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Buy Nothing (New)

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

So, this has basically become my new motto.

There are very few things I buy new, mostly the obvious ones (food, gas, etc.).

I have a few reasons: the environment and the fact that our world just cannot sustain the current consumption of resources, the fact that I am very low-income and the less I spend the better off I will be, and it just amazes me what some people will donate or throw away.

 

Anyone else not buying anything new? What are your tactics?

 

I am vigilant about checking out Freecycle, Paperbackswap, and the local Freegan group on FB (which has kind of morphed from a networking group to let people know where to go, to a mini-Freecycle). I keep up to date with who's junk pickup (not trash pickup, I live in a big city and it's different...) is when and while I won't go through a dumpster or trash can, I have no issues with checking out what's in a box that someone threw on the side of the road... (I've found brand-new in the box gas fireplace, perfect crystal, designer purses, an amazing Leather couch with NO defects, plenty of perfectly good toys for the kids, contractor bags full of designer clothes some with tags still on them, the list goes on. I just can't imagine why people throw out half of what they do...)

A friend of mine told me I should start checking out some of the office supply stores, Plato's Closets, and secondhand bookstores in town because he makes a living from stuff he's found there.

post #2 of 31
Thread Starter 

Oh yeah, and I've been networking with friends who have one or more children my age so we can pass along perfectly wearable clothes, gently used toys and books, etc.

post #3 of 31

My kiddo loves second hand bookstores (half price books and bookmans) plus this summer he did the reading programmes and 'earned' free books!

I am passing along bags and bags of clothes to a friend in my yarn club

Yarn club has an unspoken rule where you just pass on your bag of mini skiens of left over yarn and someone will eventually make a scrap blanket for the homeless

Im learning to freeze left over fruit (I need a blender for smoothies) and use it in baking

Im leanring to use my crock pot to make soup out of veggies

I need to get better at meal planning again

 

I tend to scour the clearance racks, right before stuff would be sent to TJmaxx or goodwill from the department stores is when I buy.  I also scour on 'big item' pick up weeks for trash that is really good stuff.  When DS was little we got so much little tikes type stuff that way.

 

In another mind frame, I tend to not throw away, I recycle or donate as much as possible.

post #4 of 31

I basically furnished and decorated my whole house with second hand items.  Couches, pictures, picture frames, dishes and glasses, pots and pans (including the nice enameled cast iron ones), even the towels and shower curtains.  My dining table is an antique and it was cheaper than a new ikea table would have been.  My violin is 100 years old and sounds beautiful.  I mostly use yard sales for my purchases.  I mastered the art of buying at yard sales years ago when my first child was small.  I bought nearly all of her clothes, toys, books at yard sales.  My expensive kitchen equipment was all from yard sales: champion juicer/wheat grinder ($5 yardsale); mixmaster (new in box $20 yard sale), blender.  Even my buddha statue.  I have found that yard sale electronic equipment is too much of a gamble.  WHen/if I need a new phone or somethingt I buy new.  Although I do have a used t.v..  If you can find a good yard sale area (I look for the communities where people have "more money than sense"), it can really pay off as you are getting your household together.  Trash picking also works sometimes.  I have a beautiful antique wooden child's chair that I picked up because it was out for the garbage truck; also an antique dresser, sometimes I will ask for something that I need on freecycle.  Getting things used is not only far, far cheaper and easier on the earth but also more fun! 

post #5 of 31

Same habits here. I rarely buy anything new. Even if I wasn't so broke, I would prefer to buy used or antique over new for most things. I just bought a couch (puppy ATE the old one!) at a furniture consignment shop. I probably paid the same as a new, cheap couch, but this one is good quality, leather, exactly what I wanted, and I expect it to last forever. Or at least until the next puppy!

 

Same with clothes. I find beautiful silk blouses, hardly worn, at Goodwill for less that the polyester version at the department store. I like knowing that I am having just a little less impact on the Earth in this way. And the shopping process at thrift stores is more fun.

 

Target is just up the street from me, but I rarely go there. Maybe socks and underwear. Office supplies: paper, envelopes, like that. I can't think of much else they have that I need, probably no more than 3 or 4 times a year.

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmsMom View Post
 

I basically furnished and decorated my whole house with second hand items.  Couches, pictures, picture frames, dishes and glasses, pots and pans (including the nice enameled cast iron ones), even the towels and shower curtains.  My dining table is an antique and it was cheaper than a new ikea table would have been.  My violin is 100 years old and sounds beautiful.  I mostly use yard sales for my purchases.  I mastered the art of buying at yard sales years ago when my first child was small.  I bought nearly all of her clothes, toys, books at yard sales.  My expensive kitchen equipment was all from yard sales: champion juicer/wheat grinder ($5 yardsale); mixmaster (new in box $20 yard sale), blender.  Even my buddha statue.  I have found that yard sale electronic equipment is too much of a gamble.  WHen/if I need a new phone or somethingt I buy new.  Although I do have a used t.v..  If you can find a good yard sale area (I look for the communities where people have "more money than sense"), it can really pay off as you are getting your household together.  Trash picking also works sometimes.  I have a beautiful antique wooden child's chair that I picked up because it was out for the garbage truck; also an antique dresser, sometimes I will ask for something that I need on freecycle.  Getting things used is not only far, far cheaper and easier on the earth but also more fun! 

 

I can relate, nothing in my house that's not consumable was bought new. MOST of it wasn't bought at all, but received or picked for free. :) I really love seeing how much I can get without spending a penny.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Oh yeah, and socks, sometimes shoes, and underwear. I do buy those new. lol.

post #8 of 31

actually RETURNING some things tomorrow.  ;)

post #9 of 31

I really try to focus on this.  It seems like so many people want to focus on recycling as the best way to save on landfill waste and waste in general, but they don'e seem to grasp that when you purchase everything new, you contribute to the consumer culture as well.  I don't think it is necessarily bad to buy somethig you love new, but when that is all you consider, it seems a waste to me. 

Furthermore, I am cheap. I mean, really cheap.  I love to fine things free or secondhand.  At the moment, we have almost nothing in the house as we are renovating and have a lot of work to do, but I plan to furnish this house mostly with antiques.  It's an older home, and I expect it to take me years to get it where I want it to be, but I really want to make it the space I long to live in, and that, for me,  is a place of stories, or history, or  sitting down for a cup of coffee at a fabulous table i found on the side of the road and refinished to make it just right for my family.  It won't look like a page out of a Pottery Barn catalogue, but it will be home. 

post #10 of 31

Very inspiring! I wish we had better thrift stores, we almost never go to yard sales but we should. Our thrift store is horrible. Things there cost more than new. I was looking for cast iron pans last weekend and they were $25 and very rusty and needed a lot of work they were brand new at the store for $20. I hate buying new but I cant justify $5 extra dollars for a rusty used pan.

post #11 of 31

I was once in a "pact" to buy nothing new for a year.  It was great.  We do usually buy the hubby's clothes new, as I just rarely have luck for him yardsaling or thrifting.  But most all of my clothing is secondhand, or handmedowns from someone. Same for the kids.  The only exception is when I get coupons making clothing free for us.  Almost all of our Christmas gifts are secondhand this year (and in years past) thanks to great yardsales and thrifting.  This year I will be making pretty much everything I didn't get secondhand with the exception of a few gcs and a craft project my niece and nephews.  I do need to make more of an effort to look at secondhand shops for things like furniture and household goods when they need replaced.  I even buy shoes secondhand as long as they were lightly used.  I got a pair of doc martins from a yard sale for a dollar!  They are still in great shape after two years of almost daily wear (and I have a weird gate so my soles wear unevenly).  I'll probably try to get them resoled before I ever throw them out.

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhats View Post
 

I was once in a "pact" to buy nothing new for a year.  It was great.  We do usually buy the hubby's clothes new, as I just rarely have luck for him yardsaling or thrifting.  But most all of my clothing is secondhand, or handmedowns from someone. Same for the kids.  The only exception is when I get coupons making clothing free for us.  Almost all of our Christmas gifts are secondhand this year (and in years past) thanks to great yardsales and thrifting.  This year I will be making pretty much everything I didn't get secondhand with the exception of a few gcs and a craft project my niece and nephews.  I do need to make more of an effort to look at secondhand shops for things like furniture and household goods when they need replaced.  I even buy shoes secondhand as long as they were lightly used.  I got a pair of doc martins from a yard sale for a dollar!  They are still in great shape after two years of almost daily wear (and I have a weird gate so my soles wear unevenly).  I'll probably try to get them resoled before I ever throw them out.

I'm sort of in a pact with myself I guess. It's definitely a game to me to get as much free or used as possible (legally of course). In the car on the way home, I was trying to think of the last NEW thing I purchased other than consumables. And I can't off the top of my head remember. I can relate to having to buy your hubby's clothes new. When I was married it was incredibly difficult to find stuff in my husband's size, plus he was way too picky to be as poor as we were. (He would have rather spent $50 on three outfits at Kohls/TJMAxx than $50 on 7-8 outfits from the Goodwill.)

 

It's really hard for me to receive clothes secondhand, but I still won't buy them new unless I just really have to. (I'm super short legged and armed, big hips and breasts) So, if someone gives me twenty things to wear, I'm lucky if 2 or 3 fit right.

 

An added perk to me being "The Free Lady" is once people realize that, they are always giving me stuff they no longer want and they tell me keep what I want and sell the rest. I don't have the time for flea markets, peddler's malls and yard sales; so I sell them to my sister's mother-in-law for fairly cheap and then she sells them in her booth, the stuff that's not her type either gets donated to her friend who runs a mission or the housing I live in for single parent students. So it ends up being a win many times over.

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhats View Post

I was once in a "pact" to buy nothing new for a year.  It was great.  We do usually buy the hubby's clothes new, as I just rarely have luck for him yardsaling or thrifting.  But most all of my clothing is secondhand, or handmedowns from someone. Same for the kids.  The only exception is when I get coupons making clothing free for us.  Almost all of our Christmas gifts are secondhand this year (and in years past) thanks to great yardsales and thrifting.  This year I will be making pretty much everything I didn't get secondhand with the exception of a few gcs and a craft project my niece and nephews.  I do need to make more of an effort to look at secondhand shops for things like furniture and household goods when they need replaced.  I even buy shoes secondhand as long as they were lightly used.  I got a pair of doc martins from a yard sale for a dollar!  They are still in great shape after two years of almost daily wear (and I have a weird gate so my soles wear unevenly).  I'll probably try to get them resoled before I ever throw them out.

I just told my husband about this and he said it was a great idea except the last few pans we need in cast iron, shoes, socks and underwear, and gifts. Gifts because we want to get my older boy a telescope for Christmas, and I wanted to get them towels with their names on them. But other than those things he thinks its a great idea! I really didn't think he would go for it. I'm kinda excited now, except if we move and we are planning to there will be a few things that we just have no choice but to buy new, like a cistern, and piping and stuff. But for the most part I think we are going to try this and do the best we can!!!
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogo0685 View Post


I just told my husband about this and he said it was a great idea except the last few pans we need in cast iron, shoes, socks and underwear, and gifts. Gifts because we want to get my older boy a telescope for Christmas, and I wanted to get them towels with their names on them. But other than those things he thinks its a great idea! I really didn't think he would go for it. I'm kinda excited now, except if we move and we are planning to there will be a few things that we just have no choice but to buy new, like a cistern, and piping and stuff. But for the most part I think we are going to try this and do the best we can!!!

Sounds good. I think it's more about making a conscious effort to think about where your things are coming from than really a definitive "buy nothing new". Some things are always going to be bought new, but for the vast majority, it just makes more sense economically and environmentally to buy used.

Have fun. I really think it can be fun. And it's a heck of a conversation starter. :) I read "Not Buying It" and that's kind of what sparked my "commitment" to myself. Now, she went really big. She didn't buy anything, used or otherwise unless she absolutely had to. She even extended it to not paying for entertainment, dining out (which had been a big part of her life for business reasons), etc.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogo0685 View Post


I just told my husband about this and he said it was a great idea except the last few pans we need in cast iron, shoes, socks and underwear, and gifts. Gifts because we want to get my older boy a telescope for Christmas, and I wanted to get them towels with their names on them. But other than those things he thinks its a great idea! I really didn't think he would go for it. I'm kinda excited now, except if we move and we are planning to there will be a few things that we just have no choice but to buy new, like a cistern, and piping and stuff. But for the most part I think we are going to try this and do the best we can!!!

I would like to add that ALL of my cast iron pans came from yard sales, including some beautiful Wagner and Griswold ones - even the wonderful chicken fryer with the nice glass lid.  They were all beautifully seasoned as well.  So did our telescope ;-)   and lots of other gifts, especially for my kids. 

post #16 of 31

I lucked out on an AMAZING telescope for my children at a yardsale.  A great, seventies metal model with the slides and everything for....a dollar.  My cast iron came from my grandma, and my great grandparents.  I honestly dont use them much but they are some of the few family heirlooms I will hold onto forever.

post #17 of 31

I try to buy more at that the thrift store but I am guilty of hitting clearance racks, especially children's place outlet where I get many items for 1-2$ a piece. I am finding I enjoy thrift shopping, though I stick mostly to clothes for me or dd, ds I get quite a bit of hand me downs and buy his shoes and such from the clearance at the stores. One thing I do try to buy used is textbooks! saves me a lot of money as well. I just bought a used tablet for class, though i am not using it much and ds loves it so he playing angry birds on it and reads free kindle books from it. I won't buy used carseats either. 

post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post
 

One thing I do try to buy used is textbooks! saves me a lot of money as well. I just bought a used tablet for class, though i am not using it much and ds loves it so he playing angry birds on it and reads free kindle books from it. I won't buy used carseats either. 

It seems as if my school is doing away with used textbooks by 1) making all of the textbooks loose-leaf that you have to put in binders (and can't sell back) 2) Requiring online access codes as well which are easily $100 to buy standalone.

post #19 of 31

i have a binder textbook this semester that was 90$ shipped I was not happy about that, but once i started classes i was informed it will be used for a later class as well. so 90$ for 2 classes isn't so bad. I have always had classes that came out with new textbooks, needed codes, etc, so far it seems about 50/50 for me on needing new/buying used. Textbooks are often available as kndle editions as well which could save money and reduce clutter..

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post
 

i have a binder textbook this semester that was 90$ shipped I was not happy about that, but once i started classes i was informed it will be used for a later class as well. so 90$ for 2 classes isn't so bad. I have always had classes that came out with new textbooks, needed codes, etc, so far it seems about 50/50 for me on needing new/buying used. Textbooks are often available as kndle editions as well which could save money and reduce clutter..

My Spanish textbook is loose leaf and I had to pay for an online access code. Altogether it ran about $200. I can use the book for three semesters of Spanish and the access code for expires in a year I think. So, in that situation I'm paying about $70 per class for an EXCELLENT Spanish program.

 

My Social Problems book and access code was about $140, and we're not using the book or code and it's going to be next to impossible to sell (although I haven't opened the access code, I have taken the book out of the plastic wrap so the bookstore won't buy it back.) AND, I'm not going to need it for any other class. A little bummed about that one.

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