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Compacting Mommas Winter Thread - Page 8

post #141 of 237
I need this thread! I'm not quite ready to commit, I'd love to see the "rules" or guideline! Where would I find those? This looks awesome though!
post #142 of 237
Hello Mamas!
Greetings from the redwoods of Northern California!
This is my first real post here at MDC although I've been lurking for quite a while!

I've been compacting for several weeks now and doing well so far.
I'm not a huge "shopper" and pretty frugal overall, but my history in the past has been to be very disciplined and motivated for a while and then to blow it on a "binge" type shopping trip. One of the reasons for this, is the way money ebbs and flows with my business. I'm a WAHM and things are usually feast or famine around here.

By necessity, I can pinch a penny till it screams when times are lean, but then when I am doing well, I kind of let things all go crazy. That is one of the things I want to work on... conscious and responsible spending when times are abundant.

I haven't said anything to my family about the Compact so far. I'm just trying to walk the walk for a while to see what happens with them. I do believe that I need to be the one to lead the way with my brood. If things are going to change with them, they will have to change with me first.

I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you folks here!
-Christine
post #143 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by TxMominCT View Post
I need this thread! I'm not quite ready to commit, I'd love to see the "rules" or guideline! Where would I find those? This looks awesome though!
Only two "rules" for the compact:

#1 Don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)
#2 Borrow, barter, or buy used.

All the other "rules" that individuals follow (i.e. not eating out, not buying fast food, new items with some exceptions) are personal choices and not the basic principles of compacting that everyone follows.

Here's my pledge. It's all very personal, I think.
post #144 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnittingKara View Post
Also, I am noticing that I am looking at the things we already own with more of an eye for re-purposing. For instance, the hammer is missing from a thrifted pound-a-peg set we bought. But, you know, one of those round blocks and a dowell rod would probably make a nice new hammer for it, eh?
I think that's one of the best parts of compacting: seeing things with a new eye and repurposing.
post #145 of 237
who bought socks for the kids?


I chalk that up for the things that you wouldn't predict your kids would need but will seriously enhance their lives. You live in VT for pete's sake!! Plus my experience tells me that finding used socks for kids is not an easy deal, finding used socks for kids made from wool even harder (I've been looking for sometime).



Myself I'm just lurking here, not actually compacting, mostly thinking about jumping into it. I AM reading along and getting lots of good ideas and am trying to think used/fix it before purchasing new.
post #146 of 237
okay so I still haven't made pledge/commiment, BUT today I scratched 3 things off of my shopping list because I found either a) the item I needed or b) a substitute that will work just fine! I think after I get through with my shopping for this week, I'm going to go ahead and make a commiment. There are a few things I've been planning on for a while, so I don't want to make a commiment and then get that stuff!
post #147 of 237
So I'm thinking about what kind of compact I can make... and I have a few questions.

Do you guys give yourselves exceptions? Eg, I'm really low on underwear, and I will need some more within a few months. Ds2 is on the verge of potty-training, and he will need some more underwear, too (he has a couple pair handed down from ds1, but his heinie is smaller than ds1's was, apparently). I have foot problems that I have to stay on top of, and when I do, I can walk for exercise/errands/etc (we only have 1 car, too), and honestly, I need to be able to buy shoes. But I can squeeze our green/frugal/non-consuming ways even more on other stuff...

And we're negotiating to install solar on our house. Does that count?
post #148 of 237
Here's mine:

http://adina-l.livejournal.com/2007/01/22/
It is the second post....you have to scroll down.

I did give myself exceptions. Undergarments and shoes. And safety stuff - since we are babyproofing, and you can't always find that stuff used, and if you can it isn't always safe. So, yeah, we gave ourselves exceptions.

I am making an effort to find things used before even considering buying them new though. Unless it is underwear... That I can't do used. Personal preference really. And for us, we are far too hard on shoes to buy them used, plus we both have funny foot sizes, so I won't even try to find those used.

As for the solar - put in the exception for it since youa re already working on it. That way you can get a contract/pledge going and you wont' be breaking it in any way. So you don't start your year off with an "oh but, we need this." It is already part of the plan, and not a falling off the wgon moment. Small change, for sure, but intention is important. Better to write the contract so you succeed, than to excuse yourself a failure right off, you know?
post #149 of 237
I'm with Adina on underwear and shoes although I buy used dipes for my baby, i can't fathom putting on used underwear. Weird, eh?

I also am plannning on looking high and low for used (unless time is of the essence - which is rare). I am looking at it not as a contest to see who can buy less new stuff, but more as a way to be more conscious about how I spend money and where the stuffI buy comes from.
post #150 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by KKmama View Post
So I'm thinking about what kind of compact I can make... and I have a few questions.

Do you guys give yourselves exceptions? Eg, I'm really low on underwear, and I will need some more within a few months. Ds2 is on the verge of potty-training, and he will need some more underwear, too (he has a couple pair handed down from ds1, but his heinie is smaller than ds1's was, apparently). I have foot problems that I have to stay on top of, and when I do, I can walk for exercise/errands/etc (we only have 1 car, too), and honestly, I need to be able to buy shoes. But I can squeeze our green/frugal/non-consuming ways even more on other stuff...

And we're negotiating to install solar on our house. Does that count?
I think that most of us make an exception for underwear, consumables (batteries, toilet paper etc), health and safety items. In addition to that, many of us make personal exceptions. For instance, we opted to make the personal exception of buying a new snowboard for DH (all the used were unsafe), but that's it.

For me, I've bought a few pairs of used shoes and boots since I began the compact, so footwear hasn't been an issue though I can see it being a "health" exemption if you have foot problems, KWIM?

It's all very personal just as long as you keep to the basic principles.
post #151 of 237
Hi mamas...great thread! We're in!

We're a family of 3 in Switzerland, compacting much more efficiently for the last 6 months or so. We moved into a smaller, cheaper, more pratical apartment, stopped eating out and just generally stopped shopping for much other than food.

It's been easier than I thought it would be. The one thing we buy new though is books...because we don't live in an English-speaking place, the libraries are only of limited use. We buy used off of other expats whenever we can, though.

Nice to be here.
post #152 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromama View Post
I also am plannning on looking high and low for used (unless time is of the essence - which is rare). I am looking at it not as a contest to see who can buy less new stuff, but more as a way to be more conscious about how I spend money and where the stuff I buy comes from.

This is so right on, Sistah! While I'm not Compacting, per se, I have found myself being much more thoughtful about purchases these last few weeks after reading about all the wonderful compacting Mommas here. And already this week, I took two things back that I bought and then realized when I left the store that I didn't really *need* them and would do just fine without them. After returning them, I felt really good.

With that being said, I did go and spend $100 at resuablebags.com today as I am replacing my DDs and DSs insulated lunchboxes to something lead free and I bought myself a Kleen Kanteen and a SIGG so I can get rid of all my Nalgene bottles. These purchases were for health reasons, so I don't see them as the same as a new bathroom rug (one of the things I returned earlier this week).

But just the fact that I am thinking about it and making the distinction shows my thoughts on consuming are changing. Maybe not overnight but steady progress is happening.

It's so great that we have a place to discuss this and support each other on our journeys to healthier, happier lives.

Thanks, Mommas!
post #153 of 237
Well, I just discovered that the soles are cracking off my 19-yr old hiking boots (which double as snowboots for me), and I think I'll have to get another pair. And time for another pair of running shoes. (But these things are much less than a 2nd car, no?)

Okay, I'm game for trying a six-month compact (renewable). I'll exempt us for food, medicine, shoes, and underwear. Our house (aging, neglected by previous owners) is an ongoing project, but what we've been doing to it generally has been to make it more sound/more green (like painting, insulating, the pending solar, etc.). We've done reuse whenever we've been able to on that, and everything as green as possible.

I really, really liked Adina's compact... If you don't mind, I'd like to follow it, with a few changes.... Toiletries has been a place where I fell off the bandwagon when I changed my hairstyle about a yr ago. I would like to pledge to try to get to a more "sustainable routine", by using up what I have/switching to homemade stuff/going simpler. I would like to guide the grandparents to not give us so much CRAP. (Bless their hearts, they love us, and they love their grandkids, but even just the sheer volume is too much.)

I think I will start a simple blog to try to keep track of the decluttering/compacting/greening stuff....
post #154 of 237
Totally! Steal what you want!

For me, I made it something I could stick to. If I made it to strict, I would make a ton of exceptions...i.e. "oh, just this once." If I made it too loose, then what was the point? So, for me planning in things like birthday gifts, or new shoes was a way of keeping me on track. If I know that I have those exceptions, then I am less likely to make other ones. If that makes any sense.

I have bought used shoes in the past...and they either didn't fit, or they lasted half the time. I wear a size 10, and people seem to hold onto that size until they fall apart, or get rid of them because they are uncomfortable. I have been looking for a pair of used rainboots...so far no luck.
post #155 of 237
Subbing - and taking the time go back and read all 8 pages.
post #156 of 237
How is everyone doing? 6 weeks for me and I had my first temptation this weekend. I wanted to buy yarn to make a soaker for a niece who should be born in the next couple weeks.

In my compacting agreement with myself, I made an exception for craft supplies, if I don't have anything that can be substituted and all current projects are done. I met all the criterias but I realized that I actually felt like going shopping and buying something. So yeah, I was rationalizing the yarn purchase because I wanted to buy something... Comsumerism is more rampant that I thought! I didn't go to the yarn store and didn't buy anything.
post #157 of 237
I bought my first new item since beginning the compact. A walking foot for my sewing machine that I could not find used. It is an item that will get a lot of use, as I am sewing quilts for our beds from thrifted fabrics. It was a decision I gave a LOT of thought to before I pushed that button that said "pay now"! I do think of it as buying a tool rather than a frivolous thing. Still, a part of me is a teeny bit bummed that I had to buy it new!

Aside from the simple tenet of "not buying new", I have definitely been trying to pinpoint areas in my home and life where I can conserve. I've been religious about taking my reuseable bags to the grocery stores, and talked my hubby into keeping a few reuseable bags in his car for his trips to the grocery as well (a BIG step for him!)

I have the fabric to make cloth napkins to use at meals and I hope to have those sewn up this week so I can stop using paper napkins altogether. I also am trying to use bar towels and dish towels instead of paper. I've crocheted some cotton dishcloths instead of using kitchen sponges. Just need to get enough made for a weeks worth of dishes!

I'm also really trying to cut down on the amount of driving I do, consolidating trips to "town" and making as few driving forays as possible. I'm thinking of repurposing my kids radio flyer wagon so I can walk it to the store and haul the groceries back. It'll need a big time tune up though as it is fairly rusty!

I've also been working a lot on minimizing the amount of trash that leaves my house. We live in an area with single stream recycling (where all the recyclables are put into one bin and it gets picked up with the regular trash, then gets sorted at a recycling center) I've really been more mindful of separating the recyclables.

I'm still working on trying to eat more local foods. The nearest farmers market is once a week and it's 15 miles away. We have one local chain grocery in my small town, and one tiny natural foods store, and I don't see a lot of local foods in there. I think it will be MUCH easier to eat locally during the spring and summer! For now, I am just doing as much "from scratch" cooking as I can at home from bulk goods that I've bought.

Well, that's my compact update so far, and my own small measures towards leaving a smaller "footprint". I'm part of the compacting group on Yahoo, but it's been so cantankerous over on that list lately that I'm scared to death to post anything for fear of being mocked! I think this thread is much more gentle and supportive!

Thanks for listening to my rambles!

Christine in Northern California
post #158 of 237
Well mamas, I posted my pledge!On my new blog
post #159 of 237
For yarn, perhaps you can find some on eBay?

We've been trying to figure out how to deal with the new Harry Potter book when it comes out. We may have to break our compact on that one...
post #160 of 237
Jubilee day baby! That is when mine will be... Not breaking the compact, and you can still get the book. DH and I had to talk about that one.

I heard of some people who are splitting the book with their family, and a friend's family. So by the time they are done - two people split the cost and something like 20 people will have read it.

Decluttering began this weekend. 55 items so far, and probably about 5000 to go.

I posted my pledge again in my new family blog...cause i love making blogs. The link is in my siggy, the Simply, Happily Living one.
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