Monday, January 17, 2011

No Shopping Update-Week 2

Okay, so this post about too much "stuff" at this funny and potty mouth blog I like (which, BTW, I love and can fuckin' relate to most of the time; I too talk like a trucker and swear like a sailor!) resonated with me and my "no shopping" pledge. See, I am already not much of a retail shopper. It is really not a challenge for me to stay out of them. This past weekend we did venture into Target for something we needed. We had a list (albeit mental one) because we know what we will find there (for the most part). We needed a futon to house the boys at night when they are in KY because Husband has been over the co-sleeping things for years (interrupts his co-sleeping thing if you know what I mean). Personally, I would have just scoured Craigslist or a thrift store for one, but with all the recent bedbug stories, Husband thought paying an extra $50 bucks was worth it (we had some gift cards too). I am an entomologist by trade and am not easily scared by bugs, but that is another story and not one worth arguing about with the DH. The only one I saw out that I liked was the one at Target.

While there I resisted many things (like an awesomely cute Valentine Bulldog Candy Dish for $12.99), but I did let the boys each pick a $1 item (they chose well and exactly as I would have back when I was their age-a bag of plastic farm animals!) I also found a couple of clearance candles which smelled very, very good.

So, after loading our brand new futon into the truck we headed out to drive around Louisville. Of course, spotting a St. Vincents TS, my Husband kindly pulled over and agreed to "babysit" while I "had fun" shopping. I never know what I will find in a thrift store.

Bags and a sewing machine later I headed back to the truck and justified talked about my purchases. Other than the vintage sewing machine, I also bought two swan planters; a "cockeyed coffee" coffee mug; 8 vintage Arby's glasses (Husband works for a company that contracts with Arby's and I actually remember these glasses from the '80's); two packages of First Communion invitations (eldest has one in spring); and a gorgeous vintage Chinese gown that is marked two sizes bigger than my American size, but won't slip over my hips. The only item I actually needed were the invitations and even that is subjective. I then went on to four more thrift stores/flea markets. I shared five items Monday, but I could share an item a day for 3 years, probably, just in what I have thrifted in the past few months.

My 'shopping' problem is thrifting. As much as I love reading all the Thrift Share Monday items and seeing all the great things people find, it is spurring me to be a hunter too. I need to stop because I am turning into a cat that just plays with its prey because I am already well-fed. I could also throw in grocery shopping as this bi-locale living has wrecked havoc on menu planning and thrifty food buying. So, like Monica, I need to revamp my "no shopping" pledge. I already use a list for retail shopping and rarely just splurge shop (maybe one or two times a year if someplace is having a sale). Thrifting, on the other hand, is unpredictable. I think that is the main reason I have loved it since discovering it as a teenager in the late 1980's. You never know what you will find and, if you do find it, you know it won't be there if you leave it.

I, too, have amassed quite a bit of shit in my homes. Sometimes I buy it thinking I may decorate a room around it (and then I promptly forget in the year[s] it takes me to actually do it). Other times I know it is cheap and valuable and I think maybe I will start this reselling business. Maybe. I'm no stranger to buying online, but I have never tried to sell anything.

My new pledge: no more thrift stores. I think I've said this before (deja vu?) I am pledging here and now to stay out until a) I have sold something and b) I have either used 10 items or donated them. I have had an idea for the mass of cookbooks I have collected over the years (another blog I set up and have yet to start), but I need to organize and decide now about this junk. In the past 8 years I have purged my homes twice of crap I bought and then stored and I always seem to do it again. I really wonder what some thrifters homes look like (am I the only one good at the thrifting part and horrible at the decorating part?) Some thrifty people can make their homes look very, very cute; mine looks like the home of a hoarder...junky, cluttered. What am I missing?

And, as for the other side of this shopping problem: Food. I will go back to keeping an inventory of our pantries (both IN and KY ones) and I will be mindful to buy on sale or with a coupon and only if it is needed. I really don't spend a lot because I rarely buy processed foods. We were eating out too much on my weekends home because of the time issue, but I am putting a stop to that practice. DH and I planned to eat out and movie one of these Saturdays, but it has yet to happen.

So, I hope I am successful with the new twist on this challenge. I am cleaning and preparing tax crap this weekend, so bypassing the thrifts should be relatively easy. Next week I am traveling again for work and will be an area with a couple of Goodwills (and an IKEA store and I really want some bookshelves for the apartment), a bit harder to bypass.

So my grade for the week: a generous C+!

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