Author Topic: Anyone interested in a buy nothing (or buy almost nothing) challenge for 2023?  (Read 5869 times)

Miss Piggy

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I'm needing to dramatically cut back on stupid frivolous purchases. I'm thinking cold turkey would be my best approach. Anybody interested in joining me in a "try to buy nothing" year? (You have today and tomorrow to get what you want before 2023 begins!)

JAYSLOL

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Nope, I love buying stuff, count me out lol.  Ok, but honestly I really should join, Iíll seriously consider it. 

Miss Piggy

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Nope, I love buying stuff

My problem exactly.

Serendip

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I'm starting a low-buy year (see my new and not-so-filled-out-yet journal which I started a few weeks ago)-- so am happy to join.

Did a complete No-Buy five years ago and it was a super interesting experience. Ended up loving it more than I expected since I am a die-hard materialist (artist, creative, maximalist, etc).

Have fallen off the tracks recently in terms of purchases and had a dismal financial year last year so that's why I'm revisiting this type of challenge
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 09:24:56 PM by Serendip »

Serendip

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JAYSLOL

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Nope, I love buying stuff

My problem exactly.

Ok, Iíve given it some thought and Iím in for buy (almost) nothing 2023.  A couple exceptions though, anything I buy for the purpose to resell (for example I buy an antique from a garage sale that I then sell online, not that I do that very often but it can happen), as well as anything I buy for myself that I actually use to make money (for example I just recently found a deal on a used tree pruning saw, which I will definitely use to tackle the odd side job). Other than that Iím going to try not to buy anything for myself.  I should be good for personal clothes and work clothes and shoes for the year, and I definitely donít need to be buying other stuff.  Let the savings begin!

Miss Piggy

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Did a complete No-Buy five years ago and it was a super interesting experience. Ended up loving it more than I expected...

Same here, maybe 5-7 years ago. It was really good for me...and I have fallen off that wagon hard!

So happy to see some joiners here! 

Freedomin5

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Iím in. We are repatriating in 1.5 years, and my goal is to fit all our stuff into six suitcases. Buying nothing (except food) for the next 18 months will definitely help.

englishteacheralex

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I love reading about people who do Buy Nothing years, but I find my problem tends to be in the opposite direction...I don't buy enough. I HATE buying things and really need to loosen up because sometimes it costs me money. Penny wise/pound foolish stuff. I can always rationalize putting off a purchase. Walking out of a store with nothing is my favorite thing. Ha! I win! But...then I need the thing, and I don't have it. Or the indefinitely deferred maintenance bites me in the butt.

Closely related: I love throwing things away. I'm the opposite of a hoarder. But sometimes that gets me into trouble, also.

Anyway PTF to cheer you on with something that comes naturally to me. But personally I shouldn't join. My family will wind up with a lot of issues if I'm encouraged to buy nothing.

Fru-Gal

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Quote
Walking out of a store with nothing is my favorite thing.

Hahaha I can do this too. I find Target utterly overwhelming, for example. But I also have bought myself a fair bit of more expensive things online this year. I agonize over those purchases and take weeks/months to actually do them. I donít really have an issue with going to stores or online and randomly shopping. Anyway, itís neat to hear about someone who should buy more!

K_in_the_kitchen

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I'm in -- I was already planning a minimal buying year as it is.  I've done it in the past and loved it, and decided that 2023 would be a good year to do it again.

I usually make a list of things I think we're going to need to buy, versus doing a big spend at the end of the year.  And there are things I always allow, such as needing new socks or underthings, or something for the house if it must be replaced (like a broken major appliance).  I allow the purchase of thread if I'm sewing with fabric I already have and don't have a close match in thread at home, because that allows me to use the fabric and make something I need.  I also have one tradition that I don't break in a no buy year, and that's picking out a Christmas ornament as a souvenir when we travel if I find something meaningful.  I don't want to punish my family with my challenges, lol.

But really, I just love the creativity that emerges in a buy nothing year.  It's honestly more satisfying to come up with solutions with what we have.  Even yesterday, I was trying to figure out a solution to store the dusters in our utility closet, and was thinking maybe I should buy one of those under shelf baskets.  But since I'm trying not to buy things, I decided to see if I had any hooks in the hardware drawer, and I did.  DH installed those for me and I was able to hang the dusters up high out of the reach of the puppy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 02:49:27 PM by K_in_the_kitchen »

MoseyingAlong

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I'd like to join with some customization.
So maybe more "buy nothing unless it was on the list before I left the house."

Grocery list - no more than once a week shop and only from a list (doesn't matter if it's on super duper clearance because that's usually food I'd binge on)

Others - wait 30 days before buying (unless it's part of a repair)

SotI

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I am in for "almost nothing" - we had a spendy 2022 and a) I wish to cut back anyway and b) we got almost everything.

A couple of planned exceptions:
1. A new mattress (but looking for bargains)
2. 1-2 upcoming video games that are scheduled for 2023 releases
3. Minor house and garden maintenance items (only Feb '- April)
4. Occasional op-shop clothing for DH (nothing needed for me)

Ofc groceries and pet supplies don't count (but I aim to stay within budget despite inflation).

Accountability may help to achieve that, I hope.

soccerluvof4

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I'd like to say I am in but I am doing to much house makeover stuff BUT I have a goal regardless of beating my monthly budget by 1k a month.

Miss Piggy

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Day 1. So far, so good!  :)

JAYSLOL

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Day 1. So far, so good!  :)

Almost there!  Only 364 more days to go after this one!

daverobev

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What are the 'rules' though - for example is a sink plunger or a drain unblocker (the latter I have, the former I would like)?

I would like a 'minimise plastic' year but it's hard (for someone as tight with money as me - eg loose apples are Ä2.50 a kg, but I can buy 3kg in a plastic bag for Ä3...).

Books - I'd 'normally' go to the library, but un/fortunately I now live in France so all the books in our local one are in, er, French. So I do buy the odd one - secondhand.

Sorry if this is posted somewhere already.

Dicey

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I like to be mindful of my spending, so I'll follow along. We're FIRE, so the point is to keep the frugality muscles firm(-ish).

Exceptions for The Dicey's:

Food - continue to grocery shop at buy-what-they have vs. full line grocery stores (Grocery Outlet, 99 Cents Only) and Costco/Winco/Sam's.

Clothing - I'm going to limit myself to thrift shopping only, and only the one I where I volunteer. I can buy whatever I want there, especially on discount days. The exception will be Moab. I can go to All The Thrift Stores when I'm there for the October 2023 Meet-Up. I might even lead a Moab Thrift Store Crawl, who knows?

Medical - I qualify for Medicare this year, woo-hoo!

Supplies - Any flip/rehab projects we may take on in the New Year, though we always shop CL, Restore, etc, first, so that won't change.

Glaring exceptions:

Carpet: Now that we are pet-free (sniffle), we will be replacing some carpet. I'll get it through a friend in the business before she retires, but it definitely will be new.

RV Travel - It's going to cost whatever it's gonna cost. Not going to scrimp there. OTOH, we're not going to stay at KOA's and eat out every night either.

CM*TO, if the stars align this year.

Good luck to everyone!

Freedomin5

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What are the 'rules' though - for example is a sink plunger or a drain unblocker (the latter I have, the former I would like)?

I would like a 'minimise plastic' year but it's hard (for someone as tight with money as me - eg loose apples are Ä2.50 a kg, but I can buy 3kg in a plastic bag for Ä3...).

Books - I'd 'normally' go to the library, but un/fortunately I now live in France so all the books in our local one are in, er, French. So I do buy the odd one - secondhand.

Sorry if this is posted somewhere already.

I think the rules can be whatever are reasonable for your situation. 

Btw, for books, can you get ebooks from a public library from an English-speaking country. You say you moved to France. Did you use to live in in an English-speaking country? We live in China but are from Canada. I have access to ebooks through my Canadian library system.

K_in_the_kitchen

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I like to be mindful of my spending, so I'll follow along. We're FIRE, so the point is to keep the frugality muscles firm(-ish).

Exceptions for The Dicey's:

Food - continue to grocery shop at buy-what-they have vs. full line grocery stores (Grocery Outlet, 99 Cents Only) and Costco/Winco/Sam's.

Clothing - I'm going to limit myself to thrift shopping only, and only the one I where I volunteer. I can buy whatever I want there, especially on discount days. The exception will be Moab. I can go to All The Thrift Stores when I'm there for the October 2023 Meet-Up. I might even lead a Moab Thrift Store Crawl, who knows?

Medical - I qualify for Medicare this year, woo-hoo!

Supplies - Any flip/rehab projects we may take on in the New Year, though we always shop CL, Restore, etc, first, so that won't change.

Glaring exceptions:

Carpet: Now that we are pet-free (sniffle), we will be replacing some carpet. I'll get it through a friend in the business before she retires, but it definitely will be new.

RV Travel - It's going to cost whatever it's gonna cost. Not going to scrimp there. OTOH, we're not going to stay at KOA's and eat out every night either.

CM*TO, if the stars align this year.

Good luck to everyone!

These are good things to think about.  I'd totally forgotten that we need to replace the flooring in one room.  Our older GSD ripped a dinner plate sized hole in the carpet back in 2015 while trying to escape a crate  -- he was a brand new rescue and we didn't know about his crate phobia.  I filled that hole with a piece of foam and taped over with a duct tape patch, and we continued on.  To our amazement, he went bonkers on it again this November when we left him in that room with the puppy (who was in a crate, but the older dog wasn't).  This time he did more damage, and it's at the threshold to the door.  I couldn't find a way to repair it, so we've been stepping over the area on the way out the door.  The carpeting is 12 years old.  The plan is to empty that room this spring, paint, and either put down LVP or have it recarpeted.  Then we're doing a room switch (it's not really a family room, it's a bedroom and our oldest has been sharing it as a bedroom along with it being where we all watch TV and where DH works on WFH days) for when our oldest graduates from university and comes home for graduate school.

Anyway, we'll have those expenses.  And I hear you on the RV travel -- if we can get away we will and it won't all be boondocking and eating in the van.  And while I won't go to thrift stores regularly, if I do I'll keep an eye out for well priced wool, silk, and linen clothing.  I find I have to hold the long view if I want to have a thrifted wardrobe.

K_in_the_kitchen

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Day 1 finished and successful at not buying anything at all, despite temptation.  Lately I've become aware of how often something I see or read will send me researching and how that often turns into buying opportunities.  Someone will share a book that looks interesting, or a craft project I'd like to do, or a kitchen item that seems useful.  I don't always buy these things, of course, but I don't always say no, either.  It can start out innocently, too, such as seeing a book and deciding to check the library, but then they don't have it so I look for it used.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2023, 12:14:21 PM by K_in_the_kitchen »

MoseyingAlong

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Day 1 done!

I find my brain an interesting thing. Yesterday and this morning I keep thinking about how refreshing a soda from the machine at the nearest gas station would be. What makes this weird is that I haven't bought one when not on a road trip for at least 6 months. But now that they're "off-limits," boy, do I want one. Weird.

Serendip

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I dreamt about thrifting last night--too funny!

Turtle

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I'll join as well.  Need to be very careful with spending for the next few years.

One big buy is happening this month; to replace 2022's final extra cap on a terrible year.

Slow leak in the hot water heater, which is unlikely to be repairable.  I've got 2 appointments for estimates scheduled.

Miss Piggy

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I'll join as well.  Need to be very careful with spending for the next few years.

One big buy is happening this month; to replace 2022's final extra cap on a terrible year.

Slow leak in the hot water heater, which is unlikely to be repairable.  I've got 2 appointments for estimates scheduled.

Welcome! I think non-optional purchases like a water heater get a pass. Well, I'm giving you a free pass for it, anyway. And you're getting two estimates, so you're being smart about it.

K_in_the_kitchen

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I was successful again yesterday :)  I do love a challenge!  I checked my meal plan and decided I don't need to buy groceries this week.  Looking ahead I realized we will probably need to buy marinara before the month is up, and I considered getting some Rao's because it is $4 per 22 ounce jar from Sam's Club and I've only heard good things about it, but then I decided not to get the family hooked on something that probably won't be that price again for a long time.  I can't even have tomato sauce due to a tomato allergy, and there's no good reason to do something that might result in them being unhappy with the Aldi sauce I buy.

This morning I was tempted by a book the library doesn't have and I could have bought used, but the challenge reined me in.

Broken, irreparable major appliances and house systems definitely fall within allowed purchases!

Miss Piggy

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Looking ahead I realized we will probably need to buy marinara before the month is up...

OMG, I read this way too fast, and what I saw was "...need to buy marijuana before the month is up..." Ummmm, sure, I guess that gets a pass??? 

Anyway, there's your chuckle for the day. :)

K_in_the_kitchen

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Looking ahead I realized we will probably need to buy marinara before the month is up...

OMG, I read this way too fast, and what I saw was "...need to buy marijuana before the month is up..." Ummmm, sure, I guess that gets a pass??? 

Anyway, there's your chuckle for the day. :)

Oh, that is funny!

On our list of permitted items I forgot to put down glasses and contacts.  We all need glasses this year, and my oldest also needs contacts (he races in contacts + clear sports glasses if there isn't enough light for the prescription race sunglasses).  With the insurance benefit we'll probably get glasses from Costco.

Serendip

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Was just offered a great deal on a (used) tv which is much newer than our current one.

I almost said yes to it before I realized that it's off limits for the year. 

nmitb

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Im in! 5 days and no problems so far.

A few for me obvious exeptions:
Stuff my kid needs (I try to mostly buy used)
Gifts - The $ adds up, but so difficult to limit or aviod
Things bought to make money/business expenses
Replacements when stuff breaks, clothes get holes etc

Almost feels like cheating, but I do this challenge to avoid buying more hobby stuff that wont get touched, clothes I can do without, 
upgrading phone and computers when its a want and not a need.

My biggest struggle will be not buying a ps5 and new hiking gear.

Cassie

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K in the kitchen, having rescued many dogs I recommend that you donít get carpet. Vinyl pergo is virtually indestructible and ours still looked new 10 years later despite having a German shepherd and 3 small dogs. It doesnít scratch when they run and cleanups are easy if they get sick or have an accident.

K_in_the_kitchen

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K in the kitchen, having rescued many dogs I recommend that you donít get carpet. Vinyl pergo is virtually indestructible and ours still looked new 10 years later despite having a German shepherd and 3 small dogs. It doesnít scratch when they run and cleanups are easy if they get sick or have an accident.

Thanks for the advice, I'm glad to hear some real world experience with the vinyl.  Our biggest issue with this room is that it was added on to, with half of the floor being original hardwood and the other half being whatever subfloor they put down under the original carpeting when they added on.  There is a place in the floor where the transition between types of floor is, and while it is not very noticeable when carpeted, the last time we had flooring people out they say we would have to either solve the unevenness or put a visible transition there, right down the middle of the room.  Last time we chose the carpeting because of the money factor -- it's the only carpeted room in the entire house.

sonofsven

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K in the kitchen, having rescued many dogs I recommend that you donít get carpet. Vinyl pergo is virtually indestructible and ours still looked new 10 years later despite having a German shepherd and 3 small dogs. It doesnít scratch when they run and cleanups are easy if they get sick or have an accident.

Thanks for the advice, I'm glad to hear some real world experience with the vinyl.  Our biggest issue with this room is that it was added on to, with half of the floor being original hardwood and the other half being whatever subfloor they put down under the original carpeting when they added on.  There is a place in the floor where the transition between types of floor is, and while it is not very noticeable when carpeted, the last time we had flooring people out they say we would have to either solve the unevenness or put a visible transition there, right down the middle of the room.  Last time we chose the carpeting because of the money factor -- it's the only carpeted room in the entire house.
It might not be that difficult to plane the floors out. You can install a thin layer of underlayment to make the low side even out, and deal with any difference to the next room with a transition in the doorway, which will be much less noticeable.
I've had the same "scratchproof-ness" with LVP. My partners lab and my (now deceased) Newfoundland ran all over the LVP as we were building our last house, not a scratch.

Turtle

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I'll join as well.  Need to be very careful with spending for the next few years.

One big buy is happening this month; to replace 2022's final extra cap on a terrible year.

Slow leak in the hot water heater, which is unlikely to be repairable.  I've got 2 appointments for estimates scheduled.

Ended up that it was repairable - less $ out of my pocket.  Water from the city is high enough to cause pressure valve to discharge a steady amount of water. 

Turtle

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Went into Costco this afternoon to drop off an older set of frames to be given my newest prescription.

Managed to walk out with only 2 items and I think I've discovered a trick to help with that.  I walked in with one of their cooler bags, and decided not to get a cart.  Much harder to load up on random temptation when carrying it versus chucking it into a cart.  Only picked up the 2 items I was originally planning on and nothing else.  Spent less than $15

JAYSLOL

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Looking ahead I realized we will probably need to buy marinara before the month is up...

OMG, I read this way too fast, and what I saw was "...need to buy marijuana before the month is up..." Ummmm, sure, I guess that gets a pass??? 

Anyway, there's your chuckle for the day. :)

This reminds me thereís a crudely-made wooden sign I drive past on the highway that the writing was done by burning into the wood that upon close inspection reads ďFire Wood Delivery 555-5555Ē, but because the burning was done so crudely I always read it as ďFor Weed Delivery 555-5555Ē lol

Miss Piggy

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ďFor Weed Delivery 555-5555Ē lol

I mean...it IS rather convenient...

YttriumNitrate

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Well, I made it four days ... and then failed spectacularly by buying plane tickets to Disney World.

MoseyingAlong

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Well, I fell off the wagon today. Bought some fast food.

What makes it even more ridiculous is that I walked to the place. I could have made something healthier out of my fridge in the time it took to walk there.

On the bright side, I did not stop at the discount store on the way home to buy any of their sea salt dark chocolate that is really good. It wasn't on a list.

Back on the wagon now!

K_in_the_kitchen

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Today was a spend day, but it was all allowable items.  We went to Costco to check out the optical department because we had seen that they carry Ray-Ban frames, and being as my son's current Ray-Ban frame has been in use for 5 years, he wanted to get the same frame.  Well, the idea of getting a Ray-Ban frame for $99 at Costco went out the window when we looked at them and realized that they must be "made for Costco" versions which were super lightweight and flimsy plus was made in China and not in Italy like his current frame.  Ditched that idea, but we did make a return and also bought the items on our list: biotin, generic Zantac, toilet paper, olive oil, avocado oil spray, lemon juice, and maple syrup (I use it in my soft sourdough bread).  Then we went to the optician's office and ordered glasses using the insurance benefit there, getting the exact model number of frame he has now.

I'm always surprised by how easily I slip into a buy nothing (other than food and other absolutely necessary items) month or year.  I find myself "shopping" without thinking about it for the first couple of days and having to remind myself not to buy whatever I'm looking at, then my brain resets and it gets much easier.

Freedomin5

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Finished off Week 1 relatively well. I only purchased food this week.

Naomi

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I'm in, but only for myself. We've been remodeling a house since last July and still need to buy some things before we move in, hopefully soon (bathroom is still in progress).
I hate shopping, even for groceries so I haven't bought anything in 2023 (the whole 5 days).
My weakness is running gear and all that comes with running. I don't do a lot of races, but do have one on the 13th and one in April (paid for last year).
I have enough running shoes to last this year, maybe. There are 2 races I want to sign up for that will require a lot of training/putting miles on shoes.

Oh, I did buy meat and eggs from a local farm on the 4th. I consider that family food. My husband and I share that, but buy our own groceries separately. I work nights and he works days, so not really a sit down and eat together family.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2023, 02:47:25 AM by Naomi »

dcheesi

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For face-punchable "reasons", limiting our spending on household items etc. is extremely unlikely this year. So I wanted to at least eliminate any non house-related merchandise from the budget.

Therefore, I was planning on a No Clothes Buying year --until my SiL's dog chewed up my luggage *and* my trusty leather jacket due to NYE fireworks. Neither looks very repairable, though I 'might try with the jacket (or just limp along with alternatives until Spring).

I suppose the luggage isn't technically "clothing", but it's still personal "merch". And I can't put it off indefinitely, because we already have another long trip by air lined up for this year.

EDIT: SiL is going to cover the suitcase, and I found a hand-me-down peacoat in the closet that ought to get me through the winter, so I'm back on the wagon for now!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 07:24:22 AM by dcheesi »

SotI

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1st week and so far nothing but good and petrol for the car.
Not even tempted.

StarBright

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I finally took a vacation this week (and bought stuff) - but I'm going to try and play along this year.

My goal will be not to buy things for the kids. I was thinking I would do the whole family but I'm like englishteacheralex and pretty good at waiting too long to buy things for myself. I have a list of things that I will need to buy this year since I didn't buy them last year. I just patched both of my pairs of jeans (one for a second time) and I don't think I'll get through the winter without needing to buy a new pair :).

But as long as my kids don't hit major growth spurts I shouldn't need to buy more than a new pair of shoes and whatever the teachers ask us to buy for their classrooms.

I'm in starting today.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 10:01:35 AM by StarBright »

Dicey

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We've been doing a turnkey condo remodel and it's almost finished, which means it's shopping for final necessities time. We went to the "scratch and dent, mostly Costco returns" store. I scored two sets of blackout drapes that were 24.99 at Costco, but 16.99, in a better color, at the outlet. Score!

I saw a 20 piece clear Rubbermaid opened but complete set for 19.99. Amazon sells the 10 pc. set for that price, so in the cart it went. Then I found a Pyrex dish with a Snapware cover for 2.99. Yes. Neither of these are for the condo, oops. I can justify these because I make virtually every meal at home, right?

But this store is a treasure trove and one has to be sharp-eyed to find the deals. Everything is "here today, gone tomorrow" if not sooner. Next to the checkstand, I noticed a plain cardboard box full of long, slim plain brown boxes. Of course I had to look. They were walking sticks. Titanium! With cork handles! With several sets of tips/baskets! Super lightweight! In a handy carrying case! "How much?" I asked. $49.99. Kryptonite. I caved. They're coming with me to the Moab Meetup in October.

For fellow reno geeks: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/west-coast-rta-cabinet-maker-recommendations/

For more walking stick justification: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/magical-moab-meetup-2023/
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 11:56:22 AM by Dicey »

Serendip

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Successful first week.
Looking forward to 52 more :)

Avoided buying anything except food this week but I do need to pick up some books from a local bookshop which were preordered last year so it is an anticipated cost.

My partner made an amazing eggs benny for brunch and now we are going to the art gallery (already have yearly memberships) which makes for a no-additional-spend Sunday.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 11:52:41 AM by Serendip »

JAYSLOL

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Successful first week for me too, didnít buy anything that wasnít a need (food, rent, utilities etc).  Plus Iíve got a car load of donation stuff ready to go to clear out some room

Miss Piggy

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Week 1 success here as well.

I do find myself needing a creative solution for a new problem I've invented for myself: I need something that I can use as pots for some jade plant cuttings I hope will root and grow. I have some potting soil and succulent soil, but I have no pots, and I don't think this little project qualifies as a "need."

Serendip

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Week 1 success here as well.

I do find myself needing a creative solution for a new problem I've invented for myself: I need something that I can use as pots for some jade plant cuttings I hope will root and grow. I have some potting soil and succulent soil, but I have no pots, and I don't think this little project qualifies as a "need."

I wonder if you can put this request on a local Buy-Nothing group? Many people who garden have stashes of pots :)

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!