Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Buy Nothing Challenge

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008First off, I have to admit that over the last 8 or so years, I've been a bit of a spendthrift. I spent far too many years as a dirt-poor college student. So once I had a reasonable salary, I didn't pay attention to what I was spending because I didn't really have to anymore. Couple that with the American mentality of purchasing as sport and I would blow through money pretty quickly.

And it's not like I had much to show for it. It's amazing how so many little things add up. Since the majority of the expenses were for books and food or eating out I didn't feel like I was being extravagant. Only my credit card bills told me otherwise.

Well, I just realized that it's been months since I spent anything substantial. Sure, I've purchased a few books (for the book club) and bought a few sweaters from the thrift store (because I was freezing), but that's about it. Oh yeah, and I got my hair cut for the first time in almost a year. But, everything except the thrift sweaters were bought using gift cards.

With the end of the Freeze Yer Buns Challenge, I don't want you going through withdrawals. So I'm challenging you, for the month of April, to buy nothing. Now, I'm not talking about food, medications or other essentials, but everything else.

This is like Buy Nothing Day. Except that it lasts all month long. Sort of a mini-Compact. A compact Compact. A sub Compact.

Anyway, this means none of the following:
  • No new clothes
  • No new gadgets
  • No new furniture or housewares
  • No salon services
  • No makeup
  • No tools
  • No whatever the hell else people buy
Why did I only give you one day to prepare? Because I didn't want you out there binge buying in preparation for the month. I want you to really focus on whether or not what you are buying is a necessity or something frivolous.

If you must absolutely acquire something non-edible or not essential to growing your own food or for your survival, then you must borrow, barter, or buy it used. If you end up buying something new that is non-essential, I'll be hosting a weekly Sunday Confessional for you to justify your purchase. So, just think about having to confess to the world what you couldn't hold off on buying.

What do you say? Are you up for it? If you are, leave a comment and I'll add you to the sidebar under the list of participants. For those of you who stumble upon this later, you can still join. If you want to put the graphic up on your blog, just paste the following code:

<a href="http://crunchychicken.blogspot.com/2008/03/buy-nothing-challenge.html"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8ndgSYbdkZ0/R_Bf-rOOfiI/AAAAAAAABL4/gk2ccaef-Bs/S1600-R/banner.jpg" border="0" alt="Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008" /></a>

By the way, I'll be hosting a truly heinous challenge during the month of May, so if you are unprepared for this one, I'll be giving you plenty of warning for the next one. It's gonna be a doozy.

247 comments:

1 – 200 of 247   Newer›   Newest»
Jane_hates_Dick said...

I have been really bad about buying things I don't truly need for the last several months. This is just the motivation I need to create a new habit. I'm in!

Besma said...

Although I promised myself a haircut as a post-pregnancy-return-to-life-action... we'll see... but I'm in!
Now I'll have keep on using cloth diapers. This challenge comes just in time, as I started to use paperdiapers more and more.
Another issue is clothing: with 2 little growing girls and a need for nursingwear for myself as I return to work (together with our youngest), this is a fine opportunity to dig into my piles of fabric.

I'm very curious how this will turn out!

Kim said...

count me in! I've been talking myself up for just this sort of challenge for a few weeks anyway!

Juliet said...

I need to take a breather from buying, so this challenge will be perfect for me! I enjoy your site- I found the Diva Cup here, and I love it.

kadnkadnk said...

I'd love to take on this challenge. I'm hosting two bridal showers for my future sister-in-law this month and I think I'll switch the decor to "very clean house" instead of "lots of pink and yellow ribbons".

Thanks for the motivation,
kadunk

hedgeshappenings said...

I'd love to be in on this one. I had already decided to do this in April with the exception of one purchase.

We need to finish the roof on the chicken coop. Can I join the challenge with the disclaimer that this purchase was pre-planned and absolutely necessary? Those chicks have been living in my living room for nearly 6 weeks. They need their home finished . . . soon!

Kim

melanie said...

i'm a new reader and i'm excited to sign up for my first challenge. i've been ruminating on the compact for a few weeks now, time to do it for real. i don't think my 5 and 7 year olds will be thrilled, but a good experience and a way to talk about what we do!

laurel said...

I hate to shop and I love a challenge, so count me in!!! :)

Susan said...

oh goodness. the farm we buy our lamb from is liquidating their yarn inventory on Saturday. But, truth be told, I have a lot of yarn, and don't knit as much as I used to (but this yarn is local and organic!) I will try very hard to do this challenge - the one exception I will rationalize is flannel to make goods4girls pads, and fabric/thread/needles that I use to make the baby slings that I sell.

the only reason that I can even begin to contemplate a month long ban on buying books is that I just put in my Amazon.com order on Friday, and I'd been letting my shopping list grow for several months. Books and craft supplies are my downfall.

I do, however, have absolutely no control over the tools my husband buys. He'll sneak out of work to meet someone from craigslist , so I often don't know until after the fact.

Amanda said...

Okay, count me in. I tried to do this in Feb. and failed miserably. I'm trying to convince DH that we can afford for me to be a SAHM, so this will be good incentive!

Amanda
(who will be updating her blog soon!)

~amy~ said...

we rarely buy things other than food anyway... at least i *think* thats true! now we will see! we're in!

Suze said...

I'll try but I am commited to a few things that I have to pay for this week.

We need to improve on somethings do I am very interested in this challenge. I am using up so much more of our food now so these challenges are making a difference to my life.

LimeSarah said...

I could do this, except that we need to buy garden tools. The garden needs to get double-dug in the middle of April, and that can't happen with a small plastic trowel from the drug store, which is currently all we have. I will, however, try to buy nothing other than those tools.

jewishfarmer said...

Oh, I wish I could - we did this for a year from August 2006 to August 2007, and it was *GREAT*. I liked it a lot. I'd like to do it for a month - but this is the designated month of home repairs - new roof, new goat fencing, drainage for the back field (ok, I won't be *buying* the backhoe).

On to May - hmmm, tough challenges - build your own Greenpa style outhouse? Eat only dandelions for a month? Scythe your lawn? The mind boggles!

No, wait, I know - May will be "Go Amish" month, with Crunchy in a bonnet ;-).

Sharon

Jennifer said...

I'm in! I did this with Chile a few months ago, and it really helped.

Deb G said...

I'll do it. Funny thing about it was that I was sitting here thinking about the things I wanted to get this coming month and trying to decide if I could live without them. Since Crunchy said food related garden things were alright, I think I can make it. :) I usually spend any extra money I have on plants/garden supplies this time of year.

Jen said...

I'm in. I've been feeling terribly guilty about my spending for months but haven't done anything about it!

DC said...

I'm definitely up for the "no salon services" and "no makeup" bits of it. I can still wear makeup, right, as long as I don't buy any new? "No new furniture" will also probably work because I only purchase rare antique furniture. I've never been exactly sure what a "houseware" is, so I think I can give up those for a month. As for not buying new clothes, that should be okay -- as long as I try them on at the store first, they'll be used. That will mean I'll have to give up online clothes shopping, but I guess if it's for the good of the planet, I can make that sacrifice. What about edible clothes (e.g., undergarments)? They seem to be in sort of a gray area. The "whatever the hell else people buy" part might be a little tricky -- I'll have to have my lawyer get back to you on that one. I am really psyched about this. I have to go now so I can purchase some sort of Internet connected hand held computer to track what I don't buy.

So, I'm in!

noradawn said...

I'm in! Since I just discovered you recently, this will be the first challenge I participate in, although several of the challenges are part of my life, anyway. I sort of wish the challenge wasn't taking place during the month of my son's birthday, but that will be part of what makes this a challenge for me! Thanks for getting us thinking about our consumption habits, Crunchy.

Britta said...

I'll give it a go.

~mel said...

I'm in. After just finishing up buying new spring clothes for the kids and me and some garden/yard stuff, I need a break from spending. I also need to take a trip out of town for a wedding in May, so not spending should help save some money for that.

Cave-Woman said...

I'm in.
Sign me up.

Judy said...

I'm new to your blog and love it. Count me in on the Buy Nothing Challenge

scifichick said...

Count me in as well! I just bought few things that I needed, and I can't think of anything else I might need. So, I'm in. Now I just have to convince my 11-year old that he doesn't need anything either...

Jenna said...

I'd love to join... but I'm thinking as April seems to be the month of preplanned purchaces, it wouldn't be right. Or can we count the things we've already put aside for as privious purchases? Gardening supplies (IE plants and more seeds are really it) have to be bought as we're trying to avoid the grocery this fall, motorcycle class so I can stop using the Jeep and ride my scooter around town both come to mind.

Hmmm. Looks like I'll either be confessen a lot on Sundays or giving it a skip.

Bother.

maryann said...

Count me in, although I'll confess already, the house is in need of painting and we are planning to start in about a week so I will have paint and brushes and stuff to buy.

The Simpleton said...

I'm in as well . . . but like many here, I have to confess in advance. I'm going to buy a new bookshelf-cum-cubby that I have been planning for since November but to haul which I will need to borrow a friend's car. My justification is that it will keep me from having to buy doubles of all the things I tend to lose in the squalor--masking tape, wood screws, gardening trowels, children. Other than that one purchase, I am totally in (and this being gardening season, it truly is a challenge).

just ducky said...

Not fair!!! You suck!!!

April is my birth month! I celebrate pretty much all month long! How incredibly cruel...I think that warrants calling you the Crunchy Killer...

OK fine--I still love you, but you are still evil... :)

loving green said...

I am all over this challenge!!!
Sam @ Loving Green

Wasteweardaily said...

Well, I definetely want to be in on this one. I can forego buying new things since I mostly buy used anyway. I have already taken a pledge to buy no clothes for a year and to only get them from the trash.(see my blog). I am hoping that water heaters and toilets don't count because we really need new ones. Although maybe we will end up waiting another month.
Cindy in FL

Amy Paden said...

I just found your blog a few days ago, and I'm in on this challenge.

Elise said...

I Love this. I'm doing it. Does it still count if I'm a 'poor' college student who doesn't buy a whole lot anyway? I often think about how necessary any purchases I do make are, so this will cause me to be very aware.

sherrieg said...

Count me in! I'm excited to give this a go. Do donations count as buying things? (DH's birthday is coming up...) And we're buying seeds for the garden this week... I guess that counts as essential for growing our own food. I can see that there's going to be a lot of thinking going on this month! Thanks as always!

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

I do believe I can refrain for a month. Can't commit for my partner, but she's a long time thrift shopper so probably not much consumer action on her part.

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

I can do this... I think. The hard part for me is going to be the CVS/Walgreens shopping of getting things *almost* free. These are generally purchases for future use though. However, we are getting ready to downsize our house and there is NO NEED to bring more stuff in! I think this challenge has come at a perfect time for me! I'm in.

HomeandHearth said...

April is usually crunch time for me when it comes to finances, anyway. I'd like to join in (but please, does postage count as buying something new? I do reuse the shipping materials!)

Meghan said...

count me in. It will be hard. I may go in to goodwill withdrawal :)

SusanB said...

I'm in but I can't commit my partner (though sometimes I'd like to).

cheflovesbeer said...

Count me in. Remember Beer has food value but food has no beer value. Or do I have to give up beer? I will if I have too.

Stephanie said...

My hubby and I are in! We have been talking about doing this since the first of the year, this is just the shove we needed. He did state he needed bike tubes and I told him it was probably an essential since he uses it for commuting. Is that okay?

JenRob said...

I'm in! I tried to do this last month and totally failed, so I guess I'll give it another shot!

If any of you are interested in a different challenge, my new blog is hosting a TV Turnoff Challenge for the month of April! http://jenrob1066.blogspot.com/

Arif said...

piece of cake (will I eat those words?). We already buy almost nothing as it is :) I'm in. With one exception that I'll try to buy today to get it in under the wire - a bicycle helmet. I take my head protection pretty seriously, and there is no way I'd buy a used helmet, and the bikey folks I know well enough to barter with don't sell helmets :(

Ashley said...

im in.

does eating out count?

this will be hard for me.

i love target.

arduous said...

Well April will be my 9th month of my non-consumerist challenge which is basically the same thing, so sure, I'm in. That's easy. :)

Carlin said...

I'm in.
I actually already signed up for the same thing elsewhere, so now I have 2 places to be accountable!

My only planned purchases for this month were garden things, but I can probably make or get used most of what I'd planned to buy, with the exception of compost and soil.

Now if I can just convince my husband... He's made some big purchases in the last couple weeks so I can probably talk him into it.

arduous said...

P.S. Crunch, I am disappointed that you did not use my idea about everyone going into Target and yelling, "I'm not buying it," and running off. :)

Jenn said...

I'm in, too, although, given my grad student income and the fact that I pretty much do this all the time anyway it feels a bit like cheating. But, perhaps I'll surprise myself. And perhaps I can cut down the number of thrift store visits I make.

Thanks for the motivation!

Cheap Like Me said...

I'm in, too! Sounds great! With the caveat that I will still be buying some birthday gifts this month, if "just the right thing" isn't make-able. Great idea!

camp mom said...

Well I think I can deal with this. I ust stocked up on miscellanious stuff we needed and that included a stack of craft stuff....I 'm most definately in!

MamaBird said...

Great timing! I have been wanting to do this anyways and your accountability is JUST what I need. You rock, Crunchy. Sign me up.

Blue Collar Crunch said...

I'm in! I've been curious to see just how much unnecessary "stuff" I buy anyhow...somehow I have the feeling it's not much. I think most of my unnecessary spending is eating out (have to set a personal challenge for myself on that one later).

lauren said...

This will be my first challenge as well. I'm in!

Segwyne said...

I'm in. I will pre-confess that I promised two of my girls that they could get new bedsheets for their birthdays this month. The sheets that they have are about 8 years old and pretty threadbare and we have no spare sheets in case of nighttime accidents. I already bought and started knitting up the yarn for their other birthday present each, so I can handle not buying yarn. I will see if I can persuade my husband to join as well.

Green Bean said...

I'm in with the huge caveat that our range just died last night. It is the same problem that we had fixed a year ago for several hundred dollars - a problem the repair man said he'd never seen. So obviously the stove is a lemon. Yes, I could buy a used one but, honestly, we're hoping to sell the house in the next year and I'm thinking it would be better for the environment to buy one that people would keep and not just throw out when they move in.

That's a long winded way of saying that I'm in.

Lynne Marie said...

i'm in as long as gardening supplies are exempt.

however, i already have a confessional in the making. i'd set aside money this month to get my hair done and to get new lingerie. my husband comes home on may 1 from iraq, for a two-week leave.

lae21 said...

I also would like to join, but have several purchases that I need to make for the garden/back yard and my hair desperately needs a trim.... Drat. I'm usually so good at this type of thing since I hardly ever buy anything anyway.

Lydia

Theresa said...

Oh Crunchy, what are you doing to me!! Just last night the DH said that if the Oilers make the playoffs we could replace our 10 year old TV which now has no sound! I know, I know, it's a TV, it's just a TV. I barely watch TV anyway, which is why the intermittent sound failure hadn't bothered me much. And we cut off the cable/satellite service from June through September and have no TV at all for those months. But, *whine,* the Oilers might actually make the playoffs this year! Do I get a special Canadian Hockey Fan exemption for something like that?

I will ask to be 'in' but accept if it is deemed by Your Crunchiness that I must stay 'out.'

Nicole said...

Count me in too! My husband and I did this for the month of January and it really made a difference in our checking account.

skywaykate said...

I'm in, but this will be a bit of a challenge (in a good way) because I have 2 weeks off in the middle of the month due to moving jobs and taking some much needed time for myself.

Luckily I just got my haircut so I don't have that issue, and I won't need to buy hairspray since I'm off most of the month.

So my caveats are:
*A spa day at the local community college as a celebration of my time off
*Going out with friends to celebrate my transition (though they'll probably buy me most of what I eat or drink)

Projects already in the works that I need supplies for:
*2 cans of spray paint for updating items I already own and will incorporate into our new apartment
*Fabric and starch for decorating the closet doors
*2 quarts of a paint to touch up where we missed when we painted before moving in (1 is because we ran out, the other is white, where we got some on the ceiling--we'll use it up whenever we move out).
*Possibly, if I find the right stuff when I go to get the fabric for the doors, some fabric for hanging over our bed (and a frame, which I'll get on 50% discount with coupon). With that will come the need for a staple gun, though I'll try and borrow one instead (not sure from whom, because most of our friends don't have tools).

I'm not even going to ask if these are ok, but maybe you'll say I need to confess these items as well...but hopefully doing stuff to support Good4Girls will help "offset" my sins!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hooray for all you gullible, I mean, willing participants.

For those of you who had pre-scheduled construction, home-repairs or other things that were pre-ordered that's fine.

Gardening, livestock, animal needs all get chalked up to the "food growing" exemption.

For the rest of the purchases mentioned in advance, since you already owned up to them, you are given a reprieve.

So, consider yourselves added to the challenge. I'll start up a list on the navbar later today...

skywaykate said...

Oh shoot, I just realized that means I can't buy any more magazines than we already get via subscription. Being off for over two weeks will be tough without my guilty pleasure!!

Wendy said...

Count me in! Buy nothing new for the month of April ...? This should be lots of fun!

BTW, my friend in Florida has gone one step beyond and inspired by the book Not Buying It ... she and her teenage daughter have vowed to buy nothing new/non-essential for a whole year. She's blogging about her experience here.

I couldn't convince my husband to "Freeze Yer Buns Off" (although I managed to keep the heat at 60° for most of the day while he wasn't home), and I won't talk about his reaction to the suggest of cloth toilet paper. So, no shopping for a whole year would be asking too much. I know I can do a month, though - no problem ;).

Looking forward to the challenge :).

The Purloined Letter said...

What a great idea! I am in-- although I am throwing in my name with no thought at all here. Do I have Son's birthday presents? I think I am set.... And the big fiber festival is at the beginning of May.... Yep--I'm in!

Megan said...

Oh no! Normally we don't buy any of those things anyway- but we need to buy cabinets to finish our kitchen and I was hoping to do it this month....

Anonymous said...

Count me in Crunchy! I'm not sure about the teenage daughters, but if they choose to buy something it will be without Mom's money! Ha! That'll get 'em to rethink those purchases. Keep those challenges coming.
Debbie C

Amy said...

I have no money anyway . . . now I'll feel virtuous instead of broke! I'm in!

LiveWorkDream said...

As a fulltime traveling RVer, I'm definitely up to the challenge. With little space to keep our "stuff", it's relatively easy to pass up on unnecessary things.

But does fuel count? If we can leave fuel out of this challenge, count me in!

Linz said...

I'm in! I need to cut down on thrift store purchases and groceries. Concentrate on using the larder I have.

kssnflwr said...

This is a great idea Crunchy! I have been trying to eliminate extras in our life, i.e. netflix, cable, and cell phones. So count me in! Just tell me how to get my husband on board!
By the way, does anyone remember the days before cell phones? I really want to get rid of mine, but I'm worried about the school needing to have me come pick up a sick child, etc. I am a college student so I'm not in one place all day. Am I just making up excuses or is a cell phone a legitimate expense?

LMH said...

I've only been reading your blog for about a month, but it is such a great one! I love, LOVE the challenges. I am in for this sub Compact! My hubby and I have been talking about the Compact and whether we could do it for not, so this is a great chance to see if we can. Thanks

Chile said...

Hm, I'm not sure I'm going to sign up for this one. I already pretty much live this way! It's a great challenge, though.

Wanda said...

I'm in! This sounds so interesting.

But I am dying of curiosity about what you have in mind for May! ;)

Crunchy Chicken said...

Ah, jeez, Chile. If you don't officially sign up then I can't give you a funny name in the sidebar.

csim33 said...

I'm in. I will be taking the gardening exemption though.

We also have a spare bedroom with nothing but a cat box in it right now. We are planning on making it into an actual guest bed room (since we will have guests in June) so there's my other confession. We're going to buy a bed.

asrais said...

Heck, I rarely buy anything. I'm in. Except we have plans to replace our cell phone this month 'cause I have prepaid minutes left and it turns out after you rip the top off the phone it no longer works.

stella said...

I'm in. (I thought I left this, but it didn't publish.)

Do we count restaurants and cafes and bars? I think a lot of my extra spending goes there. I don't buy much stuff or do much fancy services, but I do like to go for a beer once a week and relax at a cafe a few times a week.

And do we count paid entertainment?

kendra said...

Okay, (gulp) I'm in! This is going to be tough since this beautiful spring weather makes me crave new patio furniture, but being that our credit card bill was way too high for my liking last month and our house is chalk full of stuff already, I need this challenge!

Chile said...

Oh, you mean the possibility of you giving me a nickname like "Fartsy" is supposed to entice me to sign up? Hm, gotta do better than that. Let me think of a good April challenge for you to join. :-D

Anna Banana said...

I'll do it! Please remind people that they can clean a drawer, a closet, the garage, etc. to find things they forgot they had. Fun substitute for new stuff.

Amber said...

No new clothes

No new gadgets

No new furniture or housewares

No salon services

No makeup

No tools

No whatever the hell else people buy

Ok I understand all of these except salon services. Not that I'm a huge fan of salon services, I only get my hair cut like twice a year. But services seem different than buying stuff. Do you know what I mean? You can't throw away a hair cut, but it can be just as nice as buying a whole bunch of expensive clothing.

stella said...

oh shoot! I just remembered that I need to buy a pair of sunglasses. The ones I have (handed down from my sister who had them handed down from her friend) were left on the BART train.
I am trying to decide to buy a pair of cheapies or buy a nicer pair that I will care enough about to not forget or lose.
I'll confess it when it happens...

Gray Matters said...

I was planning to "not spend" for April so I am thankful for the opportunity to be held accountable for my attempt. I'm totally in and oddly enough, looking forward to it. There are only 30 days in April, right?

Rechelle said...

If I don't buy anything... what am I supposed to do for fun???

Rechelle said...

What if I bought a Diva Cup? Would that be okay?

Rechelle said...

What about FLOWERS!!! Can I buy flowers? Cause I think if I could buy flowers, I might be able to do this... maybe.. probably not... but maybe...

nova_j said...

ooo i'm in! :D

very glad vege garden stuff is exempt tho, cos that means my confessions *should* only be for a pattern, zips & elastic for the kids winter clothes..

i hope hiring a birth pool is ok! ;)

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rechelle, you comment whore, here are the answers to your questions:

If I don't buy anything... what am I supposed to do for fun???
Get yourself a Sancho. I'm sure the Country Doctor won't mind since he'll be thrilled that you're not spending any money.

What if I bought a Diva Cup? Would that be okay?
As long as you use it for the rest of your menstruating life, which is only a few years.

What about FLOWERS!!!
Only if you plan on eating them.

Note: I am in no way actually advocating getting a Sancho or eating flowers. I'm just hoping to keep the comments from the peanut gallery down to a reasonable level.

Anonymous said...

I am in with a few exceptions - kids recital upcoming and pointe shoes and costumes must be bought :)

Does this include my dr pepper runs?

Lora

Robj98168 said...

Ok Ms. Chicken- I will do this with one exception- The tool thing- I quite often need to buy a tool for my job so I don't see that as an uneccessary expense or purchase. I can keep myself from buyong cosmetics as I am naturally pretty (see bio pic)

Just trying to be green said...

I'd like to be in; though I am going to buy one thing this month:
A bike to commute to work on.

Ananda Devika said...

OK, I'm in, BUT I already have a hair appointment scheduled for Friday...I'm not going to count this, 'cause it's "technically" a March purchase that got reschedule due to my hairdresser's child being ill...that's a valid excuse right? ;)


Um, wow. This is going to be hard. I already don't buy much closes-wise, but I'm headed to a belly dance workshop this weekend and can rarely resist the temptations of all things sparkly. It's going to be tough! I'll give it a shot though...no promises...but I'll try my best!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rob - damn straight you're naturally perty.

And the next time my son plugs up the toilet with wads of toilet paper until it overflows and floods the basement (like last week), I'm calling you and your shiny new tools!

Joyce said...

Okay, after some negotiation with my other half, I'm in. He's not terribly enthusiastic, but this is the only month of the year when we don't have a birthday or some other celebration that might provoke gift-giving. I think we can do it.

Della said...

okay, taking a deep breath and joining in. I really need to do this, as I need to be concentrating on saving money right now, not spending it!

CatMominPhilly said...

I am IN!!! This will be awesome, b/c I have made progress in my buying but still buy more than needed. Plus, i'm saving for a 'green wedding' that wastes little and OH YEA>.....I love my PLANET EARTH!

april said...

Count me in. I've been a tight wad for the past couple months, so this should be easy.

PS. Got any recommendations on good bday gifts for kids? I need to get a gift for my son to take to an 8yo boy's party.

Burbanmom said...

Just the kick in the pants I need to get back on the compact. Count me in!

Erin AKA Burbanmom at Going Green

Theresa said...

Crunchy - hee! Thanks for letting me 'in' and making me laugh with the funny alternative nick-name in the side bar! And if the Oilers don't make the playoffs, we won't be buying a tv.

Oh, and the Simple Prosperity book arrived today in the mail - many thanks!!

miss muffet said...

I'm in. My preplanned purchases: $10 per kid for school book fair (i know, but...), tickets for dance recital, massage (already budgeted for--just having scheduling problems).

LisaZ said...

Oh crap! How could this be the new challenge? Never did get around to signing the Compact. It's not like I have any money to spend on non-essentials anyway, but I do like to fantasize about books, solar ovens, grain mills, 5 gallon buckets and gamma seals, etc. Now I can't even do that...

I'm in except my poor 11-year old son has outgrown his shoes and is only wearing snowboots everywhere (still appropriate here in snowing-today Minnesota but I'm sick of hearing him clod around in them) so we may be buying one pair of shoes for him in the next day or two.

Also, my DH has a b'day in two days and his b'day gift money is up to him (I was hoping he'd want to buy a Harsch crock with it but probably not...). I'll only include myself in this challenge, but I'm sure DH will be happy to save and not spend for a month. And I know he'll be happy that I'm not spending anything!

In spite of my initial resistance to this, I'm happy for the challenge! Tax rebates won't come till May anyway.

Lisa

LisaZ said...

Geez, I hate it when I don't get the letters in the word verification right. It took me three times to post the above comment! Somedays a challenge...

Anyone else have this issue?

Frugal Nut said...

I'm definitely in, I think this is a great thing and it will make some people think about what they need and what they can get second hand or pre-used. Count me in.

kristin said...

i'm in.

Samantha said...

I'll give it a shot. I love to spend money though, so I'm not sure how it'll go.

cindy24 said...

Sign me up. I will have to buy a mascara. Got pinkeye from the kids and waiting it out. I had to throw away the one mascara I own. It is the only makeup I use on a daily basis and not willing to go without. I have often had my unofficial spending freezes. It will be great to have someone to confess to.

Anonymous said...

I'm in! Sounds like fun but I already have a couple of confessions: I may have to buy new warm weather duds for the kids and won't be able to make it with my almost-empty-bottle of foundation for a whole month (I know, I should just forego the makeup, but I can't do it!).

Thanks for the challenge!
Rebekah

Laura said...

The New York girl with too many shoes has realized she needs to stick to her budget.

I'M IN!!!!!!!!

Grad Green said...

I'm in! I've been meaning to try this, and now I will.

Elise said...

Does paying money to attend a performance or event such as a play that a friend is in or an Outing Club event that costs a few dollars count in your opinion?

memeli1 said...

I will definitely join...I'm completely out of money anyways!

I will have to buy a transportation ticket if the prices are low though...to see my parents :(

Other than that tho, no buying!

Jenette said...

Ok ... well tomorrow is my birthday and I will gift my self with the "Buy Nothing Challenge". I have one exception I do have a salon appointment on Thursday but I will be using a gift certificate.

Thanks for keeping us Challenged.

lindes said...

I'm down! I hereby accept your challenge, with one caveat: there's a group project going on which has a hard deadline, and I reserve my right to consider any items directly for that project to be "essentials"; however, I won't pull the stunt I pulled with my last purchase for that project and tack on extras for myself to my order. :-)

Fun challenge!

I wonder what the Fed will think of it, especially if you get a whole bunch of participants. ;-)

Rosa said...

I can't :(

We are full of family gift obligations in April, and getting ready for the May Day Parade, and I just gave up and realized I have to buy peat pots this year, no time to make newspaper ones.

Can next month's be to mow lawns without gasoline? We already do that, so I'd sign up for it. I might even help this summer.

MamaFeelgood said...

Sign me up mama.

Laura said...

I'm in! :)
Being jobless (or jobfree, depending on how you look at it) this may not be that tough.
Famous last words, eh?

You can call me sophielovespeanutbutter for the list, to differentiate from the other Laura. :) That is, if that will fit. Sophielovespb works too. :)

Great challenge!

rosiegirl said...

Count me in. I'll admit that this might be a little tough as I am part of 3 different bookclubs. Here's hoping that the library has an available copy of the books I will need.

Anonymous said...

O.K....I wont buy anything but food/toiletries for 30 days.

Karen said...

Oooops, that was me above, I didn't mean to be annonymous...
Thanks,

Karen

Claire said...

We will do our best! We've been to Best Buy and target waaaay too many times in the last month!

eva said...

I'm in, aside from two purchases that I've been planning for a while, and really need: a high-chair and a wrap carrier for my baby. This is going to make birthdays a challenge...

Julie said...

I'm in. I just talked myself out of a new pair of shoes this morning. Might as well continue with the theme!

kitty said...

Alright, I'm totally up for this one, especially since I'm still a starving grad student. Now my poverty has a social conscience! Also, I just splurged on goods in an uncharacteristic way last week. I bought a grain mill and a stick blender to make our own soap. Oops! but they will help us to buy less. Now I just need to try to source some grain and oils from the New England area...

Thanks Crunchy!

Anonymous said...

It's a bit late but I'm in. Had to convince my husband we should do this. He's up for it so here we go...
CLM

Sweetpeas said...

I've been doing this for the last couple months out of necessity (one income family & dh lost his job). So count me in with one caveat, one of the jobs dh has interviewed for would require us to move out of state, if that goes through we may have to make some purchases in order to get this house ready to sell or rent.

Anastasia-Jane said...

Count me in too!! I desperately need a haircut but think I can wait a month. Might have a few gardening related purchases but overall think I can do it.
Didn't give us much of a break after the Freeze challenge.
Great idea!!

DramaMama said...

We're in too! I thought I left a comment yesterday, but I guess not...can't find it...oh well! Gettin' old!

Lynnet said...

I'm in! DH is even in, pretty much (a big surprise to me!). We're in the midst of some small energy improvements to our house, and will finish that, and paying for it.

I stopped buying new clothes last November, but I have been buying books (my nemesis) and household goods.

kelley said...

i'm looking at my april budget, and there's no money in there for extra stuff...except a haircut.

my mom wraps tape around her head to cut her own hair, but for the love of vanity, i have bangs! think of the bangs!

Jessica C. said...

I've been thinking about this for awhile, so you have just given me the encouragement I need to stop spending so much money on things I don't need. I've also been trying to focus on needs verses wants. Now, some wants are pretty important (and I'm glad I decided to actually buy a couple yesterday ;-) ) but the majority of them really are short term wants that I'll eventually end up donating anyways. Thanks! This is my first challenge with you, and I'm looking forward to it :-)

just me said...

Wow, how did you know that trips to Target consumed an embarrasingly large portion of our pay this past month? Everything in there is so shiny and pretty. Here's an embarrassing confession: If I have to go to Target alone, I call my sister or a friend on the cell phone to help talk me out of there, because I can't seem to get my cart to point to the exit on my own.

Thanks for this challenge! I am so in!

kimberly said...

hey
i'll totally do it. i was just wondering how the heck i'd make rent next month, so maybe this will help me see how much i'm really spending. good luck everyone!

ANewDay said...

I believe I will take you up on this challenge. It fits in nicely with my other goals.

Now I have to call my husband and tell him his errand run tonight really better only result in a bag of sugar being bought. :)

Hippie Girl said...

I'd love to join this challenge - so count me in!!

Mrs Green said...

What a great idea - I've done this a few times in the past, but to have the moral support of a group of like-minded people will really help and add to the fun and help me to keep on track.

Thanks so much for setting this up. I can't believe I have only just discovered your wonderful blog. I'll add you as a link to mine and write about this challenge tomorrow.

Keep up the great work and awesome blogging!

Namaste
Mrs Green x

maria said...

i didn't realize that the rule was just "don't buy new stuff". not having much disposable income has pretty much gotten me in the habit of hardly ever buying new stuff. but it doesn't mean i don't come home from the thrift store with an impulse buy or two.

if i accept this challenge the only thing that sucks was that i was going to buy my stepdaughter a pair of roller skates this month. and it was only because i got her an awesome USED pair that ended up being too small. it was a great find and i don't know if lightning will strike twice...

ah, hell, count me in!

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

i'd love to give it a go! please count me in. :)
i don't know that my husband will be game though, but i'll do my best to convince him as well.

Tara said...

Can me in. I am going to give a good try! It has already put my mind at ease about things I was thinking about buying in April. I was going back and forth and thinking should I get this or that. Now I can relax and not think about those things that are not really necessary!

Green Ole Mommy said...

I am in. I do have a hair appointment on the 8th that I am going to have to wrestle with, but wrestle I shall. However, you may very well see me in confessional on the following Sunday.

B & L said...

Count me in! I just stumbled upon your blog this morning, just in time for this challenge. My boyfriend and I try our hardest to do anything to help the environment or do our part. So i think that this will be a super easy challenge for us, seeing as we already do this often! Im excited for your future challenges!

dahlia said...

oh my.

ok! i'm in.

Beany said...

Count me in. This will also be the first month in a very long time when all purchases will be made in cash. I'm trying to stop using my credit card.

J.D. said...

Hmm, okay. I'll give it a try -- good timing, because my girlfriend is unemployed and stressing about money.

Necessary exceptions: taxes, and travel reservations (I've got some international trips coming up.)

Melinda said...

Great challenge. I've been mulling it over for the past 24 hrs. We stopped buying stuff about 6 months ago - everything but things that were absolutely necessary - for the Riot For Austerity. And for ourselves and the planet, too.

But we're moving. I'll be challenging our family to move with the least amount of purchased stuff possible - it's in my nature. But I just don't think we'll be able to do it without buying a thing.

Wasted Food said...

What a great idea, count me in (I'll try my best).

I know this challenge isn't geared towards food, but I would encourage folks to consider whether everything in their shopping cart will be eaten or whether it was just something that looked good but will likely sit unused in your fridge or pantry.

Chile said...

I reserve the right to change my mind. I'll go ahead and play your little game here. (Decision came after sorting through restaurant coupons trying to justify going out to eat because it would be cheap...I guess I need more outside pressure to be accountable. *sigh*)

Please list me as Chile @ Cut the Crap. ;-)

Holly said...

I'm a die-hard for buying used already, so I'm in! Heck, I kinda started yesterday, when I found just what we needed in a quick thrift store visit, so I can return some stuff I bought new. yay!

Jennie said...

ADD ME TOO

Christy said...

i am gonna join in cause i truly have a spending problem and want to stop it!!

alianora said...

Im in! Although, we're moving soon, so this might make things much more interesting...

Rosa said...

for people thinking about cutting your own hair:

The secret is, cut it Friday night. then touch it up Saturday morning after you've slept on it, and Sunday morning after you've washed it, if you wash it. Minor changes over time prevent big mistakes!

It is almost always a bad idea to cut it just before a big event or in the morning when you're trying to get ready for work. A coworker taught me this a long time ago amd it has never done me wrong.

Actually, her rule was "never decide to change your hair color at 5 am on a work morning," but the principle is the same :)

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Well. I'm backing out. Yep, plum going back on my commitment.
Reason:We are moving to South Dakota for NEW JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!
We are probably going to buy new boxes because when you move 800 + miles you don't want your crap stuffed in old liquor boxes. Actually, the last time I moved to SD, I fit ALL my crap in a Gremlin hatch back(tells you how long ago THAT was). And I will be collecting used boxes, I'll let you know how we do.

Ruthie said...

Oh I am SO IN. I've been thinking about doing the Compact, and one month will give me the experience I need!

Anonymous said...

I would join, but April is already planned as a getting-rid-of-stuff month for me, because I'm moving a few thousand miles away this summer. So, my net acquisitions should be negative, but I need a few things--like a well-built wooden crate for moving a fragile family heirloom.

But I WILL try harder to bring my lunch to campus with me, rather than buying it.

Al said...

I've been lurking here for about a month now. I had been considering a Buy Nothing month, and this great way to keep me honest. I am in! :)

As with most of the others, I have a few preplanned birthday purchases (but am trying VERY hard to get them used or made of recycled materials) as well as a local trip for my boyfriend's birthday. He's going to get a laugh out of Buy Nothing month (as he does for most of my efforts to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle).

esp said...

I've been planning on buying nothing for April, so it was great to see this on your blog today. I'll join in. My caveat -- a preplanned (and made from recycled materials) toy purchase for my nephew's birthday.

crstn85 said...

I'm in. I will try to get my friend to come cut my hair for me, but I really thinking getting a reasonably priced haircut is a perfectly valid expense. It cuts down on hair gel use!

Louise said...

Count me in as well... just groceries, oh and next Monday I NEED a new broom..mine is so hairy that it has bristles sticking out all over... Monday April 7 is 10% for anyone over 55 years of age and I qualify.
Louise in Alberta Canada

Deanna said...

Since you so kindly offered me a dispensation for the 10 days we will be in New Orleans this month, I'm in for the remaining 20 days. I'm glad to hear that farm and garden expenses are exempt as I plan to start my garden and buy more chicks when we get back from N.O.

And since others are doing their advance confessions, I'll just go ahead and admit right now that my regularly scheduled hair appointment is tomorrow and I'm not canceling it. I don't do grey roots.

Since I'm only in for 20 days, I'm adding the challenge of not purchasing much in the way of groceries other than milk and fresh produce this month. My pantry and freezer are packed so this should be do-able.

I put out a monthly newsletter, "Tea With Dee" and the April issue went out today. In my section on frugal living I wrote about this challenge and included a link to your site. Hope that was okay!

LifeLessPlastic said...

I'm in, I'm in!! I barely buy anything at all these days, so I think I can handle it, although I have to admit that this challenge would be a bit trickier if one of my close relatives or friends had a birthday in April.

Gypsy said...

I'm in. No exceptions - apart from my daily cup of coffee. I can give up everything but that.

Livin Natural said...

I'm on it, can't wait to simplify! I'm also linking folks to your site.
Thanks for the great challenge.

Anonymous said...

I'm in! Spring is a tough time, but this will help me rethink ... beg, borrow, or do without will be my new motto!

Robj98168 said...

Okay CHicken Lady- I just found out I have a conundrum! My Honda Scooter and my Tractor need new batteries- "acquire something non-edible or not essential to growing your own food or for your survival"
Now I know that I could survive without 'em but I use the tractor for growing food albeit just towing the pots from the front yard to the back BUT I do drive the scooter to work, seattle weather permitting- What do I do???

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rob - I guess it depends. If you have an enormous yard or a bad back then the tractor battery is justifiable. Otherwise consider doing without it as a free gym membership.

As for the scooter battery, if it gets better gas mileage than your '95 Macho Swiftmobile, and it's what you usually drive, then it may be okay. But, since you do have alternative transportation options you could do without for the month.

Batteries are tough since you really can't get a used one. It all comes down to what you are putting the battery in and it's necessity.

I can't really decide for you - just make sure you check in for the Sunday Confessional if you do buy either one.

~summer~ said...

I'm in.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

Sign me up. This is easy, easy, easy! I may have a hard time getting out of a warm shower, but I am cheap, cheap, cheap and I don't need anything!

So glad I already pre-ordered the new Madonna album on iTunes yesterday. You heard me, sister. Have you heard "4 Minutes" with Madonna and Justin Timberlake and Timbaland? I've been dancing down the street like Ellen Degeneres for 2 days and counting!

daharja said...

Sign me up. I'll do my best, but it will be hard, as we've just moved houses, cities, countries, and are finding that we just couldn't fit everything we needed into 108 kilograms of luggage!

I'll do it anyway :-) What's the point of a challenge if it isn't hard? And this will be mt first Crunchy Challenge. Does this make me a Crunchy Virgin? ;-)

Daharja at Cluttercut :-)

Renee said...

I'm newly introduced to your blog and very excited to try my first challenge. I don't think this one will be *too* tough as we're on a tight budget at the moment. But, I appreciate that you'll be keeping me mindful.

Lisa said...

I am in..deffinitely. cant afford not to be.

Theresa said...

Well, the Edmonton Oilers lost their hockey game tonight, so they can't make the playoffs anymore. So the TV will not be purchased, pre-planned or not. Just as well -- now I can participate in the challenge much more whole-heartedly!

Maggie said...

I'm in! I just found you and it couldn't have been at a better time...

homeschoolmom said...

I backed away swiftly after reading this in the morning...and thought about it all day. I'm so grateful I bought almost all of next year's curriculum used on ebay before this month (anal retentive much??) and I just found a used bookstore nearby I didn't even know existed. It'll still be there next month, tho, and my library's good.

So, I'm in. And I'm dragging my reluctant family in with me!

polythenepam said...

howdy doody, new to the site but eager to get going -not quite sure how I sign up so I will promise here - I will purchase nothing in April except drinks in bars. I have made arrangements with very unruly friends and I have to stand my round – I don’t think they will go for a buy nothing caveats. My thing is giving up one use disposable plastic - needless to say I have to make a lot of my own stuff to avoid bottles bags and needless packaging. You might find some of the tips useful - www,plasticisrubbish.wordpress.com

Anna-Lisa said...

Great idea, I am definetely in. My consumption level is quite low, however it can be a lot better. For example I have pledged to buy no new clothes for the whole of 2008 and to make presents, however I have brought some books over the last few months which is bad. I will go to the library instead. Once again great idea and I look forward to being part of the challenge.

willowluna said...

Please sign me up! This should be very good for our family. Thanks!

Our Lovely Life said...

I'm in!! I have been wanting to start compacting for a long time, but haven't had the will power. A challenge is just what I need!!!

pink dogwood said...

I had been wanting to do this ever since I read Judith Levine's book - count me in.

thanks,

Jordan said...

I'm in, i'm in, i'm in!!!!

lorisdoris said...

I'm in too. Although I may have to go to confession if I run out of paint. We are painting our house in an effort to keep this siding out of the landfill and us having to buy new siding. The painting has to be done before the heat arrives. Has to, has to, has to!

Shannon Hodgins said...

O.k., I'm in. I did buy a new skillet last night....but I've been holding on that one an extra month to make sure I needed it. We cook at home so much that I did need it. Shannon

Rebecca said...

I'll do it too - kinda scary - but I'll give it my best! Thanks for the motivation!

Holly said...

Okay...peer pressure works. I'll give it a shot. But I'm going to confess a few things now:

1. I have niece and nephew birthdays this month, and I am going to give them presents.

2. I am going to (try to) buy a car this month. It's the one I've been leasing for two years, so maybe that doesn't really count.

Niffer said...

I am in. I went nearly six months without buying anything for myself and have gone a little overboard the last two months. I need to get back on track. I haven't turned down a challenge since starting to read your blog and I don't plan to start now(but May might be a different story depending on what you are cooking up).

Jennifer H.

gsgranola said...

What a great idea - I'll be joining in on the challenge. I'll post the link on my blog too. I just started the blog so I don't have any real readers yet but please check it out if you get a chance. www.gardenstategranola.com

Beautiful Each Day said...

I'm in. I think it will be difficult to remember, but I have enlisted my 11 year-old to be my enforcer. She's thrilled to have been asked to boss me around for a change.

-robin

Amanda said...

Humph. I think birthdays should be an exception. Especially since my mom offered to take me shopping for my birthday, and I told her I wanted to go to the thrift shop and the used book store. And I was already thinking about how I could give up Target. (Advice on how to wash dishes without dishsoap? Or clothes without laundry detergent?)

But my kids really NEED a new trampoline. I'm afraid I'm going to end up with another emergency room bill otherwise. I have BOYS, people!!

Joyful Mama said...

Family of four, one income, full-time student for a hubby...hhmmm...I am SO in!

sal said...

I'm smack in the middle of repairing the flood damage in my basement. Can I participate as long as I don't buy anything not absolutely necessary to the repair work? Then again I wouldn't mind just filling the basement in with dirt...

saltgirl said...

Ok so "Sal" was supposed to be Saltgirl...

Rachel said...

I'm in as well. Although technically this is probably cheating, as I've been doing this since the start of the year. My New Year resolution was Buy Nothing New, and I've been doing pretty well. Essentially all I've bought are some birthday presents and a few other things that have been near impossible to get from thrift stores or ebay. But I'll go even harder in April, I promise!

knittingwoman said...

This is the way that we live all year around with a very few exceptions. I won't commit to this challenge though, as son #4, the 16 year (size 13 feet) has to have new shoes this month.

Nature Deva said...

I'm in as well but I pretty much have learned to live this way since we went a year on the compact after 9/11 and the entire software industry tanked in our area. We almost had to move for a job but turned it around after a year.

I've learned to find the great deals at closeout stores, freecycle, craigslist free section, bulk buying, growing our own food as much as possible, haircuts at great clips - with a coupon, etc.

I've started spending a bit more on myself since we turned it around but I still don't buy new clothes if not on sale and only when really needed or I buy from a thrift store. Costco is great for certain food items (organic, too), buying food from local farms,etc has been great as well.

Even with updating our house (we are moving in a few years) I shop for the best deal and we do all the work ourselves.

This way of living can be done and isn't too hard once you get the mindset to do it.

Yielded Heart said...

This shouldn't be so hard as we've been striving to live "with the basics" for a while now, except that a certain child's birthday is coming up...

But I'm all for the challenge.

So count me in!

Midnightsky Fibers said...

I am in! There are a few business expenses that are not essential but will be very helpful that will likely occur this month. Dangit I have already bought coffee I didn't *need* this month.

(http://blog.midnightskyfibers.com is the blog I use)

Tara said...

I'm in!!

Melissa said...

I'm in too...I'd given myself some
"rules" in an effort to buy less anyway, but this is better. I just saw it, so I'll make my confession from yesterday. I bought a cheese grater and paper sorter for my desk at ikea (but that was all I bought and I LOVE that place, and I picked the cheese grater that was only metal rather than the one with the plastic on it). dh is in too...he informed me he already buys almost nothing...he may be right. we shall see. so excited!

rachel, pe said...

Do death-related items count? I just had to order more sympathy acknowledgement cards. If not, I'm in. And if so, cripes, cut me a break, my mom just died!

Looks like you have a mighty clan going here.

Ps said...

Hopped over from pink Dogwood's.LOVED this challeng--and yes count me in.

sherrieg said...

Do donations given to MSF on behalf of someone as a birthday gift count? Thanks! :)

Marie said...

Shoot, I've been buying nothing for months. It's called being broke. But what really depresses me is your use of the Target logo, my favorite place to shop. As such it is a very powerful symbol for this purpose, but it make me wish Wal-Mart had such a recognizable symbol so you could use that instead. :P

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