Buying Nothing – an update

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008At the beginning of the month I wrote about joining the Buy Nothing challenge sponsored by Crunchy Chicken for the month of April. The rules are simple, buy only necessities to live – basically food and gas – for the month.

It really hasn’t been all that hard for me to keep from spending, since I don’t buy much outside of food as it is. There are a few things I’ve been wanting to buy, like new sun hats for the kids and a jacket for Ava, but I’m holding off for now though I may look at the consignment shops, since buying used items if you really need them is allowed.

The part I’ve found particularly challenging is staying away from takeout food, which we generally have once or twice a week. While Crunchy Chicken says going out to eat is OK, depending on where you go, etc., takeout food, because of the amount of waste produced, is off limits. It’s been a challenge for me to cook dinner every night (and I can often be found complaining about it on Twitter), but with the exception of one meal out at the start of the challenge and one trip to Taco Bell (I know, I know and I confessed it) last week, I’m proud of myself at how well I’ve done.

Not only is this challenge keeping us from producing unnecessary waste, it’s saving us money, which I’m really appreciating.

There’s still time to join in for the last two weeks of the month. Head on over to Crunchy Chicken and sign up. Or if you are feeling really adventurous, check out her Extreme Eco Throwdown challenge for the month of May. You might notice even I haven’t signed up yet. I’m still procrastinating trying to figure out what I want to commit to. ;)

Edited to add: I just remembered that I am going to spend some money this weekend. My friends and I are having a moms’ night out tomorrow (woot!) and Sunday is my anniversary (7 years), so Jody and I will probably take the kids out to eat to celebrate that day. So I’m not perfect, but I’m trying. ;)

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15 thoughts on “Buying Nothing – an update

  1. We have taken up this challenge for the whole year, except we have allowed ourselves to buy new shoes for the children. It is so much easier than expected. Saying that, it helps that we haven’t got much disposable income to spend anyway.

  2. We seem to head this way most of the time, but like Lisa above, mostly because we don’t have a lot of extra with child care costs and mortgage, etc.

    But I like it, and your lovely post helps me remember why it is best to be this way anyway!

  3. Hubby and I have challenged each other in the eating out department. It’s hard to let go at first! But I’ve been having a lot of fun, actually, cooking dinner every night (hubs cooks on the weekends). I don’t miss it nearly as much as I thought I would.

  4. I too totally struggle with the ease of take out. Knowing that there’s a meal to prepare every night can really weigh on me. Still, I love solutions that are thrifty and green–Eliminating take-out is one of them!

  5. I really tried doing this, and otherwise we haven’t bought anything extra, but all three kids started baseball for the first time this year, and needed all new baseball gear, and we had to purchase those. Those are the only things though, so I guess I could say we are doing OK, even though not as well as I wanted to.

    In a way luckily eating out is really expensive where we live, so we don’t tend to do it as often as we used to.

  6. I didn’t even realize this was going on, but I did my own self proclaimed “buying embargo” for the month of April. So far, it’s going well.

  7. It’s hard to not buy “stuff” but this is a good challenge. I haven’t signed on but good for you. I love to try new “green” stuff and with my sister having a baby I can’t stop myself sometimes. This is a good reminder though. Oh, and happy anniversary!

  8. good for you Amy :) this challenge is pretty much our entire lifestyle right now… every purchase is carefully weighed and considered because we just don’t have the income to buy whatever we feel like. in the process, we’ve really learned a lot about what type of consumers we used to be, and i think we are more thoughtful at this point in our lives.

  9. One small suggestion -

    When I make a dinner for us, I generally make enough for two (or three, if a casserole) and toss the other portion in the freezer. It’s as fast as take out, usually (except that you do have to plan…take it out of the freezer) and certainly healthier. And since I’m cooking already….

    Could that help :)

    BTW, happy anniversary! Chris and I celebrated 6 years yesterday.

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