January 27, 2008

Half Price Delight

My name is Doug.  I am Melissa's husband and guest blogging tonight.

I've been reading this book for about 3 months.  I am not that slow of a reader (I don't think) but trying to read two and three books at time, something will give.

Now don't get me wrong, it's a great book and anyone involved in Marketing / Promotion of any kind would do great to read it.  Heck, even those who speak publicly can learn a few things on how to make talks more interesting and memorable.

I've been able to read about 75% of the book after 4/5 check out's at the library.  This is definitely a book I wanted to buy and keep as a reference.

Melissa surprised me and found it on line for half the price it was at Barnes and Noble.  I got it in the mail and it was very gently used - practically new!  We saved $12  and gave an unwanted book a loving home.

When have you received something unexpected you were really wanting?

January 15, 2008


It's not quite Mutiny on the Bounty, but the little mutineers are on the rise! One of our children, who shall remain nameless, is NOT okay with not buying new. He or she told us that he or she would be buying some things new this year. To which my response was, "No, we are all participating in this together!" I saw the frustration in his face...I mean his or her face. Suddenly it hit me. There will be many things that I will want to say "no" to. There will be plenty of things he'll want to do or not do that I will feel strongly enough about to insist that he go along with. Not buying new just isn't one of those things. I'm not willing to die on Not Buying New Hill. Jackson agreed that when he is spending his own money, he will make an attempt to buy pre-owned. But, he is free to use his money however he wants.

I want to be an example to my kids. I want them to care about this precious planet that God so perfectly created for us. I will not force my convictions on my kids, though. I want this to be a fun adventure. And, so far it has been.

Our new favorite thing to do at dinner is to choose our silverware. One night we went around the table and discussed how our fork was like us and what it reminded us of. Mine was a very simple pattern with a little bit of frill in the middle. That's a lot like me. I love simple things, but I just can't leave out the frill.  This unexpected routine that I'm sure will soon be a tradition, has brought me joy. I smile thinking about it. I never would have thought, as I dug through the plastic bins at Goodwill for over an hour, that buying used silverware would be so rewarding.

January 9, 2008

Nine down, 357 to go...

Well, we've made it 9 days without buying anything new. To my delight, it hasn't killed us...not even close. In fact, not allowing ourselves the option to buy new has given me a lot of peace. I can drive by Old Navy without feeling the need to stop in just to "see what's on clearance".

In case we were wondering whether or not we were doing the right thing (I know I wasn't, but I can't speak for the other 4 members of the family), something really cool happened last week. I was trying to decide whether or not to buy new ink cartridges for the printer. In our compact, we've allowed ourselves to buy new things that are consumable and that we consider a need. I figured putting off the decision was my best bet. Two days later, on a swap board, I found the exact ink cartridges we needed being offered. For a mere $5 (shipping) I saved 2 perfectly good ink cartridges from ending up in a land fill! How about that?

How is life different for us? On the outside, life is the same. However, I can feel a change going on inside. We are thinking about our consumer habits in a totally different way. So far, we have:
  • Filled our silverware drawer with pre-owned flatware. I had a lot of fun picking and choosing from the Goodwill bin.
  • Wondered whether or not we could find a used yardstick on ebay. One member of the family (and I won't mention any names) broke the one we had. We decided it wasn't worth the trouble of having a wooden yardstick shipped to us.
  • Purchased a used book that I could have found $2 cheaper if I had bought it new.
  • Searched for but did NOT find a used Magic Bullet blender.
  • Borrowed a tape measure from my mom.
  • Received a variety of responses from friends and family that vary from, "Are you guys nuts?" to "This is the coolest thing I've ever heard of!"
  • Saved some money!

All of these are different in our life. And we like it! Thanks for all of the great comments. I love reading them, even when they are fake stories of finding used fishnet stockings at hotels.

January 3, 2008

Bummer, I can't buy that!

Two days into the compact, Doug and I both had, "Bummer, I can't buy that!" moments. I wanted to buy some new paint to do touch ups in the house, Doug wanted to buy a T-shirt he found online. His thought was, "Oh, that would be a funny shirt to get........USED!" I decided to use the satin paint since I didn't have any flat (anyone have any Frazee Cottage White Flat paint for me?). So, we have some shiny spots on the wall...big deal, right? I think I'll see if I can borrow a cup of paint from a neighbor.

I've had a few questions I thought I'd answer here:

1. Will you buy used food? No, we buy new food. I will try to buy local when I can, but I'm not stressing about it. I'll also try to buy in bulk to avoid all of the packaging, but again, I'm not focusing too much on that just yet.

2. Can other people buy new gifts for us? SURE! We have no intention of forcing our conviction upon others. The good news is that we won't be offended by a second-hand gift!

3. What are the Etsy skirts? I'll be selling twirl skirts on Etsy. Etsy is like Ebay for handmade items. I don't have any skirts listed yet, but when I do, I'll post a link. My store name is, "MyGigi".

So far so good on the journey...it sure makes shopping trips short and to the point. There are entire sections that I won't buy from so why bother browsing?