Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 Things We Don't Buy

I was inspired by MoneySavingMom's list of 7 things she doesn't buy & thought I'd compile my own:

  • Paper towels/napkins/plates--We use cloth napkins, rags, & real plates at all times. 
  • Electric can opener
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash--I use our stockpile, send away for samples, buy things when they're free with coupons, & use what we receive as gifts.  I haven't spent money on any of these things in years.
  • Clothes--I made the commitment not to buy any clothes over a year ago & I've been surprised how little I've needed.  (I did buy 2 maternity shirts when I found out I was pregnant, one for $5 at Goodwill & one for $1 at Target on clearance with a coupon).  JC & I often receive clothing as Christmas presents, & JC spends about $15 every 6 months to get his shirts & pants professionally washed & starched.  It's well worth the money as it helps him feel super professional & keeps him from buying new clothes.  I've also quit buying for Emerson & use what we have on hand unless I can find something for $2 or less brand new. 
  • A Minivan--Though it was tempting to upgrade when we found out our family was expanding we decided we just really didn't need a minivan/ accompanying loss of savings or car payment/bad gas mileage.  We're sticking with our 1996 Honda Civic & 2008 Ford Fusion, both of which are paid off, & will use a car topper when necessary for long trips. 
  • Professional Hair color--The Troyer's go gray early, so I had to start coloring my hair when I turned 24.  I've been using Loreal at home hair color & with coupons & sales I only pay $3/box. 

  • Laundry Detergent/Fabric Softener--I make our own, use vinegar, or we go without fabric softener
  • Commercial Cleaners--I was able to get some 7th generation for free after coupons & rebate several years ago, but as that is getting used I simply rely on borax, baking soda, vinegar, & salt to get the job done. 
  • Bottled Water--We've got a filtration system in our fridge & fill reusable water bottles.
  • Candles/Air fresheners--I use a candle warmer to use up scraps of wax or I make our candles.  Instead of air fresheners we use old body splash that has been sitting around for years.  It works just as well & doesn't include any propellants. 
Things We Hardly Spend Any Money On--Many of these things I thought that we didn't spend any money on, but when I REALLY thought about it, I could find occasional exceptions.

  • Cloth Diapers & Wipes--Despite using cloth diapers & cloth wipes that majority of the time, we do use disposable diapers for church & at night & use disposable wipes for nasty number 2s.  It's still a huge savings & it definitely saves on our trash output.  

Dryer--I air dry all of our laundry, but if & when JC does laundry, he does use the dryer.  I'd say we're 95% dryer free, which still seems pretty good to me. 

What do you go without?


  1. I haven't bought commercial household cleaners in the longest. I have pet parrots which are more prone to respiratory issues from chemicals. Aside from that, it's amazing what baking soda & vinegar can do.
    Also, one of my fav websites - The Consumerist - which is owned by Consumers Union that runs Consumers Reports featured this handy disposable razor trick & darned if it doesn't work! The husband & I have been reusing our same cheap Bic razors now going on 6 or 7 months now.
    The video of the guy explaining the razor thing is odd, but the results are worth it!

  2. I don't buy:

    Commercial cleaners, meat, trash bags, anything from a company that is not cruelty free, bottled water, air fresheners....this year I am not going to buy any new clothing..unless, it is really cheap or I absolutely love it!! I try to avoid buying anything I do not need, I also try to buy used whenever possible.

  3. Nice list! I need to start making my own laundry detergent.

  4. With you on all these, except diapers (no kids) and laundry detergent.

    I'm on a clothing/beauty shopping ban this year - which isn't too terrible - I don't wear much makeup or do much to my skin (and sometimes get free skincare through work) and I don't do anything with my hair.

    Also, while I love books, I don't pay for them - library all the way.