Friday, January 22, 2010

Frugal Friday - A "Not to Buy" List

We all have those moments when we get a serious case of the "I wants." I want that sofa. I want that phone. I want that iPod. I want that outfit. I want those plates, bowls, etc. Looking through magazines often makes me realize how much the stuff that I own, that I do like, isn't really in style anymore.

Couple all of this with the things we really do need to buy - like food, clothes for growing kids or to replace a well-worn article of our own, replacements for worn out items around our house that are used regularly, insurance, the stuff our cars need, and the like - and it can seriously feel like we are behind, broken down and in need of so much.

I have hit that point several times in the last few years. October was especially tough since we had furniture break, my surgery, the weather stripping come off the window on our van, and a whole host of little things that broke, ran out or otherwise were needed plus two tuition payments due. UGH.


I did something a while ago. Maybe it is my scrapbook crazy mind, but I decided that I was going to type up a list of things that we don't need to buy. Pretty colors and all that. And mount it in my scrapbook so that I can refer to it and remind myself how truly blessed I am and how much I truly don't need to buy.

Some of the things that are on the list?
* Socks for all of us
* T-shirts for all of us
* Pots and pans
* Bake ware
* Plates
* Silverware
* Drinking Glasses
* Coffee Mugs
* Books (Plus we have several libraries we can utilize!)
* Tote bags, backpacks and the like
* Winter coats, hats, mittens and boots for John and me
* Master Bedroom Furniture
* Dining room table with 2 leaves and 6 chairs
* Curtains (Although my bedroom curtains just fell apart last week when I washed them! Go figure!)
* Serving Bowls
* Towels
* Sheets
* Pants for John
* Skirts and Dresses for me and Missy
* Pens
* Pencils
* Paper
* A Filing cabinet
* A computer desk
* Computers (yes, plural - we have 3)
* Spiral Notebooks
* 3-ring binders
* Greeting cards
* Blank note cards
* Address labels
* Note pads
* Sticky notes (I think these multiply on their own!)
* A 7-passenger Van

And so much more!

I ended up with two type-written pages, single spaced, with each word or phrase separated by a symbol of some sort (swirl, square, etc.). Two FULL pages of stuff I don't have to buy. I stopped counting how many things when I hit 500. Some of them are little, like pencils, and some are far bigger, like furniture, computers and the van. But all are here, waiting and ready for me to use, use up or share with others. No, they're not all the latest style or work perfectly and some are very well 'loved.' But they're things that I have and don't need to buy.

How much of a blessing is that?

It's so easy to forget what we have and can use. When we focus on what we need or think we need, we can get burdened and overwhelmed.

I did this with a list of things I am grateful for too - few material possessions other than my home, clothes and food made it on the list. I was very surprised by that. It was filled with things like particular people, having a church home to worship in, my returning health, insurance, employment, access to good medical care, hot and cold running water and the like. That was another huge blessing to see.

Try writing your own list. You might just be surprised by how much you are blessed too!

For more Frugal Friday, check out Life As Mom!


  1. So true! Every few months I get ambitious enough to straighten up my pantry. It always blows me away to see how much I have on just one shelf! Yep, life is good...

  2. Isn't it good to know we're so blessed?

    Thanks for commenting, Mom2fur! I appreciate it!



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