Not Buying It

Not Buying It! Part 10

This is Part 10 of my 90-Day “Not Buying It” Challenge.  Inspired by Judith Levine’s book Not Buying It.
You can read my previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9.
Here are my rules for the 90 days:
* No shopping except food and essential items
* No new books, clothes, or music
* No eating in restaurants or buying take-out
* Try to use up food items that are already in the house
* I’m still allowed to pay for dance and yoga
Day 64: I’m getting a little better about not food hoarding.  Last week I spent less than $50 on groceries, and this week’s trip was about $85.  Progress!!
Day 65: Only a few more weeks of my challenge!!  The end is in sight.  Even though I’m doing great at paying off my debt, I still have more financial goals, like starting a savings account!  I probably won’t be as strict about not eating out and not shopping, but I’d like to continue these good habits into April and beyond.
Day 66: The temperature has been in the teens again, and I’ve realized my winter coat is crap.  When my friend was visiting and we were walking around town, I was so miserable, I borrowed my son’s down jacket!!  This reminds me of when I was in my early twenties and saving every penny to move to Africa.  I went the whole season without a real winter coat or boots.  Not only was I trying to save money, but I also didn’t want to buy anything that I wouldn’t be taking with me!  So yeah, I can make it through a few more weeks of winter and get a new coat next year.  Or maybe come April 1st I’ll see one and it will be super on sale : )
Day 67: I met a friend for a cup of tea, but he paid.  This is one part of the challenge I really don’t like.  I feel like a mooch!  I’m looking forward to paying for myself again if I go out with friends.  And I even have a few friends that the next time we go out it will be my turn to treat, which is kind of silly if you think about it…  But overall, avoiding this situation has definitely been a deterrent to going out!
Day 68: I ran out of the Senegalese peanut stew I had prepared for lunches, so I made a quick kale salad with with mixed berries, pine nuts, shredded coconut and balsamic vinaigrette. I must say, it’s a delicious combination!  I had some canned dolmas from TJ’s on the side.
kale berry salad
Day 69: Okay, prepare to be amazed by my frugal ways:  I didn’t have a lunch prepared, and was running late in the morning.  Rather than risk having to buy something at work, I grabbed a mystery meal container out of my freezer.  I really couldn’t tell what was in it!  I thought it was probably kitchari.  As it turned out, it was my vegan interpretation of a West African dish I had prepared with okra, spinach, black-eyed peas, and red palm oil (to be totally honest, it’s better with fish… and the dish in general is probably an acquired taste and not something I would serve to another American! But I love it!)  It was just the sauce, which I usually eat with some boiled manioc or plantains.  At lunch time I walked to a local grocery store looking for a starch to go with it.  Ended up buying a sweet potato that I cooked in the microwave.  I had enough left over for dinner too 🙂
okra stew
Day 70:  Got together with a friend today.  Normally we probably would have met at a cafe or restaurant, but she’s interested in healthy eating, and in my “Not Buying It” challenge, so it was the perfect excuse to stay in and cook!  We made a Jamaican coconut curry with beans and rice.  I made a BIG pot, so now I’ve got lunch ready for several days next week.
coconut curry
But here is the best part, we were talking about saving money and the “not buying it” rules, and I told her I had paid $80 for an Erykah Badu concert, but that I only bought one ticket.  She said, “Me too!”  I’ve been thinking about this for two months, wondering if I’d end up going alone, and if I’d regret not buying two tickets, but now I have someone to go with!! Yay!!
Progress so far?  My credit card is paid off, my car loan is paid off, and my student loan is less than $1,500!!!