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Compacting Mommas? - Page 2

post #21 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbloom View Post
i'm definitely interested in jumping in on this, but i'll need to sit dh down and have a serious talk. he's big into buying new dvd's and video games right when they're released, so i think that will be the hardest thing for him. we'll also need to work on being more eco-friendly (a good thing anyway) with some of the stuff we have been bad about up to now. i'd love to do this though.... just not sure i can get the "fam" on board.
You know, my DH isn't doing it, nor is my friend's husband, but both of our spouses are pretty frugal to start with...not spenders or shoppers. I'm trying not to use my spouse's "purchasing power" to thwart my efforts though (thinking about the kids and Christmas here).
post #22 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
Sometimes I think we don't give kids enough credit. Is it possible that you could sit down with him and try to explain what you're doing and why? You might be surprised! I think used Christmas gifts would be awesome! My friend is trying to encourage everyone to do this for her kids...and even though she is getting some resistance, she's educating in the process. Plus, starting a tradition like that so early in his life would be hugely beneficial and would set the tone for the years to come.
I could, but he's got this notion that Santa brings "new" stuff. Or at least I think he does. : I don't want him to think that's what the holidays are about, at all, but I also don't want to crush Santa for him at the tender age of four by bypassing the gift part altogether (or giving him homemade gifts, which would be a dead giveaway that Santa is mom and dad). I think my only solution is going to be finding a few good used gifts.

I wish Christmas and Santa weren't wrapped up in stuff. I'm going to have to think about this long and hard -- how to make the holidays special, meaningful, and magical for my kids without stuff.
post #23 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
I could, but he's got this notion that Santa brings "new" stuff. Or at least I think he does. : I don't want him to think that's what the holidays are about, at all, but I also don't want to crush Santa for him at the tender age of four by bypassing the gift part altogether (or giving him homemade gifts, which would be a dead giveaway that Santa is mom and dad). I think my only solution is going to be finding a few good used gifts.

I wish Christmas and Santa weren't wrapped up in stuff. I'm going to have to think about this long and hard -- how to make the holidays special, meaningful, and magical for my kids without stuff.
You may want to check out the book "Living Simply With Children" by Marie Sherlock. There is a great section about holidays/celebrations that I think you would enjoy.

Would it be possible for you to use gifts from grandpa/grandma for your "Santa" gifts? Does that go against the Compact? Accepting things that are new?
post #24 of 461
My mom used to give each person a "garage sale gift" (in addition to new gifts)- something she had picked up second hand and wrapped in plain brown paper. I have to say, the garage sale gift was often my favorite! It was always really appropriate for the person, and I appreciated the effort to hunt down something like that, rather than just going to any old store and buying something.

Also, I was in Goodwill yesterday looking for Halloween costume components, and ran across a game DS wants, still in the shrinkwrap! So you might be able to find something that's both new and second-hand.
post #25 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
You may want to check out the book "Living Simply With Children" by Marie Sherlock. There is a great section about holidays/celebrations that I think you would enjoy.

Would it be possible for you to use gifts from grandpa/grandma for your "Santa" gifts? Does that go against the Compact? Accepting things that are new?

I read that book years ago...before kids. LOL! I need to pick it up again. I remember thinking it was really well done.

I thought about this. I might do that, if only to cut back on the amount of stuff he gets.

I'm already dreading the gift part of the holidays if only because I'm making so much decluttering progress and I know my efforts to are going to be, uh, challenged. Thank goodness our families are pretty low-key on the gift front.
post #26 of 461
Thread Starter 
We've often given away new items to thrifts stores run by charities because it was a non-approved toy given by relatives. I bet you could find a new toy at a second-hand shop which I think is okay by compact rules because you're still not feeding the beast.

I'm making most of the gifts this year--at least for the kids. I'm making DS a teddy bear out of a fulled wool sweater, and my younger cousins will be getting small crazy quilts. I'm stumped on what to do for the adults, though.

I'm dreading the post-holiday clutter too. Truthfully, I'd really rather not receive anything. Things substitute for relationships in our culture and that troubles me deeply.
post #27 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbunny View Post
I'm stumped on what to do for the adults, though.
What about recycled tins full of cookies that you make? Not a very original idea, but it's something everyone loves.
post #28 of 461
I'm leaning toward food gifts, too.

I agree with Delight that it's something that everybody loves and therefore there's less questioning/agonizing as to whether the recipient will like or can use the gift or not.
post #29 of 461
What about buying new fabric or yarn to make things? Technically, buying such "raw" goods doesn't fall under the category of a consumer purchase (according to the wee bit I've read about consumerism). Just curious...
post #30 of 461
Wow, I'm so excited about this I'm getting a little bit of a head rush Thanks Delight, for leading me over here!

I was going to ask about the secondhand "new" things. My Goodwill always has things that are still in the package, and I buy things on eBay sometimes that are NIP. Does that count under the compact, or do the things have to actually be gently used?

I'm seriously considering this. We just got over massive and sudden consideration of a new house purchase (we decided not to), and in the two weeks that we were considering, I thought about these issues long and hard and was already coming toward this kind of a decision. I love the idea of truly committing to it. I even have an IRL friend who would probably do it with me!
post #31 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by daekini View Post
What about buying new fabric or yarn to make things? Technically, buying such "raw" goods doesn't fall under the category of a consumer purchase (according to the wee bit I've read about consumerism). Just curious...

I do allow myself new yarn/fabric stuff, but ONLY on as-needed...not because it's a good deal or because I hope to get around to knitting it up after the next four projects I've got slated are completed. I haven't found much at thrift stores in the way of yarn, or else I'd try to go second-hand.

Oh, I'm also going to try to purchase fibers spun by small-scale operations. My friend and co-blogger spins, so I hope I might be able to purchase some yarn from her for my next scarf.
post #32 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel View Post

I was going to ask about the secondhand "new" things. My Goodwill always has things that are still in the package, and I buy things on eBay sometimes that are NIP. Does that count under the compact, or do the things have to actually be gently used?
I think I'd buy something new at Goodwill (say a board game for my kids for Christmas), but not on Ebay. On Ebay, when you buy something new, it's often a legitimate store selling the item as retail, you know? Definitely a fine line.
post #33 of 461

Same here

Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
That said - my children have worn almost 100% used clothing their entire lives (and I have an almost 12 y/o). Also, almost every furniture item in my house was given to me from someone else who owned it before me.
However our used couch and loveseat that MIL gave us (when she bought her house and the former owners left it there and when MIL saw the dog sitting on it she thought of us!) are getting threadbare in spots...

I am thinking of suggesting to one of my 2 SILs who,likes to shop that she needs new furniture and I'd be happy to take her old ones for her! LOL!
post #34 of 461
post #35 of 461

I'm in

Below are my rules, goals, et cetera. (Shamelessly nicked from Delight's blog and edited to suit my purposes! )

In light of the destructive effects of personal greed, I pledge to curb my purchases, cease frivolous buying, and choose to simplify my life. Excepting only those things needed for work and the health and safety of my family, I pledge not to buy new. Additionally, I pledge to carefully consider used purchases, as well, in an effort to limit consumption in general. Furthermore, I will actively seek to pass on possessions we no longer want to those who are in need. In doing so, I hope to educate both friends and family about the corrosive effects of being in a constant state of want, nurture in myself the uplifting state of giving, thus reducing the load on the environment and creating a more sensible path for our lives. For these reasons, I join the Compact.



I will not buy any NEW items for one year.
I will only buy items that I NEED.
I will create a weekly menu/grocery list EVERY week based on the food I have on hand.
I will use up the food that is already in my home before I shop for more.
I will not buy any convenience foods when grocery shopping.
I will strive to eat in season, buying as local as possible.
I will bring cloth grocery bags to the store.
I will not eat out at a restaurant (nor order in).


EXCEPTION: I will allow myself to buy 1 new (specific) gift for each of my children for Christmas. They have made some specific (and, suprisingly, very reasonable ) requests, and I have not been able to find any satisfactory used substitutes.


My Goals:

To gain perspective and learn contentment.
To be a mindful consumer and live lighter on the earth.
To become more patient and learn to plan ahead as I borrow, barter, buy used, re-use, and recycle.
To save a considerable amount toward the purchase of our farm.
post #36 of 461
Yay! I'm so glad to have company. I'm nine days in to the project--so far, so good. I did post about a thrift store outing yesterday that I felt was not exactly Compact-friendly because I bought stuff I didn't need. At least it wasn't new stuff, but still!

I didn't write dining out into my rules, mostly because it's not something we do much because we're out in the country and also because I think dining out is okay because it's not really taking in more stuff. I just try to choose locally-owned restaurants, which is not a problem because I'm picky and don't really care for chain restaurants.
post #37 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
Below are my rules, goals, et cetera. (Shamelessly nicked from Delight's blog and edited to suit my purposes! )
And I nicked it from Chelee at Consumer Disobedience
post #38 of 461
I have yet to make a formal declaration with guidelines, etc...but I am sure loving reading these...and this thread has been inspiring.

Delight I LOVE your blogs; you're a great photographer. I especially enjoy your food blog. Makes me HUNGRY!
post #39 of 461
Ooh, I want to join in on this one.

We've actually been using a lot of these ideas already, but it really does help to have a specific set of guidelines to follow.

We are going to follow the rules you've already talked about with just a few exceptions:
- new yarn/fabric is allowed if for a specific, needed project )
e.g. knitting longies, sewing slings, etc.
- new books ok if purchased with a gift card (DH is a teacher and gets tons
of gift cards each year )
- new car seat is ok

As far as gifts go, we've just announced to family and friends that we are bowing out of Christmas and birthday gift giving in favor of giving to Acres of Hope, an orphanage and humanitarian organization in Liberia. We sent a letter to everyone explaining why we are doing this and giving details on the situation in Liberia - they know we have a real burden for orphans and so far, everyone has been really great about it. For Christmas, everyone is going to get a homemade card letting them know we made the donation as well as a cinnamon/applesauce air freshner/ornament made with boy and girl cookie cutters and that's it.

Next year, hopefully we will have our baby home and we want to start the tradition of him getting just three gifts for Christmas - after all, that's what baby Jesus got! We really want it to be a day celebrating our blessings, peace and family not the endless pursuit of more.

Totally OT: I'm also wanting to dress our baby primarily in wool longies/shorties with thrift store shirts (plain or tie dye, which is so adorable!) so that helps me stay away from all the super-cute baby clothes out there. We also want to have a "no plastic, no licensed characters" rule for him, so again, hopefully that will cut back on spending and consumption. It's so much easier to think about these things before we have kids at home. Now how to make sure my mom the shop-a-holic doesn't go crazy...:
post #40 of 461
I'm really interested in this concept. However, we are building a house right now (a very un-Compact-y thing to do) and will be making many purchases in the next year (building materials plus a few furniture items to replace some of the stuff we gave away before construction began). I have already scouted the local furniture consignment store and found great items, so I'm hoping to make as many furniture purchases there as possible. I have started a list of smaller items we will want or need and am starting to scour thrift stores, garage sales, etc.

However, I would still like to take the Compact challenge now, at least in a limited way. So I'm going to try to do a "holiday Compact"- nothing new purchased for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Exceptions: one new gift for each child and DH, plus raw materials to make specific gifts.

My first success: I bought used Halloween costumes for each of my kids through my local moms' group, and my kids love the costumes! Next up: making Halloween cards for the kids. I have also come up with a specific list of Christmas gifts for the kids and have already found one item from the list at Goodwill.

Looking forward to reading about everyone's experiences ...
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