Tuesday 13 January 2015

5 Things I Need to Stop Buying

I'm hoping to be quite thrifty this year - sticking to a tight budget and tucking as much money as possible away in my savings. I'm also continuing to declutter and, of course, one of the easiest ways to have less stuff is not to buy it in the first place!

So, I will generally be trying to Buy Less Stuff this year, but even if I wasn't on a budget there are a few things I really need to stop spending money on...

1. Pretty homewares. Smart crockery, stylish teatowels, colourful bedlinen, nice prints, all that lovely stuff that brightens up your space and helps make a house a home. I love this sort of stuff! It makes me happy!

But here's the thing: I'm currently living with my parents (to help with the aforementioned Saving Money) and using all their things while mine is packed up in boxes waiting for the time when I once again have a kitchen, etc, to call my own. It might be lovely, but buying this stuff only to pack it away in a box to maybe use at some point in the future in a flat I don't yet live in where I may or may not even have space for it... well, that's just daft.

I am not going to run out of teatowels any time soon

2. Clothes with wool in them.

Note to self: wool makes you itch, you idiot! No matter how nice that jumper is, it is not magically going to have less wool in it next time you wear it! When will you learn that the thing you've just tried on doesn't feel itchy because you've only worn it for two minutes in a changing room, not because you've discovered a magic wool-rich garment that doesn't make you itch? It doesn't matter how nice it is, put it back on the rack immediately and save yourself the sadness and wasted £s when you inevitably give it to your sister in a few months because, guess what, it makes you itch. 

These jumpers were so cosy but so darn itchy

3. Jewellery. I see so much gorgeous jewellery in vintage shops, at craft fairs and on sites like Etsy, but no matter how many pretty things I ooh over it doesn't seem to change the fact that I hardly ever wear any. Most of the jewellery I've bought in my adult life has either never been worn or has only seen the outside of my jewellery box once or twice. I know I never wear it, but somehow forget this fact when I see some lovely sparkly thing or charming brooch... and if I do suddenly decide to start wearing it more often, I've got plenty of nice pieces already.

"Don't buy stuff that you know you never use": not rocket science but apparently it's something I need to work on remembering!

Vintage pretties, never worn

4. Fancy moisturisers with the words "radiant" or "radiance" on their packaging. This seems to be moisturiser company code for "contains that light-reflecting shimmery stuff". I think it's supposed to give your skin a healthy glow but unfortunately I'm so pale that the effect is less healthy glow and more sparkly vampire. Not a great look.

A non-sparkly vampire I stitched for the book Felt-o-ween :)
5. Fabric and other crafty supplies that aren't for a specific project. This one is going to be tough.

There is just so much lovely fabric and so many yummy crafty supplies that are just brimming with possibility! They are so, so hard to resist, especially as I spent my working life (and big chunks of my spare time) surrounded by these delicious temptations.

But, of course, there are only so many hours in the day and only so many projects that I'm going to start (let alone finish!). I need to focus on using up the supplies I already have in my stash and save my crafting-project-pennies for the stuff I actually need to finish up a project... not splurge it all on pretties that make me go "oooh!" but then end up metaphorically gathering dust in a corner of my studio.

Lovely fabric I need to think up a project for!

Do you have something you need to stop buying? Or a particular crafty shopping weakness - something you can't resist adding to your stash even if you never seem to use up what you've already got?


Moois van mie said...

I too have a list like that : books ! ( i used to read very very much but I don't do it that often these days and I still can't resist buying books ) , craft supplies! ( beads, yarn, drawing stuff, fabric .. ) , bowls ! ( I'm addicted to bowls and already have a lot of them ) , unhealthy snacks ! ,...

Ksenia said...

I can totally relate to almost all of this. Pretty homewares, jewellery and fabric especially. It was good to read your post to remind myself that I need to buy less of these (none at all in case of jewellery). So, thank you for the reminder :)

Anonymous said...

Ooh mine would be 1) Stationary (particularly notebooks!) 2) Delivered veg / fruit boxes (it never gets used up), 3) Fiction (at the rate I read I have enough to last me 6 - 12 months, possibly more at the moment) 4) White or pale coloured tops (I am actually getting quite good at not doing that, as much as I love the idea of a good white shirt, I look washed out and twice the size) 5) Pretty tins (can not resist)

Sue Hayton said...

Buying yarn online! Expectation as I wait for the postie. But then I do have an enormous stash of my own and now my late mother's stash to work through!!! But I do love looking at yarn!!

Anonymous said...

I can't resist a nice mug ;-) But I really, really need to stop buying books about new-to-me crafts, as that will stop me buying up more supplies! And I need to find a way to stop people buying me teatowels - for a start, they are rarely the very lovely ones I would choose myself for a start. And I don't think anyone has ever come to my house and heard me say that I've run out of teatowels, so I don't know why they all think I'm so badly in need of them!

Sheila Khan said...

I work in a charity shop and come home with something from there every week and even from other charity shops. I love depression glass, jugs, brooches, silver photo frames and many other silly things that I don't need. It is a compulsion

Sarah C said...

I love this post. I can relate to all of this. I may have to borrow this idea for myself.

jean said...

All of this hits home with me----all on your list, and the comments too.....fabric, vintage fabrics(because of course, you never know when the thrift shops in the world will run out of wonderful vintage fabrics....sigh), buttons, books--oh the books......I am just coming to the realization that I really have to stop, and really really have to shop in my attic, barn, studio.......so funny to read your words today, as I put things back when I was shopping at Goodwill this afternoon.......

Unknown said...

Yep! I am the worst about fabrics! Ooooh! A Sale? I can't pass that up!

I am determined to only buy fabric that I need for something specific and ONLY after checking my stash to make sure I don't have a suitable option first!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! It is so interesting hearing what all your "things I need to stop buying" are.

moois van me - fellow bowl addict here :) I cleared out loads this year as there are only so many bowls I can possibly use!

Ksenia - no problem, glad you found the post helpful! :)

lacer - ah, there are so many things where the *idea* of the thing is great but the reality of owning/wearing/using it just doesn't work out (for whatever reason) We need to be honest with ourselves when these things don't match up

Sue - online shopping is so dangerous for my bank balance, so much choice!

Anon - I also find it v hard to resist mugs, I have so many now! Re: the teatowels, maybe pick something you do need/love and work out a way to drop hints to people? Or just talk loudly about how you have so many lovely teatowels now you've run out of space for them? :)

Sheila - I have bought so much stuff when I've worked in charity shops, I think I should have stopped taking my purse with me when I went to do my volunteering!

Sarah - glad you enjoyed the post!

Jean - I think these are timely thoughts for January, tis the season to reflect and make resolutions :)

Rebecca - oh goodness yes, sales and special offers = super hard to resist, especially if the items are about to be discontinued / sell out!

Unknown said...

Anything quilting related at the moment be it fabric, notions or equipment, whether I need it or not.

But one thing I have been doing for the last few months is if I buy new clothes throwing our/give away two items, and using up what I have (I have an addiction to nail polish so must use what I have!) and that goes for food in the freezer to craft materials.

It's going okay, and I quite like the feeling of yay, used that up now and asking myself do I want or need to replace it

Anonymous said...


I have wanted to post this tip for a while.. Have you tried crafting with the synthetic felt squares that are sold as cleaning supplies in the supermarket? They are quite affordable. Also some stores sell them with patterns on them.. They seem to be quite affordable, about 2 per a pack of eight squares.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Laura - one in two out is an excellent system! That sort of ongoing small-scale decluttering / mindfulness when you shop is great :)

Anon - no, I never have! I shall have to keep an eye out for those in my local supermarket.