Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Buy Nothing New Follow-Up: My New Retail-Free Life

This January I announced my pledge to Buy Nothing New for 2011. Nearly 10 months in, it's time for an update on my new retail shopping-free life. Here's what I've learned during my Buy Nothing New Challenge. 

 I'd always wanted a yellow bar cart. One "came to me" this past week at the flea market.

Thrifter's Patience:
I used to get impatient and rush to a retail store if I thought I needed a supply. (For example, last year I gave in and bought bookshelves from Walmart.) Now I know to wait. Be patient, make hunting and thrifting your routine and the items you need will find you, eventually.

Retail Lust is Gone: Sometimes I would prowl retail shops and lust for items; especially furnishings from Target and World Marketplace! Now when I visit these stores on supply runs nothing interests me.

Hooked on the Thrift Adventure
: Retail shopping is boring compared to the hunt and challenge that comes with thrifting, flea market hunting, curbside seeking, and dumpster diving. I live a beautiful life on a dime!

Rare Retail Purchases are More Special: Okay, I confess. I bought one new thing. I was asked to meet friends in an alien landscape; the mall. While waiting for them at Forever 21 this dress screamed to me. It reminded me of arcade games like Pacman. I had to have it. I guilted over the purchase for days, but this turned out to be my favorite dress. I get many compliments every time I wear it.

A funny side affect: Twice while supply shopping at Target I nearly haggled on the already-discounted merchandise! (Inner thought: "This $4.00 calendar is old, I should ask for $2.00...oh, this isn't the flea market...")

You can definitely see my Buy Nothing New challenge has me buying less, being more patient, and spending consciously. I rarely even shop at thrift stores now, I can't wait to challenge myself even further!
Could you go a year without retail shopping? What thrifty challenges do you take?
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  1. I'm the same with store fixtures. I'd rather come across some cool vintage furniture to display merch than to spend hundreds on un-original fixtures - they just don't give the same feel! And when I need a display, one always comes into my life at the right time!

  2. I did the challenge with clothes. So far I am really loving it! I will admit it gets colder outside, it's getting harder. I love coats, boots and hoodies! My thrift stores never have nice boots. :D

  3. Sugartown: That's the thing, thrifting offers unique items. Retail shopping can't compare.

  4. Marcia: I confess, I wasn't supposed to buy thrifted clothes this year, but I did. At least all of it was super cheap! :) And I won't get more for the rest of the year...

  5. I have that same anatomy figure! You press a button and his heart lights up. Killer. I totally get the side effect thing, too--in a retail shopping environment, I'm always thinking "How is this worth $xx? Would they take $xx?". It gets to where you can't conscionably spend the retail money. Good luck on your challenge!

  6. Lisa: He's awesome, he goes with a non-light-up one I've had for years. My challenge has been easy so far, I'm going to take it to new levels :)

  7. Oh no, I couldn't do it. But that's also because we don't have a thrifting scene here, and unfortunately vintage is usually more expensive than retail.

    But it does sound like something I'd have tried, though maybe not an entire year, had I lived in the US.

    Very nice dress, and you are so stunning too!

  8. honestly, i can't remember the last time i bought something significant retail (other than souvenirs while travelling recently but even then i bought things used!) the patience thing is the key - what i love about that is that it changes your whole attitude towards consumerism: if you're willing to wait sometimes you realize you didn't even really need that thing (and in the meantime, you've probably found a few other things you really did need!)

  9. Okay, this is maybe the best idea EVER. I am SO doing this! Thank you!

  10. I did have to go buy another plastic bin that rolls under the bed for my vintage patterns, I had just bought 831 of them and needed a safe way to store them.

    Once again that dress is amazing.

    I have to stop buying myself, thrifted clothes (won't happen, clothes junkie here) because I have so many and can not possibly wear them all. We have a fantastic Goodwill here with some fabulous and very inexpensive clothes (lots of great boots, too), priced much lower than I have seen at other stores. I found a vintage Leslie Fay 1950s dress in mint condition $5.99. All clothes are From $1.99 to $6.99, most are $3.99. So, if you are ever in Southern Oregon, stop by the Ashland store.

  11. I agree with Angelika, patience is the key ;-)
    Since I started my own change towards clothes shopping I have also changed my attitude towards a whole heap of other things as well, and most importantly, I think, is that I am happier. I wish you the same (and that dress looks fab!)

  12. Blue: Have your tried curbside hunting in your area to make up the difference? :)

    Angelika: I've noticed the same thing. Give it time, and you realize how little you need it.

    Sarah: DO it, you won't look back!

  13. Victoria: That's the tough part, when you thrift there are great clothes for cheap or free. We'll have to stick to one-thing-in and one-thing-out.

    Penny-Rose: Definitely happier, I don't miss retail shopping. (Snore.)

  14. Awesome Vanessa! You are an inspiration. I have definitely found that when I look around my house I love the items that were a "find" instead of from a mass retailer. Keep it going girl!

  15. I think I need to recommit to buying nothing new for 2012. I think it'll be a New Year's Resolution.

  16. Ha! I love the thought of you (nearly) haggling at Target.
    I spend so much time at sales, that anything over 50p now feels too expensive.

  17. Kerry: I shall!

    Fenn: It's fun, I love it and won't look back. This is a lifestyle change that I'll only take further.

    Lost Property: I came very close! And standard prices are outrageous to me now, too.

  18. Just stumbled across your blog today and I love it! I'm definitely considering adopting this for 2012 :)

  19. I love that you made it a whole year with only buying one new thing! I am SO bad about clothes esp. For house stuff, I do mostly thrift, flea or garage sales, and a lot of my supplies come that way. I've realized that I have more in my supply stock than any store around here (esp scrapbooking), so I'm learning to dig in and shop at home first for what I need! This is my year to use what I have and stop buying new! Love the pantry clean out idea too, I need to do that!


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