I ain’t buyin’ it

When I saw Crunchy Chicken’s latest challenge – Buy Nothing (with the exception of food, medications or other essentials) for the month of April – I said heck yeah, I am down with that! I’d actually been considering joining Mamas on The Compact for a two-month stint, but figured this would be a little bit easier and a good trial run for me since it’s just for a month. (And I’m a little chicken nervous about committing to longer than that, especially since summer is coming up and we might be planning a couple trips.)Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008

Of course, wouldn’t you know it, the very first day (April 1st) I ran into a dilemma with the challenge. The kids and I went to pick up Jody from work and decided to go out to eat before heading home. But hmmm, is going out to eat allowed I wondered? It’s food, which is allowed, but the act of going out to eat does seem sort of extravagant. Too bad I didn’t have Crunchy Chicken on my speed dial. Decisions, decisions.

As luck would have it, the first two places we tried to go were closed anyway. The first was Alexander’s, my favorite healthy Mexican food place in Boulder, which has apparently gone out of business. 🙁 What’s up with that?

Next we tried Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli because we had a coupon. We parked two blocks away, fed the meter, then walked over only to find a note on the door – “Closed at 3 p.m. today for company meeting.” On April Fool’s Day of all days. I thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t.

I decided the fates were conspiring against us and a dinner out was not in the card and was ready to just give up and head home when we passed a health-conscious restaurant called Turley’s that includes some local food and organics on their menu. I commanded Jody, “Just go to Turley’s,” and he did. 🙂

After all of that, I’d like to say that we had a nice, relaxing dinner, but in reality the kids were tired, Julian was not content to sit in a high chair, and the whole meal was very rushed (but tasty).

Feeling a bit guilty about my possible failure on the very first day, I sent Crunchy Chicken an email asking for clarification if going out to dinner counted as food or not. She said she was a little unsure about that herself, but basically concluded that it can be allowed but it depends on where you go, what you are eating and that no disposable packaging is involved. So, McDonald’s (eww anyway) – definitely a no. A restaurant with healthy food and no disposable takeout containers – OK. I can deal with that. I will confess that we brought home a small cardboard container on Tuesday, but I recycled it.

If you feel you are up to the challenge, you can still join. Head on over and sign up to Buy Nothing. If you absolutely need something non-edible or not essential to growing your own food or for your survival, you must acquire it by borrowing, bartering or buying it used. If you buy something new that is non-essential, Crunchy Chicken will have a Sunday Confessional post for everyone to spill the beans.

Good night and good luck. 🙂

11 thoughts on “I ain’t buyin’ it”

  1. Cedar (my son) and I do this often, mainly just because I don’t like having extra stuff. So, it would be easy – but if I was still living with my ex, we’d never make it. He was the type who’d buy something on sale just because (not excessive, but if you don’t need something why buy it?).

    I think though that food out of the house should be off limits. One of the main reasons to try a less consumer based experiment like this is to cut down on energy drains – i.e food shipping, gas, the resources it takes to run a shop or restaurant. Not eating out is closer to a zero use idea. But, I’m glad to see anyone do what they can. Small steps also help.

    Good post.

  2. Hey there, fellow not-buying-it-er! (um, is there a catchier name we can use?)

    I’m glad you posted this; Boyfriend and I got into a debate ourselves last night about eating out/ordering in. This clears is up a little!

  3. I’m participating also – I had a little panic attack the first day (kinda like someone took away my security blanket) but feeling better now. I do need to check in with Crunchy about gift certificates. We received a couple for the baby, but I don’t know if they count.

  4. Good luck with this! I have been attempting to buy less, which with work being so crazy I really did keep out of the stores for most of January – March (the fabric store doesn’t count does it??). Heck, I could barely keep the groceries stocked! I do want to buy less and be more conservative, though I can’t guarantee I would be able to be this limiting.

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