Thursday, April 17, 2008

the buy nothing challenge and i

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008

This month I'm participating in Crunchy Chicken's Buy Nothing Challenge. It's gone pretty well so far. Of course, it's easy not to buy stuff when you really can't afford to, although it seems like folks manage to do that, too. My problem was, I actually had some stuff I had planned to buy this month. But a couple of loopholes in the challenge rules made it possible: it's okay to buy supplies for growing your own food (ha-ha) and it's okay to buy stuff used.

Here is what I've allowed myself to spend money on since the beginning of the month:
  • gas (ugh)
  • groceries
  • car maintenance
  • a haircut (nothing more)
  • gardening tools (a start-up investment and hopefully a one-time purchase)
  • a couple of serendipitous trips to the thrift store (where I actually did find a pair of roller skates that fits Khymi, miraculously; ten 24-ounce mason jars, and an old one of these for 69 cents)
  • a literary magazine and a ticket to a play at the Baltimore '68 conference
  • reasonably-priced dinner with a friend
I think that's all. And I think most of it (arguably) falls under stuff that's allowed, since most of it isn't actually stuff, and almost none of what is stuff is newly-manufactured.

What's been nice about the challenge so far is that I've also felt inspired to get rid of some stuff--since I'm a little bit of a thrift store addict (shopping there isn't what I would consider a sacrifice), I made a rule for myself that I have to take something to donate any time I want to buy something. As a result, I've also had to think more about buying stuff that will last for a long time--stuff I won't just want to get rid of in a couple of years. I've also had to think about what I can just make myself instead of buying (most of this falls under the food category anyway, though...more on that later).

Maybe, come May, I'll be up for the Extreme Eco Throwdown.


Jo Paoletti said...

Feel free to come "shopping" at our house, even for stuff to just borrow.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Jo said. I've got piles of stuff that you and/or Jacob are welcome to plunder.

Mama Monster said...

Yea! You got the pencil sharpener!