Buy Nothing Month: Day Two

2 Jun

Beans are cheap. Beans are tasty.

Beans are…windy.

It’s amazing what 50 cents worth of pinto beans, some onion, garlic and cumin and a little cheese can make. I gorged on bean burritos at lunch and am now, 8 hours later, still pretty damn full.

Bean power! (I am pretty grateful my lover is NOT here tonight since I would likely blast him out of the bedroom. Apparently 1 cup of dried beans makes you a little…powered. :p

I was good today. Yay me, right? I needed to grab a few things at the grocery store, which filled me with dread. (If you’ve ever been to the major mall in this city, you’ll understand.) I went straight to Sobeys though, grabbed what we needed (emphasis, need, with the exception of the Coke) and left, disturbed by how little it felt I got for 20.00.

And for the record, there’s something terrifying about the fact that a 591ml bottle of sugar water is almost as much as a 1kg bag of frozen corn.

Since I had some time to kill until the next bus, I wandered through the mall, window shopping. Most of what I find falls into three categories

  1. Doesn’t fit me
  2. Hideous
  3. Pointless
I looked at some pretty things I’d never use, some ugly things I might. I remembered I need to buy teacher gifts soon. I poked around in the shoe store since with feet like mine, you are pretty much forced to look whenever you can. Ape feet aren’t easily shod after all.
Then it struck me, just how much crap we buy. There are 4 stores devoted to bags. Not even bags that are more than passingly useful, but tiny stupid little purses which cost more than I make in a day. Expensive bags made in another country which took lord only knows how much fuel to produce and arrive at this mall. 4 stores. FOUR.
Don’t even get me started on all the stores selling virtually the same ugly, 80’s inspired hoochie clothes.
It hit me, as I conciously thought about “stuff”, that most of what we have, most of what we want, we don’t need. And yeah, I know that isn’t totally profound or anything but think about it. In the run of the average day we lust after things-iPad’s, cute shoes, yet another book on gardening, new underwear. Cameras and helper monkeys. We spend time thinking about stuff, and it’s never dire. It’s stuff bought to facilitate the purchase of more stuff! Most of which is usually plastic, potentially lethal, and boring by the next day.
So how do we determine need? Is it a need if I would die without it, like food or pants? Is it a need if it makes me happier, like yet another bottle of nail polish? Is it a need if I just fucking want it?
I suspect that far too many of us would answer the latter. Whether we’d admit it publicly…well, that’s another thing entirely.
When I break it down to it’s essential parts, there isn’t much I need, not in the form of little pieces of junk at the mall. I would *like* to treat myself to a new bottle of kick ass nail polish at some point. But I don’t need it. I would like a second lug mug so I have one for coffee and one for my mint tea (it’s nasty to mix. Oh how nasty it is to mix). But I don’t NEED it.
My kids need sandals, shorts. Sunscreen and hats. We need more children’s asprin, and will need some milk next week. These are needs. These needs aren’t sold at La Senza or Payless or Toys R Us, or any other place in the business of telling you that in order to feel wonderful, you need to spend.
I think I’m done with riding that particular train, and you know, I kinda like the air on this other one. It was freeing today, just walking through, sitting to read my book while waiting instead of buying something.
It was nice to spend nothing.
What was bad today?-I bought that coke. Sigh. It’s my one fucking vice and it LOVES ME and refuses to let it’s claws go. So that one is a hard bitch to beat. And I spent .50 cents on Mike and Ike’s at work when I should have eaten the pudding I brought from home. So, I spent around 3.00 on stuff I shouldn’t have. That’s already 6.00 in two days. SIX DOLLARS I spent on little crap. Treats add up.
What was good? I didn’t buy a coffee at the mall while waiting. I was starving but I didn’t eat. Because I could eat when I could get home. And I did. Beans. Delicious delicious BEANS.
Lesson? Those little treats add up, and I don’t need them. Try harder grasshopper. You can do it. :D

6 Responses to “Buy Nothing Month: Day Two”

  1. Marcy June 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    I was thinking of you while shopping at the farmers market today. I did not buy any strawberries (mine will be ripe soon), no biscotti, none of the other things that looked at me, just the bacon I intended to buy — and some asparagus. So, $2 over planned expenditure.

  2. Misty June 3, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    What a wonderful day 2. I noticed that whenever I have to go into a Walmart (which I try to avoid). Shelves full of junk. If I look past the bright sale signs and colourful packaging it’s all just junk.
    We’re all such suckers. We think we act and think independently, but we don’t. We all following the marketing ploys. Chasing the dangling carrot.
    Congrats on a good day.

  3. hodgepodge June 3, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    You’re doing great. And yes, I’ve noticed that about the mall, too. I don’t go there much anymore.

    If the Coke is a need (and lord knows, my coffee is a need, so I hear you) watch for sales, and buy a bunch. Why pay $2 a bottle when it goes on sale sometimes for 87 cents? And it keeps forever. A consumable like that is just the kind of thing one should stock up on.

  4. Nylonthread June 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I did buy coffee today, but instead of getting a vending machine candy bar, I remembered that I had oatmeal in the work kitchen. Some hot water and sweetener later, I’m full & not craving crunchy snax!

    Blowing my resolve this evening tho: a GF is having hubby probs & I’m taking her out for a movie & drinks. All canceled out.

  5. trinity67 June 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    I find that soaking beans overnight helps eliminate the…explosive power they…emit. :o)

  6. Bon June 6, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    still smiling at “80s-inspired hoochie clothes.”

    you’re damn straight…it’s junk. most of what we see is junk. our lives are poisoned – food and clutter and entertainment all – with junk.

    i like this experiment. i’m walking alongside, figuring out what bean dish to make tonight.

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