Buy Nothing New October Wrap Up

How did you do with Buy Nothing New October?

Colleen ~ I was hoping to say that I bought nothing new this October and personally I feel that I have done that. I have bought nothing that I wanted to buy that’s for sure. Unfortunately though the air conditioner in my car failed on me, and I had to have the compressor and the condenser replaced. I feel rather bitter and twisted about this for a number of reasons that I won’t bore you with. Technically the compressor was replace under warranty but who’s quibbling: it’s new, and it’s now mine.

Although it doesn’t count because it isn’t new, I did buy one secondhand item, a denim skirt that I paid $1 for, which will be donated back to the thrift shop because it did not suit my needs well enough to keep.

I did discover that it is easy enough to postpone a purchase until the next month to fulfil such a pledge. Now that I have proved my shower repair from last month was a success I need a new bathmat which I have put off buying until November. I suppose though that the resistance to instant gratification is a good lesson if nothing else. I think that pledging to buy nothing new for a whole year would be a far more dedicated venture.

In total I bought acquired two new items and one secondhand one. The air-con repair isn’t added clutter because the old parts were instantly decluttered, and the secondhand item and 21 other items will have been decluttered by month’s end. So I have made good strides in decluttering, that’s for sure.

Cindy ~ I’d say I did so so. Besides, food, medicine, and household disposables, I believe I probably bought about as much as usual. I purchased eight new items:

  • 5 books (3 novels, all of which have been read, and 2 writing reference books, mostly for the use of the girls)
  • 1 set of “bowl bonnets,” elasticized plastic covers for putting over bowls and plates. They’re an alternative to plastic wrap. (I purchased these at this time in order to get free shipping from Amazon.)
  • collar and tag for the cat, who lost his other set

Also during the month, I purchased 17 used items, more than I normally would have, because our church had a gigantic garage sale. In addition, I decluttered 36 items. 36 items out, but 25 in. That’s not as good of a ratio as I would like. Definitely something to think about.

For those of you who participated in But Nothing New October, how did you do? And remember, a bunch of you dedicated yourself to Buy Nothing November. We look forward to hearing about your successes.

And one last acticle to leave you with on the Buy Nothing New initiative.From the Sydney Morning Herald

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  1. Are you kidding me? Buy nothing new in November? I have three birthdays (my sons) between October 29th and December 8th, plus Christmas.

    I will be VERY interested to see what you guys do about the whole Christmas thing. Are you planning to wait to do your shopping? Trying to buy less? How is that going? I would LOVE to cut down on the amount of new stuff that comes into the house during this time of year. But I haven’t a clue how to make my kids understand it.

    • Chelle, Colleen and I are planning a week on Christmas. As for my family, one year we did an everything homemade Christmas and twice we’ve reduced gifts. Our new rule is three – the same number Jesus rec’d at his birth. I believe my children are younger than yours – 9 and 11 – so you can make them understand, but I recommend starting as far in advance as possible. I also think it helps to start it as a family conversation. “I think we buy too much at Christmas. What do you think?”

    • Hi Chelle,
      For Chirstmas my son wants something for his computer and cash, no rush to take care of that. My husband and I have no real intension of buying gifts for each other. Our daughter I haven’t even spoke to about it yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if she just wants cash. So yes, I don’t think Christmas is going to affect how much I buy in November too much. Yes I do feel like a bit of a odd ball when it comes to my outlook on Christmas but I think of that as a good thing. Mind you with would not have washed with my family five years ago but it does now that the kids are older.

  2. Like you I ended up making one large purchase out of necessity: a new pair of running shoes. I did also end up buying four used books related to my work, and one music download to use as a gift. Other than that purchases have all been food and energy. Food purchases have been trimmed by eliminating most processed foods and instead buying almost entirely produce. This forces us to make our own food from scratch, a much healthier option as well as a savings.

    • Sounds like you did well. Normally, I don’t buy books for myself, but I knew that I would want to have and reread these, and they’re very popular at the library right now. I donated some other books to the library, where they’ll be sold quite cheaply, to make room on my shelf for them.

    • Well done Rob, the books and download don’t count because they aren’t new product so the running shoes are your only items to would break the pledge. Well done I would say. I do do a lot of the cooking in this house but I can’t say we eat healthy all of the time. Well done you for eliminating processed food, my weakness is eating out a couple of times a week.

  3. You did great! Congratulations! 🙂
    I did not commit to “Buy Nothing New October” so this was just a “regular” month for me, although I am more and more conscious about what I bring back into my home. I bought 2 new pairs of pants to each of my kids to go through fall/winter, a thrift store shirt for my daughter, a kids pumpkin carving kit (required by teacher for a Halloween activity) and a new Klean Kanteen Reflect for me (this is going to be my birthday present next week, my husband just has to wrap it, and we won’t need to share our water bottle anymore!). Like Cindy, I had to buy a little something to get free shipping on amazon, so I bought a mesh tea ball, just in time as I am almost done going using up my stock of tea bags and committed to only buy tea/herbs in bulk after that.

    • Hi NatalieinCA,
      I must admit committing to Buy Nothing New wasn’t hard for me either as I am pretty tight about how I shop anyway. Your list of items bought sound very responsible too and as a normal month I am betting that it is many times less than the average person brings into their home in a month. I love that you have bought the mesh tea ball and are now going to use leaf tea instead. I am sure there is a lot less packaging involved in leaf v bags. Even better if you can buy it in bulk using you own containers.

  4. I wanted to buy some backpacking gear, but truly needed nothing, so I bought nothing. I bought just one non essential in October. ~ a quart of paint to finish a project. I bought no junk food or meat so I saved some cash and feel better. Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be interesting. I look forward to reading what everyone is doing, and what meaningful gifts will be given.

    • Hi Nora,
      good for you resisting temptation. That is what the Buy Nothing Initiative was all about really. You actually made a better effort than me because I have already learned to resist temptation very well. I hated buying what I had to buy.

      I word on your wishes for buying nothing in November. The combination of the words meaningful and gifts is probably half the problem with the whole gift giving phenomenon, we place so much importance on it. There are so many other ways to show someone you love them aside from gift giving. Do something for someone, spend time with someone, have a nice outing together, these are all gift just from the heart not from the shops. It is interesting how they are been lowered so far on the gift giving list these days that most people don’t even consider it. Yet in the end if we were honest with ourselves they are all more important to all of us than we might have realised. And there doesn’t need to be a special occasion to give them either. The more I think about this situation the more complicated it is. i might have to right a post about it.

  5. I didn’t commit to Buy Nothing New in October, but I almost could have. If I’m remembering correctly, all I bought new was 2 Halloween costumes. I used a gift card for them, so it didn’t come out of my pocket. For myself I bought some mason jars for storing grocery items, but I got those at a flea market so they’re not new. And I used that same gift card. And I did some massive decluttering throughout the month so I’m way ahead on that. Maybe I’ll do a planned Buy Nothing New for Nov.

    • Hi Lisa S,
      Buy Nothing New is about not adding to the supply and demand of new products and Halloween costumes, although so fun and cute, really are big nasties when it comes to being environmentally unfriendly. Cindy was saying the other day about getting together with neighbours, friends and family to pool your resources of old costumes and recycle them between the group from year to year so that they get used over and over again so less new ones have to be produced. It sounded like a good plan to me. I suppose the one draw back is that some of them are so flimsily made that they would be lucky to last more than one wear. Flea-market purchases are fine because they are not new products although some people clutter their home with this stuff. Half of the clutter I have gotten rid of over the last two years would have been bought second hand in the first place. That’s what makes it so easy to fall for, getting it cheap makes it harder to resist. I just don’t look any more, out of sight out of mind is the best defence against accumulating clutter and the worse for getting rid of it.

  6. I did commit and I was very disappointed not to make it all the way through. I bought one new book on Kindle, and I also bought a new make up mirror (to keep in my handbag) plus nail clippers as I couldn’t find either of my existing ones. I KNEW that as soon as I bought the new ones the others would turn up and eventually they did!

    • Ah ha Judy, now the question has to be asked ~ how are your clippers organised so that you can’t find them when you need them ~ naughty naughty. Do you need to do a little decluttering and organising in the bathroom cabinet? I know it is more likely that some other gremlin in the household has moved them but I just couldn’t help but ask the question. I had to laugh about the make-up mirror, I bought a magnifying make-up mirror to take with me when I go out of town but always forget to take it. It’s a wonder I haven’t poked my eye out with the mascara brush yet and God knows what sort of mess I have made with my eyebrow pencil at times. Luckily I am out of town and no one knows me and my husband loves me just the way I am. 😆

      • haha I knew that question would be asked! Usually they are in a small container in the pantry but sometimes I AM naughty and just pop them somewhere else, well at least now I have 2 sets so there is no excuse for at least not finding one!

  7. I did not commit to Buy Nothing New either, but we didn’t get paid so we were forced to restict spending, but not by choice.
    I did buy 3/4 pants 2nd hand, a new pair of shoes, replace landline handsets (business related), but i think that is about it.
    Oh, I did go to a baby shower & bought a small gift as well.
    I like variety at Christmas and plan to have a declutter of my boys toys in preparation for the inflow expected, as I do each year.
    I also bought 2 novel, they were under $10, but have read neither yet. they are book club related.

    • Hi Karen,
      less if better than the same or more so well done. The exercise of knowing you can do with less is a good exercise no matter what the circumstances.

  8. I didn’t commit, but I lasted until the last few days of the month – THEN, first on Wednesday my op-shop purchase, and then yesterday BIG-TIME: I went clothes shopping – first time in 18 months, could have waited another week, but would have lost a 40% and 10% discount! I bought several tops (dressy evening, on through to casual) and a pair of trousers. I took a friend along for company and support, and she wanted me to buy new shoes and make-up – don’t neeed them, didn’t get them. so that’s me sorted for at least 12 months.
    I’ve ditched one old top and a jacket, and am considering a pair of trousers and another top to go. Not quite equalising, a nett gain in cupboard clutter, but I had cleared a LOT previously….

  9. I will be starting with the Buy Nothing New November. I am getting married on 11-11-11 and while I don’t anticipate a bunch of gifts, I know I will not NEED anything before the holiday season. I am also going to use this as a “be thankful for what you have” Thanksgiving

    • Hi Bunny Girl,
      what a wonderful attitude and I wish you all the best for a wonderful wedding day. Congratulation. Also welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for stopping by to leave a comment. I love Thanksgiving I wish we had it in Australia. Halloween seems to have caught on but thanksgiving is a much more thoughtful holiday.

  10. I bought some costume jewelry at a friend’s jewelry party and one app for my iPhone. I had decluttered some jewelry to compensate. Buying nothing new in November or December shouldn’t be terribly hard. My husband and I stopped buying traditional Christmas gifts years ago. We no longer exchange gifts with the family since we’re all grown and have what we need. My husband and I have a theme each Christmas for gifts to each other: small stocking stuffers, something we can do together, stuff that gets used up (food, toiletries, candles, etc.), or something old. Now if I can only resist the office gift exchange!

    • Hi Anita,
      Buy Nothing new is a great way to encourage people to try buying less new product reducing supply and demand. From what you say here it sounds like you already have learned to be more responsible about what you are buying so good for you. Being more responsible twelve months of the year is far more important than just postponing purchases for one month.

  11. I like this challenge. It sounds like January might be a time for me to try this….after Christmas.

  12. HI, I found this month GREAT.! I really needed to do this. I bought nothing NEW all month AND NO wine.. Now it is almost Nov.I am finding some new summer clothes I cant live with out. I will go through the old clothes, summer and winter and justify the new clothes. I feel GOOD.!!!

    • Hi Penny,
      you appear to be new but I did have a Penny comment when I reached my 365th declutter item at the end of 2010. If that was not you may I say welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for dropping in with a comment. I am glad you enjoyed the practice of buying nothing new in October, I am not sure they meant for us to go as far as to buying no wine, that would be too much of a sacrifice. 😆 Be honest you had plenty of back up bottles didn’t you. 😉

  13. I didn’t commit since I new I had some clothes for a wedding to buy since I work in an office that doesn’t require me to dress up so I had nothing to wear for a wedding. I did use a 50% coupon. My husband also picked up a WDTV box so we could use our giant Computer screen for movie watching in the rec room we are re-doing in retro 70’s items. We picked up a sofa for $19 (USD) and my mom gave me some pillows that my great grandma made. I have spend the month doing a once over for the 1st time to declutter.