questions about the challenge.

I had some questions posted on my blog from my friends about the details of the challenge.  I’m going to attempt to answer them, although I’m not sure I’ve thought of everything, you know, like the batteries.  (day 2)

The plan:

The plan is to not buy anything new, other than groceries and toiletries.  No new stuff for the house, no new clothes, no new electronics, no new toys, no new anything.  The only places we would shop would be resale shops and thrift stores.  We can buy used stuff, but only if needed.  No shopping at retail stores.  The kids and I decided Half Price Books would be okay, but only used books.

Why?

I do not want to be materialistic and I tend to justify buying stuff.  I’m not in debt, and I have the money to buy things, but I clearly don’t need more stuff.  I have seen a different world than the one where I live.  I have ventured out of the affluent bubble I live in and I can’t ignore what I’ve seen and experienced.  I’m uncomfortable with being comfortable.  I don’t want to support major superstores and mega marts.  I want to buy only what I need, when I need it and used.  I’m going to do this for an entire year.  I guess maybe I want to prove to myself that I really just don’t need so much stuff.  Food, water and shelter.  I also want to be able to have more to share.  More financial resources and more time.

Reality check!

So what happens when my kids need new clothes or shoes?  I plan to go shopping at the thrift store.  This is not a big change for me, as I buy 90% of my clothing and the boys clothing at thrift stores.  Most of my shoes have come from the thrift store, but finding shoes that are in good condition in the boys sizes isn’t going to be an easy task.

School supplies will be another challenge. I should be able to get some of them used or reuse some from last year.  I clearly didn’t think through all of this!  I did think through the important part, that part being the importance of this.  This is more of the radical, cold-turkey approach instead of just making some simple changes.  The teachers won’t be digging this explanation when it comes time to bring the brand new, pristine supplies to school.

Gifts won’t be a problem, as I can buy used books, make an art piece or donate money in someone’s name to their favorite cause.

I’m sure there are many other things I haven’t thought through.  Every day will be a reality check.  🙂

What qualifies as retail?

I don’t travel much, but I do have one flight this summer.  I drive to Mexico pretty often for short-term missions.  I never really thought about the travel thing being a part of this.  I don’t travel much so I don’t think much of cutting back on it.  I always shop for the best deals on everything.  I guess there’s no such thing as a used plane ticket!  It wouldn’t get you very far if you found one.  Airlines I suppose, don’t count as retail.

The fast food thing has been on my mind a lot lately.  My kids and I went to Mooyah for my birthday last weekend.  I was so completely irritated with the large amount of paper waste in bags, cups and wrappings that it takes to eat there.  It’s not even like I had it to go.  It’s ALL made ‘to go’, doesn’t matter where you sit.  Again, ease and comfort and any cost.  And don’t get me started on the ridiculous portion sizes!  I think I’m going to add fast food places to my list of things not to do.  Restaurants without all the paper waste I will still patronize.

As for groceries, we have to eat, and yes, food is retail.  (Yes Amy, potato chips included… LOL)  My challenge excludes groceries and toiletries.  I do hope to make better choices with these purchases though, meaning containers that are better for the environment, more fresh produce and fair trade foods.  Before I buy my quarterly coffee supply, I’m going to do some research to make sure Lavazza is a fair trade coffee.

So what now?

I have a feeling I will encounter many things each day that will challenge me to be more creative in how I approach my wants and needs.  Please keep the questions coming!  We can all learn to do this together.

About jody wissing

I'm a person just trying to matter in a crazy world.
This entry was posted in ideas, save $, the challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to questions about the challenge.

  1. Nancy says:

    I love that you didn’t overthink things and get bogged down in the details. You’re just going for it and you’re SUCH an inspiration! Minor and reasonable exclusions should apply and will be fine. It’s still an amazing endeavor!!

    • Janelle says:

      Thanks for the input.
      It is interesting listening to you and the things about the states I forget. The Netherlands is big with recycling, everything is done, paper plastic, glass, etc. I do not even have a garbage disposal so all the food waste is collected in a can and dumped in my garbage with the yard supplies.

      There is a shop right around the corner with all fair trade and such. Even Starbucks in other countries, not here we only have one in AMsterdam, uses glass mugs and will not give you a sleeve on your coffee unless you ask. They also only have one major fast food place and the is MD’s. And I do not go there anyways, ever!!

      The resale thing is going to be hard. They don’t do a lot of resale. Old clothes and supplies are given to organizations that help mostly in Africa. There is a big connection here with Africa. I think I will sit down tonight and think through what we buy and how to arrange the shoe thing. Boots are pretty important for winter. I may have to make one exception with shoes. School supplies are done through the school and I do not buy clothes on this continent as it is even more expensive. So I really like the idea and will mull it over with Adam this evening as we have a 24 hour period together. And then I will decide my course of action by monday.

      Thanks for the thought provoking challenge.

      Janelle

  2. Amy Tuggey says:

    Nancy, J

    Jody LOVES a challenge, I am just providing additional challenges to the challenge to help define it. It helps to clarify the initial point. That’s all. Well, it IS fun to ask questions as well…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s