About Us

We don't actually advocate going without socks! We are two sisters with a common goal: 2011 is our year to step away from cultural messages that try to force us to define ourselves as consumers. To that end, we are committed to spend this year buying only what we need, and to buying used items whenever possible.

We decided to use this forum to document our experiences, share successes and challenges, and support each other in our efforts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Changing My Mind

Dear Amy,

This is going to be harder than I thought! All day Saturday I was making New Year's resolutions, getting myself organized, and thinking about what I'd like to do during the upcoming week. I need to get myself back into a routine, but I also need to relax a bit after all the wedding festivities and traveling of the past three weeks. So I can sit at home and watch movies and knit (fun), or I can go shopping . . . wait--I can't go shopping!! At least not the way I usually do. It hadn't registered with me before that I shop for fun (I know you can't conceive of doing this), and I can't really do this if I'm only buying what I need. I guess I can, but it won't be as fun. Why am I just now figuring this out?

Here's what the old me did: I'd go to a thrift store and spend hours picking through every single skirt or pair of jeans, and usually come away with two or three items that I couldn't pass up. If I went to a thrift store that had sales, I'd usually limit myself to sale items only. Or I'd go someplace like Target and wander around the perimeter of the store where all the clearance items are and end up buying a couple of things that were too good a deal to pass up. Rarely were these items what I really needed. I'd hardly ever spend more than a few dollars, but that's not the point, is it?

I can't emphasize enough how many times I had this thought that I could go shopping on Monday and had to squelch it. So I have to make a major adjustment in my thinking here, which I hadn't anticipated. I'm making a list of things I need, so I can look for those when I go out. It will end up being more of a treasure hunt than ever! But I will have to resist those great deals if they're not essential (unless I can convince myself that it belongs in our emergency preparedness kits or food storage, or I'll need it to make some awesome gift which is not even a twinkle in my eye at this point). I have to keep reminding myself that it's not so much about saving money--it's about reducing consumption. That is my new mantra.

On the other hand, the idea of not going shopping leaves me feeling kind of free. I could do anything to improve myself or help others, without the temptation of wasting time shopping getting in the way. This is very nice, and I imagine it won't take me long to get used to this part, anyway.


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