First World Problems

I have an overabundance of food and books. I have a shelf full of cookbooks that I never even use. I have a pantry full of food that we haven’t cooked. It’s time to use the old standby:

use it up

It’s time to use up my food and quit buying books. I have shelves of books that I haven’t read yet and I keep buying more. It’s an addiction. The only way to deal with an addiction for me is to quit cold turkey. For quite a while I did well. The only books I bought were second-hand books that I’d “paid” for by trading books in to to the bookstore. I didn’t buy new books at all for months. I need to get there again. In my quest for green, I vowed that the only books I would buy were second-hand or e-books. As with so many other things, that went by the wayside in the last few months. Time to re-vow. I won’t buy any books until I have read at least half of what I already have. At that point I will trade books in and get used books. If I absolutely must have a book – like the latest book by one of my four favorite authors – I will buy it as an e-book. Those few books would be my only exceptions though. Basically, a spending fast for books.

I had gotten away from that little saying. I have many things that I need to use up. Once I do, I will either make my own or do without. I have three bottles of laundry detergent. Three. Why? So, those are going to get used up before I make my own. Same with dishwasher detergent and shampoo. We’ll use up what we have and not just abandon it. I paid good money for these things, I’m not just going to dump them. We’ll live with chemicals for a few more months. It hasn’t killed us yet, and I’ll feel better having not wasted even more money. Once it’s gone, that’s it though. No more. I refuse to buy any groceries but fresh fruits and veggies until I have used up some of what’s in the pantry. Once some of this stuff is gone, I will find alternatives. Except the food of course, I’ll need to buy food. There are cheaper, more natural alternatives to almost anything.

This goes beyond a spending fast. This is a stuff fast. I don’t need any more stuff. Books, clothes, food, movies, anything. Since I’m the one that does most of the shopping, it falls to me to rein it in. I have done well the last couple of weeks in that I’ve only spent on the weekends. We generally go out to breakfast or lunch and do whatever for a few hours. Beyond that, I haven’t spent much money at all during the week. This has been quite a good thing. I was able to start the kids’ college funds with the money I saved over the last few weeks. The fun part is, I don’t even feel particularly deprived when I look around and see just how much we have already. I have been enamored of the new for most of my life. I am finally coming to see how much I already have. I have enough.

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