As I mentioned earlier today, I signed on for Crunchy Chicken’s Buy Nothing Challenge this month. I will try to write a short post every day or two recording how it’s going.
I don’t believe I’ll take up buying nothing for the long haul. But I am curious to see how raising my consciousness about what I buy — in every context — affects me this month.
So for today, April 1, here’s what I didn’t buy:
- A morning latte. I had a busy workday planned, and I wanted to stop for coffee. I didn’t, and told myself I would make a coffee when I got back to my home office. But I got busy and never made the coffee at all.
- Clothes. I saw on SlickDeals that there’s a big clearance sale going on at Old Navy. We have been not buying much clothing for quite a while, and then we looked at ourselves and decided we didn’t want to look quite so sketchy, so a rash of clothes-buying has occurred in the Cheap home over the last few months. Mr. Cheap and I visited the store on Saturday (first time in a year or two) and bought a pile of things — we both needed non-scuzzy T-shirts, we bought a few things for Little Cheap (two for this summer), he bought a pair of pants that’s going back when we’re in the area again, and I bought a blouse and — my favorite! — a great-fitting velvet dress for $2.99 for me. I also bought a few things for Little Cheap for next year. A HUGE way I save on her clothing budget (especially now that she’s out of the cheaper ‘little girl’ clothes) is to buy clothes for a year ahead (or even further) when I find a good deal, then put them away for later. I’m not 100% sure I’ll not buy something for her that’s a great deal for the future, but I won’t go looking. Today, I almost clicked over to the sale, then remembered the challenge and closed the Web window without even looking.
Here’s what I did buy:
- A whole bunch of groceries. It was a “stocking up” trip, and I’m missing my coupon book — which, regular readers might recall, someone stole out of my bag at the gym, probably thinking it was my wallet, if I liked really ugly nylon wallets bearing the Hormel logo (hey, I got the coupon wallet for 99 cents at Goodwill!) — so I broke the $100 mark.
- I’m writing this as I take a break from making two photo books at Snapfish. But I have to finish because I have a 35% off coupon that expires in a couple of days. I ordered one a couple of weeks ago for 2007, and I’m doing the last couple of years too. It takes HOURS of work — but probably not longer than doing it the conventional way, which I’m NEVER going to do. And this expense was decided upon before I ever heard of the challenge.
We also got a check today for $250 (a refund of a deposit Mr. Cheap had to pay for graduate school), which is great, because he just learned he has to replace his car’s water pump for $417. Good motivation to keep not spending!