Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Final Countdown

It's official: in less than one hour Buy Nothing Month will have come to an end. And unless something entirely unexpected happens I really don't think any more money will be spent before midnight. With that in mind, here's a rundown (featuring no specific figures because that's a little too personal for a public blog, don't you think?) of what was actually bought:

Fresh produce (mostly from our local farmers' markets) including:
  • Lettuce - bought weekly
  • Tomatoes - bought weekly
  • 2 Heads Cauliflower
  • 1 Bunch Collard Greens
  • Carrots
  • Many Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • 1 Lb Huckleberries
  • Chanterelle Mushrooms (a must every fall at the market!)
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Green Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cavolo Nero (Dinosaur Kale)
  • Parsnips
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Zucchini
  • New Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • 2 Limes (not from the farmer's market, surprisingly enough ;-)

Other Groceries:
  • 1 Dozen Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • 2 Lb Butter
  • 1 Gallon Milk
  • 5 Lb Bread Flour
  • 5 Lb Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Loaf Great Harvest Sourdough
  • Snacks from Trader Joe's for Upcoming Road Trip
  • A Couple Energy Drinks (for Michael when he has to go back to night shift after a few days off)

  • Car Tune-Up
  • Wedding Gift
  • 5 Bottles Fruit Wine for Gifts
  • Mt. Townsend Cheese (gift for my parents)
  • Locally Smoked Salmon (gift for my parents)
  • Gasoline
  • Plane Tickets to Phoenix at Christmastime (mostly paid for with credit card points)
  • Toothpaste
  • Earplugs (for Michael who sleeps during the day - those old ones had to go!)
  • Washington State Farm Bureau Dues (required by our home insurance)

A Couple More Things:
  • Michael went out to brunch with coworkers & paid for himself & one other person (this was allowed within the rules: Michael had up to $50 he could spend if friends/coworkers invited him to go out, and he stayed under $50)
  • Snacks, hot dog buns, etc, that Michael bought for the potlucks at his weekly game nights
  • We also paid our monthly bills - phone/internet, electricity, monthly Blockbuster DVD mail service, and Michael's World of Warcraft monthly fee were all paid for in September
I'm sure there are other items I've forgotten, but this lists the majority of what was purchased. Some purchases haven't even been used yet, but it was more convenient to buy them sooner rather than wait until tomorrow, and convenience can be a money saver, too. Misnomer that Buy Nothing Month may be, I still feel pretty proud that we made it through the month without caving.

But this begs the question: is it really that difficult to live on a tighter budget? With all that has been happening with our economy lately and rising costs, for some people times are doubtless very difficult, and items like plane tickets and gifts can't even be considered. I'd also wager that there are many of us who are used to spending more money than really necessary, and it doesn't hurt to cut back a little (although I risk sounding hypocritical considering we're about to go on vacation and spend more money again).

I don't want to sermonize, so I'll leave it at that. In the end I can say that I enjoyed Buy Nothing Month, and I hope to do it again some time next year. But I'm also looking forward to a good night out!


Leena said...

I'm curious... what spurred "Buy Nothing Month" for you?

Ruta (aka Ruth Ann) said...

OK, I just noticed this comment - but Buy Nothing Month was spurred by the fact that over the past year we have been spending a lot on updates and furnishings for the house - once that ball gets rolling it can be hard to stop! I wanted to take a step back.