A big inspiration for this blog is Katy Wolk-Stanley over at The Non-Consumer Advocate. I have been following her blog for a few years now, not religiously, but pretty closely. She recently made a new appeal for people to try following “the Compact,” as she does. You can read more about it here, but basically the idea is that you stop buying new items, with a few exceptions for food, underwear, or whatever else is impossible or just too icky to buy used. Everyone’s ick level is different. You do the best you can, and at any rate you find your mindset changing for the better in many ways as you attempt to adhere to the Compact, Katy says.
So I think I will try it for a month, and each day post what I buy, used or new. It helps that Christmas is over, and that I just splurged on a new coat for myself. I’ve scratched the consumer itch pretty good, for now.
I went to Goodwill yesterday for the first time in a while. I made out pretty well, picking up some polo shirts for my husband, some clothes for my 2-year-old, and a set of six ceramic cereal bowls. Oh, and for 50 cents, this giant bowl:
Which will be used a lot. I had been thinking about buying cereal bowls new, so it was fulfilling to get a totally new, never-used set for $2.
I know that sometimes, the desire to have something be exactly what you want fuels the decision to buy new. I know some people would not understand that I don’t care that the cereal bowls don’t particularly match any of my other dishes. But, 8 years of marriage and 3 kids in, nothing matches anymore, if it ever did. That dream is over! And it’s a relief in a way.
Today, I did not buy anything. I was at home virtually all day with my 2-year-old and 3-year-old. I did a lot of dishes, several loads of wash, and lots of general straightening up. OK — I spent $99 on this blog. In the spirit of frugality, I made a Rachael Ray recipe for “oozy bread” with some bacon and a can of biscuits that otherwise would have been thrown out. Not sure what went wrong, but the kitchen ended up filled with smoke clouds of burning maple syrup and butter. You will soon learn that cooking is not my thing. Ah well — the intention was good. I’m always looking for ways to stop wasting food because the amount of food we throw out is seriously criminal.
Tomorrow my sitter will be here for a few hours, so we’ll see if I can resist the temptation to buy new when I am out running errands.