What happens when you just say "NO"?

I few months ago, a friend told me about a group that vows not to buy anything new for a year. I googled them, and found "The Compact". What an excellent idea! Nothing new, except toiletries, underwear, and food :). I joined one of the lists, and of course had tons of questions about exceptions. Though not celebrated, exceptions are tolerated (not by the hard core!).

I am a thrift store junkie by nature, so falling into this regime was not hard for me. My exceptions: Shoes. I don't buy used shoes. Also, I had to have to make exception for my goddess supplies...Other than that, I am the "Reuse, recycle, redecorate" Queen!

Since then, I always go to Freecycle.com first and ask for things I need. You know, one woman's trash could be this woman's treasure! I have graciously received 1002 Legos, a fabulous dumbek drum, and recently, a dryer! I have given away brand new ink cartridges, a video camera, books, and various other things that I would have hoarded for another 10 years if I had not received a "YES! I would LOVE it!" email, and a heartfelt thank you after pick up. I am in the process of emptying my house, and will list a bunch of treasure with the knowledge that they will get much deserved use.

The next positive side effect is that I could care less who is having a sale on what. Really, it has even effected my Sunday morning ritual of studying the ads in the paper for a good deal. I no longer have an urge to buy clothes that I don't need because they are FINALLY down to a price I can afford. I must admit, a good shoe or boot sale still makes me break out in a sweat. Hey, it took me over 30 years to get this way, it will not change over night!

My kids are a bit nervous because Christmas is coming. They are not sure how Santa will accommodate this "nothing new" household :). "I" believe he will be very proud of us, saving money AND the environment, and will leave us all something marvelous!

What's your favorite pre-loved treasure???

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