January 10, 2009

What Broke Girl Doesn't Buy

Item, and (its replacement or alternative)
  • Cable television service (watch on the Internet)
  • Telephone landline (Vonage)
  • Lawn service (garden tools)
  • Snow removal service (shovel)
  • Health club membership (sneakers, bicycle, the great outdoors, see above)
  • Certain home repairs (ladder, electric drill, tool set)
  • New books I want (Chicago Public Library)
  • Mani- and pedicures; facials (DIY and supplies from CVS)
  • Taxi fare (car, bicycle, public transportation and planning ahead)
  • Netflix (redbox)
  • Pizza and Chinese delivery (pick up myself or purchase from grocer)
  • Dry cleaning (DIY with Woolite or other)
  • Clothing repairs (needle and thread)
  • Credit card interest (pay it timely, monthly)
  • Bank fees, "convenience payment" fees (pay attention, read fine print)
  • Late payment fees (keep track and on time)
  • Housecleaning service (DIY)
  • Babysitter (have no children)
  • Life insurance (no dependents)
  • Home security alarm service (excellent locks; light timers)
  • Party invitations (evite.com)
  • Disposable dust rags (old cut up cotton tees)
  • Fresh cut flowers (flowering house plants, seed packets and patience)
  • Bakery-made birthday cakes (homemade cupcakes)
So what do you not buy? And what is your replacement for said unpurchased service or product?


  1. Wrapping Paper (I let the kiddos decorate the backside of brown paper bags)

    Commercial Floor Cleaner (dilute vinegar with water)

    Cans of Soda (2-liter)

    CDs (I can purchase my fav. songs on ITunes)

    Elmer's glue for the kiddos (flour and water works nicely and is completely non-Toxic)

  2. Everything on your list is not only economically smart, but they're all green, too. Especially like the commercial floor cleaner substitute--healthier for the family, too. Like if the kiddos decide to eat their food off the floor--which I'm sure YOURS never do--they won't be ingesting the residual toxins.

  3. Ways to reduce the "I wants" and ways to stretch dollars (at least ways that work for me)

    --Think about the environment impact of a lot of the junk we buy. Many of the unnecessary things we buy are manufactured oversees and contribute to environment damage. Many of the things we need are also manufactured oversees, but the less we buy, the less we cause pollution. When I think about unnecessary purchases in this light I am much less tempted to buy.

    --Mend clothing. So many of us throw out clothing after a button falls off or when a hem needs to be repaired. Take the time to make the repairs. If you don't know how to sew, find a friend to show you how or to help.

    --Rummage sales. Even though (at least today) I don't need to shop at rummage sales from a financial point of view, I save a lot of money and am recycling things that may have other wise hit the dumpster. A friend and I have a huge rummage sale two times per year in Hyde Park to raise money for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk...come on down.