Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

Stopping shopping

with 3 comments

As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of shopping.  I’m not a good browser, hate malls, and have a delightful situation where not only do I hate spending money, but also where thrift store prices have ruined me for real shopping.  While I love grocery shopping and thrift stores and don’t mind running out now and again for particular supplies, a shopper I am not.

However (and this is a big however), I’ve noticed my shopping has crept up a bit recently.  First, I needed some things for the wedding.  Then, as I started picking up various supplies (cleaning, canning, lower-energy living) I’d pick up a thing or two here and there, sometimes on a special trip, sometimes if I was just out for a walk and in the area.  But a trip to get extra jars for starters would also yield a new purse, or a trip to look for books on gardening might instead yield a novel or two.  In a lot of cases, the inexpensive goods of thrift stores proved just too alluring – oil paintings for $2, books for $1, or linen dish towels for $0.49 make acquisition relatively painless.

Now, this isn’t a huge deal – I’m spending not much money, it’s not like the stuff won’t get used, and it’s almost all second hand anyway, but none of that is really the point.  I still want to reduce the stuff in my life.  I still want to save rather than spend.  I still want to focus on the things that really matter.  So, I’m stopping shopping for anything other than the necessities.

For how long?  A month, for now, and possibly more if I feel so inclined at the end since a month doesn’t seem so very long from here.  They say it takes three weeks to break a habit so, while I don’t know that this is a “habit” per se, a month seems about right to me.

What am I giving up?  Basically, I’m stopping all casual shopping.  For the month of July there will be no new (well, new to me anyway) clothes, books, dishes, jewelry, accessories, artwork, or anything else that counts as a want rather than a need.

What about necessities?  I still have to buy groceries and medicine, and pay bills.  There are some dissertation related books and computer programs that need to be purchased (although that will be on the university’s dime).  There are still a few things that I’ve been holding out on for awhile now – namely a grain mill, sun oven, and solar flashlight – that I may want to pick up soon, if I can find a sale.  For these items, which are on a long-standing list, I may make an exception.

I’m actually looking forward to a bit more time in some of my days and a bit more money in my bank account.  Instead of shopping, I’ll be spending more time reading, writing, researching, cooking, baking, cleaning, and exercising.  I’ll also be renewing my library card and making use of that as well – there are some books that I want to have a look at that I don’t feel the need to buy right now. I hardly think this level of shopping is a huge problem – it’s neither frequent nor expensive – but I think taking some time away from it and focusing on some other things will do me some good.


Written by Jenn

June 23, 2010 at 1:15 am

Posted in Personal stuff

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. A few months back when I realized that all my “discretionary space” was full, I began a period like the one you plan. It has been a fantastic lesson in using what’s here whether it is precisely what I think I need or not. Your shopping habits and mine are nearly identical; I think you will have a great experience. Now that the discretionary income has dried up I am already in the groove and settled into the routine of not shopping. I eagerly anticipate your reports; I will subscribe to your blog tonight. I came via your comment on Jenna’s CAF blog Maude’s progeny.


    June 26, 2010 at 2:36 am

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lynda. It’s good to know that other people have taken on similar projects, and I’m actually really looking forward to it – while I wasn’t spending much money, it was money that probably didn’t need to be spent, and I’d really like to focus, as you suggest, on using what’s here and available.


      June 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm

  2. […] I said in a previous post, I kinda love the thrift store.  When there’s something I need, from baking pans to new […]

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