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Posted on Sep 30, 2013 in How to simplify, My Journey | 4 comments

Simplify Your Life: Don’t Buy it Yet

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A few weeks back, I did a whole-house cleanup, and cleared out a lot of clutter from closets and cabinets.  I was surprised to find that I had purchased a lot of things that I did not need…yet.  This meant that I had stocked up when I found a great price, only to find after as many as 6 years, that I had not used what I bought.

It’s kind of ironic that I bought these things to save money.  I MIGHT need another pair of hiking boots in the next few years, but more likely, they will sit idle on the shelf.  I might think of someone who would love to have this beautiful vase as a birthday gift.

Looking at the pile of things I am taking to donate, it is clear that these money-saving efforts were such a waste of money.  Buying those pretzels marked 50% off is only a bargain if I eat them before they are stale. Giving the boots away is not a good use of money, but they are of no use to me, and they may be useful to someone else.

This year, I will only buy what I know I will use.  This may be the best bargain ever.

Photo credit: I See Modern Britain
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4 Comments

  1. Buy what you need when you need it…has been my mantra this year. I find I buy less food on each shopping trip but go to the store more often. This means I eat more fresh foods (more trips) and waste less (less spoiled food and less in my cupboard). My family has actually enjoyed this as my shopping trips are shorter and they want to come. So they also buy food they want and remember to eat it right away. Unfortunately there have been more Golden Double Stuff Oreos in my house, BUT they get eaten and are not stale. I do run out of ingredients at times and have to make quick trips, but as I look at my budget, my overall food expenses have gone down in a family of 4 with 3 hungry guys in the house. As an additional money saving tactic…I may buy a cow to save on milk. I will let you know how that goes! :)

    • That is a big investment! Maybe you can teach the kids to milk her?
      I really dislike grocery shopping. I try to make something delicious from what is already in the fridge now. This is a big change from when I lived in NYC and shopped for dinner on my way home from work. That meant getting used to eating whatever I felt like and shopping while hungry almost every day. It was a lot of fun, though.

  2. Good point. I do buy something that’s a great price if I know for sure we’ll use it soon but not otherwise.

    I would add that if you’re trying to pay off debt or save up money, waiting a few months to buy things you “need” but could make do without is a big help.

    It sounds a little silly, but using the ratty towels, sheets etc just a bit longer than I would have liked really helped me pay off my student loans early.

    • Agreed! If you wait until something is starting to go, then save up and look for a bargain, you get the double benefit of saving money and avoiding storing things you MIGHT need. The worst is when you buy something, put it away, then can’t find it when you need it!

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