6 Things I’m Going to Quit Buying in 2017

How’s your 2017 going? And what about those resolutions?

I’ve been ruthlessly decluttering and clearing our space in the process of carrying out my own resolution of adultizing our apartment. It’s amazing how stuff can just gather up in the back of a closet or in the bottom drawer of a dresser and more surprisingly, how much a 600 square foot apartment can really hold! We’ve donated multiple garbage bags worth of clothes and household items but every time I declutter I somehow manage to come out with a couple more bags to donate or throw out.

The reason I’ve discovered is that while I’m good at buying things I don’t need, I still buy things that I think I need.

It’s pretty easy to confuse the two but it’s like needing salt to flavour your food, yet thinking you need gourmet salt that costs three times as much and only makes your food taste marginally better. That’s the difference between needing something and thinking you need something.

I’ve identified the common culprits that take up unnecessary space in our home and have made a promise to myself not to purchase these items at all this year. So in the process of minimizing our belongings I’ll also be saving money. Isn’t that just fabulous?

1. Cookbooks
I’m a sucker for a good cookbook; I just love looking at photos of food and discovering new dishes. But the truth is that I’ve only made a handful of recipes from these books and rely way more on the ones I find online at to satisfy my culinary itch. So I’ll be sticking to my digital recipes and salivating over food photography from my favourite Instagrammers.

2. Food storage containers
Our Tupperware containers have a tendency to disappear just like socks in a dryer and I feel like we’re constantly buying new ones every year to replace the ones we’ve lost. Then I saw someone use a yogurt container for his homemade chilli and thought about all the yogurt containers I’ve thrown in the recycling when I could’ve reused them for food storage. Same goes for takeout containers, cream cheese containers, jars from our raspberry jam, anything that’s basically washable. No more spending money on Tupperware that’s eventually going to go M.I.A.

3. Salad dressing
I started making my own salad dressing and can’t go back to pre-packed dressing anymore. I’ve made my own Caesar salad dressing and it is soooo easy and so bomb with real anchovy fillets, like this is what a Caesar salad is supposed to taste like. Give me a lemon and olive oil over Kraft any day.

4. Face masks
Why pay for a honey face mask when you can literally just slab honey on your face? Both will give you great results at very different price points. I can make my own homemade face mask using simple ingredients I already have like brown sugar, oatmeal, and yogurt. You can really create a face mask using anything and this mega list of 52 homemade face mask recipes is proof.

5. Shaving cream
Hair conditioner makes a fine shaving cream and leaves your legs feeling super smooth. I have a few bottles of drugstore conditioner that didn’t work all that well on my hair so I started using them for body hair removal, being repurposed for another use instead of collecting dust in our bathroom.

6. Extra of pretty much anything
I’m going to own one tube of mascara until it’s done and I have to buy a new one. We’ll have one bottle of laundry detergent in our home until it’s empty at which point we’ll go out to replace it. And really, who needs more than one ladle in a household of two? Purchasing for instant consumption will help decrease the amount of things you have to store in your home and helps prevent buying stuff you think you’ll need in the future, but having it expire before you get to it or never ending up using at all.

Are you boycotting any purchases this year?

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  • Reply Kristyn January 5, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Perfect timing for this article. Lots of people have been talking about the documentary on Netflix about minimalism. By the end of january I’m going to empty my apt!
    Also yes to homemade salad dressings. We also made Caesar (with anchovies!)!amd it was so much better than store bought. Same for face masks!

    • Reply Christine January 5, 2017 at 9:10 am

      It’s a great documentary! Highly recommend. It will for sure inspire you to clean out your apartment 🙂 And yay to homemade stuff — so much healthier for you too!

  • Reply Amanda @ My Life, I Guess January 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Hmm… I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are things that I need to stop buying! When we first moved into our place, we were using the spare room as my office space,but 3 years later it’s become a storage room, just full of “stuff”. I gotta watch an episode or two of hoarders -that show always motivates me to declutter!

    • Reply Christine January 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Hoarders does the opposite for me. I think, “Oh my place isn’t too bad compared to theirs…” haha.

  • Reply Jena January 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Oh cookbooks… how I love thee… I don’t think I’ve bought one in a couple years, but my goodness I have a large collection! I don’t have anything in particular that I’m boycotting this year, but I’ve been on the “try not to buy anything unnecessary” train for a while now. I think I was originally inspired by Cait Flanders and her shopping ban.
    For lunch containers, I find checking out the cupboards in our office lunch room is a good source for containers… There are containers that get left in there for months (empty and clean), so if I am running low, I take a look in there (and often find my own containers that I’ve forgotten) and take a couple. I figure if someone was missing them, they’d have looked there already… and if I’m just going to be bringing them back to work, if someone sees them and recognizes them, they can take them back! Do I sound like an awful person?
    Jena recently posted…Financial Goals for 2017My Profile

    • Reply Christine January 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Oh I love Cait! She is the queen of spending bans.
      I don’t think that makes you an awful person at all! Might as well use the abandoned container if no one else is claiming them.

  • Reply Lisa January 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I totally struggle with that last one – I have way too many tubes of mascara! I need to wait until I’m finished until I buy a new one.
    Lisa recently posted…17 ways to improve your finances in 2017My Profile

  • Reply Melissa January 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    My favorite dressing in the world – it’s like a step better than just plain vinegar and oil, and you can make a double batch and keep it in the cabinet. Soo good. (See the dressing recipe)

  • Reply Elaine January 12, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Be more mindful of what you bring home from the store. Better to go with glass than plastic for food storage. I recycle the jam jars and have a small collection of Mason jars in various sizes. The lids are reusable as long as you’re not canning fruits and veggies in them, too, so no waste at all with those. I have eliminated almost all of the plastic containers in my kitchen and bath.

  • Reply Carrie @ Season It Already! January 31, 2017 at 9:43 am

    As for cookbooks, I’ve been checking them out of the library lately! If I find one I really love, I will buy it, but more often than not, there are only a few recipes I want to try.

  • Reply Esther Diaz March 8, 2017 at 2:30 am

    I was thinking about this ever since December. There’s a lot of things I should stop buying which is not even necessary, sometimes I want to go out on a dinner even though their is a ready food at home, and I even like spending on coffee shops not just in starbucks and etc… I felt bad. lol. Buy anyways, I’m glad I changed my habit. Since this January till now I’m still saving and hoping I can do that till I get older. Nice article by the way, I love it! Cheers!

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