Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Year of Buying Nothing New-Week 1

I didn't make it even one day into the challenge before buying some new things.

Now, let me explain. I've been helping my youngest kiddo plan her birthday party since before Christmas. There were a number of projects she wanted her party guests to make and do. One of these projects was to make fleece scarves. I figured since I always see fabric remnants or other items that can be re-purposed when I'm thrifting that I'd eventually run across something in the month or so before her party.

Nope. Didn't happen.

So in the last days leading up to her party, I hit every thrift store in town, looking for anything remotely in the neighborhood of party favors. The only thing I found were some Pirates of the Caribbean party supplies. I squinted at the little action figure in the plastic bag that was supposed to resemble Captain Jack Sparrow, turned it around at different angles and decided it would definitely bomb with the over 12-year old crowd.

I schlepped it on over to the nearest craft store to find some fleece for those scarves. This was the last place I wanted to be. I don't do crafts. I don't sew. I don't scrapbook. I don't quilt. I don't make jewelry. I don't knit or crochet. I don't paint. My family's crafting gene skipped me. I can draw stick people and you don't want to be my partner when playing Pictionary. I stepped through the doors and felt like I'd just set foot in the Twilight Zone. I was completely out of my element. Thankfully, the fabric department was in the front of the store, immediately to my right.

Uh.....where was the fleece?

My time was limited as I quickly scanned shelves and signs. It seemed like it took forever and a day to find the fleece. How does anyone get out of that department in a timely manner? $8.99 a yard. Not wanting to appear to be more addle-brained than I already was (I'd had a few store clerks give me odd looks when I was whipping through the rows of fabric and mumbling to myself), I decided to try mentally figuring out how much it would cost and how much fleece I would need, instead of using my calculator. Cringe. The approximate total I came up with would cost me more than what I was spending on the party. I headed back to the clearance fabric section, trying not to get distracted by the dress forms and organizational items area (ooooh pretty!). The only fleece available was in the color pink which my youngest kiddo currently dislikes. A lot. And the price was still cost-prohibitive. Sigh.

Here's what I ended up buying new:
Winter-themed garland and a large ornament at 75% off (Christmas clearance)
8 pairs of winter gloves out of the craft store $1 bin
8 candy-filled ornaments that were 75% off at the drug store

As for resale shopping, I purchased 4 items. I've sold 10 items so far this week. So more stuff is heading out than coming in.


  1. LOL, that gene completely skipped me too!

  2. Take a deep breath, and start all over again. tHe beginning of your year can be today. Plus more has gone out that has come you win!

  3. Personally I feel that for people like you and me, buying 2nd hand is our life. I think the benefits for this "buy nothing new" is really for people who are addicted to consumption of new things. For the few new items that I buy each year are that, needed. Or I can make some excuses as to why I wanted to buy them (aka on sale :-). The benefit of living a thrifted life is that even if we realize that we shouldn't have bought something used we can most likely sell it for more than we paid for it. Don't feel any guilt about spending money on new items, especially for your daughter.

  4. Oh, but you have excellent intentions. That should definitely count for something.

    High five and good luck on your nothing new year.