Buy Nothing New ends today

flowers2Somehow austerity measures have sunk in and the last two weeks of ‘Buy Nothing New’ weren’t too difficult. Not buying stuff reminds me of when I first arrived in England straight after my studies and lived with two friends – all of us as poor as church mice due to the unfavourable currency exchange with South Africa. We would spend £10 each a week on all groceries including cleaning equipment. And when we went to a pub, the three of us would share a coke as it was all we could afford! I still only use the tiniest amount of toothpaste and little dabs of face cream due to the ingrained habits of scrimping and saving in 1996.

I have found it difficult not to have flowers in the house but found some beautiful paper flowers that the children had made and with some bright red tins, it all looks rather cheerful. We had friends over for supper and they brought lemon yellow tulips which I am enjoying so much – much more than if I had just bought them myself.

I know that some stuff we would have bought has just been postponed but I’m sure we made savings on gifts and by not pouring money on entertainment and easy treats. I did cheat once this week and bought some glue for my daughter who needed to stick sequins.

The challenges over the month were entertaining the children during half term, gifts for others and no flowers in the grim month of February. But it also made me reflect and realise that 100 years ago, people couldn’t buy cut flowers so easily and I have really appreciated the first signs of spring and greenery outside.

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1 comment
  1. For me, this Buy Nothing New month was less challenging than last year, as we had less birthday parties and we didn’t really need anything new. My kids were home for half term too, but they re-discovered some of their toys, boardgames etc. so for them it felt like “new” 😉 One of my daughters started with riding lessons, so I was a bit puzzled if I could make it without buying anything (she did outgrow her boots and the only one she had were snowboots…), but a collegue of my hubby did just gave us the equipment (incl. helmet!) that his daughters didn’t use anymore. I think the most exciting thing during a month like this is to really ask people if they don’t have something you need and, most of the time, you’ll find it second hand, and that’s fine. I’ll try to do more of these months this year 😉 – What you say about cut flowers: you’re so right. It applies to so many other things. But 100 years ago, people didn’t have the choice, whereas nowadays we have to learn to resist the temptations. Personally, I was very proud to succeed and I think my children did get the message, because when we passed a toy store last week, they said to each other “but we don’t really need anything, don’t we?”

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