Home > 10 Things I (mostly) No Longer Buy

10 Things I (mostly) No Longer Buy

July 24th, 2022 at 06:16 pm
  1. I cut out, or cut back on buying these things to save money, for health reasons, or have found alternatives. 
  3. 1. Bottled water: I finally bought a filtered pitcher. 

  1. 2. Cleaners: I buy these 4 things: bleach, vinegar, blue Dawn dish soap, and baking soda. I make my own cleaner and it works great. My house is clean and sanitized. DISCLAIMER: This does not work on all bathroom surfaces. It depends on your type of tub and shower materials. 

  1. 3. Air fresheners and plug ins: I make a freshener using an essential oil. There are tons of recipes for this on-line. I really don’t even use this much as I am sensitive to most perfumes and fragrances. 

  2. 4. Lunchmeat: It’s just too expensive. I really don’t miss it. 

  1. 5. Soda: I drink mostly water. I do like diet iced tea with my meals and will have coffee in the morning and make an occasional iced coffee. 

  1. 6. Pre-packaged salty snacks: I have zero willpower with chips and pretzels etc. And can you say shrinkflation? I buy bags of unpopped popcorn and use my air popper and a little melted butter if I am craving a crunchy snack. 

  1. 7. Liquor: I have never been much of a drinker, so this was easy for me. I will occasionally have a glass of wine or a beer when I go out to dinner. 

  1. 8. Most Vitamins and Supplements: I do buy and take a daily vitamin, and a prescription Vitamin D supplement per my doctor but no others. I really try and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.


  1. 9. Plastic food storage containers: A while ago I invested in some glass containers. They work great and last a long time.  

  2. 10. Laundry soap, fabric softeners and dryer sheets. I still use them but will stop when I use up what I have on hand. I do have a good amount in my stockpile but will investigate alternatives when these are used up. 


These are just things that work for me that help me to save money and for health reasons. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with purchasing these items if they work for you! Since I retired, I have the time to make cleaners and research alternatives. I am also the only one in my household and I fully understand it is harder to cut out certain things if others in your household enjoy them. Is there anything you have stopped buying or found an alternative for?

12 Responses to “10 Things I (mostly) No Longer Buy”

  1. Dido Says:

    I've also eliminated bottled water and replaced with a Brita pitcher; I never did buy air fresheners--I'm very sensitive and think of them as pollutants that are dangerous to my lungs; I don't buy chips because they are harmful to my weight control efforts and have no redeeming nutritional value; I also replaced plastic storage with glass, and I don't drink at home. I do occasionally run across to the deli across the street from my office and buy some sliced turkey for lunches, and I do buy vitamins and supplements. I don't buy many cleaners, but I do buy laundry detergent (lately TruEarth strips, since there's minimal packaging), and I replaced dryer sheets with a set of wool laundry balls. Also I've found there are certain food items that are particularly likely to go to waste unless I have a particular recipe planned--these include onions (which I hate to slice), celery, and mushrooms, so I've replaced those with freeze dried versions (unless they are central to a recipe and the texture rather than the taste is what matters.)

    And for the most part I've swapped out buying hard-copy books for electronic (Kindle) versions, but that's still a major item of my discretionary spending. At least the clutter from having too many books no longer continues to accumulate as it once did.

    I also buy fewer clothes. I've been losing weight this year and going "shopping" in my closet. When I get closer to my goal weight, I will buy a few new outfits since image is important in the job space in which I operate.

  2. Dido Says:

    Also--cable TV. I cut the cord in 2008 and got rid of my televisions. 99.9% of the time it's just me watching and my laptop will do. I do have an Amazon Fire plug-in that will enable me to "cast" something from my laptop to a friend's TV if we want to watch a movie together, but I have done that precisely once. I do have subscriptions to Amazon Prime and to Netflix, shared with my sister.

  3. crazyliblady Says:

    Congrats on your frugal alternatives! As for alternatives for laundry detergent, it is possible to make your own. There are recipes freely available out there on sites like I would like to try it myself, but I am not sure my husband is interested and he is the one who does most of the laundry. Also, one frugal and earth friendly alternative to dryer sheets are dryer balls. The ones I have are rubber or silicone, I think, but there are also wool dryer balls out there.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Great list of things! I make my own laundry detergent and like crazyliblady states, lots of recipes. I also use it as a pretreater. I still buy some softener, but use about 1/4 of what I did, and use vinegar for the rest. I made my own dryer balls out of wool yarn so although I still use some softener/vinegar, I don't use as much figuring the balls will take care of the rest. I wish I could line dry my clothes, but with my allergies, that isn't an option. I do hang some things in the house to dry over the washer and dryer -- I use an old curtain rod since our laundry room isn't very big.

    I prefer glass food containers not only for the durability, but after the scare of plastic stuff leeching into your foods, need I say more!

    I gave up soda a number of years ago. We were some place where there wasn't water or iced tea available, so I had a sip of soda and couldn't believe how sweet it was and how I really didn't like it. Tastes do change.

  5. Lots of ideas Says:

    I am lucky enough to live where we have very safe and delicious water straight from the tap. I like it cold, so I fill a couple of bottles and refrigerate.

    I never used air freshener or fabric softener - I don’t care for the smell.

    Not frugal - in fact extravagant - but I use a cleaning service and they bring their own supplies. I watch for sales on the detergents I buy, and often use my CVS Carepass reward so get them for ‘free.’

    I like popcorn because any size bag of chips is ‘single serve’ to me. The price of a bag of chips means I need to have been craving for weeks before I buy any!

    I don’t like soda generally, and I always had a ‘no drinking alcohol at home alone’ rule. Since the pandemic, I just stopped drinking but if life ever goes back to ‘normal’ I might go back to the occasional drink when out with others.

    For a complicated reason, I will not outlive the amount of plastic containers I have…

    I’m not a big lunch meat person, but I do sometimes buy a small amount of ham. I tend to have eggs for lunch, and I use ham in omelets.

    I have a Medicare advantage plan that includes $50 a quarter in OTC drugs. I use that for my vitamins mostly, also CVS Buy 1/get 1 combined with Extrabucks. I fear I will put CVS out of business sometimes…

    My biggest cost savings is that I live in the city and I walk most everywhere I go. Fortunately, we have pretty decent mass transit so that I can bus or train outside the city and now that I am a ‘Senior’ I ride for half price on public transit…if people want to see me, they have to meet me at the station!

    Nothing I do is a hardship (well, the chips but that is good for me too). Looking for bargains on what I need is entertainment to me…

  6. mumof2 Says:

    we have a pura tap and we change the filter once a year for around $ great....I do a lot of the same..I use to make my own washing powder but I have become a lot more sensitive to chemicals so now I order from earth breeze...if your not satisfied then you can get you money back...they are eco friendly so no plastics etc...also use their dishtabs.

  7. Turtle Lover Says:

    I have dryer balls .... I have a big problem with static electricity ... I tried making and using foil balls .... they were just "ok" and started leaving little foil pieces ... I really like the smell of dryer sheets ... so I'm trying to find a better alternative.
    Any suggestions on that ?

  8. Dido Says:

    Turtle Lover, have you tried wool dryer balls? I have two sets (a total of 8) and they work great. There's no scent, of course, but you could always make a spray with some essential oil which would probably be better for you than the chemical scents they put in dryer sheets since at least essential oils are made from natural as opposed to artifical products.

  9. Wink Says:

    Thanks everyone for all of the great money saving, and environmentally friendly product tips! I will definitely be trying the wool dryer balls when I run out of dryer sheets.

  10. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I keep a case of bottled water on hand to throw in car or for guests. We have refillable bottles and I like tap water but you never know. We don't drink it. I also depending on where I travel will drink one and keep it empty in my backpack so we can drink water in airports after passing through the check and I fill it up. That way in case where we are going I won't lose one of my reusable. Now if i'm sure I'm really going to need it then i'll bring an expensive $20 reusuable.

    I rarely buy yogurt, I make my own. I don't buy dishwashing pods. I buy the liquid dishwashing detergent and my machine measures it out. Seems cheaper but I also run it more. And apparently it washes better because of the pre-wash.

  11. LuckyRobin Says:

    Bag clips. I save the big bag fasteners from potato bags. The bread ones are too small for most things, but you can use them to close a bag of chips, any frozen bagged food that doesn't have a zipper, bags of cheese where the zipper doesn't work, etc.

    Gas for yard machines. We now have battery operated yard machines such as a lawn mower, a chain saw, and a string trimmer (Weed Eater generic). We are thinking about a snow blower next, if they make battery operated ones.

    Dryer sheets. I use plastic dryer balls with bumpies instead. They keep clothes from getting staticky and can be used over and over again. And the clothes don't reek of fragrance.

    I use an air cleaner instead of smelly plug-ins with obnoxious scents. It can be moved to whatever room smells.

    We use the filter on our fridge for water that we put in reusable water bottles.

    No cable TV from whatever year Netflix started streaming. We do pay for Netflix and Hulu with no add-ons, but also watch free with ads services like Peacock. We do get some free shows and movies with our Prime membership and if we want to watch something that costs, we use the free trial add-ons and then cancel them on time. We will watch whatever else interests us during the free trial as well.

    New containers. I use the soup containers we get when we get Chinese food and the deli containers we get from the grocery store for freezing leftovers. This way our glass storage bowls are not tied up in the freezer.

    Throwaway aluminum pans. I bought a bunch of cheap cake pans for my freezer meals instead of getting aluminum ones and throwing them away. Same with pizza pans.

    Plastic bags (except garbage bags) and parchment paper. I wash and reuse parchment paper. I didn't even know you could do that until a month ago. I also use aluminum foil more than once as long as it isn't yucky. I wash and reuse any Ziploc bags that did not store raw meat. I do that with my food saver bags, too.

    Metal canning lids. I mostly use reusable canning lids instead of metal lids.

    I use the back of envelopes from bills or junk mail to make lists, like grocery lists or to do lists instead of post it notes.

    We use the trash as little as possible. We recycle everything that we possibly can (including fiddly bits of paper or cardboard) and reuse whatever we can. We compost anything that is fruit and vegetable waste so we can have a lower garbage bill.

    Junk. Everything that comes into this house comes in with a purpose.

    Books. I use the library and if they don't have the book I want, I request it. If I had the room for books, I would buy some, but only series that I loved and would read again. Most of our books are in storage. Most of them are from series I've read several times.

    DVD's. While I do make the occasional exception, like the Complete Supernatural Collection this year, I haven't bought DVD's in a long while. I get them from Netflix or stream the movies and shows elsewhere.

  12. PatientSaver Says:

    I like your list!
    Well, probably the most unusual thing I'm not buying anymore (or at least buying much less of) is....wait for it....toilet paper! It's a holdover from the start of the pandemic, and actually, Dido gave me the idea in one of our conversations. Remember the TP shortages? That kind of freaked me out, so Dido gave me the idea to go on amazon and buy about 50 cheap white hotel-style washcloths. I cut them in half. I use these for number 1 only, have a designated, trashbag-lined hamper for them and just throw in a cup of bleach when I launder them. I mean, if people do this with dirty diapers, I can too (and they're much cleaner than baby poop).

    I haven't had cable TV in years and rely on roku, hulu and my library, which provide free movies thru and

    I gave up soda about 5 years ago due to health concerns, think bottled water is a waste of $$ and let's see, I also embrace glass food storage containers.Smile
    I've always been pretty thrifty, so I really can't think of anything else I've given up recently (aside from the TP) as I've been doing this for years!

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