31 Ways: How To Stop Buying Stuff & Save (In 2023)
Most of us have an excess of stuff.
We see something we think we need and buy it without much thought.
Then we look around our homes and ask where has it all come from?
We can stop this buying cycle! Read for how to stop buying stuff and experience positive financial benefits.
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How Do I Stop Buying So Much?
Check out these eye-opening statistics on spending in America:
- Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods. (The Wall Street Journal)
- 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage. (New York Times Magazine)
- The U.S. has over 50,000 storage facilities. That’s more than 5 times the number of Starbucks. (SSA)
How do we stop buying and spending money on stuff we don’t need? Use these tips and strategies to gain financial freedom.
1. Track your Spending
First, look at your purchase history in the past month. Then, consider the following questions:
- Where did you spend the most money? Was it at a certain store? Online?
- What purchases did you make? Make a list of the items.
- Would you make those same purchases again? What items did you actually need? And what things could you have done without?
2. Identify Your Needs Vs. Wants
Once you have looked back at your purchase history, you will have a better idea of what items you may be spending too much on or what you could go without.
One way to stop buying unnecessary things to is identify the difference between needs and wants.
Examine if the items you purchased are essential for daily life or if they provide temporary satisfaction.
When you distinguish between these two categories, you can limit your purchases in your wants category and save money.
3. Make A Budget
Next, you are ready to make a budget.
Try a zero based budgeting approach to cut back and save.
Start with basic items needed for survival. Then, add in things that help you improve your life on a daily basis. Lastly, pure wants are things you can absolutely stop buying.
Find more budget ideas and free templates here:
- 60 20 20 budget rule: great budget plan for beginners
- 60 30 10 budget rule: supercharge your savings with this budgeting method
- 70 20 10 budget: prioritize your debt with this method
4. Take Inventory Of What You Have
Do you find things that you forgot you had but already purchased again?
Go through your closets, pantry, and cabinets in each room of your house to take inventory of what you already own.
You will almost certainly find items to use instead of buying new items.
While you are going through your house to take inventory, quickly declutter items you don’t need. This will help you stop buying and save by:
- Determining what you already have that you don’t use.
- Giving you insight and awareness before you make new purchases.
Use this free decluttering checklist to help you get started.
Related: 30 Day Minimalism Challenge
The average person receives 100 to 120 emails per day. (source)
That’s a lot.
How many of those emails are urging you to buy something?
In the next few days, unsubscribe to those tempting emails when they show up in your inbox. When you don’t see those irresistible offers, you won’t be tempted to buy.
7. Avoid Temptations
Take the temptation away and limit exposure to items you tend to buy.
- Avoid malls and stores where you find it hard to pass up deals or unneeded items.
- Avoid shopping for unnecessary things online.
- Wait 24 hours before purchasing something you think you really want. Chances are you may decide you don’t need that item after all.
8. Remove Apps
Further remove the temptation by deleting apps you use for online shopping from your home screen.
You will be less likely to browse when you are bored or waiting. (Yes, I am even talking about Amazon.)
Take inventory of your apps while you are doing this. Are there any that you are paying for and not using regularly? Get rid of those costly apps now.
9. Don’t Let Sales Fool You
While getting discounts on purchases can save you money, make sure it’s something you will actually use and can afford.
Otherwise, it’s an unnecessary purchase instead of a good deal.
10. Leave Your Wallet At Home
When going out to tempting places, leave your wallet at home.
This takes away your ability to buy and forces you to wait on future purchases you may be interested in making.
*This is a great tip if you are going shopping to purchase a larger item, but you want to make sure you pick the right choice before buying.
11. Avoid Grocery Impulse Purchases
Make a list before leaving home with the things you intend to buy while at the store. Stick to the list and avoid the store areas that you find alluring.
When tempted to add delicious items at the grocery store that are not on your list, finish the shopping on your list first. You will likely decide you don’t want to go back for those items.
12. How To Stop Buying Clothes Online
A budget can get into trouble with online shopping. We see things we like and we buy them without much thought.
And oftentimes when we order clothes online, we don’t receive exactly what we were expecting. Returns can be a hassle and we may end up not returning those items. This is money wasted and more stuff we don’t need.
Pro Tip: Remove your payment information so that it doesn’t enter automatically. Manually entering in your info will help you determine if you really want something.
13. Order Groceries Online
While online ordering can get you in budget trouble, ordering groceries online is actually a great way to make sure you stick to your list and to your budget.
You will see your total before you checkout and can make sure there is nothing in your cart that you don’t need.
Related: Tips To Stop Eating Out
14. Stay Off Your Phone
The average person spends over 3 hours on their phone each day.
Put limits on your phone usage. You will start to be focused on things other than the ads that you see on every website you visit.
15. How to Stop Buying Stuff: Use Cash
Leave your credit cards at home and only take cash for what you need.
Once it’s gone, it’s gone and you won’t be able to buy anything extra.
Related: Best Cash Envelope Categories
16. Take Care Of Your Body
Get more sleep.
When we are tired, we don’t make the best decisions. Additionally, when we stay up late on our phones, we are more likely to buy things we don’t need.
Other ways to give our decision-making skills a boost are:
- Take time for regular exercise
- Nourish your body with healthy foods
- Drink enough water
- Get out into nature often
17. Find Other Ways To Spend You Time
If shopping is a hobby for you, focus your attention on other areas of your life that bring you joy.
Develop other hobbies and spend more time with loved ones.
- read fun books and magazines
- go to yoga in the park
- take a hike with a loved one
- listen to an inspiring podcast
- pick up a musical instrument
Ways To Save Money: Things To Stop Buying Now
Stop buying the following items to save money as well as our planet.
18. Quit Plastic
Plastic waste is a huge issue for our environment and you can save money by not buying it.
In fact, 21-34 billion plastic beverage bottles end up in the ocean each year. (source)
- Use reusable water bottles and stop buying plastic ones.
- Use non-disposable containers instead of sandwich baggies.
- Stop buying plastic straws and use a metal straw instead.
Consider the environmental impact of excess purchases: depletion of Earth’s resources and landfills that are becoming increasingly full.
Stop buying books you will only read once.
Check out books from the local library or borrow from a friend or family member. If you feel like you need to buy, opt for a used book.
20. Greeting Cards
The average cost of a greeting card is between 4-5 dollars.
Stop buying birthday/greeting cards and invest in a large number of blank notecards for holidays, birthdays, and affordable thank you gifts.
Then write a personal message inside instead. The thoughtfulness will be appreciated by the recipient and it will save money.
21. Office Supplies
Revaluate the supplies you need for your office. You may be able to stop buying the following items.
- Notepads: take inventory of how many you already have
- Printer paper and ink: download and save to your computer instead of printing
- Reuse file folders and binders when possible
Cut the cable cord. It’s expensive and unnecessary.
Use cheaper options through your internet instead. Or consider getting an antenna to watch your favorite shows.
23. Cleaning Products
Have you taken inventory of your cleaning supplies lately?
I have a lot of half-empty bottles that have been sitting on the shelf for quite some time.
Use what up what you have and then stop buying these cleaning products and start making your own basic cleaning products.
Stick to the basics. Ditch the dryer sheets, fabric softener, and scented soaps and candles.
24. Buy Used Items
Reframe your thinking about what you need to buy brand new.
Check out local thrift or consignment stores to find good deals on clothes and household items.
Look at online marketplaces (Facebook) for bigger items that are used and still in good condition.
25. Rent or Borrow Items
If you are unsure of a purchase or will only be using an item once, borrow from a friend or family member who has that item.
This works well with clothing, kitchen items, tools for household projects and maintenance, and even kid items.
If you don’t know anyone you can borrow from, see if you can rent bigger items instead of purchasing them.
Expert Tips To Help Stop Buying Things
26. Figure Out Why (How to Stop Buying Stuff)
Shopping can make us feel good.
It can help you escape negative feelings, fight boredom, and spike a feeling of momentary happiness. If you are struggling to stop buying, you need to take a deeper look into why you gravitate toward certain behaviors.
27. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude has been proven to increase overall well-being and feelings of contentment and abundance. It can also lower blood pressure, aid in better sleep, and help you feel less lonely and more compassionate. (source)
Instead of shopping, write down three things you are grateful for.
This will help refocus your thoughts on all of the riches you already have in your life.
28. Stop Trying To Keep Up With Others
There will always be somebody who has more stuff than you have.
Decide that you have enough and stop trying to keep up with others.
29. Choose Quality Over Quantity
Focus on buying things that are well-made, add value to your life, and will last.
Stop opting for the cheapest option or current trend.
30. Model Responsible Consumerism For Your Children
Your kids will approach spending the way you do. So, teach budgeting skills by modeling appropriate spending.
Related: Great Books To Teach Kids About Money
31. Enjoy Healthy Rewards That Don’t Cost Money
Once you have met a money goal, treat yourself with a healthy and free idea to keep you motivated.
Related: Fun Things To Do When On A Budget
To Consider With How To Stop Buying Stuff
When you stop buying stuff you don’t need, you will feel more abundant and less stressed in all areas of your life.
So, add these new healthy habits into your life to stop buying unnecessary stuff!