August Purchases Recap

Well, I think its safe to say that August kind of broke the record for purchases in one month for 2017. Let’s jump right in and take a look…

For home:
8 jars – used
3 cloth napkins – used
4 white large and small plates + bowls to replace ones in home that are chipped and have broken – used
Metal tongs that are easy to use – used
Metal spatula – used

For teenie:
1 pair of shorts for teenie – used
1 Kids Kleen Kanteen* (amazon) – new
2 stainless cups with lids and straws* (amazon) – new
Sled – used
Acquired one set of silicon straws* – complimentary, new

For self:
1 used copy of Zero Waste Home* (amazon) – used
1 used copy of Garbology* (amazon) – used

Half of the jars were to meet the demands of my growing freezer storage as I prepare for winter. While I continue to acquire jars here and there from a few locally produced foods we buy, as summer quickly draws to a close I wanted to make sure I had plenty available to fill as needed. Had I kept the box of large mason jars found at a Goodwill back in March then I wouldn’t have this problem (ahhh live and learn). The smaller jars were purchased for storage and “spill free” milk travel.

Purchasing a set of white plates and bowls was a seized opportunity. The mismatched collection we had was steadily dwindling as butterfingers here would drop or chip them on our hard granite countertops. With two out of our three remaining small plates chipped, I jumped on the opportunity to replace what we had with a matching set. Much of what we had was originally purchased used and all of what was left in good condition was put back into secondhand circulation. The metal tongs were a swap for a used set I had bought earlier this year but weren’t user friendly and the spatula was to swap out its plastic brethren. The purchase of three more cloth napkins were admittedly more of an impulse but my autopilot went looking and found what it wanted. The good thing about cloth napkins is they really can’t go to waste as they are a key element in preventing it.  While having too many may work against my goals to minimize, I’ve learned to grab good reusables when I find them secondhand as they can always go back into circulation.

If you didn’t catch last weeks post, I swapped out teenie’s plastic drink ware this month which accounts for the majority of her purchases. Loose draw string shorts were purchased used in anticipation of potty training and wanted at least one easy on/easy off pair (come to find out all her shorts fit better without a diaper) therefore pretty much unnecessary. The final purchase was one of those occasions where I was thinking ahead when the opportunity struck. Earlier this year when it snowed, we didn’t have a sled and I refused to buy one new. Instead, my solution was to tie heavy string to a bag of dog food…

Inventive? Eh, maybe. Crazy? Probably. Unfortunately, we never got to actually take it for a trial run because she wasn’t feeling the snow.  Thinking ahead about this winter, I knew that thing wasn’t likely to hold her so when a used (green round) sled presented itself to me for $7, I was all over it!

The final two purchases were made for myself but still fall within my personal spending limits for the year (no clothes, shoes or accessories). Normally, I check out my reads from the library but for these two books made an exception. Zero Waste Home was purchased because I didn’t have time to finish it before it was due to be returned back when I checked it out back in July (surprise, not really, as I always take forever to finish any book I read). Given the amount of time it took to get through the wait list and that I might like to reference certain sections in the future, I went ahead and bought it used. Garbology for some reason has not been available through my local library so since I wanted to read it bought that as well. I figure once read, it can be donated to the library should there not be a need to hold on to it for reference.

Yikes…this was definitely a lot more than I’d prefer to see, particularly when my goals this year were to only buy what was necessary. To me we really don’t NEED anything but water, food, clothing and shelter so the word “necessary” isn’t probably the best word to describe many of the purchases made however I do feel the word teeters on appropriate when its something that maintains the health of the family and plays a role in my goals to reduce waste.  A few of these purchases were admittedly frivolous and likely the remnants of “retail therapy” that before starting this journey I would be guilty of even if I wasn’t trying. Some only occurred because I set foot into a thrift store solely to spend time with my mother (dish set, spatula, tongs and sled).  Items that are starred were shipped to me, which adds to their impact.  Funny thing is, I ended July not foreseeing any online purchases in August but things took a turn in the opposite direction.  Overall, most everything was purchased used with only a few new purchases that I deemed necessary.

For the month of September I will be taking a complete break and will not be purchasing anything outside of the realm of day to day food/beverage/personal care needs.  After last month, I don’t wish to bring anything more into my home.  While many of these purchases were swaps the amount of shopping that was done felt excessive to me particularly when my goal was to take a step back as a consumer for the year. Maintaining my goal of no personal clothing related consumption has been a cakewalk but I do feel I started to develop a bit of a shopping itch after 7 months of minimal spending.  Even when buying used, there is still a lot of thought and energy that goes into the process so taking a month to completely step back to me sounds like a total vacation.

Now, come back next week to see what was removed last month!!

xo, Erica