Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cotton Swabs and Such

I bought the cotton swabs - I also bought some razors. I wanted to leave them there but since this was my last day of shopping I splurged on those things. What will I think of tomorrow that I just have to have that I didn't buy? How will we make do for an entire year? What kind of crazy substitutes will we come up with? Someone recommended I use coffee filters for giving the kids snacks on instead of paper plates. You may argue that a paper plate is depletable; however, it isn't completely used up or gone when you are finished with it - it is very dirty and unusable, though. We have decided not to buy paper plates if at all possible so I tried the coffee filter thing with an afternoon snack for the boys and it worked fine. I am excited about what tomorrow will bring and I am especially excited to see how much money we are able to save over the next year. Happy New Year everyone!!!
I am fighting the urge to go on a major shopping spree today. I began the morning hiding under my covers, the ones I know I will have to keep for the next year without replacing, thinking about things I will not be buying. The pressure is beginning to build about starting our new shopping thin program tomorrow. When I least expect it cotton swabs, crisp white socks and shiny dangly things begin to dance in my mind. A little voice whispers, "you really need to stock up." What am I going to do? I will let you know later - I do have to go out and face the shopping world today at some point because groceries are needed. Wish me luck! The ceiling fan in the living room has dust bunnies all over it and I keep thinking about this nifty cleaning device I saw three months ago... I am running low on scented candles - are those depletable? There's a new frame at a store I saw recently that would hold a picture of my boys beautifully. Oh, and that awesome lamp shade at... See what I mean?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What the heck is a depletable anyway?

Define Depletable: Anything that can be completely used up. Sounds pretty basic so what falls under this category? Stuff like toilet paper and yes that is a big one. Others include soap, shampoo, toothpaste, detergents, pet foods, deodorant - you get the idea.

We also had to make a decision about whether other things would fall under this category such as printer ink - it may or may not be a necessity for your home but we need it and we feel that it is a product that is completely used up. You may be wondering about toothbrushes - we plan to get those when we go to the dentist. Otherwise, for purposes of hygiene, we would buy those if we needed them.

What does not fall under the depletable category? Clothes, shoes, toys, DVDs, CDs, games, decor, furniture, magazines, plastic sandwich bags, razors, bath sponges, gum, jewelry, accessories/handbags, hats, hunting supplies, flower seeds, purchased gifts, etc.

So what about birthdays and such? We will make gifts out of supplies we have. For instance, I have tons of craft supplies that I need to do something with. I also have gifts that I have received and never used - sounds like I have a good reason to re-gift those things now. If all else fails, because we are allowed to purchase food, I can always make a food gift/baked goods, etc.

A little bit of fear is creeping in over not having my little plastic sandwich bags. I need to remind myself why we are doing this, though - we truly want to be free from stuffitis and being held in a prison of our own making.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reality Bites

The truth is that we are over-indulgent, even on a single income. We attempt to save money but for one reason or another it just doesn't happen. The reasons are becoming clearer, though. We looked closely at our checkbook and it seems our local 'discount' store gets entirely too much of our hard-earned money. It's a popular one-stop locale with groceries and goods that practically jump off the shelves into our cart. We enter the store with a list, determined not to purchase anything that isn't expressly written down but we exit feeling deflated, defeated and demoralized because we strayed off the course. It would seem that a middle-ground approach like 'cutting back' will not be the answer for us. We have to go all-in, full force and totally stop purchasing anything that we can't eat or completely consume.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Scary Start

Our family is about to embark upon a new and frightening challenge. We are going to try very hard to go an entire year without shopping for anything other than food or depletables. We read about this in a magazine article and thought it might be interesting to try ourselves. Our plan is to begin January 1, 2010. We are currently working on a list of items we view as depletable and will post soon. We have a 7-year-old and a 2-year-old so this will certainly be a challenge I think. Our 7-year-old has already expressed concerns but we are trying to reassure him that he will not go without anything he really needs. I would be lying if I said I thought this was going to be easy. Most of our family and friends will probably think we're nuts and we may very well be before the year is up! More to come...