Just say no to consumerism

Today was my first opportunity to put my New Years resolution into play. Mom and I, for many years, have gone out shopping at Target on the Sundays after Christmas buying up the discounted holiday items. It is a good time to buy wrapping paper at 75%-90% off, plus you can squirrel away items for gift exchanges etc. We did still meet at Caribou and head over to Target and CVS to check out the deals but I chose not to buy anything besides some Epsom salt that Dan needed for his baths. The unintentional side affect of my anti-purchasing mantra was my mom also not buying anything. It did help that there just wasn’t much left to choose in the holiday isles at Target.

One thing I thought of that I would like (but not need) is a make up brush for applying eye shadow. Instead of buying one I asked my mom if she had an extra one that she didn’t need. She then attempted to buy me one, that is not the point of this non consumerism plan. If she has one that she has no use for than I feel good about taking it and using it. But if she just buys me one or gives me hers and buys herself a new one than I have not accomplished my goals.

Another item that occurred to me, that I would normally purchase at this time of year is a new calendar. If I had an old calendar sitting around I could print out new 2011 months and just glue them over the 2010 months, but I don’t. Which must mean that I didn’t have a calendar last year, so I guess I don’t really need one. Problem solved.

I’ve decided to keep a list of items that I want or need so when I do make trips to the thrift store I can keep an eye out for them. Right now on my list is a belt, mine is falling apart and needs to be replaced.

The next big event that I need to prepare for is Daniel’s b-day. I’ve already warned the kids that gift giving holidays will be a bit different this year. I’m trying to think of what I can do for him that will stick with my goals but not just make it feel like we’ve become cheap. I’m not sure what exactly my rules are in these situations. Do gift cards for consumables count, such as gas cards, or food cards? Beth suggested I just make everyone a really good cake, and I thought dinner plus a cake would be nice but we always do that anyway (well we always make what they want for dinner but I guess I don’t usually make a cake. Hmm note to self Beth apparently would like a b-day cake this year.)

I have also decided to cancel any store credit cards that I have (but hardly ever use.) Two were cancelled this morning and the last two will be cancelled next month. It was recommended not to cancel them all at once so as not to adversely effect my credit.

Now I’m off to pay the bills and put 20% of our paycheck into savings, woo-hoo!

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3 thoughts on “Just say no to consumerism

  1. Very impressive, Sheila. I have a calendar you can have. It’s even for 2011 and it was a gift from the Newman Center. I’m sure you’ll love it. For Daniel’s gift, it seems like food is always an issue for college students. What if you prepared the items for a meal he could make himself sometime in the future? My kids gave brownie fixings one year, arranged neatly in a glass jar so that it looked like sand art. You could do a basket with all the things he needs to make a favorite meal for himself and his girlfriend. Just an idea.

    • Why thank you for the very generous offer of a calendar. That is very sweet of you. I’m sure the pictures will be very uplifting. 🙂

      Your idea for Daniel gave me the perfect idea but I can’t say what it is since he sometimes reads my blog. thanks for that too.

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