I’ve been enjoying writing blog posts about simple, intentional living and our families’ minimalism adventures, offering my thoughts/experiences on it as I go. I’ve been sharing a lot about my minimalism style in the form of outfit posts and lately- tips on starting a minimalist closet. But today, I wanted to share beyond clothing.
This one simple act helped reduce clutter, eliminate waste and help combat consumerism for us. What did we do?
We canceled our newspaper subscription.
We only got Sunday newspaper delivery from the start, but felt it wasn’t doing us much good. So we canceled it and never looked back. And it’s been awesome.
So…why did we cancel our subscription?
1) We never read the newspaper. We get our news from other sources like the Internet, radio and TV.
2) It’s a waste of paper. We ended up recycling 99% of it every week (I say 99% in case we clipped some coupons). Didn’t need the extra waste in our home.
3) Most importantly: we don’t need those Sunday ads. We can combat that “need to buy all the things” when we remove the temptation to begin with. (Admit it- Target and plenty of other retailers do a fabulous job of marketing things we don’t need: perfectly photographed bathrooms with plush towels and decor, a playroom filled with the latest and greatest toys or the cutest outfit with accessories to boot.) If we really need something, I can go online and look at the ad, compare items and prices, etc. Not having those ads to thumb through each week has really helped curb our consumerism…and freed up some time to focus on what really matters.
And what about those coupons? Quite frankly, I don’t want to devote time to find and cut them, let alone remember them and keep track of those tiny pieces of paper with a toddler in tow. Plus, most of what we get at the grocery store doesn’t offer coupons (produce, meat, etc.) But if it’s something like diapers when there is a great savings to be had, I can always borrow the coupon inserts from a friend, family member, or neighbor.
Plus, we saved over $50 by canceling– and who doesn’t love to save money?!
All in all, I’m so glad we made this simple change that has reaped numerous benefits already. Totally worth it.
Do you have any tips to combat consumerism? Tell me in the comments!
Like this topic? Here’s another great article on cutting shopping habits. (I know #1 has helped me a ton, along with un-following some product-heavy style bloggers that I used to read religiously).
Looking for more minimalism resources? Check out my round up here.
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Kelly K. says
We did the same thing a few years ago. It’s nice not having the accumulation of papers and coupons that I felt compelled to clip and use. Honestly, coupon clipping did not work great for me because usually store brand items are cheaper than the name brand plus the coupon. I have found the store coupon apps to be much more user friendly, time saving and more applicable to what I’m shopping for. I’ve also discontinued our magazines…..still hard for me not to get the newest issue, but honestly I just look things up online and if I really want to see a specific issue, the library has them (for free!).
Way to go! Good to hear that you have been going strong a few years and don’t feel like you are missing it! And so true on the store brands– seems to be that way every time so why bother with coupons? And that’s a great point on magazines. I don’t have any subscriptions, but I have a HUGE basket of them waiting to be read that I keep saving for when I get time or am on a flight or vacation…but I rarely reach for them. Time to purge I think! Want to take a look through any before I dispose? :-)
Alyssa @ Don't Look Down says
My biggest tip for combating consumerism is to stop browsing and shopping. I used to just go to Target or the mall to browse and would end up buying something I didn’t really need. Not going to the store takes away much of the temptation to buy. Plus like the Forbes article you linked to, I unsubscribed from a lot of promotional emails.
When I do go to the store, I make a list. And try my best to stick with it.
So true Alyssa (and so hard to resist doing that right?) Browsing through Target always gets me, and since I do a lot more shopping online these days, seeing style blogs or ads in my FB newsfeed is super tempting and makes it tough- especially with free shipping and returns at some places. Unsubscribing from store email lists, style blogs that are product heavy and even un-following some brands on Facebook has certainly helped. Darn you advertisers– you are goooood. :-)
Alyssa @ Don't Look Down says
Those advertisers know what we like! Also it doesn’t help that now if you go to a brand’s webpage and browse their products, the same products keep everywhere in ads!
It’s borderline creepy! They know me better than I know myself sometimes haha!
It’s interesting that you post this on the same day I signed back up to get the Sunday paper. I used to read it before work while eating breakfast and now I just absently scroll through Facebook instead. I miss reading the paper while I eat my oatmeal.
I only signed up for 6 months, though, so we’ll see what happens after that. I do get a weird pleasure from clipping coupons but I’ve found that, like you, a lot of what I buy doesn’t have coupons. Plus, you can always go to coupons.target.com and get the manufacturer coupons that you can use in places other than Target.
That’s too funny– great timing. Reading the paper seems more worthwhile than Facebook (and relaxing too!) I can hardly read a book these days, let alone a newspaper (podcasts and audiobooks are my jam lately!)
And great point on getting coupons online. Target and tons of coupon sites like coupons.com have TONS of manufacturer coupons- just a click and print away versus cutting out!
Thanks for linking up with Thursday Moda! I am so glad I found you, I need to get on board with reducing clutter. I started earlier this year but I am now on a mission. And I am with you about the newspaper- we are not renewing ours!
Yay for you guys!! I think its great you made that decision. I have definitely found avoidance to help combat consumerism. Before the point where my shopping got out of hand last year, I would simply avoid going to places where I knew I would be tempted to buy stuff. Now that I am on my journey to buy minimally, I haven’t stepped foot in a mall or Target in months. At this point its more out of preference as my views towards consumer products has changed dramatically over the last 6 months. I think once you decide to live without, it doesn’t really become a challenge to avoid anymore. Keep up the good work girlie!! You’re awesome! :)