Saturday, May 31, 2008

Buy Nothing New update

Since we are rapidly approaching the middle of the year (what, you mean Sophie is three soon? And Lucy is ONE??!!!) I thought I might just ramble a bit about not buying stuff.
I've done very well, I think, with not buying stuff. Some of my happy finds are the big new tv for $70, and the child seat for my bike for nothing (thanks Freecycle). Although I still haven't fitted it to the bike...
One thing that is really hard is the non-immediacy of not buying new things. For example, Hannah wanted some black long sleeved tops to wear under her school t-shirts. Normally, you'd just head down to BigW and pick something up. But I have to just keep it in my head, and keep an eye out when I hit the op shops or garage sales for something that fits the bill. Children's clothes in general are difficult. Kids will keep growing, and the seasons will keep changing. I've bought some things on ebay which I've found a bit frustrating - when I do actually win something, I feel like I pay more than I would at an op shop (but of course less than I would new) and I'm not exactly sure that posting things across the country really fits with the general environmental theme. With op shops, most kids stuff is hideously daggy or of course, never the right size. I'm doing better about buying out-of-season clothes though, if something looks nice and will approximately fit a child of mine, I'll buy it generally, but I do still have a mental block about looking at shorts in winter.
One thing I caved and bought for myself after a long time of looking is a pair of tracksuit pants. I was after something with narrow legs that I could wear on the bike when I didn't want to get all dudded up in the lycra. I didn't want to go with parachute pants, or anything with bands around the bottom, so that pretty much ruled out everything in any op shop I've ever ventured into. In total fitting with this year's Back to the early 90's theme, I ended up buying a surf brand (although not Rusty or Stussy, which would have really fit into the retro theme). And it still took me trying on approximately 400 pairs in a sports/surf shop to find some that were okay, and then paying an exorbitant price just because they have some glittery logo plastered across the butt. But they are nice and narrow-legged, and very comfy. I can see why some people wear trackies all the time!
The next big purchase I see looming is a mountain bike. I've been thinking that I would buy a second-hand one, since for the same price I could get a better quality bike, but Michael convinced me (admittedly it didn't take much convincing) that the problem with a 2nd hand bike, particularly a mountain bike, is that you don't know what's happened to it in the past. It might have, for example, thrown someone off and caused them to roll down a mountain breaking both their shoulders or something. And then sit there all innocent looking just waiting for its next victim. Plus I don't know enough about the components to know what's a good bargain secondhand. All this, tied in nicely with some bonus money from work, points me to buying a new bike. Soon. Of course I don't know where I'd put it as the garage is full of bikes already. Scarily, for a family of five, we own nine bikes!


Michael Field said...

More than happy to help you with mountain bike selection and "translation" of component specs. However, having said that any "brand" mountain bike around (or above) your windfall money value will have decent parts (not brilliant, but good). Wait for the Tax sales in July (hey, we can go looking on the 12th!!) and you'll snap up a bargain and it'll be new with no history :).

Birgit said...

OK translation needed for a transplanted Yank in the darkest South...

daggy? (I'm guessing un-cool?)
ops shop? (thrift shop, Salvation Army kind of place?)

We're not all Aussies, you know!

I'm impressed with your success in not buying anything campaign. I'm doing something similar except it's involuntary as XH has decided to stop paying child support... Sigh.

Rachel said...

Wow, Birgit, consider yourself an honorary Aussie! You're right on both counts.

Sorry to hear Mr X continues to cause such hassle too.