Monday, 15 March 2010

On foraging

I wrote the initial foraging article, 'On Foraging For Gloves' for the Financial Interity website and it can be viewed there. 

Here is a sequel. 

As you will have guessed by now, I hate waste

It is not about the money - you can buy many things so cheaply now that it is often hardly worth buying second hand or repairing things from a financial point of view.   Bear that in mind when you get scared about inflation - many things are cheaper now than they were 20 years ago, unless you really need the newest model.
It is worth it from the point of view of not wasting the resources of our planet, and from the point of view of our own integrity however.  It makes you feel a lot better if you know you are doing what is right.
Yet in the great abundance we have here,  it seems to take so much energy to re-use and value everything, and we already have so much that if we didn't waste anything, I feel I would never need to buy things again.  Some of them would probably outlive me.  
Face it - how long does it take to wear out a good coat, or a bicycle, or a sideboard, wardrobe, pair of wellingtons... for most adults these things last a very long time. 
We get rid of them because we are tired of them, or want another colour, or someone just bought us a new one for Christmas. 

I read somewhere (I think it was in the book 'Affluenza'  - see link) that in the 1950's some great marketing conference looked at what they could get us to buy now that we had everything we needed.  They set an aim of making shopping a leisure activity.  People said it couldn't be done...

What has set me off this time is seeing a bag of perfectly good stuff spilling out of a bin bag where it had been dumped in a lane.  First hubby came home with a pair of crutches (yes really!) out of the bag.  They were in perfect condition and have now been re-homed at the physiotherapy department of a local hospital where they should have been returned in the first place. 

So I had to go and have a look too and came home with a child's car booster seat - slightly muddy but otherwise fine.  There is nothing that can really go wrong with a booster seat so it is perfectly safe and now also nice and clean.  We will keep it for our grandchild.

That made me think about waste, as I had been about to go shopping (!) to buy a new jumper and a cardigan.  I resolved to go round all the charity shops and came home with a 100% cotton heavy cardigan originally from Next , which  looks brand new, and a silk and cotton jumper.  Both are lovely.  I also found a floaty layered skirt which will look nice with boots.  Total cost £12 approx.
I wanted a new brown eyeshadow because THE OTHER ONE HAD RUN OUT.  How great is that, I actually managed to finish something before I bought a new one.  So long as you don't count the other five eyeshadows that I don't really use...

I went into the local branch of a well-known chain of chemist's shops and the assistant helped me to find one which was exactly what I wanted for £16 ($23) - ouch. 
Luckily I overheard another assistant mention an alternative brand and spotted one for £5 ($7).  It was not quite the right colour, and somehow I felt pressure to buy the first one.  However, there was 3 times as much eyeshadow in the cheaper one, and I bought it.  Presumably, being larger,  it will last me the rest of my life...
When I got to the checkout, I realised I had enough points on my discount card to get it for nothing.  It had taken me about 3 years to save up the points and I almost forgot to ask - great.

I stopped to do the re-cycling on the way home, and spotted a bin bag dumped by the clothes re-cycling bin.  It was too big to go through the slot in the bin and the contents would be spoiled in the rain.  I had a quick look and there was some good stuff in there, so I put it in the car and brought it home.

My haul has netted me 5 pairs of jeans, 5 t-shirts, some pyjamas, and a couple of other things.  The rest will be taken back to be re-cycled, and I will make a donation to charity for the clothes I am keeping. 

It is better than them being ruined in the weather, and if I make a donation then it is a win-win.  Not sure what the ethics of that is,  but if feels okay.

PS re the Amazon link.  I am not an affiliate for Amazon and do not make any money out of you using that link.  I am neither for or against any particular book seller.
 If there is a better way for you to get the book, please feel free.  I just couldn't get the picture of the book to come up without the link. 
I borrowed my copy of Affluenza from a friend.  I have got many books by special request from my local library.  (see previous blog entry about books and libraries).

1 comment:

  1. Hello Ms. Downshifter: I am working my way through your well-written blog and finding so much inspiration. I've been living frugally for over twenty years, but still finding lots of practical advice from your life and philosophy. Thank you for being a role model. -- Elizabeth, North Carolina, United States