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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Buy Nothing Challenge 2009

It's been a whole year since the last Buy Nothing Challenge, and hoo boy!, have I fallen off the wagon. With my hubs back to work full-time as of the end of June, I don't feel as financially strapped and so, well, forgive me people, but I have been spending like mad.

So, it's time to strap down that wallet and do another round of the Buy Nothing Challenge - the 2009 Edition. Last year I hosted two of these challenges and there were hundreds of people that participated. This year around, people are having more economic challenges of their own, so having a gang of readers pledging together to save money by not spending will hopefully help out your finances.

Like last year, here are the guidelines. For the month of August, you can buy:

* 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

This year I'm giving you a couple weeks to prepare, but that doesn't mean that you should go out and spend and hoard in preparation. In fact, I bet that once you sign up for this challenge, most likely you'll start watching what you are spending now. At least, that's what happened for most of the people who participated last year.

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.

Things that are okay
Necessary items like schools supplies and the like are okay, so don't panic about back-to-school items. Also, items used for canning and food storage are okay so don't worry if you are running low on pectin, mason jars and whatnot. If you have a vacation planned in August, just confess ahead of time accordingly. But that doesn't give you free reign to totally undo your efforts the rest of the month.

If you want to sign up for the challenge, leave a comment on this post 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://www.thecrunchychicken.com/2009/07/buy-nothing-challenge-2009.html"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_8ndgSYbdkZ0/SlQBgMNmGDI/AAAAAAAACxk/ZNL7MW0oJnU/s320/buynothingbanner.jpg" border="0" alt="Buy Nothing Challenge - August 2009" /></a>

For me, the hardest part is going to be eating out - mostly coffee shops. But this time, I'll limit myself to only buying drinks (so I don't get kicked out for using their free wifi), but will skip the food.

How about you? Are you ready to save some pennies?

85 comments:

deannasuestru said...

I am so up for this and to see what I really spend my money on. Seeing as though my husband left me and 3 little girls back in December I don't see that I've been buying a whole lot out of the norm. Clothes for the growing kids but I think I have that all taken care of for the most part till December anyways and I don't ever spend on salon services nor really to eat out.
I am however going on Vacation end of July and first week of August but I will do my best even then since I will be with family to not eat out.

Erika said...

I'm in... I don't really buy a whole lot of non-necessary stuff, but this will be a good challenge for what I do buy.

--Erika

Michelle said...

I'm gonna try but I have two trips planned and one of them is an upscale cabin with my girlfriends and our kids...I soo want to do this though. I will be thrifting and yardsaling for kids clothes for school though, I should get a special dispensation for that...;)

nava said...

I am in! We'll see if the rest of the family is too ;)

...e... said...

i'm in.

crstn85 said...

I'm glad to hear that your husband is well enough to be back to work! I guess I'll play along although I hate shopping in the first place so it won't be a big sacrifice.

Billie said...

I will be curious to see if this is a challenge for me. I don't do a lot of buying to begin with so I am not sure if this will be a challenge.

I know last year I ended up buying a sewing machine in the middle of the challenge because I was waiting for it to go on sale to buy it and wouldn't you know it... happened during the challenge.

Radioactive Duck said...

I'm in for the challenge. I'm loosing my job at the end of the month and my company has yet to find me a new position. It's quit possible I will be officially laid off for the month of August, it may be more out of necessity than the challenge that I buy nothing. But I can continue in my buy nothingness state to declutter and Goodwill/Salvation Army what I really don't need.

Adrienne said...

I will pre-confess, I'm buying a sofa! I'm moving at the first of the month and I refuse to bring the nasty, broke down, 25 year old couch that my parents bought when i was 12 years old with me. But I've already been buying nothing for a couple months which is how I can afford a new (or possibly used if i can find a decent one) sofa and plan to continue with that unless there's anything I truly need for moving or for the new place.

Heather said...

I think I am up for this, now if I can get my husband on board...that is another question entirely! We may have to buy another computer as he will be working from home starting in August...do business expenses count???

Bullwinkle said...

/sigh I started to write that I was in, and then ... well, below:

"I'm in, maybe. There's garden expansion supplies that will be purchased - but these are exempt?

I have some planned purchases for August (I'm waiting on a sale for a few needed items in the (work) clothing department and new dirty work/garden/run dog boots (because my feet hurt and its time for new ones but they go on sale in Aug.) Does that count?

I'll live on podcasts for August (when my ebook runs out.)

p.s. But if the camera dies, I need to figure out a new/used one."

not very committed, am I? ;) And my word verification word is wigallys --> wigglely

Lynn from OrganicMania.com said...

OK, I'm in...my biggest challenge will be not buying cute back-to-school stuff for my Big Boy.

Glad you're back in the saddle with these challenges!

Lee said...

I'm in! We don't have any big plans except going to a family member's cabin so we should be able to limit our expenses to food. I do love a challenge! :)

Summer said...

I'm in! This will be great. We don't buy a lot of stuff anyway, but this will help me cut back even more.

Corinne said...

I'm in. I have a vacay planned for the middle of August, but I'll try my best not to spend too much.

Chronic Sonica said...

Will be an especially big challenge for me as it looks like my divorce settlement money will be arriving in August... Will try to only pay off outstanding debts and resist the urge to buy new toys...!

mudnessa said...

I'm in although I never really got out of the habit after the last challenge you had. I am even doing good on eating out right now.

Tara said...

I'm in. I need this. We actually need to tighten the belt for an extended period, so this will be a good jumping off point. One caveat for me - I need to also include "non-essential food" in my forbidden items list. I know food is food, but I'm really bad about buying specialty items that aren't entirely necessary, and a lot of my money goes out the door that way. Gourmet cheese and fig preserves, anyone? *sigh*

frugalurban said...

Yikes! This terrifies me but I'm pledging myself now. I do think I'll be buying canning equipment (actually, my first thought on reading the rules was "but what about the pressure canner????"), and I'm going to be renting a car to go and visit my parents (where I'll be doing a bunch of canning with my mom). But other than that, I'll try my best!

Q said...

I'm in-skis.

Mary M. said...

Count me in! Work is getting slower and I really need something to keep me motivated to slow down my spending even more. Thanks, Crunchy!

Stephanie said...

I am in! We just had a huge discussion on how our spending had gotten out of hand.

Farmer's Daughter said...

Just this morning I was mental tallying how much money we're going to have left after we pay our property taxes by Aug 1. Since i'm a teacher, I won't see a paycheck again until September, and my husband only gets paid once a month, so I was thinking about how we'll scrape by!

Sounds like this is just what I need. However, I can't promise that I won't buy a few new clothes for the beginning of the school year since some of my clothes from last year are worn, stained, or no longer fit so well. I'm just putting it out there :)

Jenipurr said...

I'm in, and willing to give it a good try. There will have to be a few exceptions - for example, my knitting group meets at a coffee shop once a week and we all make sure to at least get a drink since it seems horribly rude to take over so many chairs for free, plus I've already got a trip to the movies planned with some friends. But right now my husband and I are focused on paying down bills and getting some much-needed home maintenance done, so this will help move that goal along.

SusanB said...

I'm in.

Anonymous said...

My husband was unemployed for almost six months following a layoff. During that time, we followed most of the buy nothing challenge rules. When he got his new job, we did buy him some new business clothes and ate out to celebrate. We still are living pretty tight but are considering buying a new vacuum cleaner -- the used one we bought during the period of unemployment does not fit under the beds -- and hiring some one to do some work on the house.

--Ave

Robj98168 said...

Whaddyatryingtodowomman?- There's a recession on and Obama is depending on us to stimulate the economy! Now that I got that outta my system... Of course I'll sign up, But as usual I must point out that I need to buy tools for work purposes. And I really need a new mattress. For work purposes. Wait that makes me sound like a ho. LOL Just For you Crunchy, i can hold off the mattress for another month (my aching back).Gadgets might be hard to stay away from, but easier now that Billy Mays has gone on to his final resting place. RIP Billy.Salon Services are easy for me- cutmy own hair I do. No makeup No problem. Clothes may or may not be easy- Can't find my size at thrifht stores. And I really need pants - got two weeks to get some. Okay lady chicky- your on!

FernWise said...

I'm in - but I'll be started August 7, when I get back home from visiting with and evaluating my 90-something year old Mother and Mother-In-Law. While on that trip I WILL get some new clothes - the only new clothes I get (other than shoes and undies) are ones my Mother buys me ... and I'm over 50. On my own I shop at Goodwill!

Frondly, Fern

sophstar's mama said...

I'm in - I've been terrible about spending lately, I need someone to rein me in!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Oh, your timing is perfect! Just when I was about to wipe out my cr cards, I started spending. Just little bits here and there, but they add up!
Count me in! And thanks!
Carol

Tel said...

I'm in. My partner and I have just come home from a month long jaunt around Germany and need to get some much needed funds together to start working on our newly purchased house. So this challenge will the kick up the bum we need!

Christine F. said...

I'm in! We are always very conservative anyway and try to find used before buying new. Still, I didn't sign up for the challenge last year since I was in two weddings last year and well... it was a giant consume fess lets just leave it at that. I knew I didn't stand a chance. This year I know I can make my self proud. :)

Katy said...

I have been feeling the same way lately so count me in. I'm ready to buy nothing. But I have been losing wait so I may have to buy a few second hand pairs of pants if my jeans get any looser....

dee dee said...

I'm going to pass on the challenge Crunchy...mostly because I haven't bought anything new except for 2 dresses and a pair of stockings since January (and the above mentioned canning supplies)...and I need a new stove!

slowingitdown said...

I am all over this!! Sign me up!

Samantha said...

i want to try... i need a challenge and while i like to think i'm thrifty, i know i buy more unneccessary stuff than even i realize. i think this will help me realize exactly HOW MUCH unnecessary stuff.

Heather said...

I am in- this is long overdue for me!

Thistle said...

I'm in, too! Although I fear I'll be a regular at the Sunday confessionals... sigh...

Mimi said...

I'm in! I do have a vacation from Aug. 6th -13th, but with the exception of hotel restaurant food, I don't think I would buy anything. We'll see how it goes.

Melissa said...

Definitely want to try, but on vacation August 15-22, and can't make any promises then!

Melissa in Chicago

saskatsguidetocheaplivin said...

I'm in. . .always a good thing to pay attention to where the money is going, and mine seems to be going rather quickly these days.

Kildare Girl said...

I'm totally in. Given that we've been trying to cut back on spending (and have been relatively successful)I hope this helps us build on with some things I hadn't thought about - salon for example.

Jenni said...

I'm in and ready to save some money, too!

Scott said...

Hey, I'm in. It won't be much of a challenge for me though. The only things I buy is food. Got a question though, does beer count? :)

LynnieBee said...

Count me in! Books and Eating Out are my vices, reigning them in will be quite a challenge!

Sonja said...

Ok, this will be a challenge with school coming up so soon. I may have one Sunday of confession, but that's better than I have been doing. I think I even have hubby on board!

Hilary said...

I like this.....but more than that...I need this.
I love your blog.....but since I weave recycled products, you are right up my alley.
sign me up, if it is not too late.

Karen said...

I'm in, I can do this!

April Smith said...

I'm in

Allie said...

I'm in too. I do have to buy two make-up items I need for work, and I won't need them until August. Plus I need a new broom. Outside of that, I won't be buying anything that isn't food.

I will, however, allow my boyfriend to take me to dinner sometimes during August if he asks me to go w/ him to eat.

ceruleanscars said...

I am in...I need this. I've been spending way too much lately on books and music.

rachel said...

Count me in.

Greenjoycie said...

I haven't done this ever before.I have tried to curb my spending, but never NOT bought anything. The husband's on board too. We go on vacation 8/8 to 8/14 but usually don't buy much anyway.This will help us not get lazy and go to the restaurant down the road for dinner. I'll let you know how my 14-year-old takes it. :o)

Tree Hugging Mama said...

Well since I can buy back to school items (and we will try to get our back to school clothes second hand, but I haven't had the time to get to garage sales) I am in.

According to the rules I can pay my bills, and buy food, but that's it. And I am trying to clean out my pantry and freezer so I can restock with fresh, label and organic items.

I learned this month I spend more than I thought I did on non essentials, so I would like to see how this goes.

wonkydonkey said...

Thank you for the much-needed prodding. I hereby sign up for this challenge because I am trying to simplify my life and heaven knows I don't need any more stuff. WoohoOO!

Maureen said...

Well, I've been lurking on your blog for awhile now, I guess this is as good a time as any to comment....I'm in!

Nikki said...

I am IN!

Roz Andrews said...

I'd like to participate. My husband will be out of work from next week, so it's an ideal time to challenge ourselves to spend money on nothing other than the essentials.

Like you, I will find it hard not to spend money in coffee shops!

Notwasted said...

okay...I'm in.
incredible amounts of hesitation, but I think I need to do this. texts books/school supplies aside--and 2nd hand fall clothes for my daughter aside...
I will miss morning coffee runs.

skandrae said...

I am in. I think. (As soon as I type those words, though, I start thinking about buying more fabric to make a new quilt, and how I might need to buy some of the new fall clothes from work, and how I rely on new books to perk me up when I'm blue...)

Yeah, I'm in.

Jenette said...

I give it a go again ... Aug is the hardest month for me Hubby, son and grandmas birthday and I ham hosting a baby shower. So, I might be confessing a lot!

Hilde said...

I´m in. It will be hard for me, because we are going on vacation for three weeks in August, but I´ll try!

Midnightsky Fibers said...

I am in, though I will be buying lots of sunscreen and will be on vacation for lots of August.

Might need to buy shoes for biking- most of my shoes don't tie. I am getting a recycled bike (fixed up with as many recycled parts as possible) from Bike Works in Seattle!

Heather said...

I'm in for this challenge! I'll see if I can convince my partner to join me. It can sometimes be a challenge to get him on board with this kind of things.

I will be having company for 2 weeks in August (my 11 yr old neice) so we do have a "tea" planned at a restaurant but I vow to minimize spending and challenge myself to finding free things to do while she is here.

Anne said...

O.k., I'm in! I've also got back-to-school but luckily not until mid Sept. My challenge will be that I've just gone back to full time and would really like some new work clothes! Hopefully I can make it!

Toni said...

OK I'm in too.

I don't know why I'm feeling oddly uneasy about it. Like I just agreed to do something illegal.

die Frau said...

I'll try. We're attempting to tighten our financial belts anyway. I do know I have to buy shoes for a wedding I'm in, so I'll try to buy them before the end of the month.

I always get the urge to buy stuff before the beginning of the school year (I'm a teacher), so this will truly be a challenge. Glad I'll have others to help out!

Kristy said...

My family is on board.

Maria said...

I'm in! I'm moving at the end of August, so this is the perfect way to prepare for it! Awesome!

Off The Grid said...

I'm in, and I'll add not to pay for electricity....lol, we're on solar!
Other then the new drill we NEED in order to complete the new house we've built, maybe I should buy it in town tomorrow.

Atulya

Sylvie said...

I'm in.

Manda said...

I'm in! I have no idea how I'll stop myself but I'll try :D Good luck everyone!

Wendy said...

I am on board!! Looking forward to the challenge!

Lisa S. said...

I'm in!

pam said...

My original plan was to unofficially join this challenge - try to not spend any extra money, but not actually sign up. I really like the idea of the weekly confessional and extra push to not buy, so count me in. As a grad student with virtually no expendable income for the next several years anyway, this should be a great exercise.

Andrea said...

I'm in! I need this challenge to get me back to when I used to not shop so much. Looking forward to it!

Jen said...

Oh, for goodness' sake, I'm in. I've just been balancing the checkbook, and ... I wasn't gonna do it this time, since we have a LOT going on in August, but .. EEK! the checkbook!

I will say up front that I'll be buying some clothes for the kiddos at the consignment sale coming up, and will be needing a new sunscreen that I just know I won't have time to go out and get before Saturday.

And if we find the furniture we've been looking for (a coffee table, a bathroom shelf), I'm going to go ahead and get it, but only used.

Lillian said...

I am SO in - I've been needing this for such a long time!! We have so many house and yard projects that we needto work on before the summer slips away and this will be the perfect way to force myself to really look deeper and for more alternative options and only do projects that we actually NEED to have happen!

SuzanneAK said...

Sign me up!

Tanya said...

Sign me up too :) I could do with some savings :)

kitchenwizard said...

I'm reducing my trip to grocery store and trying to cook with things I have. We actually have so much in the pantry, fridge and freezer, I don't need to keep buying except for the essentials and fresh groceries.
We all tend to think "There's nothing in the fridge!" even though there's plenty in the fridge! All we need is just be creative with what we already have. You may be surprised. (I have.)

Also buy pre-prepping in bulk (esp things like leeks) you save a ton of time and waste! I keep them in fridge/freezer and add to many thing. Added flavor, less work and waste. It's a good thing!

Helen said...

I'm in, It's the first of August here this morning.

I will however be buying a new pair of shoes and a shrug/or similar as I have a Dining In Night to attend.

Looking forward to the month.

Sandy said...

I'm in, though I do have a two-day vacation planned and school clothes to buy. I'll buy the clothes at thrift stores if I can, though certain undergarments are non-negotiable. This will be a great way to track my spending.

Do admissions to folk festivals count as buying non-essentials? If so, I'm already needing to confess. http://whosgotyourgoat.blogspot.com/2009/08/goschenhoppen.html

Anonymous said...

Since i didn't offically opt for this chgallenge seems we've been buying nothing except what we need (food, etc.) Even most of that has come from our garden.

I did need to get some jeans since mine were pretty wore beyond repair. But I hit the thrift shop instead. Bought 4 pairs for $12!

Otherwise we have just been sticking close to home, borrowing books and movies from library. Enjoying our unseasonably cool summer in upper midwest. Pitched the tent out in yard and "camped" beneath the huge pines on our property. We've been finding free events in area to go to (like music in the park and movies in the park) so entertainment hasn't been lacking. Usually we go camping alot but the past few summers we have stuck really close to home.

Sidonie said...

I stumbled upon this a bit late, but am signing up all the same. We already raise lots of our food, do long term food storage, buy mostly second hand,do local whenever we can, and eat 90% organic. The organic thing makes watching the food miles a challenge though. My weakness is the bookstore, and online books and patterns for the studio. I already have all the reference books I could never get through in a lifetime. But, there is always that new item that just seems so tempting...ughhh!!!! Still, staying away from Borders, Barnes & Noble, and yes....Panera Bread cafe mocha is going to be tuff...but I will be honest, and confess if I have fallen from grace....thanks for the inspiration....namaste, Sidonie

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