Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Things I've Talked Myself Out of Buying

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There are a lot of ways to save money by hunting deals and being a savvy shopper but you know what saves the most money?  Not buying anything.  A novel concept, I know.  Even in the midst of 'no buy' months and years, people still like to give themselves little outs.  I'm guilty of this too.  Of course, you need to still buy food and you have bills to pay but what about that exception of 'if it runs out or breaks, I can replace it'?  I hear that one all the time.  How many people stop and think though 'okay it ran out/broke... but do I really need to replace it?'  That's what I've been doing so far this year - talking myself out of buying things.  Anything.  Here's just a few examples:

A new long sleeve dress.  A cranberry colored one that I like to wear in the fall and winter got a hole in it back in January.  I immediately went to Amazon to look for a replacement.  What?!  It's a hole.  On a seam under the arm no less (which is easier to sew than just about anything else.)  If I can't be bothered to sew a hole on a seam, I've got bigger problems then a new $20 dress.  But even then I thought 'well okay, I can fix the hole but still, I could really use just one more fall/winter dress.  What would it hurt to order another?'  This is why I told myself no online shopping, because I'm quick with that trigger finger on Amazon, more so than I am in a store where I have to deal with people and try things on and wait in lines (you can see why my 'only shop in person' rule has curbed my spending more than anything else.)  Another long sleeve dress simply wasn't (and isn't) an immediate need.  It wouldn't have been something I spent time on, and I'm wanting to be better about quality over quantity and building an ideal wardrobe with long lasting pieces that aren't fast fashion, or at least are from the thrift store.  And that's not a $20 dress off Amazon.  Which would just increase the demand for fast fashion, the exact opposite of my intentions.

Toilet bowl cleaner.  I've been making natural cleaners for other areas of my home for awhile, but it's taken this long for toilet bowl cleaner to get used up.  Not an often used product.  In fact, I really didn't remember we had it (I use baking soda and vinegar), except that apparently John's been using it and added to the shopping list.  At first I thought 'oh fine whatever, something ran out, time to replace it and if it means someone other than me cleans the toilet so be it.'  No.  Toilet bowl cleaner has got to be the most toxic substance that we regularly use in our homes.  It's also wildly overpriced for the semi-convenience of having a tilted squirt bottle head for easier application.  So I didn't really need to talk myself out of this one so much as I did have to just stop and think before making a rash decision and grabbing a cheap toilet bowl cleaner at Target on my way home.  I know it's terrible and not something I want in my life, but those reactive quick shopping trips are something I can do on autopilot and not even realize what's in my cart.  But I didn't get it and neither did John.  Because I also just refilled the old toilet bowl cleaner bottle with eco-friendly stuff and John doesn't even know it's not Lysol so shhhh.  I'm happy not to increase demand for toxic toilet bowl cleaners and plastic bottles to store them in.

A book with a really long library wait list.  Long library wait lists are brutal, I won't lie.  When everyone gets 21 days with a book (I think it's 21...), and you're hold #27 on one or two copies, just do that math.  It's not coming any time soon, unless people read and return it in quick succession.  My first instinct was, again, to try Amazon, because maybe it wouldn't be that much.  That really isn't the point though, is it?  Even on sale, it's money I don't really want to spend, once I stop and think about it.  And while books are something I don't mind creating demand for like some other wasteful products, it's frustrating that I didn't even think to ask friends or on Instagram if I could borrow it from someone, that instead my very first instinct was 'purchase new.'  I didn't get it, I just decided to request the e-book at the library instead of the physical copy because the wait list was shorter and I like e-books and audiobooks just as much as physical ones, so it's fine.  (It was the second Laini Taylor book I mentioned in the link up last week, if you're wondering, because the first ends on a cliffhanger and I'm so effing impatient.  I'm next on the wait list, don't worry.)

Primer and color corrector.  I have to stop watching so many beauty gurus on YouTube if it's going to make me look up products so much.  Someone I watch has similar facial redness and was using a certain primer and color corrector.  I went as far as to look up the exact products on Sephora's website as well as similar products, checked the prices, and read the reviews before I ever stopped to ask why, and if I really needed any of it.  To talk myself out of this, I posted about my 5 minute makeup routine.  To remind myself just how much I don't want to spend any more time doing makeup each day (and if I saved primers and color correctors for only the times I go out, they'd go bad before I used even a quarter of the product, which is so wasteful.)  Plus, even though I have gift cards, makeup is definitely on my no buy list this year because I don't need any.

Hair Charmsies.  I like sparkle.  I especially like to sparkle for things like bar crawls and tailgates, so I really wanted black and gold charmsies for my hair.  But they're tiny, single use plastic pieces that you iron on to your hair, plus they're even wrapped in extra plastic.  So those got nixed.  Then I thought about just getting glitter of some sort, or a glitter gel like that from Lemonhead, but again, glitter is just microplastic which escapes into the waterways and oceans and gets eaten by fish and never decomposes so not only is glitter the herpes of craft supplies that you can never get rid of, it's also slowly killing the environment.  However, I did find vegan, plant-based, cosmetic-grade, cruelty-free, biodegradable glitter gel, so life is still good and sparkly, for whenever I decide to finally buy it. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Literally everything from Fox NaturalsAnd only because I'm not buying anything this year and only because I don't need anything yet, but this company is everything I love.  Plus cute little fox face packaging! (I have a thing for foxes, just look at my dog.)  I really had to stop myself because there are none of the typical roadblocks - I would use it, it's not clutter, it's small business and eco-friendly, etc. - but I have what I need in terms of the products they offer, for right now.  But you can bet your ass that I'm asking for gift cards for them for my birthday and Christmas and I'll be purchasing as soon as I run out.  If you're not on a no buy and are in need of personal care items, order and tell me everything so I can live vicariously through you for the next 9 months, thanks.

Food delivery.  To be honest, I talk myself out of this nearly every day.  It's not that I think it's all bad and my diet should be perfect and I can't order pizza ever again, it's just that it's overpriced and due to my laziness.  I've made the deal with myself (and with John) that if I really, really want something like pizza or Chipotle or whatever is, I need to get off my ass and leave the house and go get it.  That's usually enough to deter me.

And it's only been 3 months.  Amazing how deeply these shopping habits are ingrained in us and how easily we can buy things on a moment's notice.  I'm glad I made 'no online shopping' a main goal for 2019, because I find that my even more deeply seated laziness always wins out when faced with 'leave the house to go get it in person or just don't get it at all.'  What have you talked yourself out of buying so far this year?

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