Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No Buying???

Steven reminded me that we have reached the end of our 'No new clothes, No China' challenge so I thought I would recap the year.

The 'no new clothes' part was fairly easy..... until we decided to go to Georgia for Sam's graduation. I succumbed to the desire to have one pair of pants that didn't have holes or paint stains on them (tho I did mend 2 pairs for the trip).

Then there was the shopping expedition with my lovely daughter. Annie is a bit of a fashionista who had the misfortune to be born to hippie parents (or so she says). She is amazingly similar to Stacy London (What Not to Wear) without the brutal honesty (thankfully). I was in the dressing room at JCPennys and she kept handing me tops that "would look great on you Mom, trust me"....and as much as I hate dressing rooms and trying on clothes, she was mostly right (tho 'great' is a stretch, presentable was closer to the truth...
... but I did love that my daughter thinks I could actually look great in something :)

So, 3 shirts later (all on sale) I again broke the 'no new clothes' rule, but rationalized that it was a special occasion and I did enjoy having a few nice things to take on our trip. Everything else I bought this year was from used clothing stores (recycling is allowed:) so I did OK overall, not perfect but not too bad.

As for the no 'Made in China' part of the challenge.....complete failure. Well, maybe not complete, but after 6 months of feverishly trying to find substitutes for things apparently ONLY made in China, I lost interest. I still look at labels, I still TRY, but it's pretty hard. When shopping for a pressure canner the only model we really liked was Presto and of course it's 'Made in China' (but hey, Fagor of America is made in Spain). After a bit of internal debating, I decided I was not going to settle for an unsatisfactory piece of kitchen equipment that would be used frequently just to make a point. We bought the Presto. Not that Fagor is inferior in quality, I just didn't like the design and the controls.

So, what did we learn? -------

--- I like having new clothes once in awhile, more than I thought I did.

--- China makes a lot of stuff that we use every day....and makes it cheaply (at what human cost?)

--- We are willing to spend more for American made....but many times don't have that option.

--- Our daughter has very good (and expensive) tastes, she needs to marry money :)

--- It may be time to get the sewing machine repaired (right Nancy?).

It was a good experiment, we may try it again sometime.....we may have too.


Chiot's Run said...

We've been doing this as well. I think I'll be purchasing an "All-American" canner after many referrals from friends to replace my old old heirloom Presto.

We've been checking labels most of the time, although I had when you buy something on-line and it doesn't specify - GRRRR.

Nancy W. said...

Well, I'm not even going to try for the "no buying" thing - except I do have the fact that I hate shopping in my favor (another reason I sew, I guess.)
AND - isn't that the snow doll that you made when we took the class from Kathy at Thimbletowne when it was in Exeter?

Maureen said...

You have a very good memory Nancy!

And Susy, that is exactly how we came to be in possession of a 'Made in China' pressure canner. I didn't know where it was made until it arrived, and I was too lazy to send it back (besides I just had to use it right away!)

Maureen said...

But I really did think about taking it back....honest!

Anonymous said...

Goodness, what an awesome blog ! It's exciting to find others who are living a frugal, self sufficient life. Have you checked out sufficientself.com forums? VERY cool place. About things made in China, did you hear that the recent retrofitting of the San Francisco bridge collapsed a week or so ago? The steel was made in China.

Happy to read such a great blog !

inadvertent farmer said...

What drives me crazy is that when I picked up some applejuice ALL the apples came from China...what the heck. I live in Washington, we grow apples up the kazoo...why are there apples from China in the juice here.

Ughhhh, now I'm all fired up again, lol!

Good for you for trying, seriously I am impressed!

Maureen said...

Apples from China....eek!