January 18, 2012 by Gina
I don’t normally make resolutions or goals for the New Year, but Carin’s recent post got me thinking. I definitely have some goals I want to accomplish this year and after more thought, they all seemed to be related to “reducing”. Brian and I talked about some goals and this is what has made the list so far:
- No New Clothing: No purchasing of new clothing this year. Exceptions include undergarments such as socks/underwear and using up any gift cards we currently have on hand. Clothing can be swapped or given to us second-hand
- Use Coupons: Use coupons regularly for as many purchases as possible, particularly groceries. Use websites like Pocketyourdollars and Couponmom to strategize best deals and plan meals around deals at the grocery store. Use “double coupon” days at Rainbow or other retailers.
- Develop a grocery budget and track monthly grocery spending
- Use up our current overstock of personal hygiene items, pantry items, etc in our closets and downstairs. Stock up on things we use regularly when they are on sale.
Reduce Toxin/Chemical Use
- Find skincare and household products that are safer to use, have limited ingredients and don’t contain harmful chemicals
- Use up the stuff we have first and then purchase/acquire these less harmful products
- Find household products that are multipurpose and environmentally friendly
- Eat organic produce and foods as much as possible, particularly the “Dirty Dozen”
Reduce (everything else that I couldn’t categorize)
- Eat vegetarian at least once a week to reduce meat consumption
- Use less paper/plastic products – use cloth napkins, use re-usable bags regularly, use re-usable containers instead of plastic baggies
Some of these are going to be a real challenge for me! I really enjoy shopping so not purchasing new clothes for anyone in the family will be tough. It will be fun, though, to see if we can do it. I’ve already implemented my coupon strategy and saved 47% at the grocery store on Saturday! My groceries totaled $114 but I only paid $60. And I did not end up with 70 bottles of mustard that we won’t use (like on TLC’s Extreme Couponing)! I bought 5 pounds of chicken breasts, chicken bratwursts, a beef roast, carrots, celery, potatoes, large tubs of yogurt, feminine hygiene products, ziplock bags and lots of other stuff. All items that we use regularly – I don’t want to save on items that we don’t use. It took me about 30 minutes of planning and was well worth the time.
I’ve also recently discovered Daisy Blue Naturals, a Minnesota based company that uses all natural ingredients. I went to their national party day last Friday with a friend of mine and met their founder and CEO Jena Thompson. It was a fun night and very interesting to learn about the products. They are sulfate, paraben, cruelty and gluten free. I’ve been using their cleanser and two moisturizers for one week and can see a difference in the dryness and redness on my skin already. These products will help me reduce my family’s exposure to chemicals and toxins we put on our skin. I’m already part of an organic food co-op so getting good quality, organic produce at affordable prices isn’t an issue.
After reading my “Reduce in 2012” list, Brian told me, “You’re such a little hippie” but he did like some of the ideas. And…we’re doing it. I want to make a real effort this year to live with less and be more mindful. I think this list (posted in the kitchen) will help me meet that overall goal. I’ll keep you posted!