Compacting Mommas Winter Thread - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-27-2006, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The last one was getting so long I thought we should start one for the winter months. How is everyone doing? I originally signed on until Thanksgiving since I knew we would be spending the day after in downtown Seattle and Ikea, and I wasn't sure how strong I could be I didn't spend a cent downtown! Even through the lovely mall and shops, nada. We also made our lunch from leftovers to bring (tofurky of course!) We went to the Bodies exhibit which was really cool, my fil paid for all the tickets so that cost was nothing. I did purchase a few things from Ikea. A spice rack for the kitchen to clear the clutter, two glass jars for bulk grains to match the others I already have, and a tent for ds for Christmas, since my sil bought the matching tunnel for him. I bought nothing that I didn't need and was pretty proud of myself for leaving with only that even though I have to admit I searched high and low for extra things that I "could" need.

Anyway, I am going to sign a compact for the rest of the year, and am kind of nervous. How did everyone do over the holidays?

Aidan 8/11/99 Bryn 9/7/04 Jardin is here! 8/23/10 ~Kindness is My Religion~ Dalai Lama
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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Well, Buy Nothing day is easy when you have no money.

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Old 11-27-2006, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't follow my sil into PotteryBarn or any other spendy stores, and walked through Nordstrom with blinders on. It helped to have dh there to let me know that looking at jeans, no less $280 jeans was out of the question. I used to be an adict of the sales racks, but on inspection this time around I noticed all the items in them at almost every store were crap, pj pants, seqin tank tops, etc. Not even basic neccessities. It was nice to be able to look and not even think to buy. I will say that I used to go into Pottery Barn or other home stores to get inspired for decorating ideas, but I couldn't even go in because just looking inside from the door it looked like same furniture and vases you see everywhere else!

Aidan 8/11/99 Bryn 9/7/04 Jardin is here! 8/23/10 ~Kindness is My Religion~ Dalai Lama
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:18 PM
 
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Well, I was in Michigan for Thanksgiving and I ended up buying a cute little Rilakkuma bear that I absolutely did not NEED. The only other stuff I bought was for a knitting project (yarn for Z's winter hat - I tried to get it secondhand but nothing came through; a pattern for a sweater for myself, to use up a lot of yarn I already have).

We did end up eating at restaurants quite a bit for breakfast and food on the road. I am feeling a little overwhelmed by life right now so I'm not doing as well as I could be, but just thinking about the Compact kept me from buying so much stuff I don't need.
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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I'm still reading this thread, the yahoo group and everyone's blogs... Not quite ready to commit yet, but you all inspire me greatly.
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Malva, I'm doing the exact same thing. I'm so impressed by all of you. You're truly inspirational.
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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We have been Compacting since mid October. Things are going good for us with the Compact, minus the purchase of organic bath towels that I mentioned before. I haven't bought a single Christmas gift, and even going out where people are Christmas shopping gives me a headache. I have repeatedly gone into stores and thought about purchasing something that I think I "need" and then changed my mind and walked away. I don't even really like shopping anymore, even consignment shopping. I can't believe I just typed that!

We decided before we started the Compact that we would either do simple homemade gifts for our parents/siblings and then only buy our children a few natural toys (most of our plastic stuff is gone-YAY!). We know that no one else will buy them the kinds of things we actually want them to have. I'm knitting items for my mom, her SO, my brother, my DH and then sewing each of my kids a fleece patchwork quilt. I'm making photo CDs using Microsoft PhotoStory with all the great photos we have of our kids in the last year. I'm going to make a charitable contribution instead of making gifts for DH's extended family, because I'm boycotting their excessive gift giving. I have tried making gifts for DH's extended family's yearly gathering the past 2 years but I'm too busy with my kids to attempt that now. They refuse to do a gift exchange and instead expect everyone to buy lavish gifts for the 15 or so adults that attend and then my 2 kids. Honestly, with my anti-shopping feelings right now, I just want to hide out somewhere with my family until New Years

P.S. I've been awful about updating my blog if anyone is still reading, I have been on the computer so rarely! I'm really enjoying being unplugged though.

~Rebecca~
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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Subbing and forgive me if this question has already been asked, I wanted to ask before I lost my motivation and I experience time-suckage when I read through long threads...

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.

How do you all break yourselves of that? Please help, I feel desperate about this today.

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Old 11-29-2006, 02:00 PM
 
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When I feel like I need a treat, I brew a cup of tea, lock myself in the bathroom, and have a long soak in a rose-oil scented tub.

WAAAAAY better than a bagel , and spend-free.

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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Old 11-29-2006, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you bring a snack from home before you go? I always have cookies or sme kind of baked goods I've made, and will take some with me. Also, don't think of the big picture. Just take it one shopping trip at a time. Don't think about the different things you might want throughout the week, just the store you are going in that day. Before you go in resolve to make it through the store that one time. Once you've done that the next stop you make have the same resolve. I know it seems a bit 12 steps, but it does work.

Aidan 8/11/99 Bryn 9/7/04 Jardin is here! 8/23/10 ~Kindness is My Religion~ Dalai Lama
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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No, 12 step type instructions are what I do best with! I have to take it one day at a time with many things, including weight loss and decluttering. I get into major panic mode if I try to think ahead about much of anything. It makes me feel a bit like Piglet when I think about it like that...

I will try that, taking my own stuff to nosh on.

And I agree, a bath or just some time alone is way better than a bagel.

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Old 11-29-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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subbing....

I am so excited. I am thinking about this everyday. I am coming up with solutions to the roadblocks I set up for myself. It seems many people have set up certain exceptions and personalized the compact. I just want to make sure I do not water it down too much. I also like the example it would set for my children.

What we are doing is taking gradual steps. So far I have decided to cut out restaurant meals, single serve packaged food and drink, and cut way back on Christmas, giving experiences and hand made gifts. My dh isn't really wanting to take the compact but he does so little of the shopping it almost doesn't matter. I can make my dent and maybe the changes will become the way our family does things.

Thank you for sharing your experiences, it does help those of us out here considering changes.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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mommajb, I feel as if I am in the same situation as you are. Hope you don't mind me taking an idea or two from you here and there.

I was just coming back to say that I can't wait until the New Year, I have to start compacting now. I feel desperate to make a change and I need to start immediately. The past few days spending has gotten out of control and I know that once it starts it only gets worse. Causing strife and discord between my dh and I, which trickles down to the kids, and I want to set a good example for them. They are so impressionable right now I need to take advantage of that.

We are still going to buy a few toys brand new for Christmas, but we don't have "big" Christmases in our house in general anyway.

I feel better already.

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Old 11-29-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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Just wanted to say that I think it is ok to buy yourself a treat once in a while. I hardly ever do any more and It feels good when I do instead of feeling bad/guilty. I aim to simplify and am starting to do a pretty good job seeing as I was WAY WAY over the top so I feel good when I don't buy. On the other hand the other day I was in town Half an hour to home and had free time and I took my knitting to a cafe and sat and had a cup of bought tea and relaxed and knit and I know I deserved it. I was alone - RARE and I had time and a half hour of free time and I felt very spoiled and refreshed!
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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subbin'. Thanks Bex.

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Old 12-01-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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What is compacting?
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:51 PM
 
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I didn't buy anything in December!!

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Old 12-01-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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Here's the original thread, the first post explains it pretty well. I was buying supplements at Whole Foods the other day and ds was playing with this cute little wind up toy, so I bought it. On the drive home I was thinking about the shopping trip and was like "WAIT! I wasn't supposed to have bought that!" I'm around a month and a half in, and I still forget every once in awhile. As for treating myself, I do think it's worth it once in awhile. I'm a single mama and so since I don't get alone time (well, once every few months, and at night time) I buy that cup of coffee, and space out for a few minutes. It helps me keep my sanity. I just avoid Starbucks/Caribou and get from our local coffee shop. Compacting has been soo good for me! I'm so good at saying no to stuff now (except when I space it ) and reevaluating my "needs".

                   
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bex80 View Post
Subbing and forgive me if this question has already been asked, I wanted to ask before I lost my motivation and I experience time-suckage when I read through long threads...

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.

How do you all break yourselves of that? Please help, I feel desperate about this today.
I never counted food/drink as a Compact no-no. New shoes, a new tablecloth, a new PC, a new video game...yes, yes, yes absolutely. But food stuff? It's fair game in my Compact world. I'm trying to understand why you would think treating yourself to a drink or a bagel is breaking the Compact?
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:46 PM
 
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I never counted food/drink as a Compact no-no. New shoes, a new tablecloth, a new PC, a new video game...yes, yes, yes absolutely. But food stuff? It's fair game in my Compact world. I'm trying to understand why you would think treating yourself to a drink or a bagel is breaking the Compact?
I'm with ya on this one...for me, Compacting is more than just saving money. It's about ENRICHING my life by not bringing more useless stuff into my home...and being more mindful of my purchases as a whole. With that said, I feel no shame when I say that I bought the latest Dwell magazine yesterday. It is FULL of amazing ideas about sustainability, organic living, living in community, etc. My life has been enriched already. Could I have borrowed it from the library? Yes. However, I will be gifting it to someone else for Christmas...and will encourage them to gift/donate it when they are done.

I splurge once in awhile on a coffee or tea when I am having my "mom's night out". Sometimes I even go to Starbucks *gasp*!! That cup of coffee was a tool to help me relax and enjoy my evening of writing letters, etc.

It's all up to you. There are no Compact police. Mindful living is where it's at For the most part, I am seriously hard core. But a little packaged treat here and there will not throw my Compact world into a frenzy.

I am so RELIEVED that I don't have to do Christmas "shopping" this year. I despise the mall. I hate all the holiday sale advertising. : I've been slowly collecting goodies from thrift stores and consignment stores to give to my family and it's so much more fun that way!

This is such a great group of mamas...I'm so glad we're all here doing this together.

Sara ::: Mama to Bella Grace & Lucy Mae Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 1 Peter 3:4
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:02 PM
 
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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!!

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Old 12-02-2006, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Aidan 8/11/99 Bryn 9/7/04 Jardin is here! 8/23/10 ~Kindness is My Religion~ Dalai Lama
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:28 AM
 
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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!
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:28 AM
 
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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!

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Old 12-04-2006, 05:51 AM
 
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Hi Tradd! Great to see you here...

Sara ::: Mama to Bella Grace & Lucy Mae Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 1 Peter 3:4
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:05 PM
 
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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

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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...

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Old 12-04-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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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

BC Mum of four ('05, '07, '11 and 06/14!)     
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:23 PM
 
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(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?
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
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.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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