Friday, 18 February 2011

The purchasing dilemma

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Last month I wrote a post about buying nothing new for a year.

My friend, Dancing in the Rain and I decided to take up the challenge and we kicked off on February 1. So far, so good, although the 'buying a present for a one year old' caused me a little bit of grief this week.

What the whole process has been teaching me about is the importance of thinking before you buy. I would have said that I wasn't an 'impulse' buyer before, but I can now tell you that I am/was. I would frequently have bought 'a little something' for the kids when I was at the shops. Or picked up a magazine or book from the store. Or a new pen or, well, something.

I have always had decisions to make when shopping. Is is Australian made? Is it environmentally packaged/friendly? Is it reasonably priced? Does it support local farmers? Is it reasonable for the diet?

The relative importance of each question varied depending on what was happening in my life. If dieting, the low fat factor was key. If on a tight budget, the cost was the prime motivator. But in some arenas (like cleaners) the 'greeness' of the product is king. Grocery shopping has always taken me a long time!

But now I have different decisions to make. Do I really need it? Can I get it used, second hand or hand made? Can I borrow it from someone?

Spending less money on new things has been a bit liberating thus far. It is all about 'repurposing' around our place at the moment, which is working out well. But when I really do need something? What then? I need to do some research on the alternatives of 'new'. I'd really like to know, what are your key questions when making a purchase? Do you have any tips for where to source second hand things?

6 comments:

Maxabella said...

One thing you could do is the good old 'ask around'. Everyone always has all sorts of things lurking around that they would be only too happy to gift to your cause!! x

Alice Becomes said...

Surely there must be some sort of website allowing you to "ask around" to a wider selection of people? We all have stuff we don't need anymore along with stuff we do need so perhaps some sort of swaps could be arranged?

In Margaret River, the Lion's Shed is a great way to drop off something old and pick up something "new"...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your challenge and will be interested to hear how you go...Out of interest, what did you end up buying for the one year old?

Gill xo

DancingInTheRain said...

I did think ahead to the one year old present before feb 1 so the rules didnt apply yet! That, some other birthday presents and my new pair of shoes!

I think it will be easier having someone else doing it. It might even be fun!

See you tomorrow.

Megan Leslianne said...

Try gumtree.com.au. You can pick second hand things up for quite cheap, and some things are free (gravel, mulch, rusty bikes that need doing up, etc).

Cottongirl7 said...

In my neck of the woods I've got a few options. If its something for the kids I'll post on facebook to my friends what I'm looking for. Often they have one sitting in garage collecting dust. If not, I look at the second hands stores. We have Craigslist.org here that is just like a big yard sale, you can almost always find what your looking for. Ebay sometimes comes through, or there are a few local facebook pages that everyone posts things for sale locally on too. Not sure if you use facebook, but there might be a page for people in your area to swap stuff. OH, we have freecycle.com here too which is all free stuff to a good home. :)

Kymmie said...

I love this concept and saw this on another blog (damn if I can remember the name). It sure has you re-priorotising everything hey? I think you're well on your way to being wiser with just asking those considerate questions... keep up the great work! xx

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