Checking in on progress

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Back in January, I signed on for the One Small Change Challenge, and vowed to not buy anything new or commercial for the entire month of January. Overall, I feel as though I did well. I did get a new lens for my camera, a 50 mm 1.8, but I didn’t buy it! I was able to trade my photography services for it by taking pictures of springs for Jason’s work. Is that cheating? My only two “slip ups” were buying 1/2 yard of fabric from etsy to make a doll dress to match a tunic that Eleanore has, and a few apps/upgrade software for my ipod. Jason, on the other hand, got a new table saw (which was an amazing deal at 50% off at Lowe’s), but since he wasn’t included in my challenge, then technically it doesn’t count. He’s using it to build a built-in entertainment center for the living room, and he has it almost finished.

I’m really glad I undertook this challenge in January. It’s given me pause before making purchases to ask myself if I really need something, or if I’m just trying to fill a void, or trying to make myself feel better about something. I’m a big stress shopper, so I’m trying to break that habit. I don’t want to continue that consumerism cycle with Eleanore.

All in all, I didn’t really buy a whole lot in January at all, except for groceries, which was truly my goal. I sewed a few things, focused on using what we already have, and knitting from my stash, rather than accumulating more “stuff.” I also requested and traded a few books through paperback swap, and used the library’s interlibrary loan system rather than buying new from Amazon. Speaking of Amazon, though, I am accumulating quite a few gift cards using Swagbucks to search the internet. If you’re not already signed up, you should! It’s a search engine, and you randomly “win” swagbucks, which you can cash in for gift cards, like Amazon, paypal, etc. I’m saving up for this canner and a few Holztiger figures for Eleanore’s Easter basket and birthday. I already have $40 in GCs just since Christmas!

Ok, back to One Small Change. For February, my challenge is not going to be as drastic as January. I’m going to make it my goal to use my cloth bags when shopping. We’re already *pretty* good with using them at the grocery store, but I’d also like to make it our goal to use them elsewhere. However, I’m going to be carrying January’s ideals with me and will try to pare down the shopping to focus on only buying new when absolutely necessary.

We’re looking forward to spring. The Seed Catalogs have started arriving, and my wishlists are getting long. I know I’ll have a lot of “weeding” to do before I can place orders though. In more ways than one.

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