three per year...not every new release.

Alcohol when I eat out
I'm usually the driver as my husband does get alcohol at restaurants. I can't stand the expense!

Disposable products
I avoid paper plates, cups, silverware, wipes, dryer sheets, napkins, Keurig cups. We use paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, Swiffer cloths (have used flannel well in the past), coffee filters. I reuse plastic bags (unless they had a meat product in them) and my daughter has reusable sandwich bags for her lunch.

Gift bags
We been given more gifts in bags and have accumulated plenty to use for the future. I've also been know to wrap a gift in simple color tissue paper, as it is not too costly.

Greeting cards
I do send some, but I send fewer and fewer every year. The cost adds up as does the cost of stamps. I also then spend less time shopping and running out for a card.

Stamps to pay a bill
I now use Bill Pay with my bank to send checks, including our rent check. Most other bills are paid directly with the provider, usually by credit card.

Subscription boxes
I can't even think of the name of some of these subscriptions, but they are like Fruit of the Month club for makeup and organic products.

Traditional Phone Line
We use Ooma to save money. We may opt out entirely at some point in the near future.

Excessive Data Plans
I know compared to some of you we spend more on our cell phones as we use Verizon. The four of us share 3GB of data. My neighbor mentioned that three of them in her family share 10GB of data! I wonder if they have tried to conserve at all?

Excessive Cable Channels
We only have basic to have any signal at all. I did like when we had an over the air antenna at our last house. The cost was just the initial investment. I wonder if we need it at all. We rarely watch any tv.

High end brand name clothing
Do people not realize they are paying for the brand name? I know some brands are worth the investment as the quality is good, but most are just fashion statements...declaring to the world that you overpaid for your clothes!

Gym membership
We have a treadmill and a few basic weights and bands. In the past we did have a membership and did use the gym!

Extended warranties
We nearly always turn these down. They simply add to the cost of what you are buying. It would be better to save the money and set aside if the item ever needs repair. So many things don't break! We did have a warranty on one computer and the screen broke, that warranty did pay for that. Years later something similar happened with a broken screen and I bought a new screen and installed it myself for under $50.

Trendy shoes
I may have already mentioned I don't follow many fashion trends. I try to stick with basic or classic looks. I also don't have a need for lots of shoes.

Cookbooks (remember no books!)
I only own one cookbook. I find all other recipes online for free.

Vacation souvenirs
I limit these. I find pictures of family on vacation are the best souvenir.

New school supplies every year
We reuse markers, backpacks, rulers, pens, calculators, lunch boxes. We restock the items that get used up or worn out like binders and paper.

Coffee Mugs
I have a set of eight and I don't see a need for ones that have other graphics or new designs. Just let go of two snowman ones that my daughters used to drink hot chocolate out of.

Stationary
I think thank you notes are nice to send. And I'm not against writing real letters. But the truth is, I tend to email or call someone. I was seeing hoards of journals, notepads, sticky notes that some of these people were getting rid of. We still have more than we need in our home that the girls accumulated when they were younger.

Organizers
I only buy an organizer if it solves a very specific problem that cannot be solved in another way. In fact, at the moment I can't think of any specific organizers that would qualify that reside in my home. I mainly have bins, large and small. Some baskets. But my first instinct is not to buy new containers.

Bleach and other toxic cleaners
Air fresheners (plug ins and sprays)
Most of these items are just too strong to use in our home. And they are not safe to breath in.

Specialty trays and serving platters
Holiday kitchen linens
My basic placements work year round in our home. I don't buy aprons for each season, napkins for each holiday or even serving pieces when our basic china will do.

I suppose I really could go on and on with what I don't buy. I just thought of craft items. I do sew, but I only buy fabric for specific projects and if I have leftover, I use it for other smaller projects.

What things do you avoid buying? Think of all the money we save and time acquiring those things. I'm overwhelmed thinking about if I had to start buying the things I listed!

18 Responses to “What I Don't Buy”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    I could have written this list! Except for books. I don't buy a ton, but tend to keep the ones I do. And NT buys DVDs, CDs and records.

    I do buy some new clothes about twice a year, but the capsule concept helps me get rid of things that haven't been working for me. (I tend to bring colors back repeatedly, so I'm thinking over time I'll buy fewer items each time I introduce a new collection.) And when I do buy clothes, it's either from the thrift store or the discount outlet. I don't like to buy clothes new because I don't want to directly support sweatshop/slave labor.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I did a similar post about my "anti-bucket list" of luxury items/experiences I don't want or things that I see people putting on their bucket list that don't interest me. But several SA folks mentioned that it seemed negative or judgmental, so I haven't revisited. I'd only meant it to be a fun exercise; obviously I do have things I spend money on or things on my bucket list that others wouldn't find worthwhile or appealing. I like your list though because it's everyday things people might not realize they don't need to spend money on if it's not giving them joy.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    @ceejay, my list is definitely not meant to judge. We all have different things that make us happy. These are my preferences, some of them I don't buy because I don't like them, others were cut out or I avoid buying to save money. And since, I was watching a lot of decluttering videos it was interesting to see what other were tossing and letting go of that I don't even buy!

  4. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    I definitely agree with the personal maintenance items. I don't buy makeup or nail polish. In my day to day, I don't even wear makeup. I also gave up contacts. DH prefers the glasses look.

    Another thing that we'll only have to buy once a year or so moving forward is haircuts. DH used to get his hair cut monthly for drill, but after a bad haircut, he agreed to let me take over his haircuts. Just this week, he decided he would just shave it bald and maintain it every Sunday...even easier and it saves $15/mo! I still need to get my haircut, but I usually only do it once a year anyway to a chin-to-shoulder length cut.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    I was thinking about this the other day because I saw a discussion about pizza delivery and take-out. Those are things we *never* pay for. Makes me wonder what else people buy that I just have no idea.

    My list is very similar to yours.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    Oh yeah, me too! Well, I should say *spontaneous* takeout and delivery. I do enjoy it from time to time but it's almost always budgeted for and planned well in advance. The days of ordering delivery because we're too [tired/busy/insert adjective] to cook what's on the menu are long past for my family. I think we've done that once, maybe twice in the past year.

  7. My English Castle Says:

    The Frugalwoods folks had a discussion about how eating out more makes you enjoy it less. We do very occasionally get a take-out pizza and Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese, but it's probably only five or six times a year. I'm probably not as pared down as ccf, and we have lots of books. Many of them are tools of the trade. I've recently noticed I buy too many specialty items for a particular recipe, but thanks to the eat-it-all uberfrugal challenge, we've been using lots of it up. For me, the biggest triumph is getting my husband actually happy about a sparser fridge.

  8. ceejay74 Says:

    MEC must be a British thing -- my husband is always noticeably happier when the fridge and pantry are bursting at the seams. :-)

  9. ceejay74 Says:

    He'll get into eating it down but immediately wants to fill it back up!

  10. MonkeyMama Says:

    @MEC - The less we eat out the less we enjoy it. It's just hard to beat good home cooking. But I did want to clarify. It's not that we *never* eat out. We just don't see the point in paying for delivery. & if we are going to go get it, might as well eat it there. I think we are just weird like that. & my husband corrected me because he sometimes grabs sandwiches at our favorite deli. I couldn't tell you why on earth that's the one meal we regularly take-out. ???

  11. livingalmostlarge Says:

    The year of not eating out helped curb us a little. we haven't changed much. Our list is similar but maybe a few more items yes and few more items no. I have 3 coffee mugs. I have 1 for each of us travel mugs. 1 water bottle per person reusable. No brand name clothes I hate it. I have probably have around 10 pairs of shoes including boots (rain, snow, and ugg style), sneakers (3 pairs same brand and style), dansko, open and closed toe fancy, and 2 pairs of slippers crocs. That's it. I buy the same damn shoes because I really have wide feet and I need it to be comfortable. So I might have more like the sneakers but that's because if I love it I swear I buy 2-4 pairs and stick them in the closet and pull them as they go.

    That I learned from a friend who bought 9 pairs of the same sneakers DH's best friend and because when he found them at an outlet he couldn't bear to not have them. And ever since it's been a problem like he said. My DH buys jeans on Ebay because he wants the exact same pair and we buy about 5 and are considering buying more because he likes the exact fit and feel. Insane.

  12. scottish girl Says:

    Lol, Cj and MEC I think it is a British thing! My mum's is overflowing. She said she needed it "just in case". This was the first time that my shopping arrived and I didn't stress about putting it away - thanks to UFM Smile

  13. PatientSaver Says:

    I'm with you on a lot of these useless things.

    I don't buy candles at all since they are only introducing soot and unhealthy smoke into your living space. Scented candles add chemicals to the mix.

    I have some nail polish but won't buy anymore. I only use it on my toes.

    I do have a few magazine subscriptions becus they were so dirt cheap, but I would like to stop them when they expire.

    I do like to buy books and certain kinds of jewelry which I acknowledge i DON"T need.

    I am guilty of having many towels and many sheets, partly because I inherited my mother's and I hate to get rid of things I know I can use, but they certainly take up a lot of space in my overflowing closets. Certain things I just can't get rid of.

    You must have a very tidy home. I'm jealous.

  14. creditcardfree Says:

    @PS, yes, it would be considered tidy, bordering on Minimalist at this point. Movers are always impressed with how little we have.

  15. Dido Says:

    Nice list. And I'm jealous of your tidy home--that's a continuing goal of mine that maybe some year I will have the time to act on. Despite the new year's resolution, I'm already pretty certain that I won't make much progress in 2017.

    I'm in agreement with a lot on the list. But of course there are some differences.

    Things you don't buy that I do: Books, Newspapers, Movies, and the Gym.

    Books--like MEC, "tools of the trade." I buy almost always in electronic format these days so that they don't add to clutter; I highlight and write all over my books so the library is not an option (I read nonfiction almost exclusively; the library is fine for fiction)).

    Newspapers & some magazines are something that I wasn't buying, but now in these days where our very first amendment rights seem like they are being threatened by the current administration, I have added subscriptions to provide support to these institutions. I subscribe to the NY Times and the local paper and get a free Washington Post subscription from Amazon Prime. I unsubscribed from the Wall Street Journal for political reasons. And I added subscriptions to the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly (as well as supporting two NPR radio stations)

    Movies: As a single person, eating out and going to the movies are two of my major social activities, so I do indulge here. I support the local indendependent cinema with a donation and get a discount in return, and those amounts pretty much cancel each other out.

    The gym: Exercise just doesn't happen without the external support.

    Things I don't buy that you apparently do:

    A regular cell phone with a data plan. I use a TracFone where I buy access by the year and minute; I buy this in bulk and use it so little that it ends up costing under $10 a month to satisfy my minimal needs.

    Cable TV: Haven't even owned a TV in a decade now. My Amazon Prime subscription supplies enough video to satisfy my entertainment needs.

    Candles at all: As an asthmatic, I'm with PS. No additional dust needs to enter my lungs.

    Plus, not having children, of course I buy no school supplies or anything child oriented.

  16. LuckyRobin Says:

    Eh, we buy candles, but that's because we need one in every room when there is a power failure. Other than that I pretty much don't buy any of that stuff either. Well, magazines. I will buy cooking magazines if they have at least 3 recipes in them that look good and I always buy a Woman's World if there is a new one at check out. I read it, my mom reads it, my daughter reads it, so it gets a good use. It's one of the few mags the library does not carry and it only has 2 pages of ads in it and lots of substance.

  17. terri77 Says:

    I do buy most of these things, except for the latest electronics & knick knacks. I don't care about the latest electronics & I don't enjoy housekeeping so I don't like having a bunch of things to dust. Also, I like to keep cars for at least 10 years. I don't have kids so no school supplies or stickers. I don't care for talking on the phone so no excessive data plans. I do pay good money for shoes as cheap shoes aren't worth the pain or damage to my feet. I keep them until they wear out & I don't have a ton of shoes. Vacation souvenirs tends to be inexpensive gift items such as magnets. I rarely wear makeup & haven't purchased any in years. I do enjoy an occasional pedicure at the salon so I don't keep nail polish. Lotion is a necessity for me, scented lotions I just enjoy, but always buy on sale. I do have an excessive amount of clothes (I am giving away sizes that no longer fit), earrings (I love them), and candles. I've stopped buying new candles though, because my white cabinets accumulate soot. I've never had a newspaper subscription & rarely buy books though I love to read.

  18. terri77 Says:

    I do buy most of these things, except for the latest electronics & knick knacks. I don't care about the latest electronics & I don't enjoy housekeeping so I don't like having a bunch of things to dust. Also, I like to keep cars for at least 10 years. I don't have kids so no school supplies or stickers. I don't care for talking on the phone so no excessive data plans. I do pay good money for shoes as cheap shoes aren't worth the pain or damage to my feet. I keep them until they wear out & I don't have a ton of shoes. Vacation souvenirs tends to be inexpensive gift items such as magnets. I rarely wear makeup & haven't purchased any in years. I do enjoy an occasional pedicure at the salon so I don't keep nail polish. Lotion is a necessity for me, scented lotions I just enjoy, but always buy on sale. I do have an excessive amount of reasonably priced clothes (I am giving away sizes that no longer fit), earrings (I love them), and candles. I've stopped buying new candles though, because my white cabinets accumulate soot. I've never had a newspaper subscription & rarely buy books though I love to read.

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