Monday, 5 September 2011

Buy nothing new for a year - the learning continues

Image from here
Another month has slipped by and it was a good one for our Buy Nothing New challenge (which I am rapidly wishing I had abbreviated to BNN ages ago now). Father's Day was completely home-made this year (if you don't count the Darrell Lea chocolates, which as a food, are allowable anyway). The Geege was completely chuffed with his stash including a money box, two paintings and a magnificent card.

Before we embarked on this journey, I was focused on what we would be giving up, but I didn't realise what we would gain. We have reconnected with the simple life that I remember having as a child and reduced our eco footprint. A lot of the challenge has been about learning to distinguish unnecessary from essential, wants from needs.

This month I went to a good friend's 40th birthday. She is stylish and takes great care of herself. She notices when I rock up in the same old, same old. She doesn't judge, but she notices, so I wanted a fresh look. To make the effort for her.

As I was preparing to "dress to impress", I realised  a brand new frock would have been perfect for such an evening! But no. I had to make do with what I had, so thanks to a borrowed pair of wedges, a hand-me-down hair straightener and a styling tip from Fox in Flats, I felt a million bucks (the fact that the Seduce pants I bought for my 30th fit me after 4 children had nothing to do with it ;).

I am a changed woman from the one who started this challenge.

And this month I can add that I have learnt to get a bit stylish using stuff that I own (which will work as long as I don't have to do too much of it with the same crowd!). 

There is still so much to learn and I am now beginning to worry that one year won't be long enough! I can't imagine where we will find the budget to reintroduce new things anyway. Some decisions just change your life forever.

So tell me, how to you 'scrub up' for a big night without breaking out the credit card?

18 comments:

Erin said...

You are so inspiring and really challenge me!

Lizeylou said...

YAY for your pants fitting!!
I wish I had it in me to make such a change - you are very inspiring.

Lisa said...

I hear you! I have a wardrobe full of 'recycled' garments and items I've been wearing for 10 years or more. Not because I have to... just because I can! and it feels great :-)

Naturally Carol said...

Having five kids on mostly one income was a great incentive to live frugally for me. Now they are grown the habits I have from those days are practically ingrained. Something I had almost forgotten came back to me when I read of you using up all your plastic bags though. My mum used to wrap garbage very neatly in several pages of newspaper and put them in the bin..never used plastic bags like we tend to. I wonder if that would be good to put into practise again in our households.

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

feeling inspired to do the no new

cecilia c said...

Wow, this is a fantastic thing to do. i am trying to only buy american as I live in america and weirdly this kind of ends up like buying nothing new. i am truly not a shopper so buying nothing at all seems like a lovely next step. Do you just mean clothes? or anything. c

Diminishing Lucy said...

I am grinning at the fact that the pants fir after four childten - spectatcular!

I have a stable of old faves. And op=shop accessories. And good underwear...I truly hate frock shopping.

danneromero said...

i am impressed by your commitment...

makes me think that even though i have cut back a lot, i could do so even more.....

Becci said...

You're very inspiring. I am considering the Buy Nothing New for October but need to convince my family first. I hardly buy any new clothes and have lots of op shop buys and hand me downs. It's gifts that will be the challenge. And my 12 yr old daughter!

DancingInTheRain said...

If only I had big nights out to scrub up for!!

ps - i have a single girls bed that you could borrow till JJ needs it.

Maxabella said...

You're doing brilliantly! I think all Father's Day gifts should be handmade anyway. Except the chocolates, of course! x

Kymmie said...

I'm so glad you've given us an update. I saw you posted this last night just as I was turning off my computer, but left it open so I could comment when I got a chance.

I'm so inspired by this (but don't know if I can come to not washing my hair with shampoo!), and am so happy to know that I do most of these things already! Makes me wonder what else I could change...

As for a night out without breaking the credit card... easy. I look at my wardrobe and see if I can shop in there first. ALWAYS. In fact, when I think about it, I never buy anything new unless it's for a wedding.

So, my credit card is thankful (I think). Probably not the credit card company though ;)

Great post Coo. xx

Nurture the Little People said...

Wow, I am so impressed. You are doing great with your challenge. I really need to take a leaf out of the BNN book!

lesley(pam) said...

hello you

Just back to the blogosphere after a sabbatical and I had forgotten how bloody marvellous you are. I love this year's challenge and am thinking it would do me the world of good following my marathon purge and shedding of anything superfluous in our house (there was waves and waves and waves of it but it was sooooo satisfying). Unfortunately, have also recently started a retail venture so there's an interesting conundrum there.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I take my hat off. x

therhythmmethod said...

I read this but forgot to comment. You're super MM. You should be very proud. You're also raising 4 little people who are going to benefit from having lived frugally/green as kids. x

1000 Homes of Happiness said...

love, love this post. So many fab ideas. Yay for fitting into you pants and making your little footprint that bit smaller and greener. Very inspiring indeed.

Agree on the handmade gifts...I much prefer them.

Kellie xoxox

Charis said...

Well done, it really dos sound as though the challenge has had a huge impact on your life!

I'm one of those people who quite often rocks up in the same dress I've worn before but I think it's down to the accesorising... I wear different coloured tights, different shoes etc.

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