29 January 2008

I want to be a non- consumerist when I grow up!

As of the 1 Jan I decided to live as frugally and non-consumerist as I possibly could. Last year I watched in awe as Eilleen set herself the challenge to not purchase anything new for a year and did it. This inspired me to look at my expenditure and see where I could make changes to tread a little lighter on our earth, do less harm to others by being conscious of how and where my purchases are made, safe money and also to not contribute to demand. Finances already force me to be aware of what I do money wise but I know I can do better. I also read 'Affluenza' by Clive Hamilton and found it life changing. If I wasn't doing this challenge I would buy multiple copies and send them out to family and friends LOL (ahh the irony).

My rules for this challenge are:

1. I can by underwear, toiletries, food, medicines new.

2. Clothing is sourced from 2nd hand shops, opshops, freecycle or made.

3. Fabrics are from my already massive stash or opshops, as is yarn.

4. All gifts/cards etc will be handmade or second hand

5. Unless something is desperately needed and I can't find 2nd hand or freecycle then I will consider purchasing new IE washing machine/fridge etc

6. I am menu planning and currently devising a shopping plan that is more economical for our groceries.

7. I am consolidating debts and creating a budget that will allow me to trade my car in for a smaller more economical one

8. I am decluttering, what I don't need I am passing on.

9. I am teaching and including my children in all of the above so they will be 'aware'

10. I am slowly converting things over to more permanent solutions. By this I mean that instead of plastic in my cupboards I am almost all glass. Once I can afford it I will buy each of the children SIGG drink bottles as they are longer lasting and healthier than plastic ones. I already have a katmandu travel one.

I have always gone with the motto of "do I want it or need it?" This has never been more important that now and I think we all should ask ourselves this question.

And, so far? Not doing too badly.

My darling boy has decided to give real school (instead of homeschool) a try out so I did have bend a little in getting him uniforms, shoes etc but only because there were no 2nd hand uniforms in the clothing pool.

I have changed ISP's and phone arrangements and am saving $15 per month.

Our DVD died last week and I haven't replaced it. If one comes along on freecycle I will consider it but kids are surviving (and me) and if worse comes to worse they can watch something on the PC. (this they don't realise shhhhhh).

THe kids and I have stuck to menu plans that we sit and write down as a family. I have found this helps heaps as they are contributing to the plan and therefore happy to eat the meals I serve, less wastage too.

I am baking in bulk and freezing. This is energy efficient and healthy for school lunches.

Anyway, that is enough from me for today. I will try and get this onto the blogring that Eilleen is organising and see how we go.


Keely said...

Good work Kelli! I'm going to be doing a similar challenge this year, inspired by Eileen also, so it's going to be great to read other's experiences and learn from reading blogs! The only part I'm worried about is my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired!

Kelli said...

ah, my sewing skills aren't that great either. I am dreading the day the kids decide they are downright embarrassed by them LOL

Admin said...

Yaaay Kelli!

You know last year, I learnt quite a bit from you and your attitude to homeschooling. Just looking at your rules has made me think a lot more about saving money too.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your journey with us!

Tracy said...

good Luck with it :)Your post is making me think about how i can make some changes of my own.

Tanja said...

It's so great that you're doing the Challenge!