Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday confessional - Week 1

Forgive me people, for I have spent. It has been 6 days since my last confessional.

This week has been going reasonably well. It started off on a low-note wherein I asked my husband to pick up some materials for cleaning the house windows. I've been meaning to do this for months and they are so disgusting you can't see out of them. I really don't want to spend the money to have someone professionally clean them and am looking forward to doing it myself. So, pole, scrubber and squeegee were the first and last non-essential items purchased this week.

We did spend money on going to the Pacific Science Center since it was spring break for the kids. I'm okay with spending money on experiences instead of stuff because my husband will be out of commission for the next 4 months or so. We also went to The Museum of Flight (no cost - we have a membership). Telling the kids ahead of time that we weren't getting anything at the museum stores headed off a whole lot of whining. Although, I must admit I did feel guilty for not getting them what they wanted for some strange reason. Why must I doubt myself?

To assuage some other purchasing desires, I put a hold on two books and two kid's CDs at the public library. It will probably be a while before I get them, but at least the impulse will have passed and if I have lost interest by then, I haven't spent any money. I did spend about $100 less today for this week's grocery shopping. It helps that I left everyone else at home.

One of the things coming up on other people's blogs about Buy Nothing Month was in regards to eating out. Now, I have to admit that it is more expensive, but it could be argued that it isn't more wasteful. It just depends on what your goals of this challenge are - to waste less or to save money. If you are doing both, them eating out will pose a problem. If you are just trying to reduce your environmental impact, well then, in some cases it's allowed. Use your own discretion.

Over here at the Crunchy household, I'm allowing eating out once a week at my husband's choice. He starts the work-up for his stem cell transplant this week. Shortly, he won't be able to eat anything, so we're getting it in while we can. If any of you want to trade in your mucous membranes for eating out, I'll be glad to arrange some sort of trade. Anyone? No? I don't blame you.

Anyway, that's the scoop from the challenge over here. How are things going for you? Go ahead and spill it... I won't make you do any Hail Marys.

[Note: If you don't see yerself in the sidebar, let me know and I'll add you.]


ajg said...

I didn't sign up for the challenge before, but I have been playing along anyway. My only purchase this week has been some fabric and a pattern to make some clothes. It is a skill I want to develop.Felt a bit guilty though.

Robj98168 said...

I did pretty good this week. I did buy a new compressor to replace the stolen one, but as i justify things- I bought a much less quality one It amazes me how materialistic I am. LOL I found myself at the Super Mall in Auburn at the AS SEEN ON TV store and didn't find anything that interested me. And I didn't buy a new battery for either the scooter or the tractor!

Gypsy said...

I'm so glad you sinned Crunchy - it made me feel better. We needed winter clothes for the toddler here - well, we could have managed without but she would have been wearing some VERY curious ensembles to keep warm. I have blogged about it at Great challenge, my VISA is enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

We rented two movies yesterday. I guess they weren't really essential, but we needed a quiet activity at home type of thing, and at least we didn't buy them.

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. My thoughts are with you all.

Anonymous said...

I spent $72 on this week's groceries. That's about $128 less than normal. It may have helped that my husband is also very ill and isn't up to eating as much as usual. But I cut out booze and most treats.

I had to buy Pxs and OTC ointments for SH (sick hubby) and pay out of pocket for non-insurance covered medical care. Plus, the bills keep rolling in from my mom's death. So... since I feel like I'm absolutely hemorraging money, it's easy to pass things up. The only non-essential item I bought was a bag of extra crispy ore-ida french fries (my comfort food, please don't judge me).

I even returned some finials to Target, listed a crapload of stuff on craigslist and started cleaning out my mom's storage unit to get rid of that expense. No small task, I might add.

This next week I will not be so virtuous though. I am planning to go to a fabric store that's going out of business to buy upholstery fabric to reupholster a family heirloom chair.

That's my boring life for now!

Jenette said...

I need to confess ...
I did go to the salon on Thursday but I used a gift certificate.
I also bought seed potatoes and a bell-pepper plant.
Well ... not against the rules I do feel guilty about buying lunch (that only serves with take out containers).

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we just have to go with the flow. I agree that family time before your hubby starts chemo are a wonderful idea. Family activities and rituals are so very important and don't need any explanation.

I don't think I have bought anything but food etc this week but I still have to pay for my preordered stuff. But on the note of family I went to the movies with my parents this week. I am determined to enjoy as much time with dad before Alzheimer's steals him from us.

Smile and enjoy your day.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how often I think non-essential items are important one day and irrelevant the next. My tactic is to just stay away from shopping areas all together.
My confession is that we bought a few nails and tacks to make a cat scratch post out of carpet and wood off-cuts instead of buying a ready-made post. I was annoyed I had to buy plastic packs of these instead of just buying the few I needed loose. The leftover nails will probably sit in a jar somewhere never to be used again, I'll forget about them and eventually buy more of the same. But the scratch post looks great, who knew I could be so handy?

Unknown said...

I did ok this week. I bought some fabric, snaps, and thread for pads for goods4girls. One of the times I was in the craft store, I also bought a pair of knitting needles. I had been trying to fudge my current project with a smaller diameter circular that I already had, but it wasn't working that well. I should probably preconfess for today, though, since I think I'm going to have to buy some new pants. I've already been to all the resale shops in town and can't find any suitable ones, and I currently only have one pair in my size (I'm in the process of losing baby weight and for some reason have lots of 16, 12, and 10 pants, but only 1 14. hmmm). It's getting a little old having to time the washing just right (I'm trying to wash them as little as possible, but I've been working at a farm and still have to be presentable at preschool pickup and dropoff). So I'll probably be off to TJMaxx this afternoon.
Haven't done the grocery shopping yet this week.

Anonymous said...

I managed to grab garden tools just before the challenge started, so nothing of that nature to confess, but I ate out a rather unusual number of times with one thing and another, and my parents are taking us out to dinner tonight.

I'm probably going to commit some rather mortal purchasing sins later in the month, as I completely forgot when I signed up that the local sheep festival is this month.

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble with the challenge, because I've told all my friends about it. And then when I express a desire for something but eventually decide not to buy it (a latte from starbucks, a new CD at a concert we went to) they sneak back and buy it for me, presenting it to me because I'm such a good friend, I deserve it, etc. I think what I'm going to have to work on this week is keeping my darn mouth shut about my though processes.

On to the confessional:
I bought groceries, which is fine. I filled my prescription, which is fine. I ate out twice, which I consider fine. I bought candy-bar analogues at my weight watchers meeting, which I'm considering on the line because it's food but it's not necessary. And I bought a birthday card for a friend, which is over the line.

On the birthday card, I could have just as easily made one. But I bought one because I'm brainwashed by hallmark, that it's not a real birthday card unless it's storebought.

I am VERY proud that I went to Target to get my prescription refill and didn't buy anything else - that store is the kind of store that I go in for milk and I end up with $80 worth of stuff at the register without even thinking!

This week is going to be more of a challenge since I'm throwing two bridal showers next weekend and my mother is insisting on disposable paper products that haven't yet been purchased. I'll work on it.

Anonymous said...

I didn't join the challeneg because I have some serious repairs to do after the snow melts (which WILL be this month - I hope). But the only thing my family purchased other than groceries (and I even forwent the latest edition of my favorite magazine) was a $1.02 metal bushing to repair my spinning wheel. The treadle assembly keeps popping out of the hind leg and it's causing some deep scratches which will get far worse if I don't nip it in the bud now. Now I just have to do the repair.

Sherrie said...

I must confess...
I spent 8$ for 4 international breastfeeding symbol stickers for myself and our local women's centre. I don't even feel guilty. That was all for this week, though - I didn't even frequent my fav thrift store, which is saying something. :)

Jen said...

I'm so glad you mentioned eating out--I did so twice this week and wasn't considering it a challenge 'sin' until it dawned on me last night that it might be considered one :)
I was expecting to have trouble staying out of the gift store at the museum I went to on Friday but it was remarkably refreshing to not have to budget time in for browsing! Not to mention easier to get home without a big bag of crap.

laurel said...

I bought a book for our bible study. Didn't occur to me to look at the library, or share with my Mom. Dang! Other than that, I did well. We rented a movie for the kids, but it was a buck, and I didn't buy it, so I am OK with that. I am also reducing my spending on food this month...eating out of the well stocked pantry and freezer, instead of buying more. Need to do this anyway, since it will be restocked, when the garden is booming...

CatMominPhilly said...

My big sin was Starbucks coffee 2x. Now, I justify it b/c i buy the plain coffee w/ soy milk (Under 3 dollars.) Also, I needed caffeine after yoga and a commute and a work day to get through my grocery shopping.

I did NOT buy wedding magazines, fru-fru facial products at CVS, or any books. I'm eating out 1-2x a week, but only at places that are decent in quality ingredients.

ALso, I'm slowly but surely starting Affluenza reading. Hope that will help my 'urges.'

Anonymous said...

I did join the challenge and I must confess I spent some money on eating out this week which I consider a non-essential. My teenage daughter is on Spring Break and most of her friends have left for the beach. So when she and a friend wanted to do a little shopping, I decided I would treat them for lunch. What I actually did was bribe them, telling them I would take them if they considered shopping at the vintage/thrift store instead trolling the mall. I ended up buying them lunch at Whole Foods which was along the way. I didn't eat anything but the bill was $19.00! I forgot that they charge buy the lb. and that teens pile their plates. Oh well, I'd rather pay there than have them eat fast food! (of course they paid for their own clothing finds at the thrift store)

Chile said...

Don’t you just hate when you agree to do something and then, the very next day, you discover a good reason to break your word? Tucson’s premier cooking school can't stay in business in the current economic climate. She's going out of business this month – the month with no shopping for new stuff allowed. Um, you have heard of “going out of business” sales, right? And you do know they are outstanding opportunities to get something you need but couldn’t justify buying due to the cost, right?

Well, I justified it. I bought myself a brand new cutting board. Not just any cutting board but a commercial grade one. It’s made (in the US) from natural wood fiber from US sustainably managed forests with a very durable surface that’s easy on knives. It can even be put in the dishwasher, not that I would. It’s heat resistant and can double as a trivet. Considering this should last much longer than a traditional wood cutting board, doesn’t need oiling, will not dull my knives, will not warp, and will not harbor bacteria, I think this was a justifiable green purchase and I could only make it this month.

Yesterday, my sweetie, while innocently claiming, "I didn't sign up for the No Shopping challenge," headed to the store for one last batch of soil amendments. Since it looks like we'll be here for a while, he's putting in a lot of vegetable garden beds.

Joyce said...

I'm very pleasantly surprised that we spent only $37.80 on groceries this week for the two of us, and only $9.75 for non-food items (batteries for my bike light and bags for yard waste recycling, which are required by the city). We are choosing to to include no eating out as part of the challenge. I blogged about the temptations I came up against this week.

DC said...

We've done pretty well so far this month. We rented a few videos for our son, but also got rid of satellite service recently, so we're still way ahead in terms of dollars spent on tv. I've ordered some books through the interlibrary loan service instead of buying them. We're going to need buy some spring clothes for our son, but I'm hoping we can find a few used items that will get us through the month. I'd look for used kids clothes more often, but there aren't many stores in our area that carry them.

Crunchy, I think your idea of spending more on entertainment now before Mr. Crunchy starts his next treatment phase makes a lot of sense. If you totally blow the challenge but spend some really good time together, that's money very well spent.

Chile, I would have done the same thing. It makes no sense to forgo purchasing a sustainable item that you will really use and can get at a deep discount. As I mentioned during your buy-nothing challenge, it makes more sense to follow the spirit of the challenge than to follow the rules so strictly that the spirit of it is violated.

~mel said...

This week I purchased groceries which don't count, a watering device for my garden which I probably didn't NEED but had been wanting. And I bought my kids the rake for their garden tool set (they were out of rakes last time).

Then last night, totally forgetting about the challenge, my daughter and I ate out. I had intended to do no eating out unless it was as a family and we were out doing something at the time of a meal and "needed" to eat out.

Tim said...

I purchased a new book this week. I bought a pack of health drinks that I really shouldn't have splurged on too.

jewishfarmer said...

Because we've sort of been-there done that, getting back into the rhythym hasn't been too hard - with the caveat that we have some major purchases planned for the end of the month, when we start putting up goat fencing.

I did buy two pairs of local beeswax candles from a neighbor - but I bought them with barter, so I don't know if that counts. He was showing me his gorgeous candles and I asked how much - and well, we got started talking about my spare tomato seedlings, and it turned out we both had been coveting what the other had...


Melissa Anderson said...

I did pretty well this week. I went to Target with my 5-year-old and the only "extra" purchase I made was a $3 tank-top for her because it was too warm for the sweatshirt she was wearing. I did have to buy another $3 tee for her big sis, but that seemed like a necessity so I would have to listen to "that's not fair!!" It saved my own sanity.
The other purchase I made was running shoes for my son. They were $85 (ouch!), but he joined track and was having trouble with shin splints, so hopefully I saved us from medical bills later.
That's it! Melissa

Lisa Zahn said...

I haven't bought anything, not anything! this week and it was payday last week so I had some money. I'm really proud of myself!

It wasn't easy to resist Amanda Soule's (from the SouleMama blog) new book which came out April 1, but I just browsed it at Barnes and Noble and didn't buy it. In the end, I may not need to. I think having a month to think about things will curb a lot of spending. We should all do this more often!

Lisa in MN

Lisa Zahn said...

Okay, I have to say that in reading through others confessionals, I realized I did eat out twice--once for my husband's birthday and once for my son's. That wasn't necessary, but it's a tradition for us (and we rarely eat out these days except for that), so we chose to do it.

I am looking at others' confessionals and thinking we Americans are really spoiled! Not to judge, I do the same things. Just "pick up" something because we "need" it or "crave it" at that moment, rather than putting off the urge a day or a month and really assessing the purchase. I am hoping to learn delayed gratification more than anything with this challenge.

Anonymous said...

I did well this week. However, we did go out to eat with my daughter and her boyfriend but they go to college about an hour from here and cooking at school was not an option. I'm looking forward to next week!
Debbie C

Wendy said...

My goal for the challenge is to not buy any unneccessary "stuff", and in that respect I was successful. My daughter reminded me that I promised to buy her a particular book BEFORE the challenge, but we reached a compromise by putting the book on my Paperbackswap wishlist and by going to the library, where she didn't find the book she wanted, but she did find a bunch of other books to read :).

I did make some unneccessary purchases at a couple of take-out places. But, again, while the take-out wasn't "necessary" because I have plenty of food I could cook, it wasn't "stuff."

I know - fine line.

I'll take my forty lashes with a wet noodle now ;).

Niffer said...

I must confess that I haven't spent any money this week! But I also must confess that I have misplaced my bank card that replaces the one that expired at the end of last month. So although not completely virtuous, I have not been in a hurry to find it. I figure as long as it stays missing, it will help me not spend because I hate going to the bank for money.

ANewDay said...

I did pretty good this week. We actually "resisted" the non-essential stuff.

Yesterday was errand day and we only bought groceries. It is normal for us to get other "stuff" so we just didn't go near our non-grocery errand stores.

The thing we were trying to decide is if dog chews/toys count as essential or non-essential. Seems like that would be an easy answer unless you too have lived with a puppy. He's almost 8 months old and crazazazy with puppy energy. Chews are how we keep loving him when we are played out.

But in the end I decided it was non-essential becuase the chews are often an excuse for us to distract him when we would rather do a short walk than a long walk to properly tire him out before bed.

But other than the debate we've been on target. So far, talk to me next week and we'll see how we survived.

Anonymous said...

I joined unofficially -
So far my week was good and I behaved. Other than necessary items: gas for 2 vehicles, new brakes for one (totally necessary), veggie seeds from the local true value hardware store & groceries - My only slight slipup was a fundraiser for our school at an assemble your dinners establishment but that also came out of my grocery budget so it wasn't like I flung myself from the wagon!

I also listed some stuff on craigslist and took a minivanload to the community center thrift store (outgrown clothes & toys)

This week I won't be as well behaved since I have to pickup some more Nordic Naturals from the healthfood store and I am going to make a cushion cover for a bench I have and I need to get fabric for that. I already tried goodwill for that item with no luck - I'll probably be hitting the clearance table at Joanns - hoping for some nice denim or dark green canvas.

pink dogwood said...

I almost bought something from Amazon and then I remembered. Then at lunch last thursday we were browsing through the sale corner of Anthrolpologie - and these black pants were so tempting, but I didn't buy them.

I did buy a box of hamburger spice from Harry & David for $7 - I guess that could count as non essential, but it looked good and I wanted to try it.

Other than that, I bought no other non-food item. I also put a hold on a book at library that I really, really want to read. I am #10 in hold queue, so I will have to learn some patience.

Anonymous said...

Well, I didn't buy anything, but it was my birthday on Wednesday so I got several items I wanted (and a couple that hadn't crossed my mind) then.

lauren said...

This challenge started two days after I returned from a mini-vacation from (gasp) Vegas--the capital of overconsumption. After wringing my hands daily at the absence of recycling bins, and basking at the pool to avoid gambling, I was ready to control my spending. However, two days into the challenge, my (gasp)car died.

Waiting for repairs and taking public transport to work for a month was an option, but not one I can live with. I leave at 6:30am for my 10 minute commute with a car; riding the bus would mean a 5:30am departure.

So I encouraged my boyfriend to ask for refurbished parts and one of the five could be bought used, which we did.

The total repairs reached well past $2000 (ouch), although it's on his credit card. Hopefully, I can pay him back on May 1st.

On both counts: reducing waste, and saving money, I have sinned.

Other than that I spent $60 on food only this week.

Anonymous said...

Crunchy announced this challenge just after we'd made the rounds of the local garden stores, CVS and other regular hotspots. So I thought this would be easy. I haven't done too bad and was feeling downright virtuous about the minimal grocery stocking until we stopped in at a local pasta maker and went a little crazy on pasta accompaniments. Other than that I had a preplanned outing with friends to a play and bought a cookie at intermission. I will preconfess that the next week will probably bring a propane purchase for our mosquito defender (but that's a necessity for my partner) and possibly a gasoline container as a friend who is moving has offered us her rototiller. I'm being tempted mightily by the spring sale of an Indian art dealer and collectionitis -- but that's probably exactly what I should be resisting.

Anonymous said...

See, I didn't sign up to buy nothing because I knew that I would buy gardening stuff. Tis the month and all here in Oregon. But I have been playing along as best I can. All I've bought is food, medicine, and dry food for the cat. I did get two non-essential things -- but in my mind they *were* essential. I had my car washed inside and out. Trust me, it was a community service. It was so bad that me washing it just wasn't going to cut it. And the inside - oy vey. And I had a bad bad tummy ache (I'll spare you the gory details) and I went and bought a jamba juice to make my tummy feel better, and boy howdy, did it.

But no clothes. No shoes. No yarn. No fabric. OH DAMN. I did buy a book. But it was Stephanie McPhee's new book (The Harlot). You must support your favorite bloggers, my dear. I would buy your book the day it came out if you were to write one.

So there's my disclaimers. Having been raised Catholic, I do know the difference between venial and mortal sins, thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

i haven't spent a lot of money this week, but that's mostly because i'm in a financial hole.
i bought 3 pens - hopefully that will sustain me through final exams. i figure they're necessary. i suppose i could've used those ones you get for free everywhere, but i'm kind of anal about my inky pens, and i really don't need to be worrying about how shitty my pen is during my finals...
other than that i've just bought food - groceries and juices/falafels at an organic juice bar nearby. i need to cut down on visits to the juice bar though, 'cause it's kinda pricey...

BerryBird said...

I didn't sign up for this challenge because I have a lot of family birthdays this month (gifts for 3 of the 5 people I buy for must be purchased this month). Aside from the gifts, I have done fairly well. The only non-food, non-gift item I purchased was one book, a hardcover for $5. I am a sucker for books.

Deb G said...

Mixed bag for me. The two things I need to give up are magazines and snacks eaten on the go. I talked myself out of the magazines, but wasn't so successful on cookies. Had two :)

I also bought some sock yarn for myself and for a friend (friend requested purple socks for her gift socks-a color I didn't have in my stash). I can sort of rationalize my yarn by saying I wore holes in another pair of socks this week and that puts me at 5 pairs of socks, but I already had other yarn I could have used.

esp said...

I think I did pretty well. Let's see...besides groceries I picked up a few things for the garden (peat moss, potting soil, and seed potatoes) but I only grow edibles, so I consider garden purchases to be, indirectly, food. And I bought a latte, but brought my own cup. So, does that count as food, too?

Anonymous said...

So far, so good.

We made one trip through the Drive-Through, but that was April 1st and before I saw Crunchy's Post!

I did renew our annual Science World membership this month, and took the kids to the local Public Farm last week, and we saw a Dinosaur IMAX movie when we were at Science World. But since my kids are homeschooled these all count as educational activities so I don't consider it as breaking the spirit of the Challenge.

I did put up with a meltdown from Daughter when I refused to buy her a toy from the gift shop!

I've blogged about the Challenge, too.

PS - CC can you add me to your sidebar list?

Mrs. Gray's Class said...

This week went well. We did eat out once out of sheer laziness - I did have guilt and the food didn't taste good so I'm not making that choice again.

Is there a policy on gift cards?

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONFESS. Simply becoming more conscious of these 'unconscious' buying habits will be a great achievement. I consider experiences to be non-consumptive and an excellent way to enrich relationships, especially family.

before finding out about the challenge i was planning on buying a cat harness for our first long distance car trip together (i did, keeping my cat is an essential.) while at my parents' for spring break we will need to attend a funeral unexpectedly. i did not let her buy me 'nice clothes' like she wanted to because i did have something reasonable. but i did let her buy nice shirts for my boys because they didn't. i am VERY PROUD of myself for not letting her buy me the $100 shoes she offered. i buy maybe one pair of shoes per year and could never spend that much on myself. it was tempting to let it slide (and if she hadn't told me i'd HAVE to accept), but she did, so i declined.

JessTrev said...

I love this challenge. It is harder for me than I thought it would be (I made a full confession over at my blog). Hardest stuff? Coffee, oddly enough since I hardly *ever* drink it. A travel tumbler for said coffee. Nuts and bolts to assemble a composter (a-ok by me) and a couple meals out (I am on the fence about it -- one was fine, a friend in from far out of town, the other was us getting out of the house with the kids in the rain - bagel store, a tradition we could swap out on nice days for a picnic at the playground). Eye opening week. I totally have more buying impulses (and am lazier) than I realized.

Anonymous said...

We purchased more seeds for our container garden today but since we are attempting to grow our own food and make our lifestyle more sustainable we figure this is okay. Unless of course none of them sprout so keep your fingers crossed.

We are trying to avoid eating out entirely but since we are also clearing out our clutter we used some of the money we made to go out to dinner with friends yesterday since we were hours from home.

Anonymous said...

it was so fascinating this week to watch when my urges to buy something came up and what kinds of thoughts/emotions triggered the urges. i bought a birthday gift for a friend; i feel ok about that. i couldn't think of anything to make that he would truly enjoy and he really deserves to feel special right now. i managed NOT to buy pots for a flower-planting project by asking my neighbors if they had some i might use since we share a yard, and i thanked her by doing a bit of work in her yard. i'm really enjoying this challenge and have learned so much already!

Samantha said...

Well, I bought a canvas. But it was for my painting class, so I didn't really have a choice. Otherwise, I bought nothing. Since I didn't have a choice in the matter of the canvas, I'll consider myself to have bought nothing non-essential. So I had a fantastic week.

Frisky said...

my biggest sin was trying on clothes, knowing full well that i shouldn't have been. good thing that $200 dress marked down to $30 didn't look very good on me!

i also bought a small plastic bowl one for candy while tabling for voter registration. it was cheap, but that's the problem. though i guess if it lured anyone over to chat about voting, it was probably worth it.

oh, and i bought tickets for a roller derby bout, but man, i gotta LIVE! and we carpooled.

Dawn said...

I started reading this blog on April 1st. I shard the challenge with my spouse and we have both done fairly well for week 1. My husband is in an art class so he has to buy supplies for that. We went out to eat yesterday, but that was prearranged for his Mother's birthday (we also bought her a birthday present.) We did buy me a new pepper grinder, but that was with a gift card, and we lost our last one in our recent move. I also went out to lunch on friday, but spent my left over cash from March, and used a coupon, also it was arranged before I knew about the challenge. Besides that we bought food for us and the cats.

Theresa said...

I did fairly good except for Friday after work when I was already munching on a danish and having a green tea latte at the grocery store coffee shop before I realized what I was doing! It goes to show how ingrained some shopping/consumption habits are. My grocery bill was only $32.76 this week though, which is much lower than the usual 100-125. That was cool.

We went out for dinner last night but it was completely free to us, because it was the awards night dinner put on by my husband's employer. I had a massage on April 1st but I had paid for it as part of a package deal in February, and it is part of my neck/hip rehab from a car accident I had two years ago, so I count that as a health care expense, not a salon-type expense.

Great challenge Crunchy! All the best to you and Mr. Crunchy and the Crunchettes as you gear up for the stem-cell transplant.

Unknown said...

I paid for some "experiences" and I'm not sorry.

Gypsy with Patti Lupone - $27
Concert tickets to Maroon 5 and Counting Crows this summer - $30
And a $33 balance on a dress from Anthropologie, the rest was paid for with a $100 gift card.


MamaFeelgood said...

Because of this challenge I actually am making the choice not to buy things I don't need even though they are attractive. I like this. Last night I went out to Linens 'n Things where I normally buy trinkets of all sorts but I controlled myself and actually paid cash for what I did buy.

Anonymous said...

I went sunglasses shopping and didn't buy any! Instead I borrowed a pair of ugly ones from my sis. Maybe they'll hold me out through April. We also went to a 2nd hand store that I like, but I decided to clean my closet instead of buying anything.

But yesterday we went to the movies and then went for sangria afterwards. I know it's not technically buying "things," but it is spending money unnecessarily.

Segwyne said...

I sinned this month. Having a heads up about the challenge the day before it started, I went ahead and bought a new subscription card for the online game I play before the challenge officially started. I don't have TV, so this helps give me a chance to literally forget for a while about the horrors in this world that I cannot stop.

Of course two days into the challenge I got a call from the local kitchen store saying my 2-qt stainless steel saucepan was finally in. I considered it a) fine since I had ordered it in March, and b) justified as a necessity. I had a 1qt and 3qt cast iron saucepans, and then an 8qt SS stockpot. Tomato foods don't do well in cast iron pots and the stockpot was overkill.

I also have to confess a bag of potato chips from the little market up the road, a Ben and Jerry's ice cream from the supermarket (but it is local-ish for me, only 124 miles from our city according to Google maps), and a soda to share with my daughter on our way home today from the farm where we buy our milk. Oh, and a four-pack of Kahlua Mudslides, but hubby gave them to me as a gift, so does that count?

eladnarra said...

I didn't join the challenge officially because I don't actually do much spending--my parents are in charge of food and most non-essentials. Even so, I've kept it in mind this past week.

The only expense I can think of is going put-put golfing with one of my friends. We went around the course, bought a slushie each, and played some arcade games. While most people would call that non-essential, I don't get out much, and seeing friends once and a while is pretty essential to my metal/emotional well-being. Plus, it was fun, so no regrets. ^_^

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

I admit I went out to eat on the very first day of the challenge. I wasn't sure then if it was "allowed" or not, and I felt kind of guilty about it (which is why I emailed Crunchy after I got home to ask her about it - hee, hee). Other than that, it's been a good spend-free week! :)

I'm going to try to refrain from going out to eat for the rest of the challenge. We'll see how that goes.

I will need to buy plane tickets for an upcoming trip or two soon and will probably need to do that in April, rather than wait 'til May, so that will be a huge expense. /gulp I'll be sure to confess.

Jennifer said...

Did pretty well... my only purchase was grass seed for overseeding my front lawn. I tried to find it on freecycle first, but time is running out, so I bought new DROUGHT RESISTANT seed for patching my front lawn... forgive me.

Unknown said...

I had to buy some garden tools, but those don't count, right? I mean. I actually did need a new garden spade and a pruner.

Today, I bought a magazine. It's rainy and I just caved.

Other than that, I've been very good.

Amy Paden said...

We did fairly well this week. My husband *had* to get a birthday card (and stamp) to send to his grandmother- I couldn't convince him an e-card would be good enough. He will have to do the same this week for his brother's birthday.

I bought vitamins that I'll need in another week- they were half off, and spent $70 on groceries that will last us 2 to 3 weeks.

Deanna said...

I had pre-confessed about my already scheduled hair appointment Wednesday. I was proud of myself for making a pitcher of iced tea and bringing some with my in my reusable Starbucks mug instead of picking up a coke on the way to my appointment as I usually do.

I haven't been to the grocery store since the challenge began but just picked up a few essentials at the dairy store.

So far, so good. However, on Friday my dh and I had to drive to Joplin (4 hour trip) for a business dinner. We spent the night and came home Saturday. During that time we ate our meals out, of course. We were almost out of dog food at home and there was a Sam's right next to our hotel. The only thing we bought was a case of canned dog food, which I think is rather remarkable in that store.

We often eat out after church on Sundays but today we came home and I fixed sandwiches instead. So I'll have to say that so far I've done pretty well.

Della said...

I am pro-actively confessing. So far I haven't bought anything, though I WOULD have bought shelves for my daughter's room if they had been in stock. This is a planned, thought out purchase, and necessary to contain all her books!
However, tomorrow I will be ordering a present for a friend's birthday, an abacus. He really wants one, and I promised months ago to be the one to buy it for him. Also, He and his kids are coming to visit next week, and we will be buying Seattle CityPasses to see several of the places around here. But I WON'T be buying anything to bring home, which I would have done normally! I'll be writing a post on my blog about the things I saw this past week and passed up. Also, my mom saw my post about this, and told me she is joining!

Lee said...

Forgive me, for I have spent :-(

I bought an apron for a friend who has done me a MASSIVE favour ($35). The apron is organic cotton and locally made - do I get a mini-reprieve? (And I bought it at the Farmer's Market)

I also bought my 3 year old son gumboots ($15.95). Alas, probably made in a Chinese sweatshop somewhere. But I'm sick of having to change his shoes as he keeps jumping in puddles.

Lastly, I confess to a whiteboard ($3.99), also with that icky MadeInChina guilt attached.

Could we have waited? Apart from the gumboots (my son only owns one pair of winter shoes), probably.

Do I have to go buy a horsehair shirt now, or should I start chasing the local horses around with a pair of scissors, and make one, as I'm not allowed to buy?

I do feel guilty. I promise - no more frickin' buying!

Anonymous said...

Loved your post. Tell your husband I said good luck on the upcoming procedure.
Here's one thing I want to share with the moms out there for buy nothing month. This February, after we all had the flu and were trapped inside the house for what seemed like a month, my daughters and I were going a little stir crazy. It was a Sunday afternoon and freezing out, so the only place to really go was the local mall. I made a scavenger hunt list for the girls, "find a blue dress, purple socks, a hammer", that sort of thing. They had an absolute blast and they didn't want to buy anything. The hunt satisfied their hunter/gather instincts completely.
--Jennifer K

Louise said...

well now Does it count if you eat out but someone else is paying??? my mom took me out for supper after we went to our foot care clinic.. AND we are going out for Breakfast on her birthday. She said she is paying which seems dumb to me since it is HER birthday... But I have not spent on anything except groceries that were needed. And tomorrow is 10% off day at three stores... food items are needed as well as a broom.
Louise in Alberta

ctdaffodil said...

I didn't do too badly this week - other than some groceries and a few other medically needed things - the only other $ I spent this week was during a goodwill dropoff - I got some filofax notepads - still wrapped for 49 cents - and they do make keeping track of things much easier.

Unknown said...

I have to say I actually have nothing to confess. I am really happy with myself :) My strategy was to avoid stores and or the aisles that tend to get me in trouble ;)

Anonymous said...

I too enjoyed this week a lot because of the new perspective it gave me -- which is to say, WHOOPS, I confess:

I avoided buying a lot of things - lattes out, extras. I've explained it to my 7-year-old daughter and we left Old Navy (where we were returning something) without a purchase (after she re-ordered the messy shoe section for them), and we left Target with only what we needed (furnace filters and a couple of travel toiletries) and not with the shoes she sort of wanted (she'll need some, but I convinced her to wait to get ones she really wants).

That said, airfares got good and I bought two tickets to go see my dad - haven't seen him in a year and a half. And I haven't flown in 4 years, since the new rules were in place, so I had to buy carry-on friendly contact lens solution.

Daughter has an overnight field trip next month that requires hiking boots, so we found some at Goodwill (and jeans for next year for my "kidwear" stash).

Bought gifts for my husband's upcoming birthday and new light fixtures for the room I'm moving my office into -- but I bought really cheap ones and gave the old ones to Goodwill. (The new ones were a psychic/aesthetic "need," but really a want.) And exchanged some knitting needles I haven't used & won't use for a different size I will use, rather than buying anew.

The Simpleton said...

Dang. I was doing so well this week, and then today I just forgot. My ex was going to Target to get Progeny some socks (I've long since given up trying to control what my ex buys or doesn't buy)--I went along for the ride and . . . bought some underwear, and then a Stain Stick. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. But I don't think I'll forget ever again!

Anonymous said...

I posted my confession here:

But the one non-essential purchased was a swing for my 3-year-old's birthday. We've been planning it for months and couldn't find one used in our area.

Anonymous said...

Re: wasting less vs. saving money with eating out

I haven't read all the comments, so apologies if someone else has already mentioned this. But in my case, eating out often comes with extra packaging that can be skipped when you eat at home. My biggest downfall, Subway, has each sandwich wrapped in paper, with paper napkins provided, all stuck in a plastic bag. And I usually get the meal, which is another chip bag and a soda cup/lid/straw.

If I bring my lunch, though, the components were usually bought in bulk and are packed for the day using ziplock bags that I reuse until they tear.

I'm not going to judge anyone else's choice to include eating out or not. But in my case I think it's a major area of waste so I'm definitely trying to cut back. Hell, "cutting back" brings me to Crunchy's level of once a week, so I think it's safe to say my previous levels were a bit excessive.

- - -

Okay, my confessional for the week is that I had Subway for lunch on the very first day of the challenge, April 1. Nothing since then, though, and no other consumer-goods purchases to report.

Grad Green said...

I did pretty good. I went camping and forgot a bunch of stuff at home. I could have driven back into town (about 25 miles) and bought a few things, but we just did without. We put stuff in the tent to hold in down without tent stakes and we cooked our food on a stick.
I really hate shopping, so that's not a problem. I did have a glance at Amazon, and then remembered -- uh oh!
Like Wendy, I don't really consider eating out to be a sin. I am spending time with friends, and not buying more stuff, so I think it's okay. I ate out 3 times. Next week I'm going to focus on being more organized about the grocery store b/c it felt like I went to the grocery store every day. (But we ate all the food!)

Laura Kaeding said...

I signed up, and I haven't bought anything aside from groceries. So far so good. Good job to everyone else though, none of us are perfect! Keep it up.

cindy24 said...

I bought a present for a birthday party at target - $30. I had nothing in my gift closet that would do for a 4 year old girl. Since it was my neighbor she invited all 4 entertainment and a meal for 4 kids for $30, not too bad.
I broke down and bought them slurpees for the kids. I turned the cups into mini greenhouses with pepper seeds to make myself feel better. I spent $13 on flowers today at Whole Foods because my daughter picked them out and they are my favorite. Enjoying their smell right now. Bought seeds and potting soil because my compost is not working.

Anonymous said...

Glad you mentioned museums. We attended the Earth Dance Environmental Film Festival at the Oakland Museum on Friday, and I wondered about those tickets, if they were actually allowed. So I went ahead and allowed them, since you weren't there to ask.

That's it. I've eaten out a few times, but I consider restaurants to be in the food category. Plus, I've been making my own coffee at home instead of buying it out.

Oh, I guess I do have one thing to confess, which is the god-awful chocolate martini I had last night at dinner with friends. I should never have ordered such an abomination, challenge or not. Next time it'll be a plain Tangueray martini straight up with an olive. The olive keeps it in the category of food, right?

Melissa said...

oops I guess it's actually Monday now, but here goes anyway. I forgot that I had to go to David's Bridal (yuck yuck and yuck) to order a bridesmaid's dress for a friend's wedding. At least she has good taste and picked navy blue so I'll get some mileage out of it. That was my one big slip up.

I also spent about $3 on packing tape, and about $4.50 on postage to wrap and mail my paperback swap books (which helps keep me from buying new, so didn't feel guilty really).

On other good news, I've been wanting to get a bike for a while now, and it turns out that a friend of ours had two very nice ones that he loaned (indefinitely) to DH and I, along with the helmets (which still had the tags on!!!) So I've sort of permanently postponed that purchase.

I've really wanted to get a worm composter going for a while now too, but was going to put off due to cost, but I found a local guy who sold me a bin, at his cost ($5). It is an old city recycling box with holes drilled in it and a lid on top, and some little feet drilled to the bottom to let water drain. AND, he told me not to invest money in the bedding, and showed me how to do it really easy with torn newspapers. I did pay him $25 for the pound of worms, but I think somehow this is allowable - I'll be using the compost for plants to grow food after all.

It's cool being "forced" to think before whipping out the visa!

Anonymous said...

If birdseed counts then I'm guilty and one large pizza to go.

Hannah said...

Well--so far so good. I had my preplanned glass of wine at my knitting group (which means in a wine bar). I was seconds from buying a pack of those coated rubber bands for my now-long-enough-to-braid hair before I caught myself. I've got an old one that I found in my drawer without my stretch left--but it will definitely work for quite a while longer.

But: our elderly coffee maker died and we can't fix it. What to do, what to do??!! This could really be a challenge as we go through caffeine withdrawal....

maria said...

being broke is really helping me buy nothing!

i did seriously need a haircut, though. i had a conference this past weekend (plus: free lunches; no buying anything!) and i wanted to look half-presentable. so i broke the "salon services" rule. it was just a haircut, though, nothing major.

the thing that's killing me right now is garden supplies. i don't know if i'll really make it through april without buying any.

EcoBurban said...

And the list goes on...

9V batteries (for 8 month old dalmatian's invisible fence!) considered an essential purchase from my neighbor's viewpoint!

Hubby (who also says he did NOT sign the challenge) bought a new pair of shoes for the gym. He did use enough coupons and shopped during our little league event so the shoes were half-off and he used one of my Baggu totes instead of the plastic bag, so I will let him keep them! I also figure since he has lost enough weight to make himself healthy and is sticking with it, new shoes are essential.

My confession is a new pair of pants (also bought with coupons at little league shopping event) for a business trip this upcoming week. However, we were tempted at the little league event to buy more (I had my hands on a coat I knew I didn't need, so I put it back!) and the coupons were GREAT, but we only bought the two items on the list!

UGH, I hope next week will be better!

Anonymous said...

The most amazing thing to me in this challenge is how my mind works. I've read Affluenza, I don't consider myself spendy, I don't stroll the local mall for entertainment...but I have an automatic Oh I'll stop at x store on the way to y place response when I leave the house. Holy cow! Of course, all these stops involve shopping and spending money and dragging home disposable packaging. It's been very freeing to remind myself that the Buy Nothing challenge means Buy Nothing. Mentally I spent a couple hundred bucks, in reality I spent nothing. There's a little tweak of panic, though, when I think I have to have (whatever). It's mind-boggling!

Anonymous said...

Oh, sure I'm in. Well, mostly.

We're in the midst of home repair -- doing it ourselves -- and, well, I'm thinking it's better DH buys the right electrical wiring bits and bobs rather than winging it. We also have a Garden Party here at the end of the month for the girls. The only thing left to purchase for that is a flat of flowers for the kiddies to pot up as party favors. Don't know about you all, but for me, flowers are in some ways a necessity - but, ok - in this case I know I'm justifying.

In terms of confessions - canning jars and sunflower seeds yesterday (both necessary). But I've got a doozy from this morning (before I read the blog -- might have saved me from myself if I had turned to Crunchy first). 200 balloons and a balloon inflator. SO not a necessity - though it will bring the girls such joy (ooh, the justification monster is sneaking in again....). Oh well, at least I didn't buy the how to make balloon animals book too (that's what the library's for :)).


Ruthie said...

I bought a new bike lock since I lost the key to my old one (for now, it'll show up I'm sure), I bought a used bathing suit since my old one flopped out and I've been dying for a swim, and I bought 6 rolls of toilet paper.

Tina Cardone said...

I'm considering this a buy no thing challenge, so going to dinner and a concert weren't breaking my rule. The hair appointment I'm scheduling won't count either- but its just a cut (eco-friendly because I'll take even shorter showers and use less gel) and I decided I would rather give someone the money who will do a good job and depends on this for their livelihood.

I spent the afternoon browsing stores yesterday and bought nothing. The only non-food item I purchased was a job related purchase (pens to correct papers with- they have to be a different color than any of the students use, not easy to find).

Robj98168 said...

You know that we are living in a material world and I am a material plumber

Ruthie said...

Oooh after reading all your confessionals I also have to confess that I bought several snacky foods and we went out to eat twice. Need to curb this as well, didn't know those were part of the challenge, though! So I won't count them for this week. :-)

Chile said...

Ok, I have some questions:

1. Are we to continue "confessing" here all week or wait until the next Sunday Confessional for continued sinning?

2. Did I misunderstand the original challenge? Quoting Ms. Crunchy herself: 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.

That would mean all garden supplies are fine. It also implies pretty much any food is ok. And, I'm not going to confess used purchases, although I will be discussing one soon on my blog.

Or, am I just hopelessly confused?

Wanda said...

I didn't see my blog listed, although who knows, I could have missed it. I have been slack in blogging this week, but hope to do my confessional later today.

Anonymous said...

Robj98168, you're killing me!

Hey, I tried to make the sock hoodies for those bad cats this weekend, but they have grown so much we can't find socks to fit them.

Thinking of cutting up my froggie pajamas bottoms whose butt has fallen out from over-use.

(Sorry Crunchy and everyone else. This is between me and Robj98168.)

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rob - you sure give Madonna a run for her money.

Chile - I'll be hosting Sunday confessionals through the end of the month. So save up your sins. Also, you are correct in your interpretation.

I want to add that haircuts are, for the most part, fine with me - I was getting at more superfluous things like manicures/facials/anal bleaching, etc.

Wanda - you are listed, not too surprisingly as "Wanda"

Fake Plastique Fish - go get a room you two!

lae21 said...

I know I didn't make it here on Sunday, but I'll still slip in a quick confession. I actually did good this week, only buying lunch on campus a couple of days (I am trying to cut this out altogether since the food is overpriced and not very good). I will probably be buying garden supplies next week, and am planning on getting some fine mesh netting to make my own reusable produce bags, not exactly essential, but it will cut back on the amount of plastic I use, so it's not a total sin, right?

Anonymous said...

We didn't buy anything except groceries-even that is lacking last week.

So far, so good.

Miss Kris said...

I bought ice cream sandwiches when I went grocery shopping. I try not to buy junk food and prepared foods, but my husband loves the stuff. If I don't buy it when I go shopping, he'll go to the store and end up spending a good portion of our food budget on junk food.

Susan M.B. Sullivan said...

I'm in pretty much. I don't buy much extra anyway but I wasn't sure my boyfriend would go along.

I did decide to go on a retreat, but it's worth it. I think instead of not buying anything I'll only buy things that provide full value and are good for me and the environment.

That's what money is for.

Robj98168 said...

Anal bleaching???

Remind me not to go to your salon Crunchy

Anonymous said...

I wish that this challenge would be harder for us than it probably will be.

We are absolutely broke. There is no budget whatsoever to purchase anything that is not necessary therefore we make no unnecessary purchases.

Although I have not joined in, the only things that I have purchased this month are: 5 patches to repair my step-son's pants. Since this is better than just throwing them out and buying new (or used) ones, I think this is acceptable and within the spirit of the challenge.

I wish everyone luck in keeping the expenditures down.

Jennie said...

I purchased a used video game for my sister for her b-day, we went shopping together, she also picked out a silver pillow for her new bed set. I was proud that I didn't buy anything for myself. I'm all out of this hemp lotion I love from body works-but I passes it up. I was traveling and did eat out quite a bit.

maria said...

chile, thanks for clarifying.

garden supplies! woo-hoo!

i'm still broke though, so i can't go too crazy...

Holly Underwood said...

I'm doing well so far. My nephew's birthday is coming up, and I started my gift hunt early so I could try all second-hand options before resorting to something new. I found a book at Once Upon a Child that I know he'll love. I admit, I also bought a cloth book for my son as well. Total spent: $4 plus tax! I also bought cookies at the store which are definitely not a necessary purchase. Otherwise, I made several returns of brand new items, and avoided stores!

Laura said...

I'm off to a pretty good start, I'd say. :) I needed some thread for sewing cloth wipes (yay!) so I tried looking at thrift stores. It's harder than you might think to find thread at ValueVillage. I did eventually find a store that had some that worked. So, I put off buying new thread for a while.

I bought a boba tea yesterday, taro flavor. I had been craving one for several weeks. It comes in a plastic container which adds to the guilt. But, I won't buy another one for a long time.

Lee said...

OK - it ain't Sunday, but I've got a bit more confessing to do :-(

Today I bit the bullet and bought my son some training pants. Why? I'm sick of paying for the disposable ones, which are hugely expensive (about a dollar each), and they're more environmentally-friendly. I would have made them, except we don't have a sewing machine any more, having just moved countries.

I also bought him a potty, as we left ours behind.

The potty definitely counts as a necessity - he was clamming his cheeks together in fear of the toilet in our new place, as it is kind of old and noisy. So I 'fess up.

That's it for now, although I feel like this is turning into a 'buy everything' month rather than a 'buy nothing month', having just moved!

sweetp said...

all good here. Only spent $ on groceries and $20 to sponsor a friend who is shaving her hair off for a charity fundraiser. So no stuff :)

esp said...

Checking in a little late -- I didn't buy anything except food this week. I did remember, however, that I bought a new book last week and forgot to mention it in my update. Yikes!