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Compacting Mommas Winter Thread - Page 2

post #21 of 237

Well, I have been doing pretty well. Mostly because I have been compacting most of my adult life so it's now a habit. There are just a few things that I need to tweek tho.
My big thing was to try and use all left over food. I have been doing that but a dish still goes bad every now and then. Im still trying to learn to make more BIG dinners to save and freeze but this is very rare.
Im doing pretty good at staying away from big box companies and we almost always buy used unless its art supplies. This is something that we have been doing for a few years. Im all about not supporting the "Big guy" and trying to be as Eco/animal/people friendly as possible at the same time. I guess, in very few word, is what compacting is for me.
post #22 of 237
I know that there's no Compact Police but I am ver7y hard on myself so that's where a lot of this comes from.

We are still doing well so far. Last night dh wanted to go out for dinner. I was tired and gave in. We didn't NEED to go out. I had ground turkey already thawed for the meal I was going to prepare. But, going out to eat is my favourite thing ever and I caved.

Today is a new day!!
post #23 of 237
Thread Starter 
So, I am in need of a bra, and a pair of shoes that can be worn dressed up or down. I went to the thrift stores and resale shops and couldn't find anything. I decided to go to T.J. Maxx since I'm not tech. compacting during the holidays. As I pulled into the parking lot I realized I had left my wallet in the jacket I wore to a Christmas party last night. So I figured it was a sign and decided to get other things done that afternoon. I had to get my wallet anyway, and decided to back. I tried a bunch of them on none fit. then as I was starting to look at shoes Bryn disapeared. I thought he was hiding behind a rack so I started calling his name. After searching half the store I asked an employee to help. The called everyone up to the front of the store and told everyone what he was wearing, etc. I was on the point of tears when this retired couple walkes up with him and says they have been playing with him this whole time! I just picked him up and left. I guess buying that day wasn't meant to be.
post #24 of 237
Things are going well for me. I have realized after compacting for almost two months that I really didn't buy that much to begin with. I do need to stop eating out so much. We don't really go out to eat persay but the odd lunch/drive thru/coffee has gotten more frequent. I am working on it. I went to the thrift store today and found two skirts and a sweater. Maybe these weren't real needs but after wearing jeans/sweater/shorts/shirt for six years I decided I would like to wear more skirts. Keep up the good work everyone!
post #25 of 237
I read through the original thread this evening, and then found the link to this one. I am IMPRESSED, chickies, VERY impressed!

I know Sara (Delight) from her posts on the SL boards, but I really found her blog from a homemaking blog (Mrs. Catherine). Why am I not surprised you're here?

Also read through the get rid of 500 items thread tonight. You're doin' great! I would join you, but if I got rid of 500 items, I would have nothing left! Pretty minimal already, but I did pitch some ancient condiments and wilted veggies from the fridge. Put aside some rice, beans, etc., for an Advent food drive at church (bought too much when it was on sale).

Bought a bunch of much-needed clothes from Land's End in the past few weeks. I'm a plus-size and couldn't find anything decent at the thrift store after checking out several. I DID find a winter jacket for $10 though (only thing I could find that was in good shape in my size). Did order a bunch of books online yesterday - oh, well.

Tonight I wrapped the few Christmas gifts I'm giving this year. Except for the two books I bought for my goddaughter for St. Nicholas Day (Tuesday) and Christmas (one for each holiday) - everything was either something I'd decluttered or made (a homemade certificate for a meal to my goddaughter's parents and the same to my pastor and his wife - I spend Christmas with them). There was a CD, some fancy scone/muffin spread I'd been given, and of all things, a Tom's of Maine deodorant. My friend (goddaughter's mom) uses it - figured she could use it! I had bought two, and it turns out I was allergic to it, so she's getting the one I did NOT open, lol!

I'm at a new job and not really sure what is done for Christmas gifts for the bosses, so I think I'll just make some mini banana bread loaves, even though I'd said I wasn't going to do baking this year (but then I changed jobs about a month ago).

Christmas cards are already done and stamped, will mail closer to Christmas. Just have to buy a real wreath (my place is too small for a tree) and will wrap it with the LED light set I already have. Might buy a poinsetta, and there's any special food items I want, but that's it.

You gals were an inspiration to do a bit of decluttering today. Emailed my goddaughter's mother tonight, offering her three glass jars (I saved from jam, salsa, etc.) as she uses them a lot, and a nice recipe box with dividers and a bunch of blank recipe cards (because of my cruddy handwriting printing out recipes on a regular piece of paper is much better and readable!). Went through the wooden trunk in my bedroom that holds all my small clothes and folded things. Threw out some old nasty socks, and a few other odds and ends. Found the newish third bra I knew I had. Realized I had more underwear than I thought!

So, all of this to say that I'm not sure if I'm going to do the Compact, but I'm definitely going to try it!
post #26 of 237
Hi Tradd! Great to see you here...
post #27 of 237
Tradd, I'm not officially Compacting yet either, because I knew this month was going to be impossible, but I'm back on the wagon after 1/1. DH says if we can get near $15K in our bank account, I can quit my job to SAH in June. After four years of wishing and hoping and praying, that's all the motivation I need. Plus I'm really aiming for simplicity these days. The Compacting mamas have been keeping me going for awhile now

Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
Bought a bunch of much-needed clothes from Land's End in the past few weeks. I'm a plus-size and couldn't find anything decent at the thrift store after checking out several.
Me too, this was one of my big expenditures this month, but I'm so glad I did. I bought a bunch of things from Eddie Bauer (they carry tall shirts, and petite pants that are really only petite in inseam, not rise--for us long-waisted, short-legged mamas ) I'm returning a lot, but I'm keeping 3 pairs of pants, 3 shirts and a sweater, and OMG, does it feel so good to know that I can reach into my closet and be assured of grabbing something that fits, flatters me, and that I don't have to steam and stretch out before I feel comfortable in it! I've already gotten a bunch of compliments on the pants--it just feels nice to look good and not sloppy for a change, YK? So I consider that an OK break of the Compact. Plus, I'm returning two expensive pairs of jeans--one that is still NWT, and one that I bought because my DH spilled a full soda all over me at the mall. Turned out they were really unflattering, but I thought I was stuck with them. Well, the button broke in half the other day! And since they're also EB, I can return them no problem, woohoo! Makes me feel a little better, at least.

I bought more than I planned for the girls for the holiday, but all natural toys, and since everyone else refuses to buy from any store but TRU, I don't feel too bad about buying to satisfy my own values--a wood bath boat, silk streamers, Waldorf doll, cool rainbow crayon, natural jump rope, etc.

And for the other gifts, well, used/homemade is not big around here. DH would never go for it. But we don't have too many gifts to buy anyway, so I'll spend the rest of the year making up for December :-)

Looking forward to December 26th, when I can begin again! I think I'll be signing on officially then...
post #28 of 237
Okay. I fully intended to start compacting officially on December 1st but now that it is december I am going nuts with wanting to buy stuff. It's like being on a diet

Did anyone else go crazy with wanting to buy everything in sight when they first started, or is it just me? Or maybe it's because it is the holidays and there is just so much nice stuff being sold right now? Maybe I just have issues?

I think part of it is I really need a few things. I need some warm stuff for dd, and I really want to get her wool long johns which I can't find used. I also need good pair of shoes or boots. I've bought 2 pair seocnd hand this fall, one fell apart and the other just hurts my feet. I am feeling really weird spending a bunch of money on these items even though I feel they are really a neccesity and I am getting obsessed.

I am also really tempted by the soybaby co-op. Aaaaah! I kind of feel like if it is soy fabric it is exempt from compacting because it is less bad for the earth
post #29 of 237

Can I still join the Compact?

(This is a repeat of my last post on the original Compacting Mamas thread. Any advice is welcomed!!)

I was all set to join the Compact, and then I received several gift cards for Christmas gifts from my family.

I used a couple of them to purchase things for the "wishlist" at the local homeless shelter (new, but for a really good cause...can I justify that???).

I want to use the other one to buy a few very specific items to help with my decluttering goals.

Maybe I should just use them up and then join the Compact?
post #30 of 237
Originally Posted by Bex80 View Post
How do you get over the midset of "It's only 0.99" and "I deserve a little treat", etc. When I go grocery shopping I always end up buying myself a single serve of Pom tea, or a bagel or *something*. Those little things add up and while I feel like I deserve a treat, I can't keep doing this.
I use two methods to get past that (and I'm really just a lurker here) ---

the first: it's only 0.99. I once added up how much it would cost to spend just 99 cents a day for a year:
0.99 * 1.06 (sales tax here is 6.5 percent).
* 365 days = $386.90

That's like real money to me. But it is more than that. I have debt on a credit card. So take that 387 and add in 10 percent interest and you start talking more money.

The thing is, do I really want to spend 400 bucks a year on soda? No.

the second: on the issue of treats.
I set a goal as a treat. Meaning I really want a specific knitting pattern + yarn right now. So each time I hit the grocery I don't get a "treat" but I add the $$ to my pattern fund. (fiber trends clogs, not a spendy one even). When I reach the cost of the pattern + the tax + the yarn, then I'll buy it if I still want it.

I also ALWAYS bring hot tea or coffee in a mug or water to the supermarket with me when I go. Otherwise I'm totally sucked in. Cost of a cup of tea, even fancy dancy tea is like 50 cents, vs. a few bucks for a fancy coffee.
post #31 of 237
Thank you Kristin!! I love the idea of adding what I *don't* spend on treats to a fund that could really be something I want in the long run. That has happened to me my whole life---I would have some money, it would burn a hole in my pocket. A few weeks of that repeating...and then I find a big ticket item I've been longing for on sale or something and I'm broke. Meanwhile I am sick with the thought of all the stupid, pointless stuff I spent my money on when I could have just saved it and bought the big thing that would last.

Great grocery store snack avoidance ideas, everyone.

Sheila, I totally feel you!! I was starting Dec 1st, but I have a lready messed up a bunch. It totally feels like a diet. But I think it's good in the end...hopefully I can conquer my need to spend.
post #32 of 237
It's funny, I didn't really realise what a need to spend I had. I've always known I like nice stuff, and I enjoy shopping, but now that it is something I am focusing on it is really apparent I have a problem to address!
I am really good at justifying everything and enabling myself.
post #33 of 237
Thread Starter 
Is anyone buying wrapping paper, boxes, xmas cards, etc. new? I keep saying I will use newspaper, etc, but then I go to the store and see all the pretty colors and get sucked in. Even though I am not tech. compacting right now, I have walked out of a store twice after getting everything I want in the cart, and then standing at the register going "but do I need it?" and walking right out the door. I really want the boys to not feel like they are just so poor that we cannot even afford wrapping paper, ugh. Plus it's like $7-$9 for a nice roll of paper that they are going to tear off! We will be spending xmas with my ils, and they have always been very frugal, not so much now, but are totally okay with using other things for wrapping, used gifts like books, etc.
post #34 of 237
you know....I love wrapping paper. But I recently added up all $$ it would cost to buy new all the time and I've decided I'm not doing it. My dd comes home from school with artwork all the freaking time. I can't save it all, I'm already paying for it (by paying her tuition) so why not use it to wrap gifts. Plus I'm finding my recipients it.

BUT in keeping with the idea of not buying new, two sources for said things: goodwill and garage sales. Not so much ribbon and whatnot, but paper can be found at those sites. Or you could save it from gifts you receive.
post #35 of 237
Thread Starter 
The wrapping paper at Goodwill is almost the same price as buying it new: I am thinking of trying the artwork, but it comes in such small pieces, instead of a nice wide roll. That's why I was thinking newspaper since it is a bit bigger. I'm with you on the total price for all of it new though. $9 for paper, $4-5 for ribbon, $3 for tissue paper, $7 for all the boxes, etc. So much money for something that is going to be trashed! THen you start looking at extras, like cute little gift tags for the gifts, they're only $2 right, on and on.
post #36 of 237
For cute little gift tags, I save the cover part of the Christmas cards I receive (you know, not the half with text), and the next year, I cut them up and make a hole using a hole punch. Voila, gift tags!
post #37 of 237

Gift wrap

A few years ago, we had a glut of paper bags -- you know, just regular grocery store bags -- around Christmas, and we ended up wrapping our gifts in that, making potato stampers and stamping the outside with red stars and tying them with twine. They looked like something out of Real Simple magazine and they were fun to do. The kids helped, too!

I'm still not technically compacting, just reading here for inspiration. But I'm amazed at the amount of stuff I haven't bought lately just because I'm aware of it. It's not even that hard NOT to buy, but kind of frightening to think how conditioned we are to buy.
post #38 of 237
Some more gift wrapping ideas:
  • Maps (free!)
  • Magazines (bright colors...just use lots of pages)
  • Spray paint the boxes red, green, silver, etc. and add a bow
  • Wrap with scraves (silky ones) from Goodwill. I just found the cutest green polka dot one there. The recipient can use it as a hair tie or belt after they open it.
  • Kitchen towels. I will often do a kitchen theme for friends and get the towel (Dollar Store!) and add some homemade soap, candy, etc.
  • Inexpensive gift bags. I use mine over and over and over. I have a big box that I save them all in.
  • White lunch sacks. Use stamps, glitter, ribbon to make them festive. Just fold over the top a couple time, punch some holes and tie a ribben through it. Adorable.

Hope tihs helps.
post #39 of 237
Originally Posted by Delight View Post
Some more gift wrapping ideas:
  • Spray paint the boxes red, green, silver, etc. and add a bow
Or, since we're trying to minimize our footprint, instead of spraypainting, maybe stamping the boxes with potato stamps and a more earth-friendly paint.
post #40 of 237
Thread Starter 
Well, I need a couple of shirt boxes and then I think I'm just going to get a Sunday paper and wrap everything in that. I still have green, red, and white ribbon from last year, so it will be festive. I used to work at Williams and Sonoma, and they were super nazis about wrapping gifts. Every corner had to be perfect, no raw edges, certain amount of ribbon for each bow, etc. I have a hard time letting other people wrap gifts if I can do it, or not using the best paper and ribbon. Of course this is why I no longer work there, kitchen utensils are just not that important

So I always try and get all xmas gifts bought or made in early Nov so I don't get tempted into anything extra later when the shopping rush hits in Dec. Yet inevitably now it is Dec. and even though I have everything, or know what I need, need to make, etc I still have that urge to go shopping for gifts. Ugh, Nothing at xmas time is any different than any other time of the year, it's just advertised heavier.
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