When I was really deep into keeping us on track and didn’t need distractions from the world of products around me here are a few things I did.
Magazines. All those so cute Pottery Barn, Eddie Bauer and Crate and barrel catalogs along with any other clothing magazines went straight into the trash. I just didn’t want the longing to have any of that stuff. I don’t subscribe to any magazines other than ‘Organic Gardening’ and ‘This Old House’ for the same reason. I can keep my life simple without all those way too cute distractions. But, I am human and American and weak so I do have my moments of drooling over the Crate and Barrel catalog…love their kitchen wares.
Grocery Store. Of course it’s best to have a list and a plan, but I can only seem to do that a few times a year. I stick to the outside edges. All the packaged quick foods are in the center, avoid them at all cost. Name brands are the enemy to me. I don’t see the sense in paying more for cleaning products, or food that the off brand does just as well or better. I’m sure I have some exceptions to this like; Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter (I avoid the sugary stuff, which is vital to me now) and low sugar jelly only made by Smuckers.
Here’s a list of items that we have given up at different times to save money.
Soda- I make lemonade out of lemon juice, water and powdered sugar. So much cheaper than buying the mix and no artificial flavors or colors, it’s really good….but I won’t ever be drinking that again… sniff sniff.
Paper Napkins– You can make a truck load of cloth napkins for the same amount that you would spend on a few large packages of napkins, they can be used (by the same person) for the entire day or days if you’re not a slob. Yes, it adds to the laundry, but no too bad. No, I don’t use cloth napkins anymore except when we run out of the paper, but maybe I should give this a go again.
Paper Towels– I still don’t buy these on a regular basis. My rags consist of Clay’s old athletic socks cut open and they work so well, cost nothing and again add to my laundry.
Toilet Paper– No, just kidding.
Cereal- I go through long phases of not buying cereal and then cave to the convenience. But, now since I can’t really eat the stuff, I think we’ll go back to oatmeal and other cooked breakfast meals. We save a lot of milk waste this way too.
New Clothes– My freshman year of college I challenged myself not to buy any new clothing. I made it to my birthday April 8th (why that’s comin’ up real soon now isn’t it?) and I treated myself to some green pants, a t-shirt and cool jacket from the Gap and then went out dancin’ with my best dance partner ever…Claystor! I think I’m going to try this again starting in the fall, cuz I don’t have but one pair of shorts that fit me and hopefully they will be too big given the forced “lifestyle”.