Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Year of No Shopping

Van over at Thrift Core has challenged her readers to go without retail shopping for a year. It's been a few years since I tried this type of challenge. I have read recent books and blogs chronicling other people's various level of success of being a non-consumer and, although I have a few gripes on some of the books, I love reading the success stories. It is a challenge I really need to try again with my recent economy worries and the fact I need to save money/pay off some debts.

So, I accept her challenge and will begin producing a weekly report on my progress.

My exceptions to the 2011 Buy Nothing New challenge are as follows (but even these have an exception to the exception; I will try to substitute, find cheap or free or make my own whenever possible):

*Food and/or medical needs

*Cleaning supplies

*Vehicle needs (e.g. window wipers, etc.)

*Hygiene products (I'll include underwear here, but we are really set right now)

*Household items needed to get house on market (see exception to the exception)

*Gifts (again, see exception to the exception, but I will have more on this on a later post)

*Limit our eating out and bar patronage (I will try to be thrifty with coupons and "Kids Eat Free" nights)

I will try to be better at the curb-side shopping or using Craig's List. I plan to be more exceptional at using coupons for food/pet food/household items. I do not want to give up thrift shopping, but I am going to limit is to two days a month (at most and I will make up "passes" for myself to use. If I happen to use them all in months 1-4 then I am done for the year). I will carry my thrift wish list and try to stick with it. Last, if I slip and buy new, I will try to get it from smaller shops (this is part of my gift exception).

I am looking forward to the challenge and will begin my posts on the topic starting next Wednesday!


Monica said...

I saw your comment over at Thriftcore. :)
I'll be joining you.

Gina said...

Great!We can help support each other! :)

dogsmom said...

I read both the other blogs as well. Since I am already living this lifestyle I am changing it up to go back to paying only cash this year. My exception will be the electric and internet bills. I want the convenience of dropping them off in the middle of the night but still having a record of payment.
My trouble with finding free and inexpensive things is that I bring too much home, so another goal is to be more thoughtful of what I need to acquire.

You can do this!

Gina said...

Thanks for the support, Dogsmom! I like your idea of cash only and am also going to try to implement this technique. I hope it will keep me on budget. I, too, have a bad habit of over-thrifting and need boundaries.

Good luck with your goal!

Laura said...

yes I agree with dogsmom my problem is a hoarder possibility so I HAVE to need it or sell it or give as a gift before I bring it home--I'm joining in too! So sorry you have to leave your family every week, makes me want to cry.

Van said...

I look forward to reading your progress!

Like dogsmom and Laura I've bought home too much free stuff (donated by friends/fam/strangers!) so I'm culling through the unnecessary and making sure it doesn't happen again!

Also, like dogsmom, I'm going back to a cash-only system, when you have the money in your hand what you're spending is more tangible. Also, when you're not allowed to spend more than you have on hand it becomes a fun challenge.

Gina said...

Laura: O, I have the hoarder gene too and have to keep myself in check (both parents "pack rats" bordering on hoarders. Yes, I cry too sometimes. Funny how time just seems to slow down both while I am away from my kids and during the evil part of winter (had to wait until morn to leave KY for home due to bad, bad roads and too much close calls on my way back to KY from Chicago).

Van: It happens so fast doesn't it? We bought a new home in early 2008 and I culled so much stuff, yet I find myself burdened again with the chore before another move only three years later. And, I agree, there lies a real challenge using cash only!! :)