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?