#598 7 Ways to Buy Less in 2024

#598 7 Ways to Buy Less in 2024

598 – 7 Ways to Buy Less in 2024

Are you ready to start the year with less clutter?

This is the episode for you, my friend.

As you put away the holiday decorations and look around, you may feel like it’s time to start fresh with some decluttering for the new year. Kathi Lipp and her partner in life and decluttering Roger Lipp give us 7 perfectly practical ways to declutter by buying less in 2024. They’ve looked at their personal practices and come up with some fabulous ideas for you to implement to start 2024 a bit more clutter-free. Listen in as they discuss decluttering ideas such as:

  • How to make online shopping inconvenient.
  • How to use it up before you buy more.
  • How to recognize your personal clutter traps.

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The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.


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Meet Our Guest 


Roger Lipp

Roger is a productivity and quality engineer for a Fortune 50 company.

Roger helps teams reach their full productivity potential by teaching them the practical and simple steps to reach their goals. Roger and his wife, author Kathi Lipp, teach communicators how to share their message through social media and email marketing.

He and Kathi coauthored Happy Habits for Every Couple with Harvest House Publishers.


Kathleen Lipp (00:00.958)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And you know, when you want real life examples, there’s nothing more real life than getting your husband to be on here with you. Cause there’s no, there’s no coating it, there’s no rose colored glass, this is the real thing. And guys, what we are here to talk to you about today is,

we’ve had to do some real soul searching in our house about how to buy less stuff. And so I am here with my favorite partner in crime. It’s Roger Lipp. Hey, Rog.

Roger (00:45.519)
Hey there, and I was just thinking, okay, so you’re talking about clutter and what better way than to bring my husband on? The creator of clutter.

Kathleen Lipp (00:55.194)
Right. No, you know what? No, let’s be clear. I know, I know, and I have said many times that of us, I am the cluttery one. Now, you have your clutter conundrums, your clutter corners, your clutter, you know, catchers. Let’s just say tech. For a long, long time, we had a box called goo.

Roger (01:20.047)
Oh yeah.

Kathleen Lipp (01:24.562)
And that goo was just tech stuff that I don’t think anybody was using. And yeah, so, but here’s what I know. We’re gonna talk about seven ways to buy less in 2024. And these are some things that we have either done or in the process of doing to keep, because clutter, we talk so much about getting rid of clutter.

which is crucial and critical, but if we can keep clutter from coming into our house, and let’s be clear, when we’re talking about clutter, it’s stuff you don’t love, use, or would buy again, but everything is bright and shiny when you first bring it into the house. So.

Roger (02:10.335)
Oh yeah, it all starts with a wonderful possibility.

Kathleen Lipp (02:13.762)
Yes, so I need less bright and shiny in my life. Let’s just be super, super clear. So here are some things that we have employed that are helping us to have less clutter and to think about, and I’m not gonna say do all seven of these things guys, but maybe pick one or two that you can work on that will make a significant difference in your life. So number one is know what you have and where it is.

I will say I know.

Roger (02:44.356)
Oh, oh man.

All right, that where it is, is a tricky part.

Kathleen Lipp (02:51.474)
Yes, yeah, you know, I think it has taken us a good five years to kind of figure out how we’re using our house because we’ve used our house in different ways. If you don’t know our house story, first this was an Airbnb and then we moved into it to primarily do a lot of retreats and then the pandemic happened.

So we’ve used our house in a bunch of different ways. I think we’re finally honing in on how to do things. But also, you know, one of the things that I talk about in ClutterFree so often is you don’t have to store everything at your house. You can store some things at Walmart. You can store some things at Target. You can store things other places, and then when you need them, you go buy them. That’s not really our situation here. If I need a certain kind of flower,

If it’s not here, it’s another week until I can get that flower. So I keep on hand more things than probably the average bear. You probably do too, Roger, when it comes to materials around.

Roger (04:00.955)
Oh, yeah, we think about, you know, what do we need to be prepared for a season? And that has its own set of things, especially winter for us where we’ll have limited access to the outside world.

Kathleen Lipp (04:07.369)

Kathleen Lipp (04:15.294)
Yeah, so we have for us is know what you have and where it is. And one of the things that we’ve had to do is kind of leave notes to our future self about where things are. I mean, we really thought that maybe we threw away a bunch of cushions last year, we could not find them anywhere. These were cushions for outdoors, we had stored, you know, it’s like, did we store them for the winter? We had some that got ruined.

And so we said, did we throw away everything? Well, it turns out they were stored in an extra vehicle. And it made sense to do that. It was our trailer and it was covered. But we were about to go buy just a whole bunch of stuff because we didn’t know where it was. And so this year we’ll put a note like in April to say, hey, this is where it’s at. I do that with wrapping paper to say, hey,

Don’t buy any wrapping paper, you’ve got plenty. It’s in the attic. You know, notes to our future selves.

Roger (05:17.499)
And you use your calendar, don’t you, for a lot of those kinds of notes.

Kathleen Lipp (05:20.378)
Oh, yes, you know, on a different note, things like cover the patio umbrella, which, okay, so it’s very silly, but when I type that into my calendar and it comes up every year, it’s the potato umbrella and it’s just, it makes me giggle every year, so we just, we call it the potato umbrella. Yeah. Yeah, it’s fun.

Roger (05:29.871)

Roger (05:40.583)
It’s a typo that has just stuck.

Kathleen Lipp (05:44.062)
So know what you have and where it is, and if it’s a seasonal thing, go ahead and make a note in your calendar about where you’re gonna be able to find it next year. We have storage that is not attached to our house, and we need to know what’s in that as well. Okay, number two, I think this is where we have made the biggest difference in the amount of, okay, you’re agreeing with me, yeah. Yeah.

Roger (06:04.975)

Roger (06:08.355)
Oh yeah, I see the outline here and yes, 100 times yes.

Kathleen Lipp (06:12.71)
Number two, make Amazon inconvenient. Now, we really changed our Amazon purchasing practices when we did No Buy July. And if you guys have never done No Buy July, and we’re renaming it, we’re calling it Low Buy July because a lot of cloddery people are black and white people and they’re like, okay, I can’t buy anything including food the entire month. It’s like, no, that’s not what we’re trying to say. So we’re doing Low Buy.

So we didn’t buy anything from Amazon in January, I mean, excuse me, July. And we’ve really, I mean, drastically cut down our Amazon purchases. And I think it has made a huge difference in the amount of stuff coming into our house. How do you feel about it, Raj?

Roger (07:05.859)
Absolutely, especially in our situation where getting to a store is fairly inconvenient, Amazon grew in its convenience in our minds. So it was our go-to resource. We need a new hose, just put it in the Amazon cart. So everything was landing there and it was tremendously easy.

Kathleen Lipp (07:11.726)

Kathleen Lipp (07:17.087)

Kathleen Lipp (07:26.423)

Kathleen Lipp (07:34.19)

Roger (07:34.595)
And I think what we found was that it was easy to the ease and convenience made us overspend and overbuy.

Kathleen Lipp (07:43.806)
Right, we were buying things that we didn’t, it wasn’t, you know, everybody buys stuff they don’t need. You don’t need that book, you don’t need that, you know, tablecloth. But it was just easy to spend that and not feel it. So I have taken Amazon off the front of my phone so it doesn’t come up easily.

And here’s the thing, the less you buy from there, the less you’ll buy from there. I know that’s the dumbest thing, you know, that sounds crazy, but if you get out of the habit of just going over there and doing the buy now, and I think about the environmental implications on that, you know, that buy now button, that could mean that, you know, FedEx or the Amazon truck is coming to your house several times.

And if you have a bad spending habit, that could really have an environmental impact. So I try to think about those things and make them inconvenient. And it’s already inconvenient for us anyway, because we can’t have Amazon delivered to our house. We have to go pick it up at my mom’s or at a locker. And so we’ve just fallen out of the Amazon habit. So how can you fall out of the Amazon habit? Can it be that you have to sign into Amazon?

every time you do it. That may be enough of a barrier to not just automatically go and spend there.

Roger (09:19.128)
or have it delivered to a locker instead of your house. And now it’s an extra step to actually get your product.

Kathleen Lipp (09:22.132)

Kathleen Lipp (09:27.61)
Yeah, and I want to make sure that local stores stay in business. So when I’m buying a book, I want to go buy it whenever I can at Barnes and Noble. When I am buying, you know, makeup, I’m going to go to local Sephora. And I try to shop in smaller local stores whenever I can, because that’s going to keep them in business and that’s what we want. Okay. Number three.

unsub from advertising. I have been doing this, you know, every time you purchase something online, and you know, I’ve purchased several things online. I love this jewelry brand, it’s called Ink and Alloy. I just absolutely love it. But I have had, I unsub from their advertisements because it is too easy to get so many advertisements.

And then you’re like, well, I’m only buying from one place, but the amount of advertisements, it really, it affects my brain and it interrupts me all day long. I get a notification on my phone that there’s a new thing there. And so I’ve had to take myself off of some of those lists. I don’t want to, especially the coupons.

You know, if they’re sending you a coupon for 25% off, that’s a great coupon, unless you weren’t gonna buy anything anyway. And that need to purchase something can be a real stressor. Does the advertising affect you, Raj?

Roger (11:06.371)
Not as much. Occasionally, through my Facebook feed, I will get suckered into something. They get me dialed in on something that we’ve been talking about in the house, and suddenly it starts showing up in my feed. You’re right. But it doesn’t really hit me in my email as much. What comes to my email is always spam.

Kathleen Lipp (11:11.804)

Kathleen Lipp (11:19.826)
Yes, because they’re always listening. Yeah.

Kathleen Lipp (11:30.07)
to always spam. So, you know, to just say, I’m not gonna click on that Facebook ad, I’m not gonna click on that TikTok ad, I am going to unsub from all advertising that I can. One thing that we do, and this isn’t an unsub, but it’s a different thing, is we pick up our mail and we sort it right there in the post office and recycle.

Roger (11:31.332)

Kathleen Lipp (11:57.354)
all those advertisements. Now I do keep the Sundance catalog because that’s my favorite catalog. It makes me super happy. And I keep the Costco. But otherwise, no, we’re just gonna get rid of it because it’s just enticing us to buy. Okay, now, and if you don’t pick up your mail, in our last house, we had our recycling can right next to the mailbox and it just went straight in there. Okay, number four.

Unsub from autoship. Okay Guys, yeah, you’ll never you will never hit just right the autoship deliveries the

Roger (12:37.087)
It’s like there has to be a way to dial these knobs to get it just right, and there isn’t.

Kathleen Lipp (12:42.782)
They say that there is but there and I skip it the only thing I do have on auto ship is our dog food but I Yeah, I skip it probably every like three or four months Because our dog has a weird eating schedule, but so that I’ve kept up but everything else I’ve taken off. I’ve taken my protein bars off of auto ship because I have like 12 boxes now. I’ve taken my coffee

Roger (12:51.295)
Is that working?

Kathleen Lipp (13:12.466)
Everything is off of auto ship chocolate syrup. Oh my goodness you guys. I don’t know. Yeah, what was happening and Amazon makes it pretty Inconvenient pretty hard to Completely detangle from auto ship and so if you think well, I use this pretty regularly I can do don’t do it Just don’t resist resist. Yeah

Roger (13:13.731)
Chocolate syrup is…

Roger (13:40.517)
Is it as bad as getting rid of a gym membership?

Kathleen Lipp (13:43.762)
It’s not that bad. But you have to know, but I’ve had to Google how to do it before, you know, and that’s just an extra step that I don’t need. I know when I’m running out of something.

Roger (13:45.343)
Okay, you don’t have to call Amazon.

Roger (13:55.023)
Huh. You’d think that they knew that was an extra step and people wouldn’t go through that extra step.

Kathleen Lipp (14:00.69)
Right, right. Yeah, so what they really want you to do, the social engineering behind it, is they don’t want you to cancel it. They want you, if you’re like, I’m gonna cancel it. No, you could just go to every three months instead of every month, or you could go to every six months. And that might work for some people, but you’re probably gonna run out before then and order. It’s just a mess, don’t do it. Unless you know you use the same amount of stuff every single month, it’s not worth it.

Roger (14:02.744)

Kathleen Lipp (14:30.822)
Okay, number five, use it up before you buy more. There are certain things that go on sale at certain times of the year, and I try to buy X amount until we know we’re gonna need it again. But most of the time, I’m trying to use up, or at least get to, okay, we just have one serving left, or we just have a little bit left before we buy it. I used to be the,

accidental hoarder. Oh, that’s my next book. Okay, I did accidental homesteader now, accidental hoarder. But I would see something at Costco and think, well, Roger really likes those chips. I’m gonna buy some. Well, it turns out we had three bags at home. So really using it up before we’re buying more, it’s a challenge to myself to say, how far can I get to the bottom of

whatever it is before I buy more. Because a lot of things don’t have as big of a shelf life as you think they do. And you know, talking about the auto ship nightmares, we feed our chickens mealworms, dried mealworms. And somehow we had like six bags. And now you just empty the bag. So now I know to put on the list mealworms.

But we’re not at the bottom. The chickens will not revolt, but we have used it up, and now it’s time to either order more. We have tractor supplies on the way home from town, so that’s probably what we’ll do. Yeah, okay. They are.

Roger (16:15.339)
Yeah, those mealworms are expensive. But yes, I think, you know, cause if you buy significantly before it’s gone, you’re storing it at your house, you’re paying to store it at your house. And that’s, you know, depending on how big it is, that could create a space issue. Yeah.

Kathleen Lipp (16:25.59)
Yeah. Right.

Kathleen Lipp (16:33.514)
Yeah, if you’re a cluttery person, this is not the strategy for you. It’s just not. Unless you know exactly where it’s gonna go. You know, I buy the big packs of stewed tomatoes because we use those all winter long. So I’ll have 12 at a time, but I know exactly where they’re gonna go. I know I’m gonna use them in soups and stews and casseroles and all those kinds of things. It’s all good. Okay, number six, challenge yourself.

You know, where is an area that you are struggling? Again, in Clutter Free Academy, our free Facebook group, we are going to be doing our low by July. And people really challenge themselves. Some of the challenges that Roger and I have done is, we’ve done no by July, or low by July. I one time said, I went for a year without buying pens, which I probably need to do again, because I…

Guys, I have a problem. I love pens. I love certain kind, I’m a pen snob. I love a certain kind of pen. So, but I have plenty of pens. I don’t need more pens. I have done a challenge to clean out our freezer. So Roger would dip his hand in there, grab something out of the freezer, and I would cook it for one of our meals. Trying to think of some other challenges. I’ve done a notebook, you know, notebook buying for a year because I had.

plenty of books here I needed to purchase. You know, Roger, you don’t have as much of a clutter problem as I do, but is there a challenge that you think that would be helpful for you and when you’re acquiring stuff?

Roger (18:15.791)
You know, I could see things like a no Amazon month, just zero, not gonna do it. Yeah, that could be helpful. Just to reframe our thinking in terms of, okay, what other vendors out there that we could use or stores? Yeah.

Kathleen Lipp (18:19.034)
Mm-hmm. Yeah zero. Yeah. Yeah

Yeah, well, and I think it’s…

Kathleen Lipp (18:31.53)
Yeah. Because let’s be honest, Amazon has some less than awesome business practices when it comes to smaller retailers. And I want to aim my money dollar at, you know, buying local, even if it’s from a chain, I still believe, you know, as much as we can buy local.

And then when we can buy from small independent places, I like to buy clothes from independent designers whenever I can. It’s a little harder because I’m plus size. But you know, to get out of the easy trap, and I don’t buy clothes from places like Tmoo. Roger, you probably don’t even know what that is, but like it’s all the rage right now. They have very cheap stuff that you can buy, but it’s also slave labor.

And so I don’t want my dollars supporting that. Almost any clothing we buy, you know, so there are ethical considerations for this as too. So I love the idea of buying, you know, less and less from Amazon and more from independent, which I know can be sometimes be more expensive, but most of us are not lacking in our houses. You know, I’d rather save up for the thing that I really, really want from a business that’s doing business ethically than to…

just have more stuff in my house. That’s really what we’re trying to do is get less stuff in your house. But I still want you to have stuff that you love. And then number seven, know your traps. I think we all have that store that is just easy. They’ve set up the store to really make it easy for you to get lost in and spend more time in and purchase more.

I, some of the ones I’ve heard of Marshall’s, Target, Michael’s, Costco, you know.

Roger (20:30.543)
Are you saying that IKEA has a strategy behind how they lay out their stores?

Kathleen Lipp (20:33.622)
Oh my gosh, right? You can’t get out until you’ve eaten a dozen Swedish meatballs and a cinnamon bun. You’re not allowed to leave. Yeah, so you don’t die. Yes, exactly. So if you’re going to these stores and you’re like, you know what, I just want a new shirt. I want a new shirt. You go get that new shirt. But you don’t need, you know.

Roger (20:42.991)
That’s why the restaurant is there, so in case you starve while you’re trying to find your way out.

Kathleen Lipp (21:01.266)
a face mask, a face roller, a new dog bed, all the things that Marshall’s is famous for. Target, go in with a plan, go in with a list. Michaels, our daughter could be lost in a Michaels for a month. It’s so easy. And when you’re in Michaels, you can discover a new craft that you’ve…

Never heard of, but now you have to buy all the stuff for. Go in with a list. We go to town each week when we’re running errands and we know what we’re buying at Home Depot. We know what we’re buying at Ace Hardware. We know what we’re buying at Walgreens or Costco or whatever it is. Go in with a plan so that you don’t just get sucked into buying all the things because they’re there and they’re pretty.

So Roger, which of these of the seven that we’ve talked about, do you feel like we need to kind of, well, oh, the other with the know your traps. Also, you know what? I mean, go in and be excited to buy what you want to buy. We are going to Disney. We’re going to Disneyland after a speaking trip. And Roger has already said, just so you know,

This is what are you buying when you’re at Disney? What’s gonna be your tchotchke, your goody?

Roger (22:32.387)
I am getting one shot key while we’re there. I’m gonna get a probably $150 button down art shirt from Disney. So, you know, one of their artists that has done it. So a little more intentional kind of design.

Kathleen Lipp (22:43.946)
Like the Hawaiian style shirts, yeah.

Kathleen Lipp (22:51.982)
Yeah, and you, I mean, if there’s anything you collect, that’s probably what it is, is the Disney shirt. And we’re going for your 60th birthday, so you get a Tragickey. I also am, I’m like, I wanna get a couple of Disney shirts. I’ve lost a bunch of weight and my Disney shirts don’t fit anymore. So I know I wanna get two Disney shirts and one zip-up hoodie. Like…

That’s, I know what I want and that’s what I’m getting. And so we’re going in with a plan. Oh, and I’m sorry, your daughter wants us all to get ears.

Roger (23:31.219)
I have never bought ears for myself.

Kathleen Lipp (23:33.79)
Well, here you go. Here you go.

Roger (23:36.291)
have all these I go to this you know we’ve been Disney people for a long time and I’ve never bought yours for myself.

Kathleen Lipp (23:41.81)
Yeah. Well, this is the year because Amanda really wants all of us to get ears. I don’t know if she maybe she said the girls to get ears. OK, we’re going to figure it out, but it’s going to be fun. Yeah.

Roger (23:47.797)
All right.

Roger (23:53.658)
So we have our plan. We’ll see what actually happens, but that is our plan. And, you know, we’re not necessarily super rigid. No, we’re not going to get that other thing, but, you know.

Kathleen Lipp (23:57.43)

Kathleen Lipp (24:03.09)
No. No, because we’ve set money aside to, yes, to go and do the thing. And so we’re going to go do the thing, but we’re going in with a plan. We go, we’re going in knowing what we want and I’m super excited. Okay. So what do you feel like we need to do focus on of these seven things?

Roger (24:07.895)
Right, we have saved. Right.

Roger (24:29.995)
Well, we’ve made the most progress on making Amazon inconvenient. So I think we need to continue pushing the envelope on that. I do also resonate with the Use It Up Before We Buy More and making sure that we’re getting the stuff that is needed when we need it. Yeah.

Kathleen Lipp (24:34.92)

Kathleen Lipp (24:44.437)

Kathleen Lipp (24:49.222)
Right. And I really, my thing is, know what you have and where it is. It’s still a struggle. You know, yeah, so because we have, this is a new kind of life for us, even though we’ve been here for five years and knowing what we need and where it is, we’re still working on that. It’s, you know, we’ve made a ton of progress, but we’re still working on it.

Roger (24:56.235)
Yeah, there is that. Oh my, yes.

Roger (25:13.193)
We have an event coming up this weekend and we need a credit card charger thing and we can’t find it. So we have to go buy another one.

Kathleen Lipp (25:19.374)
Because we can’t find it.

So frustrating. It’s, it just, yeah. Anyway, okay. Seven ways to buy less in 2024. Guys, if one of the things you wanna do is challenge yourself, we have a bunch of challenges in the Clutterfree Academy group, but in July, you know, which seems like a long time off, but it’s really not. We’re gonna be doing our low buy July. So if you go and join,

Kathy Lipp’s Clutterfree Academy on Facebook will have a link in the notes. Guys, do it because it’s gonna be, you are going to change your life. Roger, thanks for hanging out with me. And yeah, and friends, thank you for hanging out with me. You’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy. I’m Kathy Lipp. And now, go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

Roger (26:03.779)
A lot of fun.