November Purchases Recap

We’re officially in the last month of the year! While I’m not excited about the rapid passing of time, its kind of cool to think about how I have gone almost 12 months without bringing in a single shred of clothing, accessories or shoes (except the one allowed pair of running shoes) for myself into our house.

Black Friday came and went without even batting an eye but to be honest this isn’t a big deal because even before this year I was never one to go out for Black Friday. Thanksgiving to me was always a day dedicated to family and relaxing and I never saw the value in ripping myself out of a warm bed at the crack of dawn to fight crowds for stuff that I didn’t really need. Not to mention I usually never have a gifting plan together so again, no point. On Cyber Monday I did end up making an online purchase but this was by coincidence and not for anything that was on sale.

So what did I buy this past month?

4 large and 1 wide mouth medium mason jars (used)

1 tea strainer (used)

1 toy sea turtle (used)

3 cloth napkins (used)

5 pairs teenie undies (used)

2 storage baskets (used)

1 sweater as a gift for my Grandma (used)

2 pairs of teenie tennis shoes (used)

1 pair of snow pants (used)

1 wooden soap dish (new)

1 toilet seat with toddler insert (new)

You can probably figure out which item was bought online. Basically I hit a point where I couldn’t stand dumping out a tiny toilet a million times a day but I was stuck at home with our car in the shop. This resulted in caving into the path of least resistance and ordering a toilet seat through Amazon. I’ve known we might eventually have to get one for quite a while therefore I’d had plenty of time to look around locally or find an alternative option so its possible this could have been avoided. It takes time to un-train habits and the Amazon 1-click check out is a strong one when in a rush or feeling impulsive. The only other thing that was purchased new was a wooden soap dish as the hubs is transitioning over to package free bars when he runs out of his other stuff in a plastic bottle (hooray!) and mine is already full.  It was bought from a local market and will biodegrade at the end of its life.

As far as everything else, pretty standard protocol kind of stuff. You know – jars, cloth napkins, toddler underwear…lol. Jars because our food now revolves around alternative storage and they all get plenty of use. Cloth napkins to beef up the stash a little for purposes of get togethers and whatnot.

Teenie undies because when you come across secondhand little kid underwear in good shape, know your kid is eventually going to need some and decide its pretty much the same thing as buying cloth diapers used, only better, you go for it. The turtle definitely wasn’t necessary but when I saw it in like new condition at the thrift store my inner marine life conservationist snatched it up. Teenie likes turtles so why not help foster a love of those from the sea? Considering it’s one of the few toys I had bought her in a year (besides a bucket & shovel for the beach, a push toy for our sanity & a sled – all used) I didn’t feel too bad and she absolutely loves it so that’s good.

Teenie also needed a size up in shoes this month. I mostly believe this is due to error on my part as I didn’t really measure her feet the first time so I may have bought the wrong size from the get go at the last one. Luckily I was able to find two pairs of like-new shoes secondhand. While there I grabbed a pair of snow pants because I just knew if I waited they would be totally sold out by the time snow rolled around leaving me stuck.

The storage bins were a total win. Even though I’ve been weeding stuff out I’ve still continued to find uses for all our organizer bins. So when I wanted a better way to organize stuff in our laundry closet to headed to the Goodwill to find one and sure enough found two (there were actually a plethora to choose from).

Didn’t technically need the tea strainer as I already have an antique style one that I got from my Grandma and I’m still working through my tea bag stash. That being said I wanted to snag it in case when the time came to make my own teas I didn’t like the antique version or figured I could give one as a gift in the future. One item got checked off my Christmas list as I was able to find a sweater to give my Grandmother. Most everyone else is likely going to be either (spoiler alert fam!!) experiences or new, sustainably made substitutes for those with externalized costs with a few unique surprises thrown in.

We did put up a Christmas tree this year but did not buy one. While I would not recommend a plastic tree over something fresh, we went ahead and used the same tree we’ve had for the last 6 or 7 years. Instead of shelling out the money for something already in our possession we opted out on getting a fresh one. Actually that was kind of the reason we had bought our fake tree in the first place – in my mind thinking that it was better than shelling out money for something we’d only put up for a month when for the same price we could reuse the same one year after year. At least during a time when we didn’t have any kids, it seemed less wasteful. But trees are a renewable resource that can be recycled into mulch and break down at the end of their life whereas plastic does not. Also the moment created by going out as a family to find a tree together trumps a whole lot of other wasteful activities that are typically associated with the holiday season. That being said there are some creative alternatives to that option that are way better than the plastic variety should you find yourself faced with the yearly cost dilemma. Come back Monday as I share some of my favorites!

We’ve been continuing to pare down on stuff we don’t use all that often and could easily be replaced secondhand if need be in the future. Despite having more going out than coming in things still tend to get messy quickly but I am determined to have this house feeling lightweight and completely decluttered by the end of the year! 🙂

I actually ended up saving the large blue and white bag from this picture. Sometimes it takes pulling something out of hiding to have that item fresh in your mind when you need it!

Were there any purchases you made this month out of convenience but thinking back now could have been made differently?

Thanks for coming by!

xo, Erica

4 Replies to “November Purchases Recap”

  1. I just found your blog a few weeks ago (recommended by a friend and we both live in RVA!) and have been really been enjoying your voice and posts. One thing I struggle with as I look to buy items used (and less in general) is the feeling that shopping can take longer, or require more mental energy. For example, finding shoes for your kid and in the style and size needed when looking on Amazon would just take a few minutes. Or when you need large mason jars but the first thrift store you go to doesn’t have any. Have you found that has gotten easier over time? Or any tips or tricks? (And thank goodness for the neighborhood Facebook swap pages!)

    1. So excited to read about a fellow RVAian reading my posts! Thank you so much for following along!! I totally understand – certain things I have caved for this very reason (ie. the insert toilet seat, a baby potty). From spending a lot of time in second hand stores I’ve begun to get a feel for what things are available and what aren’t (I’ll actually be sharing a list in the near future so stay tuned) – you’d be surprised how easy it is to find so many items secondhand! Some things are not a 100% guarantee every time but maybe take a few stops to find but some things it just comes down to making what’s available work. For instance, I thought earlier this fall that my secondhand jar streak was over as I was having a hard time finding several to add to my stock. Luckily it really only took like three stops to hit the mother load. Now finding a box of 12+ jars doesn’t happen all the time but I have since still maintained that I could find a jar most every time I stop into a thrift store. One thing that helped is realizing they don’t have to have lids (these can be bought separately)! For kids shoes I’ve been pretty lucky at Once Upon A Child but realize this may get harder as she gets older. There’s also the option of ThredUp where you can look for secondhand shoe (and clothing) options without having to drive all over town. The downside is shipping but at least it helps avoid buying new! I def think the more familiar you get with the secondhand options the easier time you’ll have finding stuff secondhand. When I was trying to buy a baby potty I tried keeping an eye out for yard sales and asked a few friends but once those options failed, I bought new. If I had been more experienced/comfortable with the online yard sale, swap pages and buy nothing groups I may have been able to avoid going that route. Planning ahead can also help avoid the last minute new purchase. When all else fails sometimes you just have to buy new – in that case choosing the most sustainable or simplest option has been my strategy. Hope this helps! Thanks again for stopping by!! 🙂

  2. I’m glad you saved that blue and white bag! After I saw it one year at the river I bought myself one! Lol – but you’ve been inspiring me this year to not hoard as much as I use to. I’ve been much better about letting things go!

    1. Thanks girl! Its so stinking easy to hang on to things – I’m apparently really good at hoarding because I’ve continuously been getting rid of stuff and yet this decluttering process never seems to be nearing its end. lol I’m so glad I saved that bag too!! Since it was in hiding never thought to use it so was thinking well this doesn’t get used it should go until I was about to put it in the car and could think of a way to use it just that night alone!

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