Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Project: No Shopping

Hold the phone... did you really say No Shopping?? As in, no bags full of brand new beautiful things??

And did you just say that right before CHRISTMAS??

Yeah. About that.

So, the last project (2010 things in 2010) was a success, although I wasn't always super thorough about documenting it. But for the next 365 days, I will be taking on a new Project.

To avoid the inner consumerist/shopaholic and not buy anything for a year.

Of course, I need to have rules. I can't just swear off all shopping... and it's not because I wouldn't love to. But as of right now, I don't have a self-sufficient household that produces all the food we could ever need... and I don't have children that have stopped growing out of their clothing. And I won't even discuss not having basic toiletries.

So... here are my rules. If you care to join in, feel free to adapt the rules as much as you need to for your situation. :o)

Things I can still shop for!
1. Food, although I do try to opt for whole food options and avoid processed things.
2. Toiletries, such as shampoo/conditioner, diapers, etc, but only when the previous ones are gone completely.
3. Clothes my boys have outgrown.
4. Anything that has been used completely that needs replacing or is completely out of it's useful life... like batteries, light bulbs, underwear... you know... that stuff.
5. Experiences... being things I can't hold... trips with my love, coffee with a girlfriend.

Things that are off the table!
1. Clothing for me. I really need to shop my closet. If I am gifted clothing or receive gift card specifically for clothing, I can spend that, but no new money can leave my account for clothing.
2. Crafting supplies. No matter how much those new fabrics or yarns call out to me!
3. "Organizational Supplies"... I can't tell you how many things I bought to "organize" my life that ended up being the clutter I got rid of at the last garage sale... the road to hell, you know.

Oh... and I am leaving myself an out. I know... Christmas is right around the corner, not to mention my little man's 4th birthday. So, if I decide to throw him a party, that would count as an experience. And although I am going to try to get my Christmas gifts taken care of through handmade/homemade/creative ventures... if I just can't get it done... I can shop, but I'll set a clear budget and not go overboard. ;o)

I am doing this for a couple reasons... first of all, having been unemployed for 5 of the last 7 months, I can't tell you how much I have come to realize the value of a dollar. I am also living at home with my parents and I am hoping to use this next year as a rebuilding period for me and my family. I'd really love to have my debt paid off this year completely and to be able to start off next year with a leg up.

I'm also tired of being part of the world of people that just use things up until we find them boring and no long fulfilling. I want to be able to tell my kids that we use things completely, every time. That a trip to the store doesn't mean that we purchase another bottle of bubble bath because the one at home has Cars on it and we are totally into Transformers now. I want to not have stock piles of things around "just in case" that end up just cluttering my life up. Again.

And lastly, I'm doing it to challenge myself. To find a new perspective of my creativity. To force myself to use things I have in ways I hadn't yet thought of. I want to use up my fabric stash, to wear things I forgot about, and to spend more time talking with friends, loving life, and forgetting about "stuff".

Join in!! :)


  1. For the items that you do need to purchase (particularly clothes for the boys), would you consider committing to buying them second-hand? That way, your (few) shopping dollars would keep those items out of landfills, probably aid whatever charity runs the second-hand store, and help you stretch your budget. Or does that feel like a step too far, in light of your other efforts?

  2. What a great idea! I already do get handmedowns from another family who has a little boy just older than my oldest, and I have gotten lucky at a few garage sales. Second hand will definitely help with my overall goals as well!

  3. You can do it! I've done "no buying" months before, and it's super hard! I'm still trying to de-clutter my life, and I'm doing really well too. I have been selling off all our baby gear that our youngest outgrows, as he's our last child so we won't need any of these items anymore. Feels good to get rid of stuff!

  4. My suggestion for toiletries is go the free and couponing route. As long as you are not brand loyal and enjoy a few minutes each day looking online you can keep your bathroom cabinet well supplied.

    And for kids clothing, don't forget freecycle and CraigsList free ads.