|I don't have a photo of me last night, but I looked basically just like this. Seriously.|
So, it's been 79 days of Detox, so you'd think that the rules would be firmly drilled into my brain, right? As it turns out, not so much.
At the 1930s-themed party last night, I was explaining the whole Shopping Detox project, and couldn't remember all of my rules. Now, I was under the happy buzz of my outfit turning out SO GREAT!! (Nobody else there had their hair in fingerwaves) and also lots of yummy Depression-inspired food (ham rolls, cracker pie, etc.) but I couldn't remember all of the rules.
And so, here is a recap, so I can make sure that I've been abiding by all of these rules for these past 79 days. I think it's harder to remember them since they're up in the header of the blog under "The Rules," instead of along the side, where they used to be.
1) DO NOT dip into credit cards or overdraft EVER
I have been following this. It was a struggle at first, since I began Detox right after the Christmas-gift-giving period, and then I had two unexpected business-related trips and I had to use some of these funds there for a bit. But I am now in a nice stable, regular payment-making mindset. I am not ready to actually get rid of the overdraft... but I think I will do this eventually this year.
2) Shop from shopping lists (no impulse buying)
This one... I need to get stricter with. I usually have some idea of what I want when I go into the grocery store, but it's so easy to get distracted. I keep thinking of meal ideas while I'm there, like, if I'm just getting green peppers I suddenly think, "Hey, if I buy fajitas and seasoning and salsa and chicken, then I can do fajitas!"and before you know it, I'm bringing home a pile of stuff, plus ice cream for dessert.
So I really need to get back on the making-lists bandwagon. The first step, I'm pretty sure, will be doing some meal planning.
3) Do not buy things I already have at home.
I am totally doing this! I have not bought lip balm, food ingredients I already own, or other items that I know I already have.
4) No more chocolate bars.
I'm going to be honest here -- I have not bought chocolate bars since I set this rule. I have, however, been buying large bags of M&Ms. They are neither cheaper not healthier than smaller bags of M&Ms, but it is my new compulsion. And I am not ready to stop buying them. But I suppose I should switch to smaller, cheaper bags.
5) Pack lunches, do not buy lunch on workdays
For the most part, yes. And when I get back into meal-planning, I will budget for enough leftovers for lunches. I do currently have all the fixins to make my own version of my favourite Subway sandwich, so no excuses to buy a sub rather than making my own. But other bread is just never as good as Subway bread. Why is that?
6) No more Starbucks (after $25 gift card is used up)
Yes. I am doing this. *sob*
7) Reusable hygiene products whenever possible (i.e. handkerchiefs rather than tissues)
Yes! I am doing this one, too! However, I really should either wash my handkerchief or get a second one because I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to use the same one for as long as I have been. That being said, I haven't had a cold so I'm not using it every day or anything.
8) Make food from scratch as much as possible (no more frozen pre-made dinners)
I'm doing this pretty much all the time, with the large exception of Kraft Dinner. But sometimes I need Kraft Dinner. It's my comfort food. I know, I know. I should buy cheese and make my own sauce. And I will. Sigh.
9) Homemade dish soap
I have not jumped off this precipice as of yet. I am using the last few dregs of my normal dish soap, and have bought castille soap to make my own dish soap with. That will likely be happening later on this week... stay tuned.
10) No full-price clothes (only sale, free, or thrift clothes)
I've done this one so far too! (see previous post about the $6.97 pants) It was pointed out to me last night, however, that sometimes used clothes can be more expensive than new clothes. For instance, I could spend $800 on a vintage Chanel suit. Is that in any way more frugal than buying a $29 full-price tshirt? This one, like the chocolate bar rule, is more about the spirit of the thing than the exact wording.
So, those are my rules so far. There will be more rules, and stricter rules, as my Detox continues. I just want to kind of ease my way into it and, so far, things are going really great! I am not in overdraft, I have paid off my bills, and I am making regular payments into my credit card debt.
Bring it on, rest of the year!