At the end of my last post, I mentioned shopping around my bookcases for books which I either hadn’t read or wanted to reread and then treating them as new purchases. This is part of a new frugal initiative I’m trying out-shopping at home.
The premise is simple: I have lots of stuff. I bought that stuff for a reason. Therefore, I’ll probably enjoy most things I discover.
So when the itch to consume or acquire strikes me, I go “shopping” in our little apartment for something to scratch it. For example-if I feel like being creative, my mind often comes up with scenarios and things I could buy or make. Instead, I remind it that I have drawing materials, quilts I haven’t worked on in a while, leftover fabric and thread, whatever seems most relevant.
Last week, when working out our repayment plan for Mr. Micah’s credit card, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I had some kind of notebook where I could write down all our personal finance stuff?” Visions of Staples and Office Depot popped into my mind’s eye. But I shut them down quickly, saying instead, “I wonder what I’ve got in my box?”
So I got out my big box of stationary, lined paper, printer paper, scratch paper, used and unused notebooks, and whatnot to look through it. Very exciting for someone who likes office supplies! Turns out there was a perfect notebook for the job, a five-subject one of which I’d only used two. Essentially, it’s my new 3-subject notebook. As a bonus, it has some notes on Civilian Public Service and the draft of a speech which won me $100. And by using it, I saved $3-5 dollars on a new one.
I used to worry that doing something like this would use things up. Then I realized that using up is much better than not using at all. It’s even uncluttering or simplifying. So take a look around your house next time you have the urge to buy something. What new discoveries will you make?