In the midst of societal pressures to "Buy, buy, buy!" exists this blog dedicated "to help people learn to live on less, and to do so in a way that lessens their environmental impact"--and, in so doing, learn to define themselves not by their purchases but by their actions (citation). This blogger's motto: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" (citation).
Although I don't think I could totally adopt this blogger's "Buy nothing new" (except perishables) approach to life, I am all for efforts to buy less. In general, Americans buy--and keep--a lot of unnecessary stuff. I know people with houses embarrassingly and uncomfortably overcrowded with unused stuff--bought "because it was on sale," bought because it's trendy, bought despite their already owning 10 or 12 of the same item, or bought as a potential (but never given) gift for others; and kept "just in case" it might become useful someday, kept because of "sentimental value," or kept because sorting and discarding has become such a monumental task after years of acquiring and hoarding that to do nothing about the accumulation of stuff is simply easier than tackling the problem.
The Non-Consumer Advocate probably can't do much for compulsive buyers who don't want to stop spending their money unnecessarily or for hoarders who don't want to declutter their houses; but for persons interested in suggestions for saving a little money (to be spent purposefully later on), simplifying their lives, or reducing waste, The Non-Consumer Advocate is an excellent resource. The blogger doesn't come off as some sort of kook living a stereotypical hippy lifestyle, and she's not preachy (her husband and children don't even subscribe to the "buy nothing new" motto, although they all happen to have bought a lot less since Wife/Mom started with the approach). She's just willing to share her own experiences as well as ideas from others who are like-minded. Some things to think about:
- What big purchases could you make in the future if you were to save little amounts now on little purchases here and there?
- Are you guilty of putting leftovers into your freezer, ostensibly to save money by eating the food later, only to forget about the leftovers until they're no longer edible and must be thrown? She admits her own guilt and directs readers to the blog Wasted Food, which in turn directs readers to the blog Still Tasty, both worthwhile stops.
- What could you buy with the money that you'd save by waiting to see a new movie until it's being shown in a cheaper, second-run movie theater?
- What have you done lately to buy less, donate to others, enjoy what's free, or declutter your life?
See? Reasonable, not-too-difficult, nothing that requires a major change of lifestyle (e.g., selling your house, quitting your job, moving into the mountains, and living off berries and river water). Scan her posts and see if you find the inspiration to reduce the amount of stuff that you bring into--and/or store in--your home.
P.S. Speaking of "stuff," have you watched this?
(What is a catablogue?)