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15 Surprising Things I DON'T Buy

I'm sharing 15 very unusual things I don't buy anymore as I try to live a mindful minimalist lifestyle. I thought this could be a fun topic as many people are curious about minimalism.

We started our minimalism journey in 2008. During the past 13 years, we have lived in houses, RV, and nomadically while traveling globally. As each change in our lifestyle, so did some of the things we bought. There is no right or wrong way to be a minimalist. Minimalism should be personalized to each person and family and their lifestyle.

I focus on being mindful about what I buy and its impact on our health and our planet. The bonus about buying less is spending less money and saving more.

There are many things I don't buy anymore, but these 15 are the most unusual things that make the most significant impact on our health, the planet, and our wallets.


I make our shampoo first, washing hair with Dr. Bonner's Castile soap and then adding a mixture of baking soda and water on top. It lathers very well is squeaky clean.

2. Conditioner

I hand-make our conditioner with a combination of water and apple cider vinegar. I spray it on my hair and leave for 2 minutes, then rinse. This conditioner works on even my daughter's thick, long hair.

3. Lotion

I hand-make our family's lotion. This is the best moisturizing lotion I have ever used. It is simple to make, feels smooth, and is cost-effective.

Add together in a glass jar.

1/2c coconut oil

1/2c shea butter

1/2 c cocoa butter

Place the glass jar in a pot filled with hot water. Blend the melted mixture. Let cool. Blend with an immersion blender or counter top blender until fluffy.

4. Deodorant

I know, it sounds crazy! I began making deodorant years ago when I started having an allergic reaction to store-bought deodorant. This deodorant is so easy to make, and it works incredibly well.


1/4 c coconut oil

3-5 Tbl baking soda

Few drops of essential oil

5. Fast Food

I haven't had fast food in over 22+ years. This is a conscious choice I make for my health.

6. Food not on my grocery list - NO impulse buys

I create a weekly grocery list based on our meal plan. If it's not on the list, we don't buy it.

7. Packaged Pre-made foods

No frozen dinner or pizzas. I don't buy pre-cut items or convenience pre-made foods.

8. Soda Pop, water bottles, juice box

I have not chosen to drink soda in over 25+ years. We don't buy water bottles or juice boxes. We stick to water in reusable bottles.

9. Cleaning Sprays

I hand make all-purpose cleaning spray, dusting spray, and window cleaner from various combinations of all-natural ingredients such as vinegar, olive oil, cornstarch, and essential oils. It is cost-effective, plus the all-natural ingredients are good for the environment and my health.

10. Dryer Sheets

I stopped buying dryer sheets after traveling living in countries in Central America and Europe. The places I lived rarely had driers, and if they did, they never had drier sheets. When I moved back to the USA, I realized that I didn't need dryer sheets.

11. Hair Dye, Cosmetic Enhancements (eyelash extensions, eyebrow blazing, acrylic nails, hair extensions, lip injections, botox, etc.)

I colored my hair in my 20's and 30's and was never happy with the results. After 20 years of paying for expensive colors that I did like and reducing the chemicals I used on my body, I stopped coloring my hair. I've had my natural silver hair for six years, and I love it! I've always been a pretty natural-looking, low-maintenance woman. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have cosmetic enhancements. I simply choose not to get them for myself.

12. Disposable dishes

I use regular dishes, glasses, and utensils. I prefer cloth napkins and cloth table cloths over the paper. The exception when I do purchase disposable plates is when we are picnicking or camping.

13. Cable

As a family, we are very particular about what shows we watch at night as a family. I feel that a lot of unfiltered information can find its way into the home. With cable on in the background, it makes it very difficult to be present in what I'm doing at the moment. Cable TV can be very distracting.

14. Greeting Cards

We make each other handmade cards and letters for all special occasions. We each take time to draw a picture or decorate the card and write a long note expressing our feeling for the other person. I love this family tradition! It makes a letter so much more meaningful.

15. Seasonal Decor & Knick knacks

I do decorate for the Christmas season, but I don't decorate for other holidays. I don't buy knick-knacks and decor-type items. My home is straightforward with little clutter.

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