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”.