Don’t Buy Stuff

That’s it.  My title is my post.  Don’t buy stuff…that’s all I have to say.

 When asked what my favorite frugal tip is…Don’t Buy Stuff is the best thing I can come up with.

When you buy stuff, you have to pay for it with money.  And then you have to find a place to put it once you bring it home.  And it won’t stay where you put it because someone will get it out and not put it away.  And then it will get lost.  Or broken.  Or forgotten.

Buy food.  You need to eat.

Splurge on toilet paper.  It’s very useful.

Invest in soap…using soap is good.

But don’t buy stuff.

You’ll save a lot of money.

And…if you didn’t really need it in the first place, you won’t even miss it.  ;)

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest20Tweet about this on Twitter2Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Comments

  1. says

    I would honestly love to bring my self to doing this. I wish my family could be on the same page as me! I have been reading so many of the things you write. I admire you so much. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of reading the thoughts you have and sharing your family’s moments.

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    I have the same challenge with my hoarder husband. I am working on my own stuff right now. Hopefully, he will be able to simplify his own belongings after seeing my “simple neatness”.

    [Reply]

  2. Becky says

    Not sure if you have it in your area but I use freecycle.org instead of buying stuff. I haven’t paid a dime for toys for my kiddo because it all came used from people in my community who wanted to get rid of it from their homes (they bought too much stuff!). Its a great way to get things you need or even want without spending and it is a great way to help reduce waste. Now you have to resist volunteering to take too much stuff just because it is free! :)

    [Reply]

    Virginia Brown Reply:

    Yes! We have FreeCycle here! I love it! So much easier than having
    a garage sale & then having to get rid of what you didn’t sell
    anyway. And besides. . . .people come & get it! :o)

    [Reply]

  3. says

    Sounds like you’re a prime candidate for my cheap ocean vacation. Check it out here.

    [Reply]

    Kimberlee Reply:

    Tee hee! Love it!

    [Reply]

    teresa Reply:

    That is so funny..esp since I was curious enough to click on it.. I want a cheap vacation.

    [Reply]

    Yvonna Reply:

    I’d checked it out without reading other replys…thats a good one! :D

    [Reply]

  4. says

    Perfect timing!! I am revamping our budget and trying to pay off that credit card so this topic is at the forefront of my mind these days.

    If it isn’t a necessity then I am not buying it! I am making it a kind of game for myself to keep me motivated. I am starting off with just through the holiday weekend. I know I can do it!!

    [Reply]

  5. Missy says

    My problem isn’t buying stuff, I’m not a big shopper, I don’t yard sale, I hate clutter so I don’t buy something unless I need it. My issue is that the stuff I do like is high end, having grown up a little on the poor side, I like to give my kids the things I didn’t have (even though I don’t think it matters much to them). I like the name brand stuff, I am so glad for TJ Maxx which at least helps save money on the good stuff! The positive thing is though, that with buying some of the higher end things, they do last, I’ve seen shoes last my son a full year before he outgrew them and still be in great shape. I can use less shampoo if I’m using salon stuff instead of cheap stuff. I guess it all evens out in the end since I have to buy LESS stuff that way anyway, but I think I need to be more frugal in some areas.

    [Reply]

  6. Shannon says

    Yup, I’ve got half of this. For frugal reasons, we quit buying “stuff”. about 2 years ago. We pretty much just buy things that break and need replaced or if I find something at goodwill or yard sales.

    But, then I had a baby! :) I’ve been trying to be as minimalist about it as possible but love to get him a new toy every now and then. He’s 7 months old and we’ve bought about 10 toys all together so far. The relatives get him toys so I wouldn’t have to necessarily, but, I’m rather particular. I am trying to buy U.S. made or at least not made in China toys for him. Otherwise, we’re doing so much better.

    [Reply]

  7. says

    Easy for me.. our budget doesn’t include ‘stuff’! Only necessities. And barely that. But if we had more money, I know it would be difficult for me. Right now I just want to get my hair cut.. but can’t afford it! Depressing some days, but I try to keep things in perspectives!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    I can’t afford to get my hair cut either! At least I’m not a man, so it’s not as noticeable!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Crystal, I just saw on our local listings that one of the salons was giving free haircuts so that new stylists could get experience. Maybe somewhere near you offers the same?

    [Reply]

    Shamberly Reply:

    Just FYI, I have been cutting my own hair for about 2 years now… If you’re hair is medium-long, wash your hair, and leave it damp – not dripping wet, but you don’t want it dry at all. Flip your head to the front, flipping your hair upside down Start on one side, use your first and middle fingers to gather about a 1 inch wide section of hair. Determine how much you want to cut off (i.e. if you just want a trim, cut off about an inch, using your fingers as a guide to get a straight line; if you want a noticeable difference, cut a few inches ~ just remember, the more you cut off, the shorter the top layers will be when you’re done – I usually line my hair up somewhere between my chin & bottom of my nose – that gives me layers ranging from my shoulders to just under my chin) and take a pair of scissors and cut – like I said, using your fingers as a straight line guide. Once your first section is cut, get a small piece of the first section and gather another 1 inch section of uncut hair. Use the small cut piece as a guide as to how much to cut off, and line your fingers up with it. Repeat this all the way across to the other side of your hair. Keep your hair flipped upside down the whole time, of course. When you flip your hair back over, you will have perfect layers :oD It is SO easy, quick, and results in a great haircut for FREE when you can’t make it to the salon for time or financial reasons… It’s a little scary cutting your own hair for the first time, but seriously, it is easy!! You can look up all kinds of hair-cutting/styling tutorials on youtube.com and get a visual walk through on how to do it as well :o)

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    My daughter cut her long beautiful, waist-length hair to just touching her shoulders length. She did a great job except for the long strip down the center back that she couldn’t reach. I was upset but in her young wisdom, she said “Mom, it’s only hair. It’ll grow back.” She was only 4 years old at the time…and yes, it did grow back !

    [Reply]

    Virginia Brown Reply:

    At least with longer hair you can put it in a ponytail & you’re past
    the in-between stage. I’m going to make some hair accessories, too,
    can’t think now what they’re called; it’s half-past my bedtime! :o)

    [Reply]

    Becky LaMonte Reply:

    Super accurate haircut at home. (if you have longish hair)
    Take 2 rulers and 2 hair elastics. secure rulers together at
    one end with one elastic. Flip head over and comb hair,
    open unsecured end of rulers and put your hair in it. Secure
    open end with other elastic. Slide rulers to where you want
    it(you will be able to see if it is straight) and cut in
    small snips holding scissors at a 45° angle to the ruler.

    [Reply]

  8. says

    I’m at a point now where I pretty much have enough to either use or play with. My weakness is yarn and fabric. But I actually walked out of Joanne Fabrics the other day with only a box of pins! Even my husband was impressed. Really, if we think about what we already have at home, most of us don’t need much more.

    I am, however, with you on toilet paper and soap, LOL!

    [Reply]

  9. says

    Haha… love it.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Someone mentioned making this a game… I think it would be fun to record what I would normally buy, and see how much I saved at the end of the month, simply by not buying things that weren’t necessities.

    Also, I see another ‘Shannon’ on here, so I’ll start leaving comments as ‘Shannon H.’ ;)

    Blessings!

    [Reply]

    Shannon W. Reply:

    Sounds like school again! Except this time around I’m Shannon W instead of Shannon B.

    [Reply]

  10. Julie says

    This is so simple but so true. We recently downsized and our house is crammed full of “stuff” we don’t need. I have been on a cluttering kick and am surprised at how much easier it is to keep the house clean. It is also easier mentally knowing it wont take so long to clean house. Thanks for your post.

    [Reply]

  11. Rebekah says

    I’m in a de-cluttering mode too. If it wears you down to see it or deal with it, or there’s any guilt attached to it, out it goes! A great read: Throw Out Fifty Things.

    We don’t spend money on toilet paper. I wouldn’t stock up on it. I hate buying things you flush down the toilet or throw in the trash. A waste of money for me. So, you can take it further. Make your own cloth wipes (I cut up some unused flannel baby blankets), just patterned them after the simple single-layer cloth ones I use on the baby, why not? I have an 11×11 wetbag hanging from the toilet roll attachment and we place the dirty ones in there. Then they go in the washer with the diapers. If girls can do it many times a day, then a family of boys can learn it too! If you don’t use cloth napkins, it’s just as easy to use cloth wipes. Besides, the toddlers can make a mess with them but not as bad as they would unraveling a toilet paper roll!

    Another idea, get a Diva cup and make your own mama pads, put in an inner liner of waterproof material (like the liner of the wetbag you make), put snaps on the wings, and you’re in business. The other day I was on a camping trip, hadn’t brought my Diva cup, and thought my cycle was starting early. Boy, I hated to spend the $3 for the bio-tampons at the store, but I never opened the box and now I get to take them back!

    Laura, I’d love it if you’d do a column on simple ways to save big bucks over the course of the year. Then, all of us could comment on the ways we save, and everyone could come away with a multitude of workable ideas!

    [Reply]

    Virginia Brown Reply:

    What a great idea! I just started using a washcloth folded in fourths
    to replace expensive bladder control pads. Thanks for the idea of also
    replacing toilet paper! Could just as well use a “diaper” pail.
    I make my own hankies by cutting squares of “too stained to wear any-
    more” articles of clothing with a pinking shears. Just be sure to wash
    them in hot water!

    I’m also thinking of getting a mop pail with a wringer attached to
    wash clothes in. Just wondering if it would wring the clothes out
    enough. Also one of those plunger-like deals for washing them. Has
    anybody tried this?

    [Reply]

  12. Diana Reddy says

    Amen! I am slowly learning in this area…and the decreasing amount of clutter in our house is extremely rewarding and motivating to keep on going. In fact, just an hour ago I decided to skip a trip to the dollar store…little victories in the battle against clutter! :-)

    [Reply]

  13. Tracy says

    Easier said than done but I am trying to conform to this concept as well as get my family to try it.It is hard when your’re child is the only grandson .It is not so much buying as people buying for you. But we are living in a smaller house and we need to downsize but my husband likes to hold on to things.Trying to convince him will be the hardest of all.LOL

    [Reply]

    Virginia Brown Reply:

    I’ve been encouraging my kids & their families to “regift” things that
    they already have & that they’re sure someone else would like! That’s
    really giving of yourself! ;o)

    This year for Christmas, my being on a rigid financial diet to get out
    of debt, I gave specially selected recipes! The gift that keeps on
    giving! ;o) They were accepted! :o)

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    After much urging from my adult children, we decided not to exchange gifts for Christmas. My husband was the hardest to convince but he finally agreed. I told him if we found something during the year that one of the kids could use, we could get it for them….so it’s April…or July…or September…Merry Christmas. This is the fifth or sixth year we’ve done the NO GIFTS Christmas and we love it. We still celebrate and enjoy each others’ company but without the accompanying stress/obligation of gift buying and then the credit card bill in January. We told the little ones to pick their favorite charity and we would donate to that one in their name. They are fine with it.

    [Reply]

  14. says

    SOOOO true! We are planning a move to Belize so have had to sell everything (cost a fortune to bring it over the border).. We now have our mattresses on the floor, are eating on a card table, and have a piano and a computer desk. That is ALL of the furniture in our 2,600 sq. foot home LOL.. It’s SO stinkin’ empty.

    But, selling everything and living in 1/4th of our home has made me realize something.

    We work forever to afford our home and stuff.. then we work forever to keep it up while spending all day cleaning it and worrying that it might get broken. We’ve replaced people in our homes with stuff! People use to live 10 to a small house and were fine.. now we live 4 to a large house and are crowded and have no time.

    umm..?? Emptying out my house of “Stuff” has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever. The kids don’t even miss stuff! LOL. We went from trying to get them to stop watching movies all day to no t.v. and they didn’t even care.. a room full of toys to one basket and they don’t even play with those LOL.

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    I love this! I want to just sell everything and move to a little 3 room house in the middle of nowhere. Everyone tells me that’s crazy. All I need is a bedroom for my husband and me, one for the boys, and a kitchen/living area. I don’t want a house full of things when the focus should be on one another.

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    I used to have a running battle with my kids to clean their rooms. Then it dawned on me…they were overwhelmed. They had so
    many toys they didn’t know what to do with them. Finally, I told them to each select 5 toys to keep and the rest were going. Finally, the battles about cleaning their rooms stopped. What they didn’t know is that I had hidden the toys they didn’t want and after 6 months of PEACE I let them trade any or all 5 of their toys for others in the discard box. It was like Christmas! To this day, they will tell me that’s one of the best things I did. They were no longer overwhelmed and forgotten-about toys took on a new joy when they were re-purchased via the current ones.

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    I think morbidly obese Mcmansions are partially to blame for ‘over-stuff”ing. All that square footage for on average 2 to 4 people. Both parents out working to pay for it, clean it, insure it, heat & cool it, maintain it, etc. They’re never home. Kids are with a housekeeper or alone. To compensate, parents BUY STUFF for them. They’ve got so much crap they don’t know what to do with it and thus appreciate NONE of it. Kids would rather have a smaller house WITH MOM & DAD home. Huge homes must be furnished…so now these oversized rooms look like furniture showrooms. Yuck. Who needs a bedroom as big as a gymnasium? You can only live in one room at a time. Houses so big, no one knows where other family members are. It’s insane and wasteful.

    [Reply]

  15. says

    My way of saving money is to: NOT GO TO TARGET!

    Target is eye candy. Such cute “stuff” that I don’t need but end up thinking I need. Target sucks me in and my wallet too!

    [Reply]

  16. Cara says

    Reminded me of a song by Eddie Vedder called Society. I like it. We have a tight budget, I use coupons and shop yard sales, consignment and thrift stores. God has blessed us and I have found major bargains on things we truly needed. I wouldnt want it any other way!

    [Reply]

  17. says

    >Splurge on toilet paper. It’s very useful.HAHAHAHA! I love it!
    You could make soap instead of buying it too. ;)
    I try not to buy stuff BUT when I do buy stuff I try NOT to buy it new. Well except for toilet paper that is. ;)

    [Reply]

  18. DorthyM says

    I soooo need this advice. We dont buy big ticket items because there is no money for it, but we (mostly me, I admit it) have a tiny (try HUMONGOUS) weakness for books. I devour books. Kids books, mysteries, etc. I am cutting down, using the library a lot, trying to splurge on books only at thrift stores and used book stores –we dont hit those very often–but we are homeschooling on a shoestring this year so I’m thrilled when I can find great books for little or nothing.

    [Reply]

  19. Serenity says

    Since my parents are moving in with my family in a few weeks we have been decluttering like crazy! After they move in we won’t be able to “buy stuff” because there won’t be any room for it :)

    [Reply]

  20. says

    Yes! Why is this so hard to understand? I know a lot of people love the whole coupon craze, but I can’t get into it. I might be able to save money, but getting so much stuff just for the sake of getting stuff isn’t really frugal to me. You don’t really need that much, anyway!

    [Reply]

  21. says

    Couldn’t agree with you more! I hate stuff! I have to pay for it. Then dust it. Then organize it. Then find it. Then move it to find other stuff. Then when I don’t want it anymore I have to decide if I should give it/throw it/recycle it. Then I have to inventory it to try to get some of the money back on my taxes for having wasted the money on it in the first place….what if I had never bought the stuff??!! Great idea!

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    Agree! “Stuff” is a liability…not an asset. You have to store it, clean it, insure it, protect it, worry about it, etc.

    My adult children are minimalists. I learn from them. They don’t want anything from my house and have said when I die, they’re going to get a dumpster….

    Simple is best. Namaste.

    [Reply]

  22. holly zeger says

    just wondering what you considure “stuff”? I have started throwing stuff away but need help with more ideas of stuff too get rid of.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    This is such a good question – I suppose we all have a different definition of what we consider “stuff”. My house feels full of stuff, even though I don’t usually buy anything besides what I feel like we truly need. (People often give us stuff – I’m trying to learn to say no thanks!)

    I guess I’d say, if you aren’t using it regularly or it isn’t special to you in some big way – it’s okay to get rid of it!

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    Absolutely. If it’s not being used on a regular basis or mean something extremely special to someone (my Grandma’s one quilt, photos on a thumb drive, etc) it’s leaving my house. I’m tired of having to rearrange stuff for more stuff! Weeding out every room in my house.

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    If you have some memorable item it should be given a place of honor….displayed or used…and not be stuffed in a box or a closet.

    [Reply]

  23. Ann says

    This is my first visit to your site and I just love your sense of humor! Practical, useful information with a real sense of humor – perfect! I also have way too much stuff. Stuff that brings back great memories. Stuff that I will use “one day”. Stuff that is so important it gets saved away in an important place never to be touched, seen or even remembered where it was stored ever again. Yes, too much stuff!

    [Reply]

  24. susan says

    The idea of getting rid of stuff to a chronic stuff-a-holic is absurd. My advice, take photos of the stuff before you give it away. Don’t do garage sales, just give it away to a thrift store, a battered women’s place, or habitat for humanity. then, when you start to feel nostalgic for your stuff, take out the photo album, or go online and review your e=photos, have your reminisce and get on with life!
    Okay, I love books. that is harder to do. But when I donated them to the library, most of them were placed on their shelves. (some were sold) so usually I can find it with the local or the inter-library loan system.
    Children’s special things–if they have a place in your heart keep them. If not, photograph them and be done with them. Travel reminders? same furniture is always welcome until your room is too full. Boxes in closets mean your stuff has not been used often enough to justify keeping. Too many clothes, ill fitting or colors not flattering? Even if they were expensive, get rid of them. Someone else might be able to use them who might not be able to afford them. Shoes? my other big deal. If they are skuffed and ratty, get rid of them to trash. If their heels or backs are worn get rid of them. If they are 20 or more years old and not classic, get rid of them. If they pinch or are uncomfortable, get rid of them. I advertised in our craigslist locally and my extras were gone in 2 hours. Even the oddball size they were!
    plants, tablecloths, china sets not used because they are special? Pull them out and use them or get rid of them. Not worth it to have special things at your funeral. your loved ones will NOT cherish things you kept behind closed cabinets!!! Even if they are expensive.
    Those are my rantings concerning decluttering. thanks
    Even makeup or cosmetics that are more than 12 months old are no longer sanitary. However, I cannot see every using cloth toilet paper. sorry. that is just “gross” when a flush will take it all away. I ‘ll pay for paper, thank you…Ilived in middle east where they do not flush paper down, so the bathroom trashbag had to be thrown out every day. What is worse? Smell or flushed paper? Hmm.

    [Reply]

    Sandy Reply:

    Thank you for the great advice Susan! I really need to get rid of some things that I haven’t used in years. I guess I am due for a Fall cleaning. There are some things that I have been meaning to put up on Craigslist to sell too.

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    Awesome, Susan!
    Life is so short. Use your good dishes, etc. TODAY and every day. Not just for ‘company’.
    Since my tax dollars are already paying for my library, I let my library store and care for my books. I can re-visit them for free whenever I want.
    Donating my possessions to women’s shelters, Amvets, Humane/Rescue Shelters for animals, Goodwill….fills my heart more than selling the stuff would ever fill my wallet.
    My children have already lovingly advised me….they want NOTHING and will get a dumpster when I’m dead…so I’m de-cluttering and donating.
    Also, yuck….with the cloth TP. I buy Scotts TP. Stock up when on sale. It’s biodegradable as is the stuff wiped on it. Washing cloth TP takes water, soap, dryer time, etc. and contaminates the washer and other clothing. IMO cloth TP would be more expensive and more polluting than paper TP.

    [Reply]

  25. Stephanie says

    Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without! Amen.

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    I have that saying posted in my home !

    [Reply]

  26. SMc says

    When i was a little girl spending time with my Grandma, I didn’t understand why she had such old fashioned things. I used to ask why she didn’t have this, that, or something else. You know, things that were more “modern.” Her answer to me was always, “Well, I guess I just don;t need it.” Now, I find myself saying to my grandchildren, “Well, I guess I just don’t need it.”

    [Reply]

  27. Terri Hathaway says

    Hi,
    I found your website by looking for a good place to buy vanilla beans(bulk)for homemade vanilla! I love your positive, Christian spirit and getting back to basics! My kids are raised but I am blessed with 4 grandchildren that live close by. I am seriously considering retiring, if you can call it that at age 55!..but quiting my job at our local Hospital Clinic. I have been here for 13 years and I miss so much at home! I am a woman, like you, who loves my home and enjoy taking care of it and my husband.. So please pray for me for wisdom. I love your website and thank you for speaking out..
    Terri H. OREGON

    [Reply]

  28. Annette Guimary says

    Love reading through these comments. We have switched from paper napkins to cloth, toilet paper to cloth wipes (we use a bidet to clean up first!), I make my own deoderant – soda, corn starch and coconut oil, and try to avoid any products with SLS, propyl glycol, artificial colors and preservatives. There are so many ways we can eliminate waste by buying in bulk and avoiding plastic packaging as much as possible. I’m so happy to read about others doing the same. Some of my friends and family members think we are crazy!

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    Annette,
    What your friends and family members think of you is none of your business.

    Who was it that said: “People wouldn’t be so concerned about what others thought of them if they knew how seldom they did.”

    How do you make the deodorant?

    [Reply]

    MARY Reply:

    Annette,
    If you have a bidet….you now have 2 toilet fixtures to clean and operate. Cloth TP And cloth napkins need to be laundered….using washing machine, dryer, water, soap, electricity/gas, etc. Biodegradable paper TP and napkins would be an environmentally and financially wiser choice.

    [Reply]

  29. Leigh says

    I am fairly older for a MOM of young children, 46. When I was younger I could More easily Live The “on the cheap” lifestyle. However, The older I get the more I need to spend money on myself to be healthy, well and maintained. So sadly, I can’t spend nothing no more:). However, all in all I agree to limit spending on “stuff” to a minimum and get as much free stuff as possible. Do the best you Can. And find creative ways to make more money….

    [Reply]

  30. Leigh says

    Oh…and Anne had me until she said cloth toilet paper. I am sure that is frugal…I just hope her washing machine is a good one:) Even after a bidet, the ecoli count would be pretty high.

    [Reply]

  31. jan says

    if you have to buy stuff, buy it second hand then you wont be out so much money or buy on sale. i’ve stopped buying stuff becaues ppl pass me their hand me downs and when i get tired of it i give to the good will or someone else.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *