Hello, my dear readers! Today, I thought it would be interesting to share with you the 10 things I have stopped buying. Which ones of these are also on your no-buy list?
1. Gym membership
I used to have a pretty expensive monthly gym membership. I naively thought the fact that I spent money every month on fitness would in itself be a great motivation for me to work out. Man I was wrong. I can still clearly remember how dimly lit the streets were when I woke up every day at 5am during the first month that I purchased the gym membership. Of course, my daily encounter with the darkness outside soon dwindled to twice a week, once a week, and once a month, and completely stopped when winter hit.
Nowadays, I no longer rely on a gym and complicated equipment for my fitness routines. When I feel like going outside, I go for a run or a walk, and if I feel like staying indoors, fitness YouTube channels, such as POPSUGAR, satisfy my needs just as well. I also watch what I eat more closely now, because eating a healthy diet is also another important part of the equation.
2. Boxes of pastries or a whole cake
I have learned to accept the facts that I 1) have no resistance to pastries or cakes, and 2) eating too much baked goods packed with sugar and butter is bad for me. Coming to this one-sentence acceptance of my reality has not been easy. I would constantly trick myself into purchasing pastries or cakes in large quantities, thinking that I would control myself and “just eat one slice of cake” or “one pastry”. Of course, all of those self-promises went out the window when it was late at night and I was struggling with a difficult problem, or when I was stressed out because of the tiniest thing, or when I was happy and wanted to celebrate.
Although boxes of pastries or a whole cake are oftentimes a better deal than a single pastry or a cake per regular portion, for someone like me with very little self-control when it comes to these delicious sugar bombs, it is not worth it. Today, I still enjoy these treats once in a while, but instead of getting a box of Danish pastries when I am craving them, I would just buy one (or two) from a local bakery, and savour it.
3. Plastic water bottles
I no longer buy plastic water bottles. This is primarily a response to the environmental problems plastics create, especially to the ocean. I grew up near the ocean, and therefore have a special affinity with this natural blue beauty. When I saw videos and pictures of seabirds mistakenly took plastic as food, I was heartbroken. I cannot get rid of those sad images of birds from my mind, and I try my best to no longer be a contributor.
Let’s all try our best to reduce, reuse and recycle. The animals and our ocean deserve our love and respect.
4. Plastic bags
Following the same logic as above, I have stopped buying plastic bags at the cash register, even if the cashiers sometimes offer them for free. I much prefer my reusable grocery bags. The ones I use can be folded into a tiny square, similar to the ones shown here. They hardly take up any space in my bag, but are surprisingly durable.
I do have to admit that I still use the plastic bags in the vegetable and fruit aisles within the grocery store, but I try to reuse them after I get home by using them as my garbage bags.
Drake has shown off his Birkin bag collection, and some of my friends are also handbag addicts. I am sure they must derive a lot of pleasure from collecting bags, but for me, I am perfectly happy with the three bags that I own – a backpack, a handbag, and a purse. Previously, I used to have a few more, but I find switching bags to be quite a hassle, not to mention the numbers of times I forgot to move stuff from one bag to another. Because of my inclination to simplify and minimize (or should you blame it on laziness), I no longer have the desire to own more bags that I need. I also subscribe to this school of thought that products are meant to be used, and I’d feel bad about purchasing a bag only to let it sit in its dust cover on a shelf.
Having fewer bags has simplified my life, because I no longer have to spend time trying to find the best bag for the occasion. And it has always worked out fine.
6. Clothes that are pretty and cheap but low quality
When I was younger, I used to care mostly only about how the clothes looked and how inexpensive they were. Purchasing low-quality clothes that couldn’t endure more than a few washes was actually a perfect excuse to go out and buy even more! However, as I grew older, my taste has changed. I have started to dislike how flimsy low-quality clothes feel in my hands, and how wearing cheap and low-quality clothes makes me feel cheap as well. The fascination I had with shopping has also faded away.
I have also learned about the concept of cost per wear. That is, the item’s price divided by the total number of times I wear it. It has dawned on me that cheap clothes may not necessarily be inexpensive if they are only worn once or twice and have to be tossed away.
Nowadays, I care more about quality. Of course, I still care about how the clothes look, but I refuse to purchase items that, although pretty, are low-quality. I am willing to spend more to curate a wardrobe that is classy, long-lasting, and doesn’t go out of style easily.
7. New skincare products for my face
I love experimenting with new things. Although I think it is a pretty good trait in general because I have endless curiosity, it is not a good idea when it comes to my face. I have acne-prone and sensitive skin, and my skin flares up easily when I use anything that may have some ingredients that aren’t totally agreeable to my skin.
Not trying new skincare products for my face was a pretty difficult thing to give up, but I had to do it for the sake of my face. It has the side benefits of helping me save time and money though, as I no longer spend hours in a Sephora or unnecessary money on products just to try them out. Nowadays, I know the products my skin like, and I just stick to them.
Of course, I still love experimenting, but I have channeled my energy into other areas of my life, such as trying out new restaurants, or traveling. It works out well!
8. Pretty trinkets
I no longer buy pretty trinkets that are mostly for decoration purposes. For whatever reason, having too many little toys and items in my room makes me a bit uncomfortable. I much prefer to leave as much white and empty space as possible. On the rare occasions that I purchase something because it is pretty, I make sure that the item at least can be used up, such as a candle or a reed diffuser.
The only exception to this rule though are souvenirs. I still like having physical reminders of the trips and the people I met during my travels. However, I only purchase souvenirs at the most memorable places, and I only purchase items that are small.
9. Nail polish
Back when Taylor Swift was rocking her red manicure promoting her Red album, I was a girl fascinated by the world of nail polish. Although I wasn’t fond of the smell, I endured it for the colours and the glistens and the endless possibilities. I have since learned about the potential toxic effects nail polish can have for my body, and have opted for a more natural look for my nails. I love my nails for what they look like.
10. Items just because they are on sale
This is a big one. I have stopped buying items just because they are “XXX% off”, or buying an extra item just because it is “buy one get one $X off”. I have a list of things that I need to and want to buy, and I will only buy items on sale IF they also happen to be on my list.
Above are the 10 things I have stopped buying. I am not sure if stop buying these items qualifies me as a minimalist, because I still purchase many other items that routinely show up on minimalists’ no-buy blog posts, such as Starbucks coffee, shampoos and conditioners, cleaning products, etc. But I am happy with my purchases, and I appreciate and have a genuine use of every single item I buy.
What items have you stopped purchasing? Leave a comment down below to share with me your thoughts!