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Nothing New/Mindful Spending Week 13


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The "rules" of this challenge are self-defined. Anyone can join in at any time. The aim of the challenge (for me) is to combat consumerism, wastefulness, mindless buying, and overspending. It is meant to nurture creative problem solving, ecology, frugality, intentionalism, and resourcefulness. To support these goals, I seek to buy nothing new. I aim to use existing resources, borrow, hand-craft, and buy existing second-hand materials to the greatest extent possible. However, I recognize that life is unpredictable, and family life increases this factor exponentially, so I will buy new in the following cases, when a non-buying option does not present:

 

Food, health, and necessary household goods excluded.

Requirements for school, work, or health and well-being which cannot be obtained used.

Gifts, when a creative non-commercial option will not suffice.

Anything animal or gardening related that cannot be obtained used.

Fuel/energy sources.

 

Posts will appear each Saturday, referring to the week that is ending. Post your successes, creative solutions, relapses and weak moments. It doesn't matter if you have a weak moment! Just keep swimming!

How is everyone doing this week? I'm moving along about the same. Nothing new this week except groceries, including the not-terribly-necessary vacation sugar cereal. Oh, and some Easter basket things.

 

I did just discover that DS10's swim clothes from last year look like doll clothes on him now. I'm shocked how much he has grown! So I'll be looking for a second hand swim shorts or two before summer. I'm betting his baseball pants are also a no-go, but I think there is a pair in the hand-me-down pile that should fit. Cleats are no problem, as I have heaps of used cleats.

 

We'll be heading off for a ski trip, so, clearly that won't be free (or even cheap), but the kids will get a good last ski in and I will get hour and hours in the (warm and not snowy) lodge, writing and reading. That is really all I need right now and I will revel in it!

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We put in an offer on the lakehouse, and they accepted! We've been out to eat here and there while we've been exploring the area. I did stop in Barnes and Noble a few days ago to pick up some decorating and gardening magazines to start gathering ideas for our new house. The kids each picked out a new book, too. My daughter and I found a beautiful little candy shop a couple days ago, and couldn't resist getting a few treats.

 

The money that I've set aside just from this challenge has been enough for me to pay off our credit cards and pay the closing costs on the house. That doesn't even include the increase to the amount I've been able to add to savings every month.

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This week has seen a lot of spending because dd leaves today to study abroad and by the time she gets back, her brother will be away at school.  Dh and I are feeling like this is our last little bit of being a family before everyone flies the coop so we were pretty indulgent this week. So...we had lunch out, saw a movie, ate ice cream from our favorite local ice cream shop, and had dinner out when we went shopping for some last minute items.  Yes, it's a lot of eating out, but she wanted to have some of her favorites before she leaves. 

 

I rarely- maybe once a year- buy a book, usually relying on the library for my reading. But I bought the new Erik Larson book and it sits on my end table, waiting for me to read once dd is safely in Kobe.  Kind of like my reward for finishing this parenting thing without totally screwing it up. 

 

With spring coming (already here for most of you!) do you find your food expenses changing? I always think that with fresh veggies available my spending goes down but I'm not sure that's true.  We eat lighter meals when the weather is warmer but I'm not sure if that's going to translate to lower costs, since many of the more hearty meals seem to have cheap carbs.   

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This week has seen a lot of spending because dd leaves today to study abroad and by the time she gets back, her brother will be away at school.  Dh and I are feeling like this is our last little bit of being a family before everyone flies the coop so we were pretty indulgent this week. So...we had lunch out, saw a movie, ate ice cream from our favorite local ice cream shop, and had dinner out when we went shopping for some last minute items.  Yes, it's a lot of eating out, but she wanted to have some of her favorites before she leaves. 

 

I rarely- maybe once a year- buy a book, usually relying on the library for my reading. But I bought the new Erik Larson book and it sits on my end table, waiting for me to read once dd is safely in Kobe.  Kind of like my reward for finishing this parenting thing without totally screwing it up. 

 

With spring coming (already here for most of you!) do you find your food expenses changing? I always think that with fresh veggies available my spending goes down but I'm not sure that's true.  We eat lighter meals when the weather is warmer but I'm not sure if that's going to translate to lower costs, since many of the more hearty meals seem to have cheap carbs.   

 

Sending best wishes to your daughter on her study abroad adventure.  How exciting!

 

For me early spring is a bit challenging on the food front.  As a locovore, I find my selections are limited until the weather improves a bit.  Some people are happy with grocery store produce, but I'll admit that I am a bit of a fussbudget regarding fruit and veg.  I should have local greens and strawberries in a couple of weeks so the situation will soon improve.

 

Regarding financials...I spent last week with extended family in a rental cottage.  Our host couple defines vacation by eating out at a nice restaurant daily; another couple, parents of a small child, felt that restaurants were challenging since their lad was always so exhausted by day's end.  I tried to go with the flow by taking out the gang one night, cooking another night, eating out with the host couple another.  The result was that I spent some money on restaurants but money well spent in the big picture.  I also came home from the trip with a few food/beverage products from the area, some nice treats.

 

 I bought a t shirt for my son at a pub. 

 

Yesterday I volunteered at a plant giveaway and came home with a few plants for my yard.

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I spent more on groceries, buying some gluten-free items (pasta, cereal, oatmeal, flour) for this week. Dd20 is home for break and is on her second week of a gf trial (she has been feeling better--yay!). I decided we all will eat gf this week, in part to simplify meals and in part to see if some of dh's issues are due to gluten intolerance (he was tested a few years ago when his father said he was diagnosed with celiac).

 

Dh and I went out to brunch this morning at a newish place on our Main Street. We will return there to try dinner and drinks!

 

Up ahead this week----Easter food spending, some treats for the kids (dd20 is getting a rice cooker, ds21 will probably get a growler from a local pub or the fab growler store---benefits of living in a university town :D), and dd15 will need chocolates :)), and garden seeds and supplies!

 

I may be spending on physical therapy in the near future for a shoulder-bicep issue :(

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Well, after several weeks of nearly nothing I splurged on some items for me; 

yoga pants (LOVE)

yoga mat (my old one was leaving chunks at the yoga studio)

class pack for yoga classes

mask and ear plugs for sleeping

progesterone 

 

All well worth it :)

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I purchased two pairs of sandals and two long skirts this week to replace stuf I wore out last summer.

 

I still need my pedicure.

 

I bought a season of a tv show to watch with dh at night and a box of lactose-free icecream. We have been too tired to go out on a proper date, so we stayed home and indulged last night.

 

Dd finally got dress shoes this week---hurray!

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With spring coming (already here for most of you!) do you find your food expenses changing? I always think that with fresh veggies available my spending goes down but I'm not sure that's true. We eat lighter meals when the weather is warmer but I'm not sure if that's going to translate to lower costs, since many of the more hearty meals seem to have cheap carbs.

Once we get to a full summer garden, our food expenses do decrease, but not yet. By August, we're eating most dinners straight out of the garden, except for a meat, but even then sometimes there is fish or crabs. I think, too, that summer schedule gives me more time to make snacks, bread, desserts, etc., so I buy few things like granola bars or cookies.

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We ordered Pizza last night for dinner, night before we rented a movie and bought junk food. Also went to local thrift store to try to find a used Filofax type planner which I did find and some summer clothes for dd2 :) the thrift store total was $3.00

That is awesome! I love it!

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I spent more on groceries, buying some gluten-free items (pasta, cereal, oatmeal, flour) for this week. Dd20 is home for break and is on her second week of a gf trial (she has been feeling better--yay!). I decided we all will eat gf this week, in part to simplify meals and in part to see if some of dh's issues are due to gluten intolerance (he was tested a few years ago when his father said he was diagnosed with celiac).

 

Dh and I went out to brunch this morning at a newish place on our Main Street. We will return there to try dinner and drinks!

 

Up ahead this week----Easter food spending, some treats for the kids (dd20 is getting a rice cooker, ds21 will probably get a growler from a local pub or the fab growler store---benefits of living in a university town :D), and dd15 will need chocolates :)), and garden seeds and supplies!

 

I may be spending on physical therapy in the near future for a shoulder-bicep issue :(

PT does not sound like fun. Sorry to hear that. :(

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That is awesome! I love it!

It's very rare that the local thrift store has anything decent as far as kids clothes. I just happened to have been there when they recieved a large donation of dd2's size.

I didn't get a Filofax brand but I did get a zip up, canvas Plan Ahead in a 4x6 size that also has a couple of pockets and pen loops. I actually think it is better since it zips (don't have to worry about my stuff falling out)

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My 9 year old exercise pants are no longer suitable for wearing so I replaced them.  I found some really nice yoga pants for 4.01 at sams along with some running capris.  The kids also got some exercise shirts, shorts and skorts.  I came out only spending 87 dollars.  I am still hunting for running shoes for me.  That will be a pretty penny but I don't cheap out on shoes.  I need a few new shirts so I am on the lookout for ones I like.  DD needed reading glasses for therapy so I ordered them on zenni.  For under 15, she got a nice pair and my wallet will not hurt when she needs either a new script or doesn't need them anymore in six months.

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I bought way more clothes last week than I wanted to, but DS6 is growing into this awkward transitional pants size (6 is too short, and 7 a bit long, slims too tight, but regulars are too loose even with a belt! How?!) and DH's clothes from high school and college are starting to have more holes than fabric (he's 30, BTW).

 

I also hate how illness wrecks the grocery budget, and I end up with $100 worth of cereal, crackers, and those giant apple crisp muffins/breakfast cupcakes from Costco.

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I had a rewards coupon for $30 from Office Depot that was due to expire tomorrow. So even though I did not need anything, I went to Office Depot to buy ink for the printer. 

 

And that brings up a side issue:  I have not had good luck in buying refilled cartridges so I end up buying the over priced, name brand ones.  The only strategy I have found for bringing down the cost is to return cartridges to OD for the rewards cash. 

 

Additional errands including stopping at a farm store where I found local kale, lettuce, leeks and radishes, the butcher for chicken, and a box store for some Easter candy. 

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I had a rewards coupon for $30 from Office Depot that was due to expire tomorrow. So even though I did not need anything, I went to Office Depot to buy ink for the printer.

 

And that brings up a side issue: I have not had good luck in buying refilled cartridges so I end up buying the over priced, name brand ones. The only strategy I have found for bringing down the cost is to return cartridges to OD for the rewards cash.

 

Additional errands including stopping at a farm store where I found local kale, lettuce, leeks and radishes, the butcher for chicken, and a box store for some Easter candy.

I hate buying printer cartridges. I deeply wish a really great solution would come out.

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I hate buying printer cartridges. I deeply wish a really great solution would come out.

 

At this point, the only solution I see is "mindful" printing, i.e. asking myself if I really need to print a recipe or can I work from a screen or can I print just one relevant page and not three, etc.  The year of college apps was the worst as far as ink is concerned.  While everything is submitted electronically, I found myself constantly printing paper copies of things for our records.  Or perhaps that is just modern life.  Remember the predictions of a paperless society?  Hah!

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At this point, the only solution I see is "mindful" printing, i.e. asking myself if I really need to print a recipe or can I work from a screen or can I print just one relevant page and not three, etc. The year of college apps was the worst as far as ink is concerned. While everything is submitted electronically, I found myself constantly printing paper copies of things for our records. Or perhaps that is just modern life. Remember the predictions of a paperless society? Hah!

So true. And yes, I recall those predictions.

 

My dh still has not really adapted to using his iPad *instead of* a printed copy of things. It kinda bugs me. He always wants me to print the supply house tickets (for his business) off the e-mail. I always look a little ruefully at the message along the bottom of the e-mail: "We thank you for helping the environment through paperless invoicing!" Ummm...

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