Living a minimalist lifestyle has helped me to examine the value and need behind every item I buy. Working so hard to declutter my home has made me extra careful with what I bring back into it.
Minimalism has also caused me to look back to the ‘old days’ when pioneers used everything and wasted nothing. Through that, I’ve inadvertently found three things that I can either completely cut, or significantly reduce, from my grocery bill.
Don’t keep your paper towels in the kitchen – It seems crazy at first, and I found it quite frustrating, but within a few days I no longer felt the need to grab a piece of paper towel for every little thing.
I now use dish rags more often, and I have a separate set of ‘clean-up rags’ for larger spills. I still use the paper towels for ‘pet messes’ and certain other things, but I can’t believe how long the last package I bought has lasted me.
Stop buying gift wrap – Whoever invented the idea of Christmas wrapping paper and gift bags was a genius. This past Christmas, I was faced with the reality of it all. Do I really spend money on paper that just gets ripped off and thrown in the garbage? (And isn’t even recyclable)?
There are enough gift bags coming into my home that I haven’t had to buy those in years, but then there’s the tissue paper…
So this is what I’ve done:
At first I started wrapping presents in newspaper. Did I get comments? Of course – but in the end, is the present about the wrapping, or what’s inside? Is the present about my image or about the person I’m giving to?
At Christmas, I tried something different. I confess that I do consider how the arrangement of presents look under the tree. Newspaper wasn’t going to cut it for Christmas.
Instead, I bought a large roll of brown Kraft paper for $3 and wrapped all my presents with that. Then I decorated them with twine or ribbons I had around the house. I have to say, I enjoyed the look much more than any previous year. I also have a ton of paper still left to last a few years.
As a bonus, I was able to get rid of the large box of gift bags and other assorted gift wrap items I’ve had stored for years, making me a happy minimalist.
Consider using handkerchiefs – before you get grossed out and stop reading, hear me out.
The next thing to be removed from my kitchen area is the tissue box. There’s no point removing paper towel if you just start using the tissue in its place. Do I remove it all together? No. When we have colds or flu, a handkerchief won’t suffice. I’m just talking about the every day use.
Instead of carrying tissue in your purse, use a hanky. When you want to reach for the tissue just to wipe a little sniffle, use a hanky. They’re large enough to fold over so nothing is exposed. Then after a few uses, it can be thrown in the laundry where it takes up almost no room.
Although it’s not an astronomical amount, cutting back on these three things has made a difference in my grocery bills. Of course, there’s always the real way to save money at places like Costco.
How about you? Have you discovered things you can eliminate or reduce from your weekly purchases?