Sunday, November 3, 2013

Buy Nothing November

It's been in the back of my mind to do this a few other times. I knew Ashley did it, and I thought it seemed like a good idea. I don't think it's a coincidence that I decided to really take the plunge in the middle of my pregnancy (well, slightly past the middle, yikes). I can say this with certainty because the first time that Ashley did it, she was also in the middle of pregnancy. My theory on why is because having a baby makes you buy stuff. Too much stuff. Ironically I have not bought a single flipping thing FOR the baby, except for a pair of girls shoes that we used to take pictures of the "baby's first trip" in Europe this summer. Obviously, we are not having a girl- so I passed those along to a friend who has a girl and I am back to: have not yet shopped for baby. Oh wait, I did buy a stroller the other day, that's kind of for the baby, kind of to keep me sane during maternity leave. Win-win. 

So if I haven't bought anything for the baby, what have I been buying? Well, it started at the beginning when I felt like poop every day. I turned to my old friend Dr. Google and then bought every POSSIBLE "morning sickness fix." I'm talking 15 different kinds of tea, ginger gum, motion sickness bracelets, lemon drops, B6 vitamins… I can't even remember what else because the vast majority of it didn't really work. 

Then I started to feel better but the tummy started growing and so the maternity clothes shopping began. I resisted it for awhile, then discovered that the clothes are actually much cheaper than I thought and Old Navy is ALWAYS having an online sale. And suddenly there was no more resisting and lots of packages showing up at my door every single day. Oops. Then I signed up for two prenatal yoga series… and bought myself a new swim suit. If I'm buying a maternity sweater… I might as well get a matching scarf? No? 

Photo  62

In the grand scheme of babies, I probably really have not spent that much overall… except maybe when you include that stroller. I am very thankful for all the help we will have actually purchasing the things the baby needs. But I have found that just clicking a little button on my computer and having things appear at my door is really just more addicting than I ever knew it was (because to be honest, I just don't online shop that much normally). So, I'm going to break the cycle and save a few dollars in the process, I hope. 

I know everyone has to do Buy Nothing November their own way, so here is mine: 

1. I can obviously pay bills, buy food, and essentials. By this I mean, I am about to run out of toothpaste. I won't be going without because it's "No Buy November" but I may steal some of Eric's (yes we have our own toothpaste) until I can find a good sale. I will only go to Trader Joes with a specific list and will not buy any additional impulse buys while I'm there. Last time I was there I swear I left with pumpkin everything… tea, muffins… who knows what else. 


2. I can start Christmas shopping, as long as I stick to ONLY gifts for others. It will stress me out too much to wait until December, so I will probably buy a couple of Christmas presents, hopefully nothing crazy. Like every year, I am trying very hard not to over-do presents. 


3. We will still go out to eat, but use restaurant gift cards whenever possible. Eric would probably try to end this marriage if I enforced a no eating out policy three months before we brought into the world a tantrum thrower that will make restaurant eating a thing of the past. So, I won't :) But I will try to use a couple of restaurant gift cards we have to save a few dollars. 


4. Just a brief list of things I cannot buy: maternity clothes, scarves or other accessories, just the cutest outfit ever for the baby (just say no), books (for me, the baby or my classroom), tea at Starbucks (I do currently have some gift cards but I may try to just hold off and use those in December), impulse food buys, anything for my classroom at all, presents that are not a good deal, salon services of any kind (not that I do this often anyways) and probably many other things I am not thinking about right now.


5. I will avoid reading sale e-mails or visiting websites "just to look" but if i do find myself wanting something, I will write it down. I think it would be fun to see if I save any money doing this. 


Would you ever consider going a month or more without buying anything? What would be the hardest thing for you to give up?  



  1. I think this sounds like a good plan! I have been MUCH better with money since I know that we are saving really hard for a trip in the spring right now. I was so not good with money this past spring and summer and did lots of impulse buying but when I know there is something big on the horizon I am much better at resisting. I am also attempting to make baskets for Christmas gifts this year. We made two batches of homemade wine recently (not actually at home - at one of the "home" brewery store places so all we really did is put the yeast in and then bottle it) so we are giving people wine and then I am going to do some baking and I am buying random cute little things as I see them and if they are on sale (mugs, teas etc) and will put all that in the basket and wrap it up pretty. At least this is my goal for this year, we will see how that ACTUALLY pans out...

    Anyways, I'm excited to see how no buy november goes for you!! I got a bit addicted to online shopping a couple of years ago (mostly lululemon) and really had to curb my spending. It is just so easy to enter your credit card information and hit buy!

  2. I think this is a great idea! I think Ben and I are doing this our own way too - we really wrote out everything on our monthly budget and chose what bill is coming from what and saving everything otherwise!

    I think you can definitely do this - maybe it won't even be as hard as you think!

  3. I love this idea! It will help that in six days you'll have so much stuff you won't know what to do with it.. it'll probably take the rest of November just to organize haha. I think we should plan an il Casale fam dinner soon since I'm going to miss those when the baby comes

  4. I love this! I attempted a 3-month no spend challenge over the summer and failed MISERABLY, but I am going to attempt a really strict one in January (no eating out, wahhh) to get back on track and save money since I know November/December are going to be terribly spendy months.

    Good luck, though! You can do it!!

  5. I need to go a whole year of not buying anything, but I think I'll save that conversation for our financial planner. ha. The good news/bad news about having a boy is boy clothes, while not as terrible as they used to be, are much more limited in scope than girl clothes. You'll see oh so adorably cute girl clothes and bemoan the fact you have a boy ... and about 1.3 seconds later be so thankful you have no excuse to buy buy buy.

  6. I am trying to do something similar in the month of November, although as soon as I leave for Paris all bets are off the table as I will be eating out a lot, etc. My goal for the month is to not buy any clothes or non-essential things like make-up or workout wear. I did let myself buy a book today because I knew I would run our reading material and for whatever reason, this plane did not have inflight movies (which is ridic because it was about a 5.5 hour flight to LA, and 4.5 hours coming back). But I found an ebook that was $2.99 so felt good about that. I also really want to avoid eating out as much as possible so that is why I stocked my freezer last weekend! Good luck to both of us!! It is so tough to resist those X% off emails from places like Banana Republic but I am going to stay strong!