Shortening the Shopping List
I used up my last bottle of moisturizing, mineral-based, paraben-free facial sunscreen. And I had a liberating realization: I do not need to buy more. (I can just use the kids’ general purpose, paraben-free mineral sunscreen. And if I need more moisturizer, there’s always coconut oil, which makes your face smell like a Samoa Girl Scout cookie.) One more item crossed off my shopping list.
Limiting the number of consumable items that you buy regularly has a lot of advantages. It generally saves money. It saves time. Maybe most importantly, it saves worry. If I don’t buy moisturizing facial sunscreen, then I don’t have to worry about whether I will run out. I don’t have to make a special trip to the store because I forgot to buy it and now I’m out. I don’t have to hunt for the best price or consider switching brands. It’s out of my brain for good.
I’m fortunate in having decent skin and low-maintenance hair, so those are the things that get cut. Here is a semi-random selection of items I’ve managed to pare from my shopping list, with the already-lying-around items I’ve replaced them with:
- Shave gel: Bar soap
- Face soap (first Noxema, then Dr. Bronner’s): Bar soap
- Facial toner/astringent: Nothing. My skin cleared up on it own.
- Shampoo and conditioner: Baking soda and vinegar
- Facial tissues: Toilet paper in a pinch, or my wonderful stack of flannel cloths made by Grandma FP
- Rinse aid for dishwasher: Nothing. Results of dishwashing slightly spottier, but acceptable.
- Greek yogurt: I now make this by straining homemade yogurt.
- Almond milk: Nothing (for the kids, who were already eating plenty of cheese and yogurt) and regular milk (for me).
- Ovaltine: Nothing. The kids weren’t finishing their cups half the time anyway.
Then there are less-consumable items that I have found I don’t need to replace. These are things I don’t have to research, try on, comparison shop for, remove from the packaging, put away, pack up when we next move, wash, or put away:
- My stainless-steel water bottle. I loved this, and I managed to lose it. Instead of buying a new one, which I will probably also lose (bad for the planet–all that manufacturing and raw materials–and for my wallet), I’m just going to use repurposed glass jars and call it hipster-ish.
- Black socks. I just have to wear my less-favored socks now.
- Yoga pants. First I wore my leggings until they wore out. Now I am just wearing shorts under jeans or sweatpants, which I take off when I get to the gym.
- The blue plastic bowls that the kids lost in the yard. (OK, I forgot they had them out there.) We have plenty of others.
- The toddler spoons I accidentally fed to the garbage disposal. Turns out the boys can manage regular spoons now.
- The third cutting board, which I accidentally melted. Been getting by just fine with two.
- The backup glass measuring cup, whose writing wore off. This is not totally useless, actually (great for beating eggs in!), and for actual measuring when the good Pyrex cup is dirty, I often use an old glass baby bottle.
Making the list, I was embarrassed and rather appalled to realize how many items I’ve managed to lose or accidentally destroy, which is another reason to buy less: Every item I don’t buy is one less target for my blundering! More importantly, every time I remove an unnecessary item from my life, I feel a little zing of satisfaction, and then I feel a little lighter. One less thing to worry about. One more dollar working for me as a “little green employee,” as Mr. Money Mustache puts it. And one less tiny environmental footprint.
What have you trimmed from your shopping list? How does it make you feel?
About frugalparagonI'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.
Top Posts & Pages
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014