I didn’t realise until October was half gone that it’s Thriftober. Also, Buy Nothing New Month, which I’ve been on-board with in the past. Doing, or not doing it, isn’t a stretch given my lack of enthusiasm for Retail. The theme culminates in the Garage Sale Trail on 26 October, which attracts much interest but suggests to me… don’t buy new junk you’ll never use, buy someone else’s. Far too much temptation for impulse buying… look, a banana hanger-hammock for only $5!
Curious, I did quick internet research and could find bare mention of these October initiatives globally. Are there similar campaigns worldwide?
In my defence, I was busy in September refining my foodie habits and assumptions, and a side project involving reusable plastic and glass containers rather than disposable packaging. Liberating the contents of our freezer put a significant number of plastic containers back into circulation.
My saving grace is I’m not a keen shopper – my wardrobe is testimony to that. At work, the Community Service Committee recently hosted a Charity Work Clothes Donation Drive to support Fitted for Work, Wear for Success and Dress for Work. These programs perform a lot of good work including assisting people with clothing in good condition to wear to job interviews so they can improve their circumstances. I did them a kindness by not foisting the dregs of my work wardrobe on them.
The G.O. and I don’t shop much other than for consumable household items. When we do, we go armed with a list and make an effort to stick to it.
Our shopping weakness is books and retro household items from second-hand shops and markets. Mostly I patronize the library but I recently purchased a couple of e-books and was seduced by a 10% we’ve-missed-you-voucher from Book Depository – a marketing strategy that worked as several books moved from my wish-list to my shopping basket:
The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron
Searching for the Secret River: The Story Behind the Bestselling Novel,
Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Account of Possession, Exorcism and Redemption, M. Scott Peck
WordPress bloggers are always reviewing or writing fabulous books, and it would be remiss of me not to support them… sounds very noble doesn’t it…
I couldn’t resist Memoirs of a Superior, the latest book by Lord David Prosser.
“I like cats. I like cat stories. After reading Memoirs of a Superior I now like books written by cats. Oh yes, I know it was written by a human, a very talented human… but indulge me, if you suspend boring real world limits about such things Memoirs of a Superior could have been written by Oscar tapping away the keyboard with furry paws… That’s what I choose to believe.”
I try not to impulse buy but given the amount of time I spend at a desk in front of a computer and my affection for on-line browsing, to not indulge takes willpower combined with a quick check of my bank balance before clicking.
Enticement to spend is omnipresent, especially at shop counters where items are placed deliberately to tempt… Enthralled by the pharmacy counter display of multi-coloured Butter London nail polishes, but practical, I bought a neutral foundation and a clear topcoat both which were exxy, thinking to try them out on my nails before later indulging in colour for my summer toenails. Butter London is promoted as a “3 Free company: no formaldehyde, no toluene, no DBP (dibutyl phthalate)”. Sad to say I’m not impressed as the polish chipped & peeled within a couple of days of application. I will however persevere as I cannot bear to not get my money’s worth.
November is my usual month for no spending. It’s the month of my birthday and the lead up to Christmas. Even so, I’ve asked for an IOU for my birthday or maybe a digger, and will submit a list of books to go under the tree for Christmas morning, from which the G.O. can choose a couple to ask the bookstore to order - simple, saves him running around in the festive craziness. I Christmas shop from my desk.
I prefer free stuff. In the last month I acquired from the neighbourhood footpath recycling offerings a cushion for my dining table-desk chair, a huge white platter, 2 big garden pots, a Scanpan knife block, a couple of nice scrolly metal plant stands (at least I think that’s what they are) and nasturtium cuttings.
“Sorin Suciu fairly and humbly acknowledges in the last pages of The Scriptlings his sources of inspiration but this is not sufficient to explain the sheer ingenuity evident, and the adroit equilibrium of subtle and blatant humour.
Sorin disclaims English as his native language but his multilingual aptitudes combined benefit the novel’s narrative and dialogue. And, I suspect somehow account for Buggeroff’s witty malapropisms. Sorin’s refreshing employment of English vernacular and idiom to formulate and produce an accomplished novel, with also a second in the works, leads me to conclude writing magic has been conjured.
Sorin assembles a bunch of characters of just the right mix and colour. Like a top-notch bouquet from a fancy florist the protagonists stay in bud tensioned to unfurl with the right degree of release and bloom just at the right time. Each of them engaging in their own way I liked them just enough to be pleasantly unsettled by Sorin’s infusion of doubt as to the characters’ characters. The only individual I never doubted the whole way through was Stapley who immediately assigned himself as my favourite.”
I just need to remember my favourite thrifty saying “A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need.” Sidney Carroll