20 Things I Don’t Buy

Hi friend!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  Since I’m always sharing things I buy and recommend,  I thought it would be a fun change of pace to share a few things I don’t buy.

Some of these are just personal preference, some are to save money and help the environment with less waste and chemicals.  I know that I can do much better in that regard, but it’s a step in the right direction.  I’d love to hear some of the things that you don’t buy and some of the alternatives.

20 THINGS I DON’T BUY

Off the top of my head, I came up with 20 things I don’t buy:

  1. Paper towels. I use microfiber cloths to clean my counters and wipe up spills, hand towels to dry our hands. We use cloth napkins at meals.  This is so foreign to both my Mom and Brian and they think I’m nuts.  I put the cloth napkins out for my kids, but they rarely use them. The napkins really don’t get very dirty, so I reuse them until they need to be washed.
  2. Bottled/flavored waters, juice & soda. We drink water filtered straight from our refrigerator and only buy gallon water bottles in case of emergency for if/when we lose power.  I don’t buy juice and that was also a recommendation of my kids’ dentist. The drinks I buy are almond milk and Fairlife chocolate milk and, on a rare occasion, Gatorade (G2) for the kids during sports (which I guess is technically flavored water- but I consider that ok since it helps replace lost electrolytes).  If we need water on the go, we just fill up a water bottle with water from the fridge.
  3. Precut fruit & vegetables. I buy them whole and cut them myself.  I don’t think it’s worth the money and then we end up wasting the plastic containers they come in.
  4. Greeting cards for kids birthdays. We always make our own. I have a good stationary supply and I get the kids to decorate/personalize them with markers and stickers.
  5. Halloween decorations. I buy costumes for the kids and we will pass out candy, but that’s one holiday I don’t decorate the house for.  I do love decorating for Fall and Christmas!
  6. Disposable razors. Once I started using the Billie razor, I never went back to disposable.  The Billie razor gives you the closest shave without any nics or bumps, and it has a convenient magnet so it hangs right on your shower wall!  I also really like their shave cream.  Before trying that, I would just use shampoo, conditioner or body wash as my shave cream, but I find this one so much better and soothing.
  7. Air freshener.  I just don’t like the thought of spraying chemicals into my home to make it smell better.  I do open windows to help circulate the air.
  8. Cling wrap.. That is so annoying and never sticks to anything!
  9. Plastic Tupperware. I still have a few pieces that I’m keeping because they’re in good condition, but now I use glass containers and these glass meal prep containers.
  10. Plastic loofah. I switched to a natural loofah that is eco-friendly and biodegradable.
  11. Disposable plastic toothbrush. My dentist advised me to use an electric toothbrush a few years ago and I’m still using the one I bought, just changing out the brush heads as needed.
  12. New nail polish colors. I have about six bottles of nail polish in my drawer and know that those are my colors I like, I don’t need more.
  13. Multiple fragrances. I have one signature scent I wear occasionally if I’m going out at night and I keep it at that. I do love this body mist and wear that often.
  14. Low quality/uncomfortable workout clothes.  There’s a few quality and favorite athletic pieces I’ve stocked up on and wear on repeat : sports bra, high chest sports bra, leggings, tank top, long sleeve tops, and socks.
  15. Souvenirs. I used to buy a little something from every trip I would go on. Now if I buy something it’s just because I love it, not as a signal or reminder that we went to that place.
  16. Souvenirs for kids.  I also don’t bring my kids back anything from trips I’ve gone on.  I’ve done this in the past, and the trinkets usually end up as garbage.
  17. Multiple magazine subscriptions.  I do enjoy Magnolia Journal that comes out quarterly, so I subscribe to that one, but that’s it. There’s so much good content online via blogs, pinterest and google, so I prefer to spend my money on books if I’m going to read something.
  18. New technology. I have an iPhone XS released in 2018 & it works great, does everything I need and I don’t feel the need to get a new phone every time they upgrade the technology.  I had and used an original iPad until it accidentally fell out of a car and smashed into pieces.
  19. Impulse Toys.  OMG, this is a hard one, but those cheap, plastic toys drive me crazy and the kids lose interest in them so fast!  If I have to take my kids into a store like Target or Walgreens, I always say we can LOOK at the toys, but we’re not BUYING any.  I like to make the rules clear ahead of time.  Jordan says, “looking is playing.”  So, she has fun looking/playing with the toys while we’re there.  If I want to buy Jordan a new toy, I do it intentionally, and I’ll tell her, “you can pick out a toy today.”  Also, James earns money each week via allowance, so he can buy whatever he wants with his own money.
  20. Tons of kids clothes.  My kids have a very minimal wardrobe.  When they were little, I’d buy them all kinds of cute clothes and they always wanted to wear the same thing.  My son loves to change into pajamas after school, so I buy him several good quality pairs of pajamas when they are on sale.  He has several of the same pair of black athletic shorts and different colored dry fit shirts so it’s easy to mix and match.  I’ve learned that my daughter doesn’t like to wear dresses, so I rarely buy her any- maybe a nice one for Christmas or one summer dress that she chooses.  She prefers athletic shorts and tees and also likes to wear the same thing on repeat.  My kids also wear uniforms to school, so there’s less of a need to buy them lots of additional clothes.  Sometimes I wish they’d like to dress more like how I’d like them to (there are SO many cute things!), but I’ve learned to pick my battles. I’d rather them be comfortable and feel good about what they’re wearing.  I am a stickler for brushing teeth and hair before leaving the house though!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!  What are some things you don’t buy or other alternatives?

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20 thing I don't buy

Have a fantastic day friend!

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53 Comments

  1. Robin Firestone
    October 5, 2021 / 5:20 am

    I liked this post – I recently stop using “plasticware” for food storage and switched to glass. Love it!

  2. Sally
    October 5, 2021 / 5:42 am

    I’m with you on all of these! I would also add disposable plates, cups and cutlery to the list – I’m constantly amazed at the number of people on Instagram etc who you see using them in their own homes, merely feet away from a dishwasher!! 🤯. They have their place occasionally, but nothing like as often as some people think!

    • Lisa
      October 5, 2021 / 7:13 am

      Yes! I only ever buy these for a kid birthday party and save the extras, so I have less to buy next time. We have mix and match colors a lot. I also wash and re-use the plastic cutlery, easier for my 5 year old.
      Great post!

    • Ashley
      October 5, 2021 / 8:21 am

      Totally agree about the paper plates, plastic cups. Seems there are people that use these all the time?

      • Rachel
        October 5, 2021 / 9:46 am

        And that’s ok! They are great to use in a pinch or when you don’t feel like doing dishes.

        • Sally
          October 6, 2021 / 7:46 am

          No, it’s not ok! They should be a last resort choice every time – not feeling like doing the washing up (is anyone ever really thrilled about this?!) is categorically not a sensible reason to add unnecessarily to landfill.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 8:43 am

      I’m the same on those too. We barely use any of those things either.

  3. Karen
    October 5, 2021 / 6:21 am

    Great post idea and list! I will say I don’t have numerous sets of sheets one set for each bed in the house! They get washed and put right back on once a week!
    I also don’t buy shaving cream for me a bar of soap does the trick.. no complaints! I’ve also stopped over buying if at all scented candles.. they can be pricey and I sometimes find the scents too strong! I also have others that you’ve listed on your list and some good for thought you’ve left me with:)
    Oh yes and as much as I love those scented soaps we all buy I’m thinking it’s time for one and done soap dispenser and just refill the soap! That’s a lot of plastic thrown away once they’re empty 😉

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 8:44 am

      We have one set of sheets per bed too and also wash once a week!

  4. Jess Cannon
    October 5, 2021 / 7:00 am

    Great idea for a post! We got rid of all of our plastic containers and (surprisingly) don’t miss them at all. Also got rid of a ton of clutter and need to play ‘match the lid’.
    I also stopped buying cheap paraffin candles that burn out in 8 hours and stop smelling after 2… high quality soy candles carry their smell much longer (even while not burning) and omit less chemicals into the air than paraffin. These days the price point on soy vs. paraffin really isn’t that big! 💙

  5. Christina B Brunk
    October 5, 2021 / 7:14 am

    I love this post! I agree with you on most of these things. I agree with you on the souvenirs and travel trinkets. We only buy a fridge magnet when we go on trips and that goes on the beverage fridge in the garage. For long vacations, we sometimes purchase a Christmas tree ornament and we remember the trip when decorating the tree every year. It’s so nice to see a post about NOT buying something for a change!

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 8:45 am

      I forgot about fridge magnets! I don’t buy those either and prefer to keep my fridge clean and clear with nothing on it! I display Jordan’s art in her room or playroom. And I’ve also done the Christmas tree ornament from a trip!

  6. Jodi
    October 5, 2021 / 7:16 am

    Yes to all of this!! The kids stuff is a big one- no more plastic trinkets and I let them pick a few new clothing items each season (stuff I would never have chosen!) and they wear them on repeat. I bought blank greeting cards from Amazon and make/print them with funny inside jokes and photos- so much more meaningful! I’ll have to try the natural loofah as I always hate throwing out the plastic ones when they unravel. Thanks, Megan!

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 8:46 am

      The kids stuff can be overwhelming! Even when I don’t buy toys and trinkets- they still make their way into my home!

  7. Helen
    October 5, 2021 / 7:37 am

    Wonderful list. It looks like you’re on the same page as me! A couple things I would add are using paper bags as trash bin liners in the house and to dispose of food compost. No more plastic garbage bags. Also, just FYI, almonds take an extraordinary amount of water to grow and water shortage is a real world concern. Think about switching to oatmilk. Also, as far as souvenirs, I usually buy some type of art wherever we travel and display it at home………..doesn’t have to be expensive just something you like and it supports local craftsmen. I appreciate you educating others about saving our planet by creating less waste. It takes a village! Thank You.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 8:46 am

      I didn’t realize that about almonds. I like oatmilk too, so that’s a good alternative!

  8. Coreen
    October 5, 2021 / 7:39 am

    For souvenirs, I just get a small enamel pin from each place I go. I pin them up in a cork-backed shadow box. That way, I have a reminder of each trip, but it’s cheap, easy to bring home, and contributes to an ongoing display of my travels.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 8:47 am

      That’s a sweet idea, and also something to treasure hunt for on your travels.

      • Suzanne
        October 10, 2021 / 11:11 am

        I also like collecting something from my travel but I don’t like trinkets and such so I buy a sticker and put it on my suitcase. It’s fun to look at them and remember the various places every time I pull it out to go somewhere, and cheap at a dollar or two!

  9. Kaelin
    October 5, 2021 / 7:54 am

    Paper towels/napkins drive me crazy too! And plastic water bottles. So much waste. I agree with all of this, great post! Hopefully others will pick up a tip or two and reduce their consumption.

  10. Jessica Davis
    October 5, 2021 / 8:05 am

    I love some of these suggestions that I had not thought of.

    We have been paper towel-free for about 12 years now. My mother-in-law brings a roll or two (depending on how long they stay) with her when they come to viist. 🙂

    When they get stained or a little ratty they go out to the shop and become my husband’s shop rags.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 8:48 am

      Oh, Brian is the same way! He (and my mom) can’t understand how I don’t use paper towels and they’ve teased me about it! 😉

  11. Ashley
    October 5, 2021 / 8:27 am

    Such a great post! Thank you for this. I recently bought re-useable snack/sandwich bags for school lunches. And I love microfiber cleaning cloths. The Ecloths for glass on Amazon are amazing! You are so right about the plastic/cling wrap! ❤️

  12. Megan
    Author
    October 5, 2021 / 8:48 am

    Right! Isn’t it so annoying?!

  13. October 5, 2021 / 8:55 am

    I enjoyed this post so much. Its surprising how many things that we don’t like and don’t buy. Thanks for your list.

  14. Cathy Tokarski
    October 5, 2021 / 8:57 am

    Adding reusable/washable face cloths to this list! Found a brand on Amazon that I like very much, and I use them to remove make-up and throw them in the wash after I’ve used once or twice. No more disposable make-up remover towelettes, cotton squares, etc. needed. Thanks for this list, Megan!

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 10:16 am

      I mostly use the muslin cloth that comes with my cleansing balm, but I still use qtips with my makeup remover to get that last bit of liner off. But, the Makeup Eraser does work well too. Those are good ideas!

  15. Pam
    October 5, 2021 / 9:15 am

    Wonderful, insightful post! Give us
    More of this please! Thank you 😊

  16. Becca
    October 5, 2021 / 10:11 am

    Great post, Megan! I love that white button down you are wearing. Can you link it? It doesn’t look to sheer which is always an issue with white! Thank you!!

  17. EW
    October 5, 2021 / 10:11 am

    If Brian and your mom feel that strongly about paper towels, the compromise in our house is that those must be composted. We also use parchment paper because it can be composted, too. Our yard is tiny so we use Compost Now, a service that picks up our compost bins once a week and then we can request the compost back for our own yard or donate our compost to a community garden. This isn’t an ad; I’m a paying customer for years and think their service is A+.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 10:18 am

      I’ve been interested in composting too, I know I have food waste that could be composted, I just need to learn where to start- I’ll see if Compost Now is in my area. Thanks for sharing that!

  18. EW
    October 5, 2021 / 10:13 am

    P.S. There are no tissues in our home and my mom cannot get over that. Tearing off a bit of TP works just fine for us and the counters are less cluttered. When she comes, my mom brings her own box of tissues. Hilarious!

    • Megan
      Author
      October 5, 2021 / 10:19 am

      Oh man, I might be with your mom on this one! I always buy the Lotion kleenex because I think they’re softer on tender noses! You mom can come stay in my new guest room when it’s finished and I’ll have soft tissues for her! ha!

  19. Galina
    October 5, 2021 / 10:55 am

    This was such a fun post! I agreed with almost all of them except the cling wrap..lol u got to try the one from Costco!! It works very well and those two boxes last for years!! I also do not buy my kids stuffed toys!!

    • Susie
      October 8, 2021 / 6:11 am

      I second the cling wrap from Costco. It’s the best!

  20. Terry C
    October 5, 2021 / 11:17 am

    I try to limit several of things on your list, too! I also have stoped using fabric softeners because they really are not good for your, your clothes or you dryer! I use wool dryer balls, sometimes with a few drops of EO, instead.

  21. Teri Jones
    October 5, 2021 / 11:42 am

    This post so resonates with me! I also don’t buy many of these things, always looking for ways to reduce and be more aware of my “footprint.” One other thing I started (or stopped) many years back is I no longer buy gifts for my girlfriends birthdays. I told them, I love you and I’d rather take you to coffee or lunch than buy you more “stuff”! Gardening is another way I’m buying less and it has been so satisfying!

  22. Amanda
    October 5, 2021 / 11:53 am

    I love this post! This is a topic I think about frequently with the blogs I read. An “influencer” lifestyle comes with a lot of excess waste. You shared some great ideas here. We switched to cloth napkins and glass containers as well, and almost have eliminated disposable plastic bags. Paper towels are probably our next big area of waste, but that one seems so hard! I’d love to read more posts like this.

  23. Carol
    October 5, 2021 / 12:28 pm

    Great post!
    (But why don’t you consider Billie razors disposable?)

  24. CS
    October 5, 2021 / 12:57 pm

    I absolutely loved this post. So refreshing to discuss what you don’t use – great idea. I do use MINIMAL plastic wrap but avoid it at all costs. Switched to parchment from foil. I bought an avacado keeper since I always seem to have half an avacado kicking around. Worth it as I don’t reach for the plastic wrap.
    I really look into recycling as well i.e. glass jars or plastic bottles with a heat shrunk plastic label around them may not get recycled. In some areas you’re supposed to cut that part off and recycle the actual container only. I really want to find an alternative to Qtips. I also make my own cards and encourage others not to give me and my family cards – plus they are so expensive these days. I make sure my garbage bags are made of material that breaks down and just try to purchase things that make sense both cost wise and environment wise (i.e. not buying pre cut veggies!!)

    Would love another post gathering up other peoples ideas that they’ve shared. 🙂

    • Sally
      October 6, 2021 / 7:52 am

      I haven’t bought them yet as I have a six-pack of disposable ones from Costco to finish first, but you can actually now buy reusable cotton buds. They come in three different styles and are supposed to replace 1000 disposable ones. Google LastObject and have a look!

      • Susie
        October 8, 2021 / 6:16 am

        Just googled LastObject. Thank you!

  25. Wanda
    October 6, 2021 / 1:40 am

    This was a great post and I am with you on most of the items. When I got to #8 Cling Wrap, I literally laughed out loud. I hate that stuff! I say it only sticks to itself, and that’s while you’re trying to tear it off to use it. Yuck! Thanks for the laugh.

  26. Aileen
    October 6, 2021 / 6:25 am

    Great post. I feel that living in the UK may be a bit different in terms of certain things. Like I have noticed a lot of influencers mentioning not buying single use cutlery and plates. I can’t speak for everyone but certainly within my circle, I don’t know anyone who would buy those things on a regular basis. Proper cutlery, glassware and plates for us. I do have plastic plates for eating outside but they are reusable and have been in use for about 20 years haha. Also most people I know would never use kitchen roll (paper towels) for cleaning, it would be cloths that would be used and then thrown in the washing machine. I totally get you on the kids clothes, they grow like weeds so there is no point in having loads! I have 2 sets of sheets for my bed and 2 sets of sheets for my daughters bed, that’s plenty and although I love love love to shop, my house is little so I don’t want to live in amongst clutter so that really helps with not buying stuff. I do have a weakness for handbags and scarves though 🙂

  27. Melissa
    October 6, 2021 / 9:15 am

    Great post! For trip souvenirs, I buy postcards from wherever were visiting. Before we head back home I write my kids each a postcard or two recapping our trip. They enjoy getting them once we’re home and then we save them in their keepsake boxes.

    • Theresa
      October 10, 2021 / 8:18 am

      Omg I love this idea!

    • Jill
      October 11, 2021 / 2:48 pm

      I have bought postcards and framed them for décor. Since they’re small, they fit great in those areas where you need a little something and usually I can find cute, inexpensive frames. Win, win!

  28. Irene Rodriguez
    October 6, 2021 / 9:23 am

    Great post! I like the napkins idea maybe just have a few when visitors come over.

  29. Susan Honeycutt
    October 6, 2021 / 11:26 am

    I only use cloth napkins, make my own laundry soap, bring my own grocery bags to all stores, use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets, don’t buy water anymore (we only use the water from the fridge filteration , make my own cleaning solution and the list goes on!!

  30. WendyP
    October 8, 2021 / 3:32 pm

    Loved this post! So many bloggers purchase and consumes so many items and then I rarely see them using them again. I’m with you and I like having quality items that don’t need to be replaced as often.

    Yes- cloth napkins! That’s all we use in our household as well. I have found that all cotton ones drive me crazy because they look wrinkled straight out of the dryer. I like the polyester ones best.

    I like to make my own candles – cheap and easy.

    I struggle to drink water- we use Berkeys. My issue is that I LOVE bubbly water. I considered purchasing a soda stream. I don’t know much about it though. Figured I could add fresh lemon or lime juice to it?

    We rarely use any disposable plates or silverware. I recycle most of what we have here if we’re going somewhere- then I don’t have to worry about it getting lost.

    We also switched over to glass containers as well. My kids used lunchbot containers back in the day for school lunches. I still have them and use them as my personal snack vegetable trays now.

    When we go on vacation we tend to purchase a Christmas ornament as a souvenir. It’s fun when we put the tree up each year to see them. Sometimes we find an item that is small enough to be used as an ornament if there isn’t any available.

    I enjoy posts like this, thank you for sharing.

  31. Jill
    October 11, 2021 / 2:56 pm

    This was a great post, Megan! I do a majority of these things as well. I’ve often wondered how do fashion bloggers keep from having too many pieces of clothing. Do you have a system for getting rid of things? It seems most bloggers have numerous pairs of a particular item. I prefer one item in a color that can be worn with many different pieces…example: a black pair of Hunter boots is sufficient for me. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to live more simply. I would love to hear your thoughts on keeping things simple in this area.

    • Megan
      Author
      October 12, 2021 / 4:39 pm

      That’s a great question Jill. I return a lot of things I try on if I just take a mirror picture in it. I have to buy so much inventory to keep my blog going that there’s no way I could keep it all. It’s different than shopping for pleasure if that makes sense. I also regularly donate my things to family and women’s shelters. As for multiples- I have multiple pairs of the same black leggings I like to work out in and I have several different colors of my favorite workout tanks. I probably keep more things than I would if blogging wasn’t the type of work I did!

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