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A Year of Living Thriftily?

Realty Fine Porcelain Demitasse Cups
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So I have this idea and I’m not sure I can do it. But I’d really like to try.

Here it is: What if, for an entire year, I didn’t buy anything?

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Okay so that’s not exactly what I mean. What I’d like to attempt is to not buy anything at a retail store. By “anything” I mean clothes, furniture, household accessories… things that can be bought second hand.

I think I might be up to the challenge.

As a start, today I went to the BTS Thrift Boutique in Culver City. The only thing I was really looking for was a 20 x 16 frame for a painting I got for $1 at another thrift store. I didn’t find a frame, but I did get a set of four demitasse cups ($12) and a pretty decorative bowl ($2).

Realty Fine Porcelain Demitasse Cups

Espresso, anyone?

I’ve been wanting to get some espresso cups for awhile. I’ve got a maker, but nothing to put the finished espresso in. Hostess fail!

Here’s the bowl:

Love the color of the flowers!

Love the color of the flowers!

I just thought it was pretty.

So the parameters of the challenge would be I can only buy most items second hand. That includes furniture, clothing, home decor accessories, gifts, etc. An exemption can be made for items needed for DIY projects, but that needs to be pretty limited–I can buy supplies, but the bulk of the project should come from second hand items or items I already have on hand.

Items like underwear, sportswear, running shoes, and electronics are also exempted. Other things might also be, I just can’t think of them at the moment. But don’t worry, I plan to keep this as real as possible.

Where can I buy? Craigslist, thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, Etsy vintage, private parties, consignment shops… anything second hand.

The purpose of this challenge is to be more mindful of my purchases and where they come from. I don’t like the idea that people are making cheap garments that I buy at Old Navy or Target for obscenely low wages. I need to consume less and more thoughtfully.

I also need to spend less money!

Can I do this?

Espresso cup


I’m not sure. But it might be fun to try.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Antoinette #

    I’m with you! You can do it! And I bet you’ll end up with even cooler stuff. Does this mean you’re going to sew more? I can never find 2nd hand clothes in my size.

    Also, don’t overlook eBay. A great source for second hand!

    February 2, 2013
  2. Holly #

    I don’t know how this will play out exactly. I’ve got a lot of clothes already. Chances are I won’t need to buy many more, but who knows? I would definitely like to do more “refashioning.”

    Likewise, I don’t need a lot of stuff for the house and there is only one piece of big furniture I need (a comfy chair for our bedroom). But one of my goals for the year is finishing our bedroom–right now it’s kind of hodge-podge. I’d like it to have more style.

    February 2, 2013

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