Almost a year into my Minimalist journey, there are many items that I no longer buy. I try and make do with what we have and also try to use more natural and sustainable options.
For example I try and make my own facial scrub rather than buy plastic containers of the same thing. It saves me money and I know exactly what it is made from.
Last year, I made an effort to be more environmentally conscious. I am not zero waste by any means, and it isn’t to shame anyone who may still find some of these items useful, but I am trying to be more responsible for the waste we produce as a family. Choosing sustainable alternatives to the usual products can really help the planet and your pocket!
Or better yet, you can just stop buying anything unnecessary full stop.
Here are the 30 items that I no longer buy as a Minimalist Mum:
Disclaimer: This post contains referral links on which I make a very small commission if you decide to make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you and I would only recommend products that I would buy, or have bought, myself.
1. Washing Detergent
I discovered this Ecoegg which uses minerals that rub together to naturally clean your clothing (in a similar way to soap nuts) They are placed in the egg shaped holder and you can buy different volumes to last different amounts of time. I use the 720 wash – that’s on average three years of laundry that will save you around £350 in the long run!
2. Cling Film / Saran wrap
Beeswax wraps are the only food coverings I use now. I use these to cover dishes of leftovers or to wrap my sandwiches for work. They last around 12 months, but you could even try and make them yourself here.
3. Pre-packaged Baby Snacks
It can be easy to get sucked into the various baby foods available at the supermarkets. Some can cost a pretty penny. It’s quick and easy to make your own snacks. My son (and everyone else) loved these cheese straws from Foxfairy Led Weaning. They’re easy to make and a heck of a lot cheaper.
I’m not one to wear lots of jewellery, apart from my wedding ring. If I do wear necklaces or bracelets I find that they get in the way when handling baby. I feel uncomfortable when wearing them so I have just ditched them from my wardrobe completely.
5. Make-Up Wipes
An alternative to using make-up wipes is to use reusable cotton wool pads with a micellar water. Just throw them in a little net bag with your laundry and they’re ready to be used again and again.
6. Cheap Plastic Toys
As difficult as it can be with two young children, I try and avoid the small pieces of tat that seem to surround us when shopping. The £1 small figures that are an easy and inexpensive bribe to the kids at the supermarket. They are discarded within two hours and never played with again. On a mass scale, what impact does this have on our environment? How long will that toy take to biodegrade? It’s not worth the 10 minutes of peace.
7. Baby Towels
When I was pregnant with my second child, I was a little more experienced with what baby items I actually needed. I had used baby towels with my first, but they were outgrown pretty quickly. They are simply not needed. A regular soft towel will do just fine and last you a whole lot longer.
8. (Less) Baby Wipes
Ok, so I’m not 100% free of baby wipes just yet. I found these Cheeky Wipes that are much more environmentally friendly. I use them to wipe sticky hands and faces after meals.
9. Baby Oil
Let’s be real. The most popular brand of baby oil actually does more harm to your child’s skin than benefits them. I have started using coconut oil to moisturise their skin after bath time. It smells yummy, and is 100% natural. It really helped my daughters mild eczema (NB: Always seek professional advice, I am not a doctor.)
10. Multiple Baby Bath Accessories
With my first child, I had a long and low traditional baby bath and then a sit me up type bath chair once she could sit up. They were big and bulky so I donated them once she had outgrown them.
With my second pregnancy, I wanted something a little more compact and long lasting. This Shunggle Baby Bath is honestly the best baby product I have ever bought. If you’re currently pregnant and looking for baby items, I seriously recommend this. It also doubles up as a good DIY home foot spa for those swollen feet 🙂
11. Cable TV
I cancelled our Sky TV cable subscription last year to free up some monthly cash. Since then, I have never been so motivated and productive and can honestly say I don’t miss it. We still watch Netflix and some online streaming, and it saves us a heap of money a month. Win!
12. Liquid Hand Soap
We use bars of soap instead. It saves plastic and you can generally buy more natural products which are kinder to your skin. It’s actually easy and cost effective to make your own. You can add your favourite essential oils and butters to make your own personal beauty product.
13. Shower Gel
A follow on from the above, it saves plastic and you can just use a bar of soap instead.
14. Pre-Prepared Fruit & Vegetables
Buying pre-sliced fruit and vegetables can really skyrocket the price of a relatively inexpensive product. I mean, time is precious, but does it really take that long to slice a 7p carrot?
15. Bottled Water
Again to save money and also to help the environment, I try and use stainless steel water bottles and take our own drinks when we leave the house.
16. Air Freshener Spray
I love my home to smell nice. But, those chemicals that are used are really not great for you or your family to be inhaling. We have started to use an Air Diffuser with our favourite essential oils. Recently my son had a cold and after placing it in his bedroom with a few drops of lavender, it helped to settle him into a peaceful (ish) nights sleep.
17. Bubble Bath
Unnecessary plastic for an unnecessary product. Also, the brands we have used in the past haven’t been kind to our children’s skin. Though it may be fun for them, kids don’t really miss bubbles when the bath is full of their favourite toys.
18. Pasta Sauce
A jar of passata, a handful or herbs and some garlic is a much tastier, healthier and cheaper alternative to pair with your favourite pasta dish.
19. Unnecessary Gifts
The world is full of corporate BS. My husband and I made an agreement to quit buying things for each other on occasions such as Valentines Day. We instead might go on an inexpensive date night to spend some quality time with each other.
20. Baby Food Maker
This is really a gimmick for inexperienced parents. I used a hand held blender to puree my children’s steamed vegetables when weaning. It did the job just fine and they are very inexpensive to buy (and easier to store).
21. Drinking straws
I absolutely say no to plastic straws when eating out, and hope it goes without saying that we definitely don’t purchase them. There are paper or stainless steel alternatives available if you can’t live without them but want to save plastic waste.
I used to be a a big Yankee Candle fan but know they contain a few nasties. Some used to give me a headache and honestly, I started to wonder what damage they might be doing to my family. Plus they are pretty pricey, so I simply stopped buying them.
23. Bags of Ice
After I purchased one of these OXO ice cube trays, I never thought I would get excited about making my own ice. It has a silicone lid which means if you tilt it slightly in your freezer it won’t spill. A little planning ahead and a small bowl in your freezer means you can always have a little stash on the go at all times.
24. DVD’s / CD’s
Apart from Frozen (on repeat until the end of time) I can’t remember the last DVD I watched! Does anyone still buy CD’s? After a pretty intense declutter I sold nearly our whole collection and use streaming services like Tidal and Audible to crack down on the clutter.
25. Cookery Books
Lately I have found myself using Pinterest for all my recipe needs. I had quite the pretty collection of baking books, and even though I bake all of the time, they were rarely used. So I made the decision to stop buying them.
26. Plastic Cooking Utensils
Again, this is both from a sustainable and health perspective. This article by Mamavation is pretty terrifying and eye opening. I’ll stick to my wooden and metal utensils.
27. Antiperspirant Spray
I have been using this natural deodorant for around six months now. It’s a little pricier than the usual brands but one bottle will last me about 3 months. It also prevents those metals and other nasties being absorbed into your body. I’d really recommend giving it a go if you’re skeptical.
28. Ready Meals
I’m not perfect by any means, and will buy the odd emergency pre-made meal. But I do make the effort to make home made meals. If you find you’re short on time in the evenings, you could try batch cooking a whole week’s meals in one afternoon. It’s so much healthier and easy to heat up after a busy day.
I consider this throwing a £5 note into the recycling bin. Think of the trees! Plus, what parent has time to read magazines anyway?!
We like to use the library as it’s obviously free! Our local one has a lovely Children’s play area and the kids love to go. It also teaches them to look after things that don’t belong to them. Now, just to remember when to return them..!
If this list has been helpful for you, please share away!
Are there any items that you have stopped buying? I’d love to read your tips in the comments below.