Made In The U.S.A.

Adventures in Not Buying

In Adventures on August 23, 2009 at 12:12 am

I did it. I didn’t really buy anything for a week.

Sunday I stocked up on groceries and coffee to make sure I could get through the work week without a Starbucks stop or my typical lunchtime dining out habit. (By “dining out” what I really mean is driving through, walking in and taking out, or maybe a visit to the grocery store salad bar.)

Monday I accidentally ordered wedding invitation samples. Handmade in Brooklyn, so almost practically exempt. But yes, I did buy something.

Tuesday, nothing.

Wednesday, I filled up the Hyundai. I knew I was going to need to, but I decided it didn’t really matter if I filled up on Sunday or Wednesday. I can’t live without my car, so it’s not a purchase I can really avoid. Again, I vote philosophically exempt, but yes I understand it was another purchase. Still, though: no coffee or lunch purchases. That’s six fewer purchases already than I made last week.

Thursday, nothing.

Friday, nothing. We went out to dinner, which I was going to buy in order to celebrate not buying anything, but Shelley sprung for it. Then we met some friends for drinks in the middle of the night (i.e. 9:30 to midnight) and I bought two beers. I considered these the celebratory replacement for the dinner I’d intended to buy.

The best part of this week was the feeling on Thursday that I’d actually saved some money. $3 for coffee and $10 for lunch every day is like 65 bucks. Not an insignificant savings for po folk like me, right?

And now I feel like I can easily bring my lunch and drink my own coffee more often. A little empowering to not feel beholden to some corporate food/beverage purveyor. Not a lot, but definitely at least a little.

I wonder what will happen this week when I’m not specifically trying not to buy stuff? Maybe the habit will hang around.

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