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Nothing New/Mindful Spending week 14


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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!

We were in Vermont earlier this week on a ski vacation, so let's not even talk about the expenses that entailed! Although it was a great trip; beautiful part of the country and we stayed in a great townhouse minutes from Killington. I'm really a mountain girl at heart. The beach is nice, but for scenic beauty, I would rather be in the mountains any day. It was so lovely.

 

Yesterday I bought a few things at Goodwill. I scored a pair of swim shorts for ds10, plus a rash guard shirt, though it is rather snug. Each was $1.48. I bought two pairs of shorts for him and a pair of athletic warm-up pants. All very cheap; not stand-out fashion statements, but totally adequate for what I need.

 

I bought Easter basket goodies. Most of ds10's goodies are stuff for setting up a Gekko habitat. I cannot say I am overjoyed for him to acquire a reptilian pet, but...meh. It's okay I guess. They are kind of cute for a reptile. At least it won't rot his teeth.

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Other than Easter candy, I don't think I bought anything this week.  And I went lighter on the Easter candy too.  Nobody needs it!  We re-use old baskets and I'll re-use some plastic eggs for our little egg hunt.  I pulled a bag of stuffed bunnies out of the basement.  Someone bought the kids all these bunnies over the years, and I just stuff them back into a bag after Easter so they are new & fun next year.  ;)  I stopped buying Easter "gifts" years ago.  I also didn't buy new dresses this year.  I just hope my rapidly growing kid still fits in one of the dresses I bought last year.  :P

 

I put a bunch of books in my Amazon cart, but I didn't push the button to place the order.  My kids really liked a read-aloud book that turned out to be the first in a series.  Now they want the next book.  I went online and found many more interesting books.  I ended up with so many books in my cart, I decided to back off and revisit it later.

 

I still have to open and assemble several things I bought in mid-March.  Been way too busy.

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I mindfully did not buy any Easter candy this year! The girls didn't want any (dd20 is sensitive to sugar anyway) and ds never replied to my text. Instead we got some gift cards (starbucks for dd15, local growler store for ds) and that rice cooker for dd20 (to help her eat gf in the dorm).

 

I bought a Kindle book ($2.99, on sale from $7.99--I had borrowed it three times from the library already) and a used environmental science textbook ($4.60 incl shipping) for next year.

 

So no expenses this past week other than those, groceries, and gas.

 

I have no idea what this week will bring :)

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So DH's work was offering discounted tickets to a really awesome but pricy local attraction. He reserved tickets for all of us, saving $25. All he had to do was being a check in on Monday around lunch time.

 

Got a text from him Monday morning. Forgot the check.

 

So we drove the check up there, then had lunch with him.

 

Between lunch and parking garage fees, our "discounted tickets" ended up costing $30. Oh well. It was the only healthy day we had this week, at least we enjoyed it.

 

I also bought some school related stuff on Amazon, and crackers and Gatorade for sick people at Walgreens.

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I succumbed to an email that a retailer sent. Why yes I would love that linen shirt, particularly at 25% off.

 

The next day I ended up at the car dealership with my husband's vehicle. Fluky things are just going to happen to older cars.

 

Modest Easter spending here. I bought a few treats for my son who returns to the Midwest for archaeological work tomorrow. It has been fun having him at home but the lad is restless.

 

One other nonfood/household expense: the car wash! Pollen is thick here. Needed antihistamines too.

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Lucky, is DD able to use the rice cooker in her dorm room? Or does she need to use the common kitchen? I'm just being nosy. :)

Shhhhh ;)

 

Actually it's not technically prohibited.

 

If her room were closer to the kitchen (she's on the fourth floor and the kitchen is in the first), she'd prefer to use the rice cooker in the kitchen.

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I've been horrible this week. I found this fantastic little bakery in town with the most fabulous vanilla lattes and red velvet doughnuts. I just can't stay away. I've found myself conveniently driving past there 3 times this week - just supporting a local business! ðŸ˜

 

I've been window shopping for our new house, but I've held off on spending since we have a few more weeks till closing. Plenty of time for that later on. The wait will help me think twice about most of it.

 

A lot of driving for meetings with the realtor and inspectors required extra gas for my truck this week. $50 to fill up for a second time that generally isn't necessary. Some Easter goodies for the kids - $100.

 

Other than that, there is plenty of free activities in the area. The city has beautiful parks, rivers and bike trails, and the library is fabulous. We've been spending most of our time finding all the little hidden gems in the area.

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Easter candy, an outside baby swing for dd2, sand toys for dd1, 2 premade baskets (dh's idea) and 2 day trips (just the girls and I) with dh's truck. I really miss the better gas mileage I get with the car but dh doesn't trust it for me to travel beyond 30 miles from home (If something happens I can get towed home if I'm with in 30 miles).

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I stuck to mostly consumable needs at Target, except the over-the-door towel hanger I had to replace because I, um, broke it this morning. To be fair, I have to jump to reach it and sometimes I don't let go in time and pull too hard.

 

And I finally replaced something DH bought me for Christmas but had to return for a smaller size. The replacement cost about $20 more, but I think I like it better.

 

We spent about $5 on candy and eggs. My MIL sent cute little loot baskets and I decided they didn't need more than that. My MIL sends them gifts and cards for every holiday from Valentines to Flag Day to Halloween. No need to add on, right?!

More than we did! I let Grandma handle Easter baskets. Heck, we didn't even get eggs colored this year until the middle of yesterday. The "bunny" left uncolored eggs, then we dyed and re-hid them outside a few times until they were more egg salad than anything.

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I spent a few dollars on Easter candy. I did buy some painting supplies so I can start working on the spare room. This week I will get a gift card of some sort for dd for her birthday. Also I will buy groceries.

 

Dd needs new flip flops and some shorts and capris for summer. I will start checking Goodwill for those.

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Easter brings out the expenses like Christmas! I try to keep the baskets to a minimum, but between the stuff in the two baskets and the candy and plastic eggs for the familt egg hunt I think I was pushing $40.

 

I had a weak moment in the middle of a sleepless night when I bought 2 Desigual scarves on sale off their website. That was $40. Why do they have to be so colorful and delicious?!?!

 

On a good note, the grocery bill continues to drop. Twice a month grocery trips are working!

I'll bet it is. I've been thinking about my Costco membership. I have been wondering if buying at Costco is promoting excess, waste and overspending. Like many people, I think I use Costco "wisely," in order to not waste money on unnecessary up-sells. But, also like many people,

I am betting I'm not using it as "wisely" as I think. Dropping $250 at Costco doesn't feel alarming, though it would if I spent that at the regular grocery. I don't know...I'm considering letting my membership lapse in June and going for a few months without it.

 

I just watched a video from the library called Food Stamped. The couple attempted to eat healthfully and well on a food-stamp budget of a little over $1.00/meal/each. For one week (! Is that a big challenge?!) Pretty interesting concept though. It does inspire me to plan some meals better and thus cut food spending more. Clearly, the more difficult part is when you are the main food purchaser and preparer for five people who may or may not share your zeal. Dh is always happy to hear that I have managed to spend less...but he doesn't want to forgo the cheese on the sandwich, KWIM?

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Food continues to be our major expense, apart from our mortgage. I have two never-fulls here (DH and DS14). We eat really well. I take great pride in feeding them well and I cook mostly from scratch, but it costs serious money to eat good food in Australia. Last month I was very busy, so the food budget blew out because I wasn't paying attention and we bought some convenience foods. This month, its back to the budget! I have to say (again) how fabulous YNAB is. I'm actually enjoying using it, and have been able to pay all this months bills from amounts saved in each category since January. Its a very nice feeling.

D

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