I only have one more day to Shop, because the family has agreed to have a Buy Nothing Month in January. This is going to mean that we don't buy anything except food, medicine (if we need any), and what we are calling "necessary sanitation and hygiene items". That last category means we can buy TP, toothpaste, laundry detergent, or even the disposable pull-ups Hypatia is still using at night.
Purchases that fell into a grey area for us included: alcohol of all types, espresso, fast food and takeout, and digital purchases that don't produce a real thing (such as ipod songs, or Kindle books). We are going to include those on the Not Buying It list, but we're not 100% convinced and they might sneak back in.
That about covers what we are doing. So why are we doing this?
There are two main reasons: we want to decrease our impact on the environment and we want to reduce our personal debt load. By simply not shopping at all, we will save all the money we would have spent on that stuff, and we will not contribute to the Cycle of Stuff.
Everyone is on board with this plan, even the kids. They are excited to save their allowances up for an even bigger purchase in the future, but even that materialistic motivation seems like something good for them to learn, so I am happy with their reasons. My husband is pretty low-key about it - after all he is not the shopper in the family so he thinks it won't affect him very much.
I'm hoping that this month will be a time that I can do some Making, when I'm not allowed to Buy. I hope to make some clothing for the kids, maybe finish Carbon's quilt I've been working on, and use and enjoy some of the Stuff we already own (especially that stash of sewing supplies). It would be great to repair and mend some of our broken Stuff, as well.
So we'll see how this goes. If I run out of white thread, I'm not allowed to replace it for the whole month. Probably little stuff like that will be the most annoying. But maybe there will be big annoyances as well. We'll just have to see how it goes - one month can't be too bad.