Monday, February 7, 2022

My Year of Less (Week 5)

  
Week 5 was an interesting mix of an ice & snow storm and the busy-ness of moving back home. And my year of less became a bit more interesting . . . 


Week 5 Recap

Spending: 

Again, I purchased food and gas, and I noticed that gas prices had gone up slightly. I'm glad that this move -- and weekly drives of about 240 miles round trip -- are almost behind me. 


Two years ago when I sold my house and moved into an apartmentette in my daughter & son-in-law's house, I seized the opportunity to dispose (donate, sell, and throw away) lots of stuff I'd collected over the years but a) knew I wouldn't need for at least a few years, if ever again, and b) was ready move on from.


One of those things was my tableware, a set of dishes I'd bought on sale over a dozen years ago. I'd never loved themI'd bought them because I needed them, they were "fine", and they on sale and a great bargain. I jumped at the chance to sell them before I moved. But now, with my own full kitchen again, I need dishes. I've always wanted to collect pieces of Fiestaware -- not purchase complete place settings -- and mix and match them at meals. That wasn't feasible with a family of 4 and frequent guests; I needed a complete set of dishes from the get-go. But now I do have the luxury of purchasing a piece here and a piece there, so that's my plan.


Once the roads were cleared (sleet, ice, & snow had created quite a dangerous mess) enough to get out, I visited two of my favorite juntique stores. There wasn't a single piece of Fiestaware in the first, very large shop, and it wasn't until I got to the 3rd-from-the-last booth in the second, just as large shop, that I found 4 dinner plates. One was in pretty rough condition, but the other 3 were vintage but like new. I need dishes, so I purchased all three at $10 apiece. Considering that they are upwards of $15 on etsy and marketplace, with another $9 or $10 for shipping, I got a great deal!


I also needed dishwasher pods, laundry detergent, a clear shower curtain, and rings for hanging it, so I purchased those. 


I gave away my bed when I moved; my daughter had a spare bedroom set and I used it, but it's her bed and I need a bed of my own. More details to come, but I ordered a bed and mattress set. 


I also bought books and candy for my littles (grandchildren) for Valentines Day. Not a need, of course, but my year of less allows for the purchase of gifts. I'll admit that I was sorely tempted to purchase some candy for myself, but I resisted. :)


**Important Observation: As I shopped for books and candy for my littles, I noticed how easily I went from shopping for them to looking for something for myself. A paperback book with an intriguing title and cover was in my hand *and* I was on my way to the checkout counter when I suddenly remembered that this book was not a need and I could not buy it. I wanted to cheat -- who would know, anyway? -- but I didn't. Instead, I returned the book to the shelf and as soon as I left the bookstore, I drove to my the library, got a new library card, and looked for that book. It was already checked out, but I have it on reserve! 


I was shocked at how easily I slipped right back into buy-mode and at my initial hesitation when tempted to cheat and buy the book. I know that as I purchase needs for my new apartment, I'm going to have to keep a close eye on myself!


No purchases from big box stores:

The dishes were purchased from an independent vendor in a locally-owned juntique store; the cleaning supplies and shower curtain/rings were purchased from amazon, the books were purchased from a small, independent bookseller, and I found the candy in a new, locally-owned gift shop in my hometown. I bought my bed and mattress set at my favorite furniture store, a family-owned, independent store in my hometown.So no big box store purchases again this week!

 

Using items from my stashes:

I didn’t knit a single stitch last week, so my yarn stash has not grown any smaller. However, I did donate 14 books to the local library.


Getting rid of stuff:

As I’ve continued sorting and packing for the upcoming move, I donated (to a local charity thrift shop) a large trash bag of clothes, fabric, and other odds and ends. I threw away a second large trash bag and one grocery-store brown paper bag filled with travel brochures, files I no longer needed, old clothes I had kept for "grubby" days that were not  donate-able,  manuals for items I no longer own and other unneeded files & paperwork, and other stuff I can't remember.


Week 5 was one of temptation, an important lesson learned, and sticking to my plan!

5 comments:

  1. I had to look up Fiestaware. I recognize it now. Just did not know the name. So funny that bright colors like that are not my thing, but I learn about you. I could only handle maybe the teal or light blue colors. But you SHOULD get things you enjoy this round. Life is about the little things you enjoy and you should surround yourself with them. I like to go to antique stores and look for unique glasses. I only buy one. I like reaching up and picking up a different one all the time so my drinking experience each day is a different little joy like a treat to myself.

    I am curious of your needs. I keep getting rid of things. I have a pile in the basement I'm giving away you could go through. Or I might have something in the house already I could give away. Now that's the way to do things! It benefits both people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m sorry It’s taken me so long to respond — it’s been a wild, stressful month. Like you, I enjoy finding a plate or saucer or glass or cup — it’s just a small pleasure when I find it and when I use it.

      Have you read The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning? Your last paragraph — particularly the last sentence — fits in with the author’s thoughts. Interesting book!

      Delete
  2. Hi Patti, I'm enjoying your blog posts as you navigate your latest challenge. I am curious about one thing, though. What are your reasons for sticking with Amazon but avoiding Walmart? My shopping ethics on these two are the opposite of yours, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

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    Replies
    1. Carole, I am so very sorry, but for some reason Blogger tagged your comment as spam (while allowing very obvious spam to be published -- go figure!). You ask a very legitimate question re: ethics, but first, I just want to point out that WM is considered a big box store while Amazon is not.

      But I quit shopping at WM over a decade ago for several reasons. First, Sam Walton's intent from the get-go (when he started out with a mom & pop store) was to create a 1-stop chain store that would offer prices so low that "average" customers would go nowhere else -- i.e. he wanted to take from home-owned/ mum & pop businesses their customer base. WM has a business model -- require stores to offer huge price cuts on top of low prices yet still expect department managers and store managers to make their sales $$ quotas -- that is unfair to workers. The company has also driven down prices paid to the manufacturer -- that hurts small, American manufacturers much worse than larger ones or overseas markets that treat their workers almost like slaves. And the list goes on and on, all information from credible and reliable sources.

      On the other hand, Amazon has made a point of treating its employees differently. Yes, they work very hard, BUT they hire veterans and have even bought campers & small trailers and established housing for many of those veterans who were homeless; they also hire retirees who live full-time in campers and provides them place to park (I've been told for free) on secure, monitored lots. Amazon doesn't replace local shopping (i.e. mom & pop, if there are any left in a town); it is an alternative. From what I have found on reputable/credible sites, Bezos does not force suppliers to lower & lower & lower their prices. Amazon also allows individual sellers -- anyone, actually -- to open a store and sell product. In essence, he supports the smallest of small businesses all the way up to large manufacturers.

      I once went to a 2-week training for a position with a company that was owned by WM. This was about 30 years ago, and what I learned about the Waltons, their philosophy, how they treat management, etc., bothered me. I ended up not taking the position after all.

      My late-husband loved WM, so we (mostly he) continued shopping there, but after he passed away I never went back.

      Delete
    2. Carole, I am so very sorry, but for some reason Blogger tagged your comment as spam (while allowing very obvious spam to be published -- go figure!). You ask a very legitimate question re: ethics, but first, I just want to point out that WM is considered a big box store while Amazon is not.

      But I quit shopping at WM over a decade ago for several reasons. First, Sam Walton's intent from the get-go (when he started out with a mom & pop store) was to create a 1-stop chain store that would offer prices so low that "average" customers would go nowhere else -- i.e. he wanted to take from home-owned/ mum & pop businesses their customer base. WM has a business model -- require stores to offer huge price cuts on top of low prices yet still expect department managers and store managers to make their sales $$ quotas -- that is unfair to workers. The company has also driven down prices paid to the manufacturer -- that hurts small, American manufacturers much worse than larger ones or overseas markets that treat their workers almost like slaves. And the list goes on and on, all information from credible and reliable sources.

      On the other hand, Amazon has made a point of treating its employees differently. Yes, they work very hard, BUT they hire veterans and have even bought campers & small trailers and established housing for many of those veterans who were homeless; they also hire retirees who live full-time in campers and provides them place to park (I've been told for free) on secure, monitored lots. Amazon doesn't replace local shopping (i.e. mom & pop, if there are any left in a town); it is an alternative. From what I have found on reputable/credible sites, Bezos does not force suppliers to lower & lower & lower their prices. Amazon also allows individual sellers -- anyone, actually -- to open a store and sell product. In essence, he supports the smallest of small businesses all the way up to large manufacturers.

      I once went to a 2-week training for a position with a company that was owned by WM. This was about 30 years ago, and what I learned about the Waltons, their philosophy, how they treat management, etc., bothered me. I ended up not taking the position after all.

      My late-husband loved WM, so we (mostly he) continued shopping there, but after he passed away I never went back.

      Delete