Have a Buy Nothing Day and make do instead

I used to do my food shop every Monday. I had it down to a fine art, roughly planning what we were going to need for the week then getting totally distracted by the reduced section and replanning it all 🙂

This month I’ve tried going an extra day before doing the food shop. That food for the extra day has come whatever was in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. It’s required some clever thinking, and some unusual combinations but it has reduced my weekly food bill by stretching out the week.

Yesterday we had defrosted puff pastry baked with hummus and chickpea curry spread on top. It was amazing! I’ve got a free leftover food A-Z if you are stuck for ideas.

Have your own Buy Nothing Days

Worldwide, Buy Nothing Day is the last Saturday in November but there is nothing to stop you having your own quite little day of zero spending. On the global Buy Nothing Day there are often walks, free shops, protests, credit card cut ups and more things organised for you to join in with or, you can do what the UK BND website advises and “participate by not participating”

They say:

“Taking part in Buy Nothing Day is simple – it can be anything from staying at home with a good book to organising a free concert. It is entirely up to you how you participate and don’t forget to share your event using #BuyNothingDay.”

Make do with what you have

If all the shops were closed and there was no way for you to get a new (or secondhand) pint of milk/zip/book to read etc. what would you do? You could try making oat milk (which is amazing on cereal but not so great for tea). You could reuse a zip from something you don’t wear any more and you could go to a library. There are multiple alternatives to actually parting with cash or collecting more things.

Think it’s impossible?

I’ve written a whole post about 10 strategies to help you stop buying more stuff. If you are in a hurry here is the list.

  1. Install adblockers on computers and stop buying magazines to avoid adverts.
  2. Do not buy it unless it is so useful it will make your life easier.
  3. Only buy it if it is so beautiful you would happily get rid of 10 other things to have it.
  4. Remember that shops are set up to trap you into spending. Avoid the areas with the pretty shiny things.
  5. Take a shopping list. Keep photos on your phone of what you have at home to remind you that you do not need more.
  6. Have a coffee or buy some bath stuff instead of buying physical things
  7. Stick to your shopping rules. Take limited cash and a shopping list.
  8. Before you buy a new thing, decide what old thing it will replace.
  9. Buy new things with the idea of them being just for a season or a short time before you donate them.
  10. Have occasional days where you buy nothing at all.

Why bother?

  • It will save you money.
  • It saves on the fuel and resources used to make the things you buy, so it’s good for the planet.
  • It gives you a break from consuming and gives you a chance to catch up with yourself and what you have.

It’s so easy to get into the habit of buying things as treats or because we are bored. I find it a lot easier to avoid spending if I also avoid adverts. And remember that a bargain is only a bargain if you really need it.  A £50 reduction on a £100 thing is a whopping great bit 50%, half price! But it’s still £50 you might not have planned to spend in the first place.


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