Friday, March 1, 2013

Op shop finds and second hand challenge update

I thought it appropriate that I finally get around to summing up my 2012 challenge of buying no new clothes for the family (on March 1st!)  Underwear, shoes and school uniforms were exempt from the challenge, and I had 3 get out of jail cards for times when I couldn't source clothes second hand, or wanted to support a fellow dressmaker.  I think I did pretty well, and actually found a lot of school uniform items second hand, some to put away for the coming years, I have 2 girls so they can be passed down as well.  I also found many clothes and shoes to put away for the next few years.  It was quite easy, as my local shopping strip (quite a long one) now has 4 op shops in it, and there are a few more just a little further away.  It's easy to drop in regularly when I'm walking past them a couple times a day.  Towards the end of the year, I bought a few new items for Christmas presents, and the change of season- I was wanting a few summer dresses, as I realised it was the first summer in 7 years that I wasn't pregnant or breastfeeding, so I could actually wear dresses again.  I did find one second hand one though, that I had to take in a bit.  So I did cheat a bit, but I have so much put away for the next few years, that I can forgive myself, as I figure it all evens out.  And at the end of the challenge, I decided that I wanted to focus on upcycling in my Etsy shop, so that makes me feel better about the resources I use.
The picture above is of a few of my favourite recent op shop finds- a pair of vintage bed sheets which I'll use to make upcycled nighties or pyjama pants for my shop, a gorgeous St. Albans mohair rug, and a brand new pair of Ish shoes (handmade leather shoes from the Otways), that will fit Evie in a few years ($2!)
As for a challenge for this year- I plan to buy no meat from the supermarket.  I'm trying to not buy much at all from the supermarket, I'll get food from other places where possible, and support small local businesses.  It has been made easier with a local business (in my local shopping strip) called Warren & Hutch, who sell free range and organic meats, local where possible.  We don't eat a lot of meat, and I mostly eat chicken and fish, but when we do, it must be ethically sourced.  Warren & Hutch has new owners who have given it a fresh renovation, and are bringing in more local foods, I'm now buying Shultz's organic milk from there too.  This challenge should be quite easy!


Crafty Blueberry said...

Good luck with your challenge, I havn't bought meat from the supermarket since December and it's led to me finding great deals in the local market. It's a bit of a pain to get to sometimes so I tend to but lots when I go(better discounts that way too) then freeze it. The meat's fresher, cheaper and it's reared in the UK, where I live. Plus if I can't be bothered going then we don't eat meat, which means more healthy veggie days.

Alicia said...

Thanks Crafty Blueberry, I have been buying it in bigger portions, which also makes me feel better, because the only packaging is a small plastic bag, and butcher's paper around it. Much better than hard plastic trays with shrink wrap. I think I might ask them if I can bring my own clean container to put it in, and do away with all packaging.

Jacqui Calvert said...

I tried the buying only second hand clothes thing last year too, and went great until I fell pregnant. But even not lasting the full year, I started to think differently about my impulse buys - a little cardigan here, a little top there. I started to realise I didn't actually need them, and now I'd rather buy less clothes but pay more for better quality, or just keep buying from op shops.